Nowadays we seem to be living in a society that values being busy more than anything else. It’s as though the more we do the more we feel like we have to do, until most of us feel utterly overwhelmed with work, relationships, family, keeping healthy not to mention outside stressors like politics, social issues, climate change and on and on.
The normal response to this to think, ok how can I control the amount on my plate in order to get more done? What other more productive ways of juggling all of this can I find?
But what if the answer is not to find another way to just make it all work, but in fact to scale down your never-ending list of things to do and re-evaluate how you measure success?
You could be surprised to see how much more free time you have when you reassess your priorities and simplify areas of your life to better reflect your true beliefs and goals.
So in order to get there you need to identify the essence of your life, break down what’s really important to you, what you really want to achieve and if possible find a few words that define it for you. What kind of sentence sums up who you are or what you do in the most accurate way? It could be a collection of words or phrases, things that speak to you about the real essence of what lights you up and what you want to achieve.
Pin it up somewhere you can see it every day as a reminder that everything you do is about honouring that essence.
Next you are going to look at the way you currently live and figure out which aspects of it are actually preventing you from achieving what you truly want. Which means asking yourself what aspects of your life are weighing you down? Where can you cut away things that are not helping you directly towards your goals? Where are you spending too much time on distractions that do not lead you further along the path to success?
Consider the following hacks to simplify your life:
1. De-clutter and Downsize
Can you decide which are more important to you, material things or experiences? It is not bad to want money and new things of course, but consider that society comes at us with the message that possessions will make us happy and impress others to keep us in the perpetual cycle of consuming more than we actually need. Whether you decide to clear out your wardrobe or your inbox, there is great freedom that accompanies releasing what you do not really need to hold on to. It becomes much more emotional than just donating old clothes and deleting computer files, it’s about reclaiming your purpose to be focused on what you do and not what you own.
2. Organisation and Delegation
Everything is easier when you are organised, it’s just a fact. You can apply this to your home or your work life. When you’re not wasting time looking for the right outfit in the morning because you laid it out the night before, you are reducing not only minutes spent distracted but eliminating all that anxiety. Don’t try to be a superhuman, delegate where you can, whether it’s to a colleague or another family member, learn to see where you take on too much and draw some boundaries. You do not have to do everything yourself, it’s counter productive to you achieving your greater goals.
3. Create a Morning Ritual
Start your day right and you will be amazed at the positive changes that occur as a result. Set aside an extra hour in the morning to wake up earlier and spend some quiet time preparing yourself for the day ahead. That could be meditation, gentle exercise, journaling or simply enjoying sitting peacefully with a hot drink as you mentally prepare for the day. This is also a great time to check in with your goals and ambitions and connect with them before you go off into the day, keeping them at the forefront of your mind. Make a choice to do this every morning.
4. Let go of Draining Relationships
This is a difficult one for obvious reasons. Dealing with people who negatively impact your time and energy is a sensitive topic. Relationships are complicated and can require huge time investment. If you know that there are people who truly drain your energy and do not contribute positively to your life, it’s much better to disconnect from them if possible, or at least reduce the amount of time you spend with them. Only you can know how best to deal with certain friendships or family members, but do bear in mind that your well being is in your hands and you have a duty to yourself to live the life you dream of. Those who truly support and love you and will come along for the ride in a positive way.
5. Cut Down Technology Time
It’s amazing how much more time we waste than we think on our phones, scrolling through news feeds or clicking through to links and articles that don’t enhance our experience. Get real about how much time you spend on social media and other applications and use that time to do something else that actually leads you further along the path to achieving your goals. Imagine what it was like just 20 years ago, before we became so dependent on our personal devices. Unplugging is so important for a healthy mind and will help you to be more intentional about what you actually want out of life.
Make the conscious decision to simplify your life and you will realise how easy it can be to follow the path to achieve your goals. When you strip back the layers of mental and emotional clutter, you find what’s really important to you and will be able to operate from an authentic place of purpose and personal focus. Embrace simplicity on all levels and watch your life evolve as a beautiful masterpiece that you are consciously creating.