Simplify Your Life - 3 Easy Steps
Think of yourself as a teacup (or coffee cup) that is full to the brim. The contents of your cup are the various things you cram into your life. Just as with any cup, you can only add so much before it overflows. Simplifying your life takes a bit of the tea out of the cup and gives you room to move around, and an easiness of breath.
Simplifying your life is not only cathartic, but we can also declutter our minds in the process. They say “Mo money mo problems” right? The truth is that if you have too much of ANYTHING in your life, you have the potential for overwhelm and burnout.
We will cover three areas of life that, if simplified, will also lift a massive burden from your brain. Before we dive in, let's cover the upsides of simplifying:
Benefits of Simplifying Your Life
With less to worry about, anxiety starts to show up less and less.
You can never actually “get” more time, but with fewer things to focus on, you can apply yourself fully to the things that matter most.
More present in relationships
This is a cascading effect. With a simpler life, you worry less. When you worry less you can be with the ones you care about more fully and completely. When your loved ones get more of your undivided attention, your relationships improve.
Clear and precise priorities
After you sweep away the old dusty priorities and expectations of yourself, you can see your true priorities much more clearly. This leads to further success since the target you are shooting for is now more visible.
Being more organized
With fewer things that you have to organize, it becomes easier to know where things are. You will also see an increase in your memory.
The act of simplifying and downsizing personal belongings has seen massive growth in popularity and reached the status of “trendy” in recent years. One of the biggest influencers of this concept is Marie Kondo (KonMari). Her mission is to “spark joy” in others by teaching them how to declutter their homes and lives. She has a very specific technique as well: if you want to learn more about it, check out her website and click here.
We are heavily influenced by our surroundings. Since we spend much of our time at home, (especially within the past few months) our mood, productivity and self-image can take a nosedive if you do not enjoy the space that you live in. Here are a couple of steps you can take to get started:
1. Get in the right mind frame - How much do you actually need? Marie Kondo uses the phrase “does it spark joy?” - When you are looking at your belongings, ask yourself if they make you genuinely excited, or if they “spark joy” in your life. If they do not, they are usually safe to purge.
2. Implement bumpers for yourself. My wife and I use the “6-month rule” and quite honestly, I am not sure where we picked it up. We will sell, donate, or throw away something that we have not used or thought about in 6 months. It’s safe to say you can keep your skis and snow gear in this scenario!
3. Make a plan for enacting your simplification. Set a google calendar reminder, maybe monthly, to assess one room at a time or one category at a time. Feel free to go slow, this can be quite a process.
While this may seem daunting, the approach is super simple. The idea is to make a list of your main priorities and to rank them by importance. This order will determine how much of your time, effort, and attention is poured into each. We all have this list in our heads to an extent, but writing it down can help hold you accountable to what you must focus on most. When we figure this out, the decision to focus on one thing or another becomes a bit more clear.
Here is that step-by-step:
Write down all of your hobbies, activities, and other various things that are important in your life. Is it being present for your family? Work? Becoming amazing at shuffleboard? If it is important to you, write it down. You should shoot for having a large, and uncontrolled list. Brain dump is the name of the game here.
1. Order that list by level of importance. At the top of the list you should gather all of the things that you wish to spend the most energy and focus on the MOST important things. Towards the bottom, place the things that are important, but take the back seat sometimes.
2. Here’s the hard part. Pair that list down to 10 or less items. Don’t fret, if something that is important to you did not make the list of 10, you can still find time for it. We are simply looking for the top 10 most important ways in which you spend your time.
3. Find a way to post this list in a place you can see regularly. Place it above your desk, or set it as the background on your computer. Maybe even
This may be the cornerstone of simplifying your life. YOU are the gatekeeper of your own life. Own your time and attention and learn to say no to many different types of things.
Consider this: If junk is in your house, at some point you said yes to it. If you have an overbooked schedule, at some point you said yes to it. If you have one too many hobbies, at some point you welcomed it with a hearty “yes”.
Own your time. Take the control back, and push out some of the things that are not in your top 10 priorities list. Can you say yes to other things? Yes! But keep your priorities in mind in those moments to see if you can actually fit something else in your life, or if being completely overbooked is really necessary. It may not be easy, but by doing this you will be treating-yo-self right.
This week, take one of the three concepts we talked about and begin to simplify your life.
Spend 30 minutes simplifying something in your life.
Pay attention to how it affects your mood.
Schedule a simplification for later in the week.
Rinse, wash, repeat.
Last but not least, if you have a topic you want me to write about, or you have suggestions for simplifying your life, drop a comment below.
Carpe freaking Diem, my friends!!
I am a life coach in the Boulder/Denver area, and offer phone/zoom coaching sessions. I also offer free consultations, so if you want to learn more, click HERE to get in touch.
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