The simple life is the successful life.
Did you realize that you really only need to master one thing to be successful?
This article is about simplifying your life, so that you’re working hard at just a few things, while letting all of the unimportant items fall away.
1. Contain It
A few months ago I visited “The Container Store” here in Atlanta, GA (USA) for the first time. I promise you I’ve never seen so many containers in all my life, there were even containers for containers. It was an OCD’s paradise, so I purchased a few.
I can’t quite wrap my mind around it, but just by utilizing little square boxes to put things in, you add enormous amounts of organization to your life, which is the first step in simplification.
This very simple concept of putting ¨like things¨ in boxes works wonders.
If you don’t have a ¨Container Store¨ near you, I’d recommend you visit your local mart and find some nice containers to store some of your things. I’m beginning to realize that pretty much everything belongs in a box.
Take a look under your bathroom cabinets, if it’s not perfectly organized, I’m recommending a container for you; containers will simplify your life, so you won’t waste time looking for your razors again.
2. Get Organized
Simplification begins with organization; to simplify your life you must organize it.
You must organize your calendar as well as your closet, and the best way to ensure that this is done is to schedule a certain amount of time weekly to ¨get organized.¨ Abraham Lincoln said, ¨Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe.¨ To live a simplified life, you need to spend at least an hour per day sharpening your axe, by organizing your life. Not just your calendar, but also your closet.
3. Simplify Your Life by Killing Some Time
Why is it when someone has time to kill, they always want to kill your time as well? Have you ever thought about that?
A simplified life is a life where you have time to kill. As the saying goes, “All work and no play made Jack a dull boy.” There is nothing wrong with “killing time,” or scheduling time to do nothing, or at least nothing productive. It’s very relaxing; sometimes you have to be bored before you can truly be relaxed (you must travel through the town of boredom, to get to the city of relaxation), so doing absolutely nothing comes with serious perks.
You see, a simplified life is one that is so organized and contained, that you have time to kill, and you don’t feel guilty about it, because it’s not hampering, but adding to your productivity.
4. Eliminate and Conquer
Make a list of what’s important to you, and eliminate all other activities. You eliminate to alleviate, you eliminate so that you can relax and rejuvenate. If God, family, relaxation and work are your priorities, eliminate everything that doesn’t directly contribute to those goals.
I actively work to remove things from my life, like television. There are just so many other things that I could be doing with my time other than watching other people live their lives.
Television is great as a means of relaxation and family bonding, but outside of that, it’s usually just a giant waste of time. Even things such as “Apps” (software applications for mobile and computer devices), are often just a waste of time. I periodically check my cell phone to ensure that I only have “Apps” that I use frequently and that directly benefit and simplify my life.
It’s like having an ¨Amazon prime account,¨ which allows you, among several other things, to purchase items from the Amazon web site and have those items shipped to you for free.
Why don’t I have an Amazon prime account?
Because by virtue of having this account, I would spend more time on the Amazon web site, buying more things that I don’t need. Wasting more time that I don’t have. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have an Amazon prime account, but you must look for areas in your life that currently complicate versus simplify, and you must be willing to remove those areas in order to have a life that’s focused on what’s most important to you.
Eliminate anything that’s not critical, and focus only on the critical. As an example, reading and listening to audio books are critical for me. Why it may seem like a waste of time to read a book a week, I know it’s foundational for everything else that I do.
What’s critical for you? You should always be asking yourself, does this task simplify or complicate my life, does this task enhance or derail my progress.
5. Simplify! Clean Your Purse and Your Garage
They say the way your garage looks, says a lot about your life. They say the same about your purse. Oddly enough, cleaning up these areas will actually make you feel better about your life.
A simplified life is a clean life.
People with simplified lives have clean garages, purses, e-mail inboxes, clean houses and clean yards. If you want to simplify your life, schedule a day to clean up any area or item that is cluttered. Then get on a schedule of performing this task weekly. Remember, you can’t live a lean life, without living a clean life.