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7 Ways to Simplify Your Life


‘Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.’ Henry David Thoreau

It is my habit to rise amidst the burgeoning daylight of each day before even the kookaburras let forth a recognizable burst of uncanny laughter from their bushy perch that is my backyard. I even beat the chickens that let forth their egg laying cackle. These are the feathered and quite comical friends that my wife recently purchased to deliver a constant glow of edible specimens – from what has become an organic free-range egg factory.

The older I get the more simplicity I desire in my life.

Over the past twelve months in particular I have worked hard to remove many of the overheads that have encumbered my personal and business life, and I know for a fact that in the years to come I will move deeper into the Australian bush – for therein I find simplicity and a place to rejuvenate and refresh while still reaching out globally through the power of technology.

So does that mean I cut myself from humanity, business and everything else that can so often cram so much detail into our lives – so much so that we don’t even have room to breathe?

No.

It simply means that we must begin to see what is of greatest importance to us personally and then pursue that, and that alone.

Please allow me to share what are the ‘simple’ things that create order and progression in my life on a daily basis.

Some may or may not suit you, but may I exhort you to pursue simplicity, for therein is found peace and joy.

So here are just 7 simple things that I apply to my life on a daily basis.

 

1. Early To Bed, Early To Rise

By making this part of my daily routine I find that I get the bulk of my work done before midday. I am far more creative in the morning hours and it is nice to get to the middle of each day having completed the necessary tasks that are moving my life and my business – both online and offline – forward.

2. Afternoon Meetings

As much as possible I schedule meetings with other humans – one on one – in the afternoon – generally in a relaxed atmosphere so that my mornings are left as much as possible for my creative efforts. Obviously, when I’m communicating with associates on the other side of the world I may need to break this for a productive Skype session. So flexibility is the name of the game.

 

3. List Of 6

Every day is greeted with a plan in place – a list of 6 things that need to be completed that day. The list is prepared the previous day and left on my desk, and throughout the morning I work steadily to complete each task and cross it off. Any things on that list that are left undone are shifted to the next day. If for some reason a task continues to be moved from one day to the next I ask myself whether or not it was really that important after all.

4. Leverage

If a task is not in line with my strengths I delegate it or outsource it to those who are strong in those areas. I cannot do everything and don’t even try. Having a team of professionals to assist me empowers my life and keeps things simple.

5. Passion

As much as possible I spend the bulk of my time in the outpouring of my passion. Work is not work. It’s pure joy as I continue to create and navigate in a sea of passionate activity.

6. Rest & Rejuvenate

Doing nothing – or being engaged in activities such as gardening, reading, walking, exercising, spending time with family and friends are the times when some of my most creative thoughts are birthed. By making this part of my daily routine I find that I am never found wanting when it comes to ideas – and these times also afford me the chance to dream BIG dreams.

7. Journal

The recording of thoughts has expanded my capacity and proficiency as a writer and as a communicator – and my more than 50 journals, that I have carefully stored away in my home office, are a constant source of fresh ideas whenever I take a peek back at what I have written – sometimes decades ago.

But with all that aside, one of my greatest pleasures enjoyed is to simply sit in my garden and listen to the wind whistle through the leaves in the bush land that surrounds my home and watch as flickers of reds, greens, gold’s, or whites flutter through the trees accompanied by an array of birdsong that lifts both my spirit and delights my soul.

Simply simple.

 

Motivational Memo: To simplify is simply the best thing to succeed in an often complex world.

 

To discuss: How can you begin to simplify your life?

 

Peter is in in the ‘heart to heart’ resuscitation business and inspires, motivates and equips others to be all that they’ve been created to become. Download his free ebook Personal Success Blueprint at – http://www.motivationalmemo.com or check out his latest Self Development Program at http://www.selfdevelopmentmastermind/coaching while adding him on Twitter @PeterGJSinclair – today!

  • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

    Why does waking up early simplifies your life? I don’t understand this approach. Some people work better at night, some people work better in the morning. I don’t like to go to bed early.

    For many years I had been trying to wake up earlier because it supposedly makes a person more productive. Now I know that I’ve been brainwashed – I’m just not a morning person and while I like to wake up early from time to time, I know that if you get your job done, then it doesn’t matter when you wake up.

    I’m not writing this to criticize your habits – I know that it works for some people. I’m writing this for people who feel guilty because they don’t wake up early. Early to bed, early to rise just doesn’t work for some people.

