Keep it simple!
We hear that a lot and often forget what it means. Complex processes in technology, complicated relations as well as houses full of junk are the order of the day.
Most of us these days run from one errand to the next, from work to the daycare to pick up the kids, from one client to the next or from the supermarket to the nursing home to visit relatives. We are so busy we barely have time to think. Most of these activities are not optional. We have to work; we don’t want to neglect our loved ones, and we have to shop. Our hectic daily lives leave little room for a breather.
Or do they?
We feel overworked and don’t have enough time. We feel overwhelmed when the house isn’t clean, stressed when we can’t find just the right outfit to wear. Could it be we are putting too much pressure on ourselves?
In this article I share some ways I simplify my life.
Stop trying to please everyone
I’ve learnt that whenever I try so hard to please everyone else I add pressure to myself.
Some days I find myself offering to shop for a friend instead of directing them to the shopping mall. This ends up inconveniencing me and sometimes the person is not even grateful because some people just feel entitled. They are not givers but takers. They are ready to take your time but never offer you their time.
Life is not perfect
Make things simpler by not demanding perfection from yourself. By all means give of yourself 100% when you decide to do something. But cut out the unnecessary things. For example, don’t waste time getting angry when someone drives like a crazy person in traffic. Take a deep breath and let the irritation go. If you are five minutes late picking up your kids because of traffic, chill out. That happens sometimes. So take that step back, and let yourself relax.
De-clutter your house and life
You know that feeling when your house is messy, you feel like your life is just falling apart at the seams? There are clothes everywhere, toys littering the floor, no place to put things.
Here’s what you can do about it. Cut back on unnecessary things. Your kids really don’t need that 10th package of Lego, and if you want new clothes, try donating a few older ones to goodwill. Free up some closet space.
Try this rule: no buying new things until you’ve donated, gifted, recycled or thrown away the same amount of things.
We all tend to accumulate tons of stuff. Our modest sized house soon starts to be just as stuffed as the tiny apartment we moved from. Humans gather things along the way. It’s normal. But it also increases our stress level.
Getting rid of things you don’t need is liberating. You honestly don’t need much to be happy.
People and experiences is what make life memorable.
Do one thing at a time
Multitasking is what most of us do, but my experience tells me that I don’t achieve much by multitasking, I achieve more when I do one thing at a time. I get better results and feel less stressed. Always multitasking and imagining we are making progress is a myth. Focus is what will get results in anything we do.
There are so many cheap offers I get through email or in my regular mail. It is tempting to buy into all these offers for things I rarely get around to using, watching or reading anyway.
This year I cancelled a number of subscriptions and services I hardly used in the past, yet I paid for them.
There was one car service I paid $105 every year for the past 10 years yet I used them only once. It felt liberating to cancel this subscription -and I saved a lot of money.
Taking a deep breath and giving silent thanks for your life is such a simple, yet profound act. If you can do this in the face of stress and adversity, then you are cultivating the inner peace you need to thrive. You will be that anchor for your loved ones, and have the strength you need to get through any situation.
Identify what you don’t need, what no longer serves you, and let it go. Simplicity is a blessing that will make you happy.
Now it’s your turn. How do you simplify your life?
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