Do you work too much or sleep too little? Do you have more than 10 things on your daily to-do list? Are you constantly in your head… thinking, planning, worrying? If so, then it might be time to simplify. Below are five radical ways to simplify your life. Why radical? Because the reality is that most people won’t actually do these things. We want more time, more money and less stress but few of us will really do what’s necessary to make it happen. Which of the following would you be willing to try?
Step One: Redefine what’s important to you.
What if you knew you only had two more years to live? What places would you visit? What would you tell or ask your loved ones? How would your day-to-day activities change? What if you lived like that now? Asking yourself these questions and really digging deep for the answers can dramatically improve your life. What would you start doing and what would you drop? What in your life are you tolerating? What would you let go of if you knew you had only six months left? Identifying what’s really important to you is a critical step to simplifying your life.
Step Two: Imagine more and do less.
Yes, that’s right. Do LESS. If you have a clear vision of how you would like your life to be, less action is required to bring it to fruition. Check in with yourself throughout the day. Ask yourself, “Does this thought, belief or action support by vision or my intentions?” Leverage your time by imagining more and doing less. Just imagine yourself into the successes, and watch what happens.
Step Three: Get rid of clutter.
It’s hard to feel peaceful and focused when your desk is cluttered with piles of paper or your car is full of stuff. Physical clutter takes a mental toll. Cluttered space = cluttered mind. Excess stuff wears you down. If you’re like most people, you consistently use only about 20% of your stuff. It’s the classic 80/20 rule. That means you could probably donate a good portion of the 80% you rarely use – and not even notice it’s gone. You might be surprised how much better you can feel when you free yourself from stuff you don’t use or need. Which area in your physical space needs the most cleaning up and clearing out?
Step Four: Cut your media consumption in half.
Need more time in the day? Do you often rush from one thing to the next? Consider cutting your media consumption in half. The average American watches four hours of TV per day. Don’t be average when you can be radical! Think for a moment about how much TV you have watched in your lifetime thus far. If you watched four hours per day over just this last year alone, you’ve spent two entire months – day and night – in front of the telly. What else could you have done or experienced in those two months?
Step Five: Forget multitasking.
On the surface, multitasking seems like an effective way to manage our time and get things done. We can talk on the phone while we drive, check email while listening to others or work on three tasks at a time. We jump from one project to another and look at text messages the moment they pop up. However, studies have repeatedly shown that all this busy-ness is not particularly effective. For some of us, being busy is actually an addition. Multitasking holds your mind in a state of chaos with never-ending looping thoughts about “what if this” and “what if that.” This can quickly spiral into overwhelm, anxiety and a scattered approach to life. A better approach is to identity just two “mission critical” items each day and start with those items first. Practice enjoying each singular task as you do it. Effortless flow is possible when you fully engage in a single activity.
Which of these 5 radical ways to simplify your life speaks to you? Try one out and let me know how it goes!
Guest blog from Karin Kiser
Karin Kiser is the founder of Radical Simplicity and bestselling author of Lighten Your Load: 35 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Free Yourself from Stress, Toxins and Clutter – available on Amazon and at KarinKiser.com