Do You Feel It’s Time To Simplify Your Life?
So many of us in quarantine are taking stock of the way we live and finding that perhaps we’ve made things more complicated than they need to be.
Before Coronavirus, I felt that I lived a simple life. But having the gift of time now that I’m in self-isolation I’ve come to the realisation that things could be even more straightforward.
So I’m going back to the beginning. Back to the 3 basic steps I took when I first made the decision to simplify my life. I’m reapplying those principles in the hope that I can make things easier, less cluttered and more enjoyable.
Here are my 3 steps to simplify your life.
Before I share these 3 steps, I need to make a disclaimer of sorts. These are the first 3 steps to simplify your life. The process is an ongoing one because our modern life has a way of creeping up on you and drawing you in to want more gadgets, apps and stuff.
Those things don’t always make life simpler or better. It’s my opinion that they get in the way of experiencing what’s real. Sure, some apps and gadgets are brilliant, and I wouldn’t live without them, but for the most part, I find all of that stuff becomes a buffer to really living and experiencing life.
I could talk about this for hours, but now is not the time, so let’s get into Step 1 to simplify your life.
The first step in doing anything differently in life is to decide what you want.
“What does a simple life look like to me?”
Your version of a simple life is probably entirely different from my version. If you follow The Minimalists, then you know that their version of a simple life means owning next to nothing. Marie Kondo tells us we can have whatever we want, we just need to know how to store it, so we don’t live in clutter. So the first step to simplify your life is to decide what simple living looks like for you.
Some people decide that a simple life is to live off the grid in a tiny house. In contrast, others feel a beautiful city apartment, furnished well, with a well-stocked wine cellar and a handful of friends to socialise with is simple enough for them.
Take time to decide how you want your life to be. Discover what brings you joy, how you want to spend your time, and who you want to spend it with.
Once you have a clear idea of how you want your simple life to be, then you can start crafting a plan to create it.
Step 2 to simplify your life.
Now that you know what a simple life looks like for you, it’s time to look at each area of your life as it is right now and begin to simplify.
So many of us are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we own and the number of things we feel pressured to do. Our modern society frowns on people who enjoy just “being.” As a result, we push ourselves to be busy all the time, to accumulate the latest gadgets and present a facade to the world that is all about more, more, more.
When you begin to simplify your life, you let go of all of that. You don’t have to get rid of everything you own, living a simple life is not about the stuff. It’s about living a life that brings you peace, real joy and a sense of satisfaction.
It’s time to look at your life and your stuff and the myriad of things you do. Honestly decide what actually brings you joy and satisfaction and what is keeping you from experiencing the life you want.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What brings me joy?
- What can I not live without?
- How often do I use/wear/do this?
Ask these questions about every area of your life. When I do this I make a list like this:
- Phone – apps etc
- Kitchen – (I have a special gift for collecting kitchen appliances)
- People – let’s be honest, some people bring more drama than joy to our lives.
- Home Decor – (knick-knacks are also a problem for me)
Write your own list and then go through each part of your life list and decide what’s essential and what can be removed or reduced.
There’s no need to do it all in one big hit, remember this is about simplifying, not causing any extra angst for you. Go through each part of your life list at a pace that makes you feel comfortable. I think you’ll be surprised when you see how much unnecessary stuff you have, and how much simpler and more relaxed life becomes when you remove it.
Step 3 to simplify your life
This is the most enjoyable step. Now that you’ve identified what a simple life looks like for you, you’ve reduced or removed the stuff that is keeping you from fully living your life, it’s time to focus on what you enjoy.
You’ve removed the things that were distracting you, so now you have the time to do the things that you enjoy. You can spend quality time with the people you want to be around. Maybe you could use your phone for its original purpose – talking to people. Draw more, craft more, take longer walks, play with your dog. Do work that you enjoy, or enjoy the work that you currently do.
If you’re like me and find that the distractions start creeping back in, then go back to step 1 and begin again. How will you know if the distractions are back and you’ve strayed from your simple life plan? You will start losing your joy for life. A simple life is a joyful life. So Step 3 is your barometer, focus on the joy.