Oh for the simple life!

I’m sure you, like so many people these days, would like to simplify life. To have less stress, be more productive, have more time and do things that are more worthwhile but it isn’t that easy, infact you find it almost impossible.

It is not something that can be achieved with a snap of the fingers, it takes time and you need a plan of attack. Here is a simple 5 day plan to help you simplify your life without avoiding your responsibilities or reducing your output. You will find as your life becomes simpler you’ll contribute more, not less, to your work and family.

Monday: Clutter.

This Monday, take 10 minutes and clear out 10 items that really annoy you. Junk mail that has been piling up in a tray – into the rubbish bin with it. Old magazines on the coffee table – out they go! The almost dead plant in the corner – give it some water and a chance of life or be humane and dispose of it now. Don’t spend time thinking about it, don’t worry about it, don’t debate it, just do it!

In 10 minutes, go through your home or office and clean out, throw out, put away or fix 10 small annoyances and make your surroundings a cleaner, healthier place. You deserve the best, you don’t have to put up with a mess!

Tuesday: Tolerations.

Tolerations are slightly different from clutter, although they can over-lap. Tolerations are where you put up with a dirty carpet, a car that needs repairs, or a cupboard door that sticks every time you try to open it. Choose 10 items, list them, and make commitments to get them fixed or replaced. You may not get them all sorted on Tuesday, but in the 10 minutes take steps so you don’t have to tolerate these 10 problems again. Clutter and Tolerations waste our time, frustrate us and niggle our conscience, we don’t need them so get rid of them!

Wednesday: Tasks and Errands.

If your life is stressed and hectic, there’s a good chance you are doing errands and tasks that you don’t need to. Take 10 minutes and choose 10 tasks you are going to stop doing!

Combine errands, or delegate them to someone else. Simplify your wardrobe, take a home made lunch and avoid the wait at the cafeteria. Renting a video means TWO TRIPS! Read a book or play with the kids instead. Hire some home help.

Most of these things are not that hard to do, they are simple things we put up with because they are so small. But combined, they mount up and can erode the quality of our lives. In 10 minutes, make up your mind to eliminate 10 time wasters!

Thursday: Update Your Address Book!

All of us have relationships and “friendships” that are no longer part of our everyday life. On the other hand, if you don’t have a great doctor, a mechanic you trust, an insurance agent and other experts you can call when you need them, you are not prepared for the inevitable surprises of life. Take 10 minutes to run through your address book and remove obsolete or unneeded entries. Then, get the phone book and jot down the names and phone numbers of 10 experts for your “support staff”. If appropriate, schedule a meeting to get acquainted. Simplify your life – have your team in place before you need them!

Friday: Saying, “NO!”

Most of the tasks this week have been about getting rid of the self-talk that we “should keep that”, or “I should do that.” Most of the complications in life come from thinking we “should” do things that make no sense! If you don’t want to, or it seems stressful or unnecessary, just say NO!

Before you can say “YES!” to your own life, you have to say “NO!” to other people’s ideas of how your “should” live. If you want to say “YES!” to family, music, love, laughter and joy, you must first say “NO!” to a thousand things someone, somewhere thinks you “should” do. Make sure you say “NO!” at least 10 times today!

And A BONUS: Say YES!

To peace and quiet. Whether you prefer to call it mediation, prayer, quiet time or whatever, the principle is to nurture and renew yourself with 10 minutes of peace and quiet every day. Get up a few minutes early and walk slowly around the block. Read for 10 minutes after the kids are in bed. Write in a diary or sip a cup of tea. If you are serious about simplifying your life, slow down and be quiet for 10 minutes at least once a day. You deserve it!

Now go and have a wonderful week! Slow down, watch a sunrise, do something special for yourself and for someone else. Above all, be true to yourself!

Category: Articles