How to filter the crap out of your life

How to filter the crap out of your life

November 06, 2017

Toxic thoughts and endless to-do lists. An overcrowded inbox and piles of paperwork to sort through – being an adult can be tough. We have some helpful tips to clear the mind and sort your life out to make room for the more important things.

Tim Ferris, Oprah and Arianna are all fans of journaling your thoughts onto paper. A New Zealand study found that ‘expressive writing can help to rescue stress and anxiety, it can even speed up recovery time for patients who have undergone medical treatment. But what if writing away your worries feels like just another commitment? There’s now a time saving alternative perfect for fans of brevity. The Five Minute Journal, published by Intelligent Change, is a bite sized diary designed for us busy people. Just fill out a few simple questions designed to encourage a positive mindset, decide on an affirmation and set an affirmation and set an intention. That’s 300 seconds well spent. 

CULL… YOUR CROWD – Do you really need to copy that many people into an email thread? Think twice before cc’ing or bc’ing anyone on email. LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner offers similar advice with his golden rule of email management: “If you want to receive less emails, send less emails.” If a conversation is ongoing, instead of including others in the entire thread, end them a summary once a decision is made.

CHANGE… YOUR VOICEMAIL MESSAGE – In 2014 Coca Cola’s Atlanta HQ did away with voicemail after too many complaints that it was ‘annoying’ and ‘redundant’. If you feel this way then change your voicemail message to politely explain so: ‘I no longer check voicemail so please send me a text or email and I’ll get back to you.’ 

STOP… LEAKY INTERACTIONS – To prevent ‘leaky interactions’ – when you’re checking one app and then another distracts you – we recommend have a ‘tools only’ home screen, with four or five essential apps such as email and contacts. Also, set up shortcuts to your camera or clock without unlocking your iPhone so you’re not tempted to click elsewhere.


Hosted by psychology PhD graduate Ana Melikian, this online radio show ponders self growth topics such as ‘Courage to be imperfect’ and why ‘Getting a no can be your best goal’.

This app created by Deepak Chopra, is a one-stop shop for self development (the Chinese-Buddhist word ‘Jiyo’ means ‘to use yourself). Check out the article on ‘Growing Out of Hypersensitivity’ in the Personal Growth section and in the social section, read other users’ tips for emotional resilience.

This TED Talk by David Kelley, whose company IDEO designed the world’s first mouse, looks at how to develop a sense of ‘self-efficiency’ – which is a belief in your own ability to accomplish a task even if it’s outside your comfort zone.

Sick of all those newsletters that you once signed up for to receive $10 off your next purchase at your fave online store? Well, instead of unsubscribing to each individual email, just log into Unrollme, which will pull up a list of all your email subscriptions so you can just swipe yay or nay.


WHY? Sir Richard Branson put it best: ‘Most entrepreneurs are driven personalities, but you can’t overcome challenges and bring new ideas to the market through sheer force of personality alone. You need to learn to delegate so that you can focus on the big picture.’ And it won’t only empower you, but also your employees. Studies have shown that delegating tasks to staff can boost their self esteem and create a mutual trust in an organisation.

WHEN? According to best selling business author Josh Kaufman, there are four ways to ‘do’ something: completion, deletion, delegation or deferment. He recommends making a list of all the things on your mind and then asking yourself, ‘How many of these tasks can I move off my plate immediately?’ As for knowing when to delegate, ‘It’s effective for anything that other person can do 80 per cent as well as you,’ says Josh.

HOW? Leaders at PayPal, Etsy and TED use the task management software Flow to delegate projects to their workforce. Not only can you assign, organise and discuss projects with a group, but you can censor certain people – such as outside contractors – from seeing certain parts of a discussion or document stream. Because, you don’t need to give everything away.


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