    • http://www.simplehumble.com Pea

      That’s quite a good question Martin and it made ME think about the answer. I find that getting up early simplifies my life too. I think it is because by the time everyone else is up rushing around to get to work I have pretty much done a days work and can move at a less harried pace than most. Therefore your day can move at an easy pace and not the frenzy I used to experience working 9-5. Like you I get the job done but with more hours to spare and at an easy going pace.

      Also when it’s pre-dawn quiet, it is so much easier to think and sort out problems than when morning radio and TV is switched on and family members interrupt your routine with this issue and that issue, barging into my thoughts and killing my ability to think calmly. Some people on the other hand thrive in that noise and chaos.

      But possibly like you I also can stay up at the other end of the day and go to bed at dawn if I’m in creative mode. No one should feel guilty for doing it their way and Peter did say ‘some (of his points) may or may not suit you.’ The good thing is that you gave it a try and subsequently found what your best method was.

      • http://www.clintcora.com Clint Cora

        I’ve done it both ways as well (more work in early morning compared to late evening).  I use to be a late sleeper and still do on occasion if it’s a weekend.  However, I do find that mornings are more productive for me.  Maybe it’s because my mind is fresher after a night of sleep in combination with the quietness of the morning hours.  Although late evenings are quiet too, I’ve already put in a full day.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

          Thanks Clint – the same reason it works for me as well. But we’re all different and with the passing of years we need to adjust with our changing time clock as well if need be.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

          Thanks Clint – the same reason it works for me as well. But we’re all different and with the passing of years we need to adjust with our changing time clock as well if need be.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

        Thanks for backing me up Pea!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

        Thanks for backing me up Pea!

    • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

      Thanks for your insights. Yep, mornings are usually quiet, but nights are quiet as well. The key is to find your right time and stick to it – no matter what other people say.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

        So true Martin.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Hey Martin – fully understand your response. And in no way do I want anyone feeling condemned if their habits differ from mine. That’s why I wrote in this post-‘Some may or may not suit you, but may I exhort you to pursue simplicity, for therein is found peace and joy.’ Find your own rhythm and stick with it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Hey Martin – fully understand your response. And in no way do I want anyone feeling condemned if their habits differ from mine. That’s why I wrote in this post-‘Some may or may not suit you, but may I exhort you to pursue simplicity, for therein is found peace and joy.’ Find your own rhythm and stick with it.

  • http://samedayessay.com/ essays

    during sleep completely agree))) but to make ourselves early to bed – also a problem (((

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      That’s ok Essay – find what works for you through the power of experimentation.

  • http://www.colon-liver-cleanse.com/ Sean

    The list of 6 is a fantastic idea to stay motivated and making sure you’re completing your tasks for the day without overdoing it or wasting time. Great!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Thanks Sean – yes the power of 6 – amazing way to keep you on track, in focus and productive.

  • http://loddymicucci.com Loddy Micucci

    Thank you Peter I can relate to the early morning starts. It’s a time when there is stillness in the air. This brings about clarity and allows your ideas to flourish.  As we grow and older and wiser we realise that the simple pleasures in life are to be treasured and enjoyed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Thanks Loddy – yes age does seem to cause one to consider such things in a deeper way. Oh may we all grow wiser as we inevitable grow older.

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    Hey Peter,
    I am all about simplifying life and I too moved to the “Bush” in America. I prefer space and quiet as opposed to crowded and hectic.

    As far as the early riser debate goes I prefer to work late at night when the earth is quiet and the Moon is lit. I am a Zombie in the morning and don’t consider myself too productive then.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      That’s great Justin. Glad to hear that you have found your rhythm – no matter what time of day or night it is. Go for it!

  • Trapti Sharma

    I really like this article and totally agree that these few steps can change your life as self discipline is the freedom of life,more you are disciplined towards your life more you can focus on your career and goals.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Thanks Trapti – apply what is shared here achieve your goals.

  • kashyap

    adding one more point Meditation. that gives inner peace, balance & harmony in life. you can feel complete even without having much materialistic gain if you are regularly doing meditation. through meditation our inner beauty, intelligence shines  out. We can live life in effortless way. 

    http://24x7meditation.blogspot.com/ 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Right on Kashyap – good point – and meditation is very much a part of my life.

  • kashyap

    adding one more point Meditation. that gives inner peace, balance & harmony in life. you can feel complete even without having much materialistic gain if you are regularly doing meditation. through meditation our inner beauty, intelligence shines  out. We can live life in effortless way. 

    http://24x7meditation.blogspot.com/ 

  • Artem Stupakov

    Great ideas if implemented. I like List of 6 and early rising. It works and helps!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Glad you agree Artem. Implementation is essential.

