Even the most organised of us have a few lurking there.
So – what are they?
Well, a niggle is anything about a system or routine in your life that makes it take longer or makes you expend more energy doing it than is absolutely necessary.
Are you just putting up with it because its familiar?
You have to ask yourself whether you are doing something just because you’ve always done it that way – or whether there is in fact a better way that saves time, energy and even money in some cases.
Here are a few examples:-
- Having to move things out of the way when getting to something in a cupboard that you use regularly
- Having to walk the long way around a room because of where furniture has been placed
- Setting up the ironing in a place that doesn’t store everything so you have to fetch it all and take it all back when you want to iron
- Having to look through all your winter clothes to find a summer outfit – because you just store all your clothes together
- Having to iron your clothes again when they come out of your wardrobe as they are too squashed together
- Not having things stored where you need to use them
- Writing the same things each week in your diary as they are routine tasks
- Buying the same product without thinking each week
I could of course go on and on – and I’m sure you are now thinking of a few things in your life that fit the tag of “Niggle” now!
So – whats the answer?
Its really simple – start to look at what you do each day with critical eyes for a while.
As you spot something that is creating more hassle than really required in your life, think outside the box and work out a way to make that task simpler.
For the examples above – this is what I would do to make things easier:-
- Having to move things out of the way when getting to something in a cupboard that you use regularly – Move everything around so that the most used things are the most accessible – the key space is eye level at the front of the cupboard so make this house stuff thats used everyday.
- Having to walk the long way around a room because of where furniture has been placed – move furniture around until the walkway is clear, if necessary then remove some pieces altogether.
- Setting up the ironing in a place that doesn’t store everything so you have to fetch it all and take it all back when you want to iron – store the ironing board and iron where you do your ironing OR do it where you currently store it
- Having to look through all your winter clothes to find a summer outfit – because you just store all your clothes together – Why not store away the out of season clothes, giving more space and less to trawl through whenever you are looking for something
- Having to iron your clothes again when they come out of your wardrobe as they are too squashed together – declutter what you don’t actually wear, and store away clothes that are out of season
- Not having things stored where you need to use them – Think about your home as a whole and designate zones to each room – with the major tasks you perform in each room as each zone – then move around what you need to to make everything go in the right zone or as close as possible (i.e. all toiletries in the bathroom or bedroom, office supplies in your study or possibly kitchen etc…)
- Writing the same things each week in your diary as they are routine tasks – use a post it note for each days tasks that are always done that day and move it onto the next week when you have completed it.
- Buying the same product without thinking each week – when actually theres one just as good out there thats a lot less expensive – do a little research into what you are buying each week/month – if you are used to just clicking your favourites when online shopping, take the time to visit the shop once or twice a year to ensure you are still getting the best option.
Of course – this is all assuming that there is a genuinely good reason to change something. I am not saying change everything you do because you will save time – far from it. There may well be a reason you have to make things more difficult for yourself – but as long as you acknowledge what you are doing and why you are doing it – it becomes less of a niggle immediately!
I haven’t got the time to make these sorts of changes though…
These solutions are easy and very obvious when you think about it – but they are also largely time consuming, and take some amount of commitment from you.
Its easy therefore to let things just stay as they are.
But ask yourself – how much time/energy/money are you wasting EVERY TIME YOU DO THAT TASK? Adding it up over the years really shows that spending some time up front to streamline it makes sense however you look at it.
As an example – lets take the diary example from the above list. Every week you have to sit down and write into the days all those routine tasks you need to do.
This may take 20 minutes each time.
Thats over 17 hours of writing things again and again – an entire day not including sleep time.
If you spent an hour now writing Mondays tasks on one post it, Tuesdays on another etc….. and adding them to the next Monday, Tuesday etc….. then you have saved 16 hours this year which could be used for something a lot more interesting!
It saves the hassle of writing it all down each week, and makes things flow much more easily.
And who doesn’t want that!
(FYI – you may not like a post it note idea – but find something that works for you – other ideas for this example would be to add a weekly schedule to the diary at the front and make sure you check it everyday, OR write your routines tasks on a blackboard or white board in your kitchen and simply tick them off each day as you do them)
Find ways to streamline what you do each day, and you’ll soon find that there is less stress and hassle in your normal day – and that you have more time to do what you really want to do.
So – what niggles are you going to get rid of today?