For years, I’ve thought that life can often be too complicated…I used to feel like my possessions and “life administration” took up too much of my time and energy.
For the last three years, I’ve lived out of a medium-sized suitcase and a small backpack while living in Spain, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and just two months each summer in Canada.
This forced simplicity has removed time-consuming things such as dealing with car insurance, car maintenance, potential car accidents, buying possessions too often and cleaning, fixing, insuring and replacing possessions.
All of those things take up time… I should say that they “cost” time.
Simplicity isn’t limited to just possessions or “life admin”/paperwork; you can aim for simple relationships, simple communication, simple routines, and simple food.
- minimizing exposure to complicated or difficult people
- keeping communication much shorter; a side benefit is that our words matter more when fewer are used: simple communication is more powerful, more meaningful and easier to understand
- avoiding or minimizing routines/habits that are time-consuming or inefficient
- keeping meal prep quick and easy, but healthy
By focusing on simplicity every day, throughout the day, you’ll have more free time, you’ll feel a lot ‘lighter’ and experience more freedom.
Do a Simplicity Audit
Look for ways to simplify your routines and habits. Some routines/habits you might be able to drop completely, while others you can just minimize.
Other areas that we can simplify:
- grocery shopping and meal preparation
- communication (phone, email, text, in-person conversations)
- work processes or business processes
Apply the “minimum effective dose” to all your tasks. You don’t need to spend five hours every Saturday cleaning your house if spending two hours will get it clean enough.
Simplicity asks, “Do I really need to do this? Do I really need to take action? What is the quickest, most effective way to deal with this?”
Simplicity is for Everyone
You don’t have to get rid of your car or sell most of your possessions and live out of a suitcase to apply simplicity in your life.
Everyone can benefit from applying simplicity throughout their day.
You can still have a house or apartment and possessions, but by applying simplicity or perhaps choosing a smaller, or more affordable place, you could live within your means and not be tempted to go over-budget (which can cause stress and fear due to the pressures of having to consistently earn a high amount of money each month).
Simplicity looks for a path in life that’s more flowing, a road that has more green lights than red ones. Sure, we can drive through intersections when the lights are red but it’s stressful and damn risky (just like complexity).
If I’m considering new partnerships, new relationships/friendships or thinking about making certain decisions, I want to see mostly green lights when I’m moving forward. I want to keep it simple, not complicated.
I’ve done complicated a few times before and it usually doesn’t go well!
If I start to see too many “red flags” or stoplights too often, I will abandon that relationship, job, project, situation as soon as possible.
We’ve been conditioned to think that things can’t be easy (or simple), that we always have to fight or struggle to get what we want. Sometimes that’s true…but not always.
Look for ways to simplify your life and you’ll start to experience the benefits quite quickly: more free time for friends/family/health/fun projects, less stress, and you’ll feel calmer and more focused.
What are a few things you would like to simplify in your life? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep going for your goals,
Holding Your Feet to the Fire