  • http://www.tourismdentalindia.com Dental Tourism

    So simple yet so difficult to follow. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      True – but not impossible DT – but just pick one and become proficient at that one thing. Then move on to number two and so on. Little by little – set yourself up for success!

  • Franklin

    I like your ideas here. Like Martin, I struggle to go to bed early, therefore making waking up early impossible. The list of six is a great idea for productivity. I find lists to help me focus, so I don’t fall behind. Good stuff.http://www.becomelimitless.net/

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Thanks Franklin – your time clock may be different to mine – but you can still be productive.

  • Suzanne

    Your speaking my language. For me, I am a super human in the morning, regardless of when I wake up. I don’t always LIKE to wake up early but when I do on purpose, my production increases 100%. And like you say, a days work is done by mid morning. I too like the idea of the afternoon. I only just realized this about myself recently that it is pointless for me to do what I am doing for endless hours and get nothing accomplished (when I could be meeting with people for an equally rewarding experience)
    Great post!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Thanks Suzanne – keep being super-productive!

  • http://www.self-esteem-tips.com/ Self Esteem Tips

    Thank you for the kind words, Saeed. Glad you enjoy the content – hope to see you back often. Also, I checked out your blog as well – well done!

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  • http://blog.sudhirkhanger.com Sudhir Khanger

    I did try ‘early to bed early to rise’ whole last week. I felt obviously tired all day. Then i thought i get same amount of work done irrespective of when i get up. But yeah it’s a great habit, if you have a plan and not waste two hour, early morning, surfing web.

    • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

      It depends on a person. Sometimes I can wake up early and feel great all day, and sometimes I feel very tired. But usually I feel tired, so I don’t wake up early if I don’t have to. There’s no difference if you’re going to work when early risers will sleep. Don’t obsess over it.

  • Leah

    Hi Peter,
    Great post! After reading, I immediately tried to implement #3. I’m finding it a challenge, though, because I work under someone else. It seems that no matter what I write down to accomplish the next day, it all gets erased and replaced with 10 more things in their stead. Before I’m able to fully finish one thing, there are twice as many ready to take their place, all important. I’ve tried discussing prioritizing with my supervisor so that we’re on the same page with regards to what is most important, but his response is usually the same: “if it affects sales, it’s top priority.” (I’m in marketing at a small company, for what it’s worth.)

    My question is this: is there any way I can hope to implement #3 with such a strong outside force directing my energies?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-G-James-Sinclair/1613973051 Peter G. James Sinclair

      Thanks Leah. Tough one – that’s why I work for myself. No-one defining how I go about my daily activities.

      However, one way to deal with what all that seems to be so important is to divide up those tasks into four groups – Important/Urgent, Not Important/Urgent, Important/Not Urgent and Not Important/Not Urgent.

      Everything affects sales – but you are only human and I trust that you can take charge with the above list – see how you go – hopefully with the co-operation and understanding of your supervisor.

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  • Subhorup Dasgupta

    I have been at simplifying my life for some years now. It is often not that simple a task primarily because of the complex conditioning that we have subjected our “selves” to. Getting back in touch with our true self is not easy, when everything around you urges you to become someone else altogether.

    Noticed the sleep thread in comments and thought of leaving my two cents worth. There is hard logic behind why early to bed, early to rise works to simplify life. Some of them off the top of my head are…

    1) it is in sync with nature, all of nature goes to bed at sundown and rises at daybreak. Exceptions are night creatures, and they are there among us too, so if you are a night person, apply the same dictum, early to bed, early to rise, for your hours, it still works.
    2) It cuts out prime time from your life, no prime time television, no prime time pubbing and partying, no prime time socialising and discussing others.
    3) It reduces power consumption by making the most of daylight most of the year in most parts of the world.

  • Janet

    I really like your simple suggestions.  There are so many choices in a day, I start with prayer for God’s help and direction, followed by exercise!  

    There is another way to simplify.  In my generation, most of us grew up in one house, and moved only if the family grew and more bedrooms were needed–or to move for a job.  We connected with the neighbors, were always outside playing, the adults knew us….  The next generation seemed to be all about buying a house, until they could afford a bigger one, then bigger one, etc.  The economy has made that less viable, but it is very stressful on the family who had little discretionary cash, and did not establish connections in the neighborhood.

    People are realizing there are a lot of benefits to remodeling the house they live in that is the right size for their family.  There’s not as much to heat/cool, or clean!  You can read about it here:
    http://www.cookremodeling.com/1/optimal-space-remodeling-is-in-rather-than-a-bigger-house