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     Re-Engineer Your Life

In the business world, "re-engineering" is the analysis and redesign of existing processes to improve performance. Often, it includes identifying UNNECESSARY tasks or processes and eliminating them. Apply the concept of re-engineering to your personal life to achieve simplicity and focus and save time and money. Try some or all of these tips; you'll be amazed at the results!

Cancel subscriptions for magazines and newspapers you don't read. Donate old magazines to local libraries or thrift stores. Cancel your MEMBERSHIPS in music, video and book clubs if you don't use them. This will cut down on all the cards you have to return every month, not to mention the unwanted merchandise you receive when you don't return the cards.

Evaluate tasks you do every day and find ways to SIMPLIFY them. If you throw clothes on your closet floor because the hamper is in the laundry room, move the hamper into the closet.

Hire someone to do tasks you don't enjoy -- yard work, clerical work, etc. Some people actually enjoy doing these things! Don't do things that can be done more COST EFFECTIVELY by someone else. Example: if you are a consultant who bills $100 per hour, don't spend your time with a large mailout. Pay someone else to do this, and you'll free up time for billable activities.

Use AUTOMATIC bill payment whenever possible. Most utilities and mortgages can be paid this way. If your employer offers direct deposit for your paychecks, use it. Often, you can specify more than one bank account when you set up your direct deposit; split your paycheck between your checking and savings accounts to automate your savings.

Do you do volunteer work that drains you? Why? Choose your charities to MATCH your personality, abilities and schedule.

CONSOLIDATE your personal credit cards into one account. Cancel the extra cards. Do the same for bank accounts. This will help you keep track of your spending and cut down on your monthly statements.

Find a job near your home, or move CLOSER to your work to cut down on drive time.

Evaluate your children's extracurricular and other ACTIVITIES -- soccer, gymnastics, school plays and band camp may be too much. For them and you. Allow for unscheduled play time.

Register with the Mail Preference Service to remove your name from DIRECT MAIL lists. It won't eliminate all unsolicited mail, but every bit helps. To register, write Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, Post Office Box 9008, Farmingdale, New York 11735-9008.

Don't keep pictures that are over-exposed, fuzzy, or just of a poor quality. Throw out BAD photos soon as they come back from the developer.


Kelly Cullison is a virtual assistant and the founder of Atlas Virtual Services. Atlas provides a wide range of administrative support for small businesses so entrepreneurs can focus on the core functions of running their businesses. Visit her website at www.atlasvs.com or .

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