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One of the most important questions to ask yourself when purging items from your closet is, “Does this item make me feel good?” This simple question will help to eliminate articles of clothing that you do not like (but paid good money for), that don’t compliment you (but it was a gift), and that have been keeping you ‘stuck’ (in the past).

Clothing follows the 80:20 rule – we wear 20 percent of our clothing 80 percent of the time! Here’s a little trick you can play on yourself to see which items are being worn. At the start of each season, turn your clothes hangers backward! As you wear clothes, face them properly. At the end of the season, any clothes that remain facing backward should be given away.

Tip: Keep a ‘share’ box/bag and ‘give-a-way’ box/bag in your closet to discard items that no longer make you feel good.

Recently, I was assisting a client in purging items from one of her two storage units. This client realized how much money she was wasting each month by have two units filled with stuff that was keeping her ‘stuck’ in life (personally and professionally). There were clothes that she had been holding onto for years due to various reasons (all the typical excuses – ‘it cost a lot of money’, ‘it was a gift’, ‘I will fit into that again…someday!’). It wasn’t until I held up each piece of clothing and asked her, ‘Does this make you feel good?’ did she begin to part with the items. In a matter of a few minutes, the client was able to let go of 3/4 of the clothes! That one simple question made her look at the clothes differently. They didn’t make her feel good. They kept her ‘stuck’ in the past.

As we approach a new season and unpack our summer attire, take a few moments to ask yourself that one powerful question, ‘Does this make me FEEL GOOD?’. Don’t waste your closet space, energy, or time on anything that does make you happy or feel good!

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I read an interesting article today in the Bottom Line Personal written by Gary Bencivenga on ways to boost your productivity. Lately, I have had a personal struggle with being too productive and not giving myself permission to relax and do nothing. I was drawn to the title ‘Why Your Not-To-Do List Is More Important Than Your To-Do List’. I was hoping Gary was going to tell me it was OK to sit back and not do anything with my days…that wasn’t the way it went.

I wanted to share an interesting topic within the article that I have heard before, but found it to be a great reminder. It is on applying the 80/20 rule to everything you do. Are you aware that 20% of your daily activities are responsible for 80% of your happiness, success, and even your income? These are considered your ‘big-payoff’ activities. At the same time, 20% of your activities are causing 80% of your wasted time. These are your ‘low-payoff’ activities.

To increase your productivity, always look for ways to free up more time to do your big-payoff tasks/activities by eliminating the many low-payoff ones that keep you from achieving your desired goals and dreams.

Your ‘Not-To-Do’ list can be more important than your ‘To-Do’ list! You must constantly be working to minimize or get rid of those 20% of activities that are wasting 80% of your time. You can do this by maintaining your ‘Not-To-Do’ list…

Here are some examples for your ‘Not-To-Do’ list:

  • Never answer email in the morning – Reserve this cherished morning time for your highest payoff activities.
  • Don’t answer phones just because they ring– take advantage of voice-mail, text messaging, and caller ID services. Answering a phone can distract you from doing your current high-payoff activity. It may just be a sales person looking to waste your time and ruin your focus.

Gary suggested asking yourself two questions for every task. Here they are: (1) Does this have to be done? (2) If so, does it have to be done by me? Don’t just be efficient, but be effective too. Do the right things and not just do them right!

So each day when you are creating your ‘To-Do’ list, think of creating your ‘Not-To-Do’ list as well.

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