The road to a more simple life isn’t actually as simple as you might think. It’s not just a matter of decluttering and deleting. As I wrote here, a simple life is different for each person – it’s what you want it to be. But what if you don’t know where to start? Well a good place is here, but today I’m going to share 6 different ways in which you can make minor changes that will help you on your way to a more simple, and hopefully more purpose filled life.
1. Talk less, listen more
The world is noisy. Both in real life and online there are so many people talking, screaming even, to be heard. Everyone has an opinion on everything, advice to give and complaints to share. But what if you stopped for a moment and rather than said your piece, you listened. What if you didn’t feel the need to add your own words? What if you chose not to complain and just accept? What happens is you feel lighter. When you simplify your words and actions to only the important things in life, you leave so much more room for space and air. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.
2. Value experiences, not things
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good session on Pinterest admiring beautiful things, but when you start to value the experience of something rather than the ownership, life is so much sweeter. Yes, having a stylish “Vogue” styled lounge room would be beautiful, but would it make life better? Would it improve the quality of the experiences you and your family encounter? What matters is the people in the living room. The experiences and emotions of family and friends that are etched into our memories. Changing your thinking from the external to the internal is a brilliant way to value the simplicity of our own lives.
3. Choose your focus
The world has gone multi-tasking mad. A person is judged on the more things they can juggle. The truth is, multi-tasking isn’t the most productive way to operate. How many times do you feel you are spending all day juggling the ten items on your to-do list but not actually getting anywhere? Instead of trying to do ten things at once, try focusing your full attention on one thing at a time. Chances are you will not only use your time more efficiently, but also actually finish the task and be able to cross it off your to-do list.
4. Let it go
This aligns with number 1 on the list. Learning to accept and move forward rather than dwell is a sure fire way to simplify and calm your life. This will be harder for some than others, particularly those of us (yes me included), who have a tendency for knee-jerk reactions. I’ve learned that listening and letting something sit and percolate with me is the best way to quieten my mind. After a while I realise, what happened, or what was said, really wasn’t important in the big picture. Another mantra that has helped me to divert stress is to ask myself…. Can I do anything about this thing/situation? Yes?…. well do it. No?… Well let it go.
5. Make your online time count
I’m one for making everything count, and online is one area in which we can all too easily get sucked into the vortex and lose track of time, space and sense. Don’t let it happen. Choose your online time wisely. Don’t let yourself get consumed and distracted by all the noise out there. Start by unfriending and unfollowing. Are your Facebook friends really ‘friends’? Do they add meaning to your life? Are they people you will be totally honest with and share the good, the and the ugly ? If not, defriend! Same goes for pages you like, Instagram buddies you follow and newsletters you subscribe to. Decipher who and what add value to your life and cull the rest.
6. Say No
All too often we over-commit ourselves. We don’t want to let friends, our children, our partners or even acquaintances down. But soon enough we find our diaries stuffed to the brim and the tension in our shoulders building until we are weighted down to breaking point. Again, it’s about choosing. Choosing what adds value and what is important to you and your family. We can’t always be there for everyone, we can’t always say yes to everything and doing so brings so much more than a busy schedule. There are physical and psychological consequences to taking on too much. Learning to say no may hard, but it will be the best thing you will ever learn to do in order to simplify your life.
Which one of these would make the biggest impact in simplifying your life?