Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley
It’s the latest thing. All of the coolest grown ups are doing it and shaking their heads with pity at those who just don’t get it yet.
Simplifying your life: Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
There’s been a slow phase-out of the fast paced, jam-packed, overscheduled lifestyle people were leading a decade ago, at least if they planned on keeping up with the Joneses. These days, zen habits and mindful living are definitely on the rise, and the word Stress has become a six letter pariah - nobody wants it around except psychotherapists and pharmaceutical companies.
Those of you who are still embracing the overly busy and complicated lifestyle that’s so “yesterday” might as well open your front door and invite that undesirable pariah in for brunch. Even worse, if your life is in a state of overwhelming chaos, you probably won’t even notice Stress until it’s gotten good and comfortable. By that point, it will have made quite a mess of your life and will be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Simplicity: Is it right for you?
The process of making life manageable is different for everyone because the changes you may want to make will be specific to your needs and the current level of discord you’re experiencing. However, if you’re determined to overcome Stress permanently, there are some basic starting points that will help you to move toward a simpler life, and anyone can do them.
Kickoff to a more laid-back lifestyle with a crystal clear understanding of what is most important to you. Take some time to write out your priorities so that you can align them with the level of simplicity you’d like to achieve. Once you are sure of your top priorities, you’ll be able to go about organizing your life in the way you’d really like it to flow.
If you find that you’re overwhelmed by your life more often than not, you probably have a daily routine that’s not aligned with your priorities. The key is to set up a functional schedule that finds you spending the most time on tasks relating to the things that are most important to you.
Simplification: Is it really just that simple?
Because our world is so full of enticing distractions, of course it’s not that simple. An important part of living more simply is not allowing yourself to get sucked in by too many things that aren’t on your priority list, especially those that are useless or even contrary to your goals.
After you’ve found a way to fit the most important parts of your life into a simple weekly schedule, be sure to allocate a large percentage of the remaining time toward activities that fall somewhere between ‘priority’ and ‘useless.’ Allowing yourself ample opportunities for leisure and down time are vital components in living a simpler, more enjoyable life. As an added bonus, they’ll also help you stay more focused when working toward your goals (items on your priority list).
Along with creating a less complicated/more focused daily routine, you’ll also want to de-clutter your home, car, and list of friends, which involves getting rid of things that just aren’t working for you anymore.
Simple? Not even close. Worth it? Totally.