Thinking woman

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

Allow Only 9 Minutes of Negative Thoughts a Day
Shrink your negativity into "nuggetivity." Only allow yourself to think negative thoughts for three minutes, three times a day.

Not only will you save many hours previously wasted on negative thoughts and whining to others, you will also find when you stop spending energy on worry, fear and complaining, you're better able to stay positively focused on finding solutions and more likely to attract positive results. The main reason why hindsight comes with 20/20 vision is because when everything is done, you're no longer distracted by negative, fearful emotions. Removing this emotional static is like getting cable hookup—not only is the picture of your life clearer, you have more viewing options. The more perspectives you have, the better shot you have at finding the right path to getting what you want and locating your misplaced miracle.

Woman writing to-do list

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

Make a 'What Matters Most' To-Do List
Edit down your to-do list to a "what matters most" to-do list by tapping into The Pareto Principle, an 80/20 rule which says 20 percent of your habits and effort leads to 80 percent of results and enjoyment.

The Pareto Principle applies to so many things! For example:
  • 20% of criminals account for 80% of crime
  • 20% of motorists account for 80% of accidents
  • 20% of beer drinkers drink 80% of the beer
Every time you look at your to-do list of responsibilities, consciously ask yourself which ones are in fact your 80-percent "irresponsibilites." Then, take some time to write out your "Top 10 What Matters Most to Do in Life" list, and keep this in your wallet to look at regularly. This list should include: spend more time with loved ones, do signature strengths, speak truthfully, give generously. (A hint for where to edit your 80-percent factor: According to a 2007 study, the average person spent two and a half to four hours a day watching TV—the equivalent of a part time job. Yikes!)

Jealous woman

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

Stop Wasting Time Wanting What Others Have
Stop wasting time on what author Dan Gilbert calls "The Hedonic Treadmill," where you're always looking at what others have, seeking more and more, spinning your wheels, and getting no life satisfaction.

Remember: The grass is always greener on the other side until you get there and see it's AstroTurf. Symbols are never reality. Someone might have amassed material success and fame, but that doesn't mean they're happy. So, don't go judging a person's life by the cover. You must read get to know a person to know if that person is truly happy. After all, there are many seemingly successful people who seem to have it all, but were coming undone. Not one of us is on the same path. You can always save a lot of time in your day by making sure you're staying on your true path.

Happy friends

Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation

Stop Shopping, Start Simplifying
Stop shopping, shopping, shopping. Instead simplify, simplify, simplify! Although if I were really into simplifying I wouldn't say it three times.

I'd just say simplify. Or "simp." Not only will shopping less save you time and money, it will create a positive ripple effect throughout your life. Peter Walsh, author of Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, explains that when you begin to be more conscious and discerning about what you buy, you experience a positive domino effect of conscious discernment in other areas, like choosing better foods and better relationships.

Plus that age-old expression "money doesn't buy happiness" has been backed up by modern research. Gilovich and Leaf Van Boven of the University of Colorado reported that students became much happier after taking vacations with friends, more so than they did after purchasing new material possessions. Their reasoning for these results? Whereas objects fade in appreciation, experiences improve appreciation because people tend to embellish and remember experiences better than they were.

Karen Salmansohn

Have a Good Support System
Go on a no-nuts diet. Stop spending time with nutty people who drain you of energy and distract you from living at your highest potential.

'Nuff said.

Why time-saving devices might actually be causing you harm

Karen Salmansohn is a best-selling author known for creating self-help for people who wouldn't be caught dead reading self-help. Get more information on finding a loving happier-ever-after relationship in her book Prince Harming Syndrome.

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