You hear a lot about how “simplifying your life” can be a real game changer for you both physically and mentally. But what’s actually involved? Ask 10 people and you’ll probably get 10 answers. The one factor I’ve noticed, no matter who I talk to, is that simplifying your life involves staying organized and de-cluttering work wonders. I’m sure there are other ways to express this but let’s look at these two areas and see how these simple adjustments can help you simplify your life.
Organize your life
I used to think I was organized, and maybe I was, but I learned there is a difference between making a to-do list full of seemingly important tasks and prioritizing your life with things that counts (and jettisoning the things that don’t).
We all need to get things done each day. Whether it’s for our business or our families or whatever. But being productive, as Mark And Angel and so many others succinctly point out, “Isn’t just about getting things done, it’s also about leaving things undone.”
In other words, non-essential tasks are called that for a reason. Focus on the important stuff and eliminate as much as you possibly can of everything else. And don’t tell me that everything you do is essential! Maybe it is, but tasks can be clustered and rearranged to lighten up your day or your week.
I’ll give you an example. Maybe a crazy example but an example none-the-less: Early on in my marriage, my mother-in-law assumed that we would eat with “The family.” If not every afternoon but certainly every Sunday.
In Italy, a Sunday lunch can drag on for hours. I mean HOURS. You start eating at 2:00 and if you’re lucky you wrap up at 7:00. Tack on another two hours to prepare the meal and you can see that your day is pretty much shot to pieces. A lot of this is culture-driven. I get it. The solution for me: We’d enjoy the communal meal once a month. Thus freeing ourselves up to do other things that did not involve being sedentary for 5-7 hours at a time. Granted, my mother-in-law has never forgiven me for this, but in terms of simplifying my life it worked in spades.
Declutter your life
So now you that you have organized your priorities, whatever they may be, it’s time to physically declutter. Decluttering your physical space not only makes things more organized, but it also leads to a less cluttered mental space as well!
Physical distractions tend to weigh you down in more ways than you likely realize. Get rid of stuff! Donate! Make someone else happy!
My father, bless his hoarding soul, would never throw stuff out because “We might need it one day.” Good on you! I know plenty of people who struggled through the Great Depression who share similar feelings and I respect that. Fortunately, that’s what storage facilities are for!
More room works wonders on your mind. More space is relaxing. Instead of looking to accumulate try downshift. You don’t need to fill every available noon and cranny.
These are just two of many ways to simplify your life. What works for me may not work for you, but the principals are valid so give it a try. And while you’re at it read some more great tips here.
Don’t just talk about it. Do it!
Hey, that sounds like another great tip!