November 6, 2013
Retirement Advice: 5 Ways I Could Streamline My Day
A few weeks ago I shared my RV trip frustration over sporadic Internet service. After many anguished hours I finally realized connecting to the Internet is not worth ruining the precious time I get to spend on the road with my wife and lovable dog, Bailey. I promised myself to keep my priorities in proper order: important stuff first, unimportant stuff whenever!
That got me to thinking of a few other ways I have attempted to stay focused on ridding my day of unimportant concerns. These simple suggestions have been offered by readers over the years and continue to resonate with me...maybe with you, too. I will note that I struggle with two of these every single day.
1) Don't read e-mails, blog comments, or social media threads first thing in the morning. This is an excellent suggestion, and one I cannot bring myself to implement. Try as I might I grab the laptop first thing every morning to check on blog comments, e-mails, and top news stories, sometimes before I even get a cup of coffee.
Now that the weather is finally cooling off here in the desert maybe I can at least have breakfast on the back porch before I plunge back into the Internet. No promises, but I'll try.
2. Cancel any magazine subscription if it sits unread for more than 60 days. Here is a de-clutter suggestion I have been able to implement. From a dozen magazines we are down to four. They are read within two weeks of receiving them and then recycled.
3. Set smartphone to only update feeds every 2 or 3 hours instead of every 30 minutes. This is so simple to do. I know exactly where the setting is. But, three hours? That is a lifetime! At least I have turned off the notification sound so every time I get a new email a beep or blurt doesn't announce the fact. I have been known to go a full 45 minutes without checking the inbox.
4. Don't attend club or organization meetings just because you think you are "supposed to." I have gotten much better with this. Over the last several years I have stopped going to a club that no longer interested me, eliminated a weekly men's gathering, and given up one volunteer activity that had become unsatisfying. I had been doing it so long I was stale and not performing my function well.
5. Group errands together. Try for no more than 2 days a week. I do pretty well with this one. In fact, I celebrate when I go an entire day without having to leave the house in a car. Where we live it is relatively easy to plot out a route that allows me to hit various stops as I follow a circular route, taking care of a chore at each location. I used to make a separate run to the library, then decide later I needed to go to the bank, and then Home Depot had a needed something. Now, those three make a perfect loop so all are done in one trip, saving me several miles and probably 40 minutes of wasted driving.
I will make a valiant effort on #1 and #3 above, but will not stress out if I fall short. After all, a satisfying retirement really is a work in progress.