Simple is More Yet Less
Yeah, yeah, I know you’re busy. So incredibly busy. You’re busy, I’m busy, he’s busy, she’s busy., we’re busy, they’re busy. Relationships are hard and take work and can be a real drag. Work is a grind and how come it seems like I don’t like my boss much these days? It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Okay, let’s be honest, more like most of the time. And if you are anything like me, always feel like you have to be doing something, or accomplishing something, that take it to a whole new level. When I start to get to the feeling overwhelmed point I think about what’s got my undies in a twist and remind myself of one of the solid ideas below for keeping life simple.
Lose some of the Crap
Declutter: It’s amazing the amount of crap we accumulate. 3 times a year on a long holiday weekend I like to pick a room I’m going to clean out. Like really clean out. Whenever possible I take half a day and go through the room mercilessly. I like to crank up my 90’s alternative and give the room a long look while I’m mentally preparing myself to dig in. Items go into one of 3 categories – keep, donate, or trash. Everything to trash goes in the bed of my truck and hauled to the dump. All donates go to Goodwill. The rest get’s put into rotation and I have the added benefit of cleaning that room really good.
Go on a low information diet: I got this one from Tim Ferris. Beautiful in it’s simplicity of execution. I”m sure you know many people in your life just like I do who are always rattling on about how they disagree with the President or how they don’t like the upcoming construction project they saw in the paper or they read on Facebook how this person did something to this other person. Who gives a crap? It’s easy to get caught up in a whole sea of useless who cares flood of information that’s always out there. Do yourself a favor and tune it out. The more things we cram into our brain the less we can focus on any of them. I believe people see themselves as being well education and knowledgeable if they know about a lot of stuff. Maybe. For me that’s just more crap I have to think about and remember and regurgitate and in general don’t really care that much about anyway. Does that make me self-absorbed? Nah, the things I do care about and that hit a chord in my heart I actually do something about, I don’t just spout off about it.
Say No: The power of saying no is well documented. We all want to be good people and help out when asked and if we say no to something we feel guilty. Screw that. I’m not advocating saying no every time someone asks for your help but try to be a little more selective. When you try to do too much you wind up doing nothing well or enjoying it because it’s yet another thing “I got to do”. Ugh. Besides, the other piece to this is if you aren’t careful you aren’t really helping anyone if you wind up doing it for them. There are a lot of “takers” out there who would prefer someone else do things for them instead of take care of themselves. Other than when my girls were little I’ve tried to hold myself accountable to helping those who help themselves. I am always ready and willing to make the time to help someone in my life who asks for it and is already doing the work in a certain area. Conversely if they are simply asking me over and over again for the same thing without taking any steps to do it themselves, just say “No”.
Review your Time: If you want to really open your eyes seriously watch what you do with your time for a few days. I’m serious, mark down when you find yourself “unplugging”. The most obvious one of course is how much time your eyes are glued to your phone. Texting, snap chatting, scrolling down Facebook, playing games, checking Instagram, etc. Now add up that amount of time and multiple by 7 for a week. Then a month. Then a year. And put real numbers behind how much time you spend as a mindless drone. When you’re done calling yourself a waste of space vow to seriously back. It’s like the first time you do a serious budget and realize how much money you spend eating out. It makes your eyes pop out of your head and gets you kind of depressed.
Do what makes you happy: This sounds so simple and guess what? It is. But you would be amazed at how little time each of us spends doing what actually makes us happy. Spending time with someone special, doing a hobby, playing the guitar, smelling fresh air, whatever makes you happy. Sometimes this takes some actual deep reflection because we are on the hamster wheel of life and we forget what makes us happy. Think about what you look forward to or what makes you genuinely laugh out loud. Choose to do more of what makes you smile. You’ll thank yourself immediately.
This is a short list of things I do to keep it simple. I’d love to hear some of yours. Thanks in advance for sharing!
All my best,