These days it seems like we’re all busier, working more, drowning in clutter, and stress. Why? The answer is “simple,” life has become so complicated that we are sinking in our own actions and commitments. We’ve lost track of who we are and our focus on what we value. Therefore, I propose moving towards a minimalistic or simple lifestyle.
Such a lifestyle is not hard to create, but it does require determination. The objective is to eliminate the clutter within your physical and mental space. In other words, first identify all things that are of value and importance to you and secondly eliminate all that remains – including materials, projects, commitments, etc.
There are many tips on how to live a simpler life, but in all honesty, to list them all…how simple would that be? So, I’ve listed my favorite tips on how to move towards simplicity.
Tip 1 – Write a list of all the things you find important and value. These can be physical objects, commitments, hobbies, people, etc. Such a list should create a picture of who you are and where you want to be in the future.
Tip 2 – Clutter creates uneasiness, drains energy, and results in stress – so declutter. But to many, this is a catch 22; when you’re busy you don’t have time to declutter. Therefore, rather than decluttering all at once, tackle one area at a time. Spend 15 to 20 minutes a night, or a few hours on the weekend to declutter. In fact, decluttering is simple when you sort each area out into 4 sections: Keep, Trash, Donate, and Maybe piles. Once all items are categorized, sort the maybe and keep pile one more time (this time eliminating the “maybe” category). The items remaining in the keep pile should be placed neatly back to where they belong. The goal is to minimize the amount of belongings in each section. For more information on decluttering, check out http://zenhabits.net/zen-mind-how-to-declutter/. On a similar note, when decluttering, don’t just place all items in storage boxes. In reality, you should limit the amount of storage space available. Have you ever noticed the more drawers you have, the more you stuff? Or, the bigger your purse, the more you throw in it. So, eliminate the big purses, extra drawers, boxes, and storage.
Tip 3 – One of life’s biggest stressors is work. Therefore, as my previous articles have revealed, you must first identify your passion, then pursue it, and lastly set a system that not only automates the business, but also automates the generation of income. Two great articles to check out on this topic are:
Tip 4 – Don’t try to focus on too many things at once, such as multi-tasking or pursuing multiple goals. Instead, focus and place all your energy into one goal or task at time
Tip 5 – If you can’t afford it, don’t get it. Live within your means. This is common sense, especially after all we’ve learned from this economy, but it bears repeating.
Tip 6 – Spend quality time with loved ones as well as time alone. At the same time, distance yourself from negative folks (just stay no to drama).
Tip 7 – How you feel about yourself physically is also a big determinant of stress and the cause of how complicated life can occur. As such, pursue a healthier and more active lifestyle. For those that feel eating healthier is too hard, and it’s just easier to hit a drive thru, the answer is to just automate your meals. Plan your meals ahead of time. Likewise, rather than driving all the time, why not trying to walk or bike to your destination. The feeling of slowing down time, smelling the fresh air, and just having time to think is indescribable.
Tip 8 – Limit your access to technology and communication. Let’s start with computers. They’re great…but, a simple task of paying a bill online can turn into a 1 hour experience just by getting lost in surfing the web. Similarly, Twitter, Facebook, Email, MySpace, Skype, etc all have their benefits, but now in addition to your cell phone, you have another channel of messaging that you have to worry about. Responding to messages can fill up an entire day, so set time restrains on each activity. For instance, check your emails twice a day (i.e. once midmorning and once midafternoon).
“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