“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Are you living a stressed out life? Do you want to change things for good? If you said yes, then you must start to live a simple life. Don’t get me wrong; a simple life doesn’t involve giving up all your material possessions. But it’s about getting rid of unimportant things that ruin your happiness and focus only on things that matter.
Simplicity might involve getting rid of negative people and ditching old bad habits so that you can drive your energy and time towards positive things in life. When you start to live a simple life, you will be happy and be able to keep people around you happy as well. You see, simplicity is more about adding real value and positivity to your life so that you can be happy and healthy.
That said, simplicity isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s a big and beautiful journey that starts with two simple steps: (1) the short list and (2) the long list.
The Short List
To put it short and neat, simplicity is all about identifying what’s important to you and getting rid of everything else. But yeah, if you are someone who likes to have multiple plans in different areas of operation then the short list won’t be enough. Here is the long list.
The Long List
Again, the long list depends on your priorities in life. It can vary from person to person according to their goals and habits. However, here is a list of things that are common obstacles in the majority of people’s lives. Choose the ones that are apt for your lifestyle and incorporate changes in your routine for the betterment of your life.
1) Make A List Of Short-Term Goals
If you have a long term goal in life, a better way to plan is to break it down into 4-5 smaller tasks. This is a common practice followed by many successful people. It helps simplify things, eases the pressure off you, and allows you to focus better, by taking one step at a time.
How do you break one big goal into several small tasks? Ask yourself what your priority is and start from the one you value the most i.e. the ones that have the biggest impact on your long term goal. Accordingly, plan a list of actionable ways to accomplish them faster.
2) Evaluate Your Daily And Weekly Commitments
The moment you have decided to become successful, you must learn to evaluate your commitments and segregate them according to their importance. Analyze your daily and weekly commitments from home to work and back to home; what are the things that you should be committed to. Once you make a list, you’ll be able to identify activities that are not important but eating your time every day. Get rid of them and keep only things that you love doing.
3) Manage Your Time Better
Time management is probably the most important factor contributing to the success of an individual. Knowingly or unknowingly, there could be a number of ways that you are spending your time on wrong things. For example, if you are a busy person then you might have only 30 minutes of family time in a day. That time can be better utilized by joking or planning for the future. Instead, if you choose to talk about your office things and your colleagues’ problems, then that time is easily wasted. And you aren’t going to get it back for sure. Eliminate all unimportant things from eating up your time. Time is too precious to be wasted on useless things.
4) Simplify Your Work And Home Tasks
Your work tasks many involve handling multiple responsibilities in the given time. You can never get things done by allowing unimportant things to affect your concentration. Switch off your mind from personal things when you are at work and challenge yourself to complete your tasks faster than your best colleague for extra motivation.
When it comes to home tasks, prepare a list of important things that need to be done in a day. If you think that hiring a housekeeper or additional help can give you some extra time, go for it.
5) Limit Your Screen Time and Communication
Mobile phones, computer, and TV are highly addictive and must be avoided when not required. Instead of chatting (on social media and Whatsapp), emailing and browsing, learn to spend your leisure in nature with your spouse and kids. It will help refresh your mind and keep you calm. You’ll feel a lot better when you get back to work. This is the same reason why wealthy people take vacations on a regular basis. It helps break the monotony of your work routine and helps you come back fresh and energetic.
6) Avoid Negative Thinking
Thinking about negative people and situations is completely useless. Negative feelings like jealousy, bitterness, fear, cowardliness, and resentment can never do any good for your physical and mental well-being. One easy way to develop positive thinking is to practice mind control techniques like yoga and meditation. And make sure you get rid of negative people from your life. People who discourage you and make fun of your aims should never be a part of your success. Reading books on positivity and motivation could also be a great way to help yourself gain success. Get rid of negative thinking completely and develop a positive mindset to make yourself a better person personally and professionally.
7) Diet and Exercise
What you eat and what you do to pump up your heart rate plays a critical role in shaping your health, fitness, and confidence. Let’s face it; you will be able to perform better physically and mentally when you have a healthy body and sound mind. The best way to get that is to exercise daily and eat natural food. Yes, simplifying your diet by getting rid of processed foods and eating more raw vegetables, fruits, green leaves, and nuts will benefit your health immensely. In turn, you will have improved immunity to fight common illnesses that could otherwise hamper your physical and mental performance.
Also, avoid taking over-the-counter medication and instead opt for natural treatments. Common health problems like cold, headache, and fever can be cured by simple home remedies.
- Stop Worrying About Debt
Debt is one of the biggest concerns for people who aren’t successful in their careers. That can indeed cause a lot of stress and sleepless nights too. But, let’s be honest. Worrying isn’t going to solve your problems. In extreme cases, it could destroy your happiness and confidence and make you a weaker version of you. So, from now on, simplify your life by focusing on ways to solve your debts and stop worrying about them.
- Restrict Your Attachment to Material Possessions
Sometimes, having too much money can also be a problem. You might be tempted to purchase race cars, build big homes, buy expensive gadgets, luxury items, and so on. Over time, overspending could become a habit and make you more attached to having more material possessions. Even that is an addiction. You might purchase expensive items to live a luxurious lifestyle and show your close friends and relatives how wealthy and successful you are. That can be exciting but what you might fail to notice is that materials and properties can also separate you from your friends. At one point, you will be happier spending your time in the company of materials rather than human beings. To avoid such problems, make sure you restrict your investment in material possessions – at least avoid buying unnecessary items so you can give more time and energy to your family.
- Avoid multi-tasking
Because the situation in your home and office demands you to handle multiple tasks at a time, you might start thinking that multitasking is the only possible way to get more things done in less time. But, studies on the brain have concluded that multi-tasking is stressful, distractive, less enjoyable, and can easily make a person less focused and less productive at work. So please avoid task-swapping.
Tune your mind to keep things simple, and you’ll be able to lead a much better life personally and professionally.
Simplify and enjoy life to the fullest!
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.