“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler” – Albert Einstein
There’s a lot of complexity that we deal with in our lives. Work. Spouse. Kids. Parents. Friends. Social groups. Facebook.
It never ends.
What Can You Do to Simplify Your Life?
Realize that we’re in a very distracted society. Things are complex because we make them that way, not because they need to be.
Let’s get back to the basics and see how you can simplify your life. First, you have basic bodily needs – food, water, shelter, that sort of stuff. Fine, but for me that doesn’t make for a life worth living. So I add on relationships – the family I grew up in, and my wife and kids.
I could stop there, but then I choose to add to that my personal deeper purpose for living, which includes business coaching, personal coaching, and my own spirituality.
If I focused just on these things, I would now have a perfectly satisfying journey through life.
It’s shocking to look at how much time and effort I spend which really aren’t in support of these things. I can tell myself that it’s important to stay up on the latest news and gossips, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on. But when I get to the core of it, that isn’t really true. It’s more because I find it entertaining. But entertaining is not the same as important.
How do you make things simpler in your life?
Observe Yourself on Vacation
You do two things with your work and personal life: Either you delay activities until you return, or you just ignore them and it doesn’t matter. If you can ignore them, that tells you they’re really not important to your life. If you delay things, you’ll also find that some of them fix themselves by the time you return. Those are also activities you can potentially dispense with.
Have a Serious Discussion With Your Spouse or Partner About Simplifying
Often what holds you back is a vague fear that you’ll hurt those you love. But if you can work together and support each other in a shared goal, you’ll go much further and make lasting change in your life.
Do Some Experiments
Go without TV for three days. Give up Facebook for a week. And just see how the experience works. Usually you’ll find that you didn’t miss that much, and you’d free up some time if you could limit the time-wasters. Of course, your challenge is to use that time for more useful things.
Make a Plan
When you have an intention to improve things, you rarely follow through to the desired result. When you create a plan and write it down, your success rate will increase tremendously. And when you share that with others as a commitment, you’re quite likely to succeed.
Talk to the People You Admire
Are there people who are achieving the kind of balance you’d like to have? How do they do it? Set up a long term relationship with them so they can help to give you guidance and support.
Make a Lifestyle Change
It’s common for people to fail at resolutions and intentions because they view it as a temporary activity. The classic example is to go on a diet until you lose the weight. What happens? As soon as you stop focusing on the goal, you revert to your previous lifestyle, and the weight returns. So if you want to have a simplified life, focus on making a permanent change. Simplifying for a short time will only leave you more frustrated.
Track Your Results
The problem with a goal like “simplifying” is that it’s not very measurable. So you have to decide in advance what’s important to you, and track whether you’re making progress. Is it about the time you’re spending with your kids? Minimizing the time you spend on certain distractions? Track it, every day or every week, and you’ll know whether you’re making real progress.
As for me, I’m going to simplify by spending more time with my family. Starting today.
by Carl Dierschow