Over the past few months I have moved locations and minimized what I own immensely, and it feels great! Think of the last time you moved, how much junk did you unintentionally accumulate? Or think of your weekly schedule. How many different appointments and obligations do you try to cram in? The more we do and more we have the more hectic and disorganized life gets.
“Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.” ~ Thor Heyerdahl
Sometimes our lack of simplicity takes away from our ability to be effective and get the best results possible. Not only can the noise and clutter around us steal from our productivity, but it can lead to stress and frustration. You may need to simplify life if:
- You have little or no patience and seem to snap at people
- You find it difficult to concentrate and keep things straight
- You don’t keep up with small daily task
- You take on another task before finishing what you’re working on
- You find it impossible to complete all you daily “to do’s”
“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu
Here are some tips to help you get life in order and live more simply.
1. Shorten your “to do” list
Recognize the difference between what needs to be done, what doesn’t need to be done, and what you want to do. Only focus on what needs to be done if you are in a time crunch. Often we fill our “to do” list with as much as possible. Set aside tasks that are more long term and worry about them later.
2. Stop procrastinating
When we don’t feel like doing something we may wait until the last minute. When we wait until the last minute it can jeopardize are effectiveness and lead to added pressure. Don’t wait until you feel like doing something. Get motivated, take responsibility for your actions, and stop putting off what needs to be done.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel or over complicate things. Do enough to get stuff done and be willing to move on. Focus on the purpose of a task and do it. Cut away the excess fat in your tasks and responsibilities for less resistance.
4. Plan your day in advance
Organize your life by preparing for your day the night before. Prepare your clothes or belongings. Get your meal, coffee, or shake ingredients in order, and take care of grooming in the evening. Leave as little to do in the morning as you can.
5. Take personal time
Make some time to do what you want to do. When we make time for ourselves it nourishes our soul and reinvigorates us. We all need personal time to help manage stress and keep us uplifted. Separate personal time from your responsibilities so you can take a break without work related distractions.
6. Do what matters most
Identify what is most important to you and make this a priority. Spend time with people you enjoy doing activities with and practice enjoying the moment instead of worry about all the things you could be doing. When we focus on what is most important we feel more congruent and sincere, which can save a lot of mental energy.
7. Get control of finances
Financial concerns add a great amount of stress and complication to our lives. Take control of your finances by simplifying your expenses. Don’t spend money on what you don’t need. Minimize the bills you pay and what you own. Get a handle on debt and create a special fund for desired purchases. Simplicity is not always easy, and takes daily practice but the rewards are worth it. Try implementing a few of these steps to experience a more simple and effortless life.
“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.” ~ John Kabat-Zinn