Competing priorities, never ending “to do” lists and constant distractions often creep into our lives stealthily. Often, before we realise it, we have become so caught up in them that there is less and less time to live how we want to live. When this happens, we notice that there does not seem to be enough time to spend with the people we want to be with, doing the things that truly bring us joy. Busyness, if we are not watchful, can begin to take over. In this blog I will outline seven steps to a simpler life that will help you to restore balance and to return to living the life you want.
Start your simpler life now.
A good starting point is to reflect on your life right now.
Do you spend a significant amount of time juggling your priorities each day?
Is this juggling stealing your energy and motivation?
At the day’s end, do you look back with a sense of frustration or disappointment at what you have not achieved?
Do you find it difficult to make time or take time for yourself or those you love?
If you have answered “yes” to any of the above questions, read on.
Understand why you’ve moved away from a simpler life.
“We are defined by what we do. Our careers. What we produce. It’s the first question asked at parties, and often the first tidbit of information we share with strangers. The implication is that if I am not busy doing something, I am somehow less than. Not worthy. Or at least worth less than those who are producing something…So I fill my Facebook feed and my calendar with self-important busyness to avoid just being.” — Huffington Post4
Check social media once a day.
One daily check reduces distractions, increases your productivity and maximises the available time for other activities.
Exchange “perfect” for “good enough”.
Striving for perfection is draining on your cognitive and emotional resources. Additionally, it is hard to acknowledge when a task is done if you are constantly looking to improve it. It is very easy for this way of thinking to become a way of life. When this happens you quickly discover a growing backlog of tasks waiting to be started.
Do one thing and see it through.
You will be more effective working on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking takes longer than individual tasks and can result in reduced performance overall and some tasks being left incomplete. The “one thing” approach will leave you feeling satisfied and energised to move forward and give the next task your 100%.
Intentionally choose who you spend time with.
Are these the people who really matter to you?
Do they support and energise you?
New ideas and different perspectives can help you find easier ways to manage your time.
Be open to them.
Make time to nurture yourself.
When you take time to self-nurture you grow in resilience, joy and calm.
By giving to yourself you will have more to give to others.
Start each day by asking yourself what is important.
Be with it.
Commit to it.
See it through.