"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau
Ever look around and think, “How does she have time to walk her dog and grow tomatoes when I don’t have time to make dinner?” This may hurt to hear, but maybe you’re over complicating things.
Many of us fall prey to the self imposed curse of busyness for busyness sake, but sometimes, life really does grow hectic under the radar. If you’ve decided it’s time to self correct the crazy, then sit back, relax, breathe and consider these 5 ways to simplify your life, right now.
Don’t delay decision making. It’s “Yes” or “No,” and you can answer right away. Because when you delay decisions, the stress of the undone, undecided and unscheduled remains in the depths of your mind clouding the peace that might otherwise flourish. But what if you’re really not sure? Then Warren Buffet says the answer is “No.” If you’re not 100% on board or excited about an idea, he believes you walk away. He says, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”
According to this great Life Hacker article, How Clutter Affects your Brain, clutter competes for our brain’s attention and increases our stress. So go through your house and Spring clean it out the door. Once the unnecessary stuff is out, work hard to stop acquiring new unnecessary items. Why? Because once you acquire an unneeded item, you become emotionally attached to it easily. This means getting rid of it is very difficult because your brain’s pain centers light up when you debate discarding it. When you junk up your life with the unessential, you’re junking up your brain and sabotaging your goals, purpose and peace of mind.
Put the phone away and turn off notifications. Stop being constantly available to everyone from friends to clients to family. Many of the simpler times we hearken back to were simply times when we were not always available and always attached to the cloud. It created space between us and other people’s urgency. It created space for downtime, mindfulness and contemplation. You’re in control of your schedule and response time to things. Become a person that doesn’t immediately reply to texts, calls and emails. Just warn your mother first about the switch so she doesn’t assume you’re dead.
How many running goals do you have in your head? If you want to lose 20 lbs, become a triathlete, write a novel and have a house that belongs on Pinterest, it might be time to narrow the vision so those halfhearted dreams don’t feel like full hearted failures. That’s because if you want to really accomplish something, you’ve got to dream big and focus small. Choose the goals that align to your values and stop hemming and hawing.
Some people thrive in a hive. Others, not so much. If you’re an ambivert or introvert muscling through an extroverted world, ease up on yourself and back off casual interactions you may find draining. Also, make sure you’re not giving your time to toxic people who are giving you nothing in return. Your time is your most valuable resource. Don’t go to lunch or drinks with someone if the idea of it doesn’t bring you joy.
When all else fails, just Be Quiet. Give yourself 10 minutes to be still and do nothing. You’re not wasting time. You’re being mindful.