Time to Simplify?
“Simplicity is the essence of happiness.”
No I’m not Phillip Schofield on ‘The Cube’, I’m talking about National Simplicity Day :0) and how to simplify your life, i.e. ‘Do or stop doing things to simplify your day.’
What is National Simplicity Day?
Created in honour of the American essayist, poet and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau who was born on July 12, 1817 (July 12, 1817-May 6, 1862). A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.
In today’s increasingly hectic world, I thought it was apt to mark this day, as many of us fly along with life, racing, planning, doing, consuming – without stopping to think. It easily happens in all aspects of our lives, we steam ahead without looking around to see what’s really happening outside of our worlds. We need to step back and consider the consequences of what we’re doing and evaluate what’s important to us and those closest to us.
Sometimes we find ourselves feeling trapped in a situation with no way out due to commitments, such as family, mortgage etc.
Perhaps it’s just a case of thinking outside of the box. Most of us are probably guilty of over-consuming, wanting and desiring ‘stuff’. Is it all necessary? Do you need to work as much as you do, do you need as much money as you think you do? Do you need as many possessions, clothes – and everything as you think you do?
The point of National Simplicity Day is to re-think things. If you’re not sure where to start how to simplify your life It’s taking a step back to basics, which I really think is growing pace as a trend right now. It’s the cliché of make do and mend and really looking at our grandparents’ generations to consider how they lived their lives and taking some tips from them.
National Simplicity Day is remembering what’s really important and aiming to simplify your life, this sums it up quite nicely:
“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.”
So how to strip things back a bit and make things a bit simpler?
Living simply doesn’t mean living without, It means living with only what we need. Here are a few tips to get you started on How to simplify your life:
- Where is the Excess?
Look around you throughout the day and consider the excesses. The next time something breaks ask whether it can be repaired instead of replacing it.
- Think twice before buying something – do you want it, or need it? What benefit will it bring you? Will it make you happy for longer than the 10 minutes after you’ve bought it.
The ultimate aim of making life simpler is to reduce stress and enjoy the important things.
Without feeling the pressure to consume and acquire more things; we have more time and freedom to pursue adventures and spend time with friends and family.
- Step back and consider why your life isn’t simple.
What is making your life complicated? Write them down and think how you can make it easier. Complicated = difficult and difficult = Stress.
- Think about your priorities
What is important to you, both at home and work? Make a list – this should include your goals and activities. What do you want to achieve both long term and short term – from home and family life? Are you having enough family time? Do you read enough? Perhaps you’re a surfer and haven’t seen the beach for a while.
- Think about what you don’t need.
What’s cluttering up your life – at work and at home and do something about it. It might be you’re working too much, it might be social media or emails, it might be your wardrobe :0). It could be the supermarket, or the washing – whatever it is, create an action list to start dealing with the areas you need to simplify.
It might be you need to delegate some of those frustrating tasks you can’t not do!
If you haven’t come across Marie Kondo, yet then today is definitely the day to discover her – as her whole mantra is ‘Tidy your space, transform your life’, make sure you check her website out konmari.com. Named as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, she knows her stuff.
When it comes to things, you have to admit, we hold on to some things for sentimental reasons. On the other hand, we buy too much junk for all the wrong reasons. Identify the ones that are the most important and get rid of the rest.
- Put a ban on impulse buying.
Make a list for any shopping trip. If it’s not on the list, it can’t be bought (unless it’s toilet paper, that’s the one exception.) Otherwise, you will get by until the next trip. Not only will you prevent the clutter at home and in your wardrobe, you will also see an improvement in your bank account.
- Use your time wisely.
When it comes to activities, consider the ones that are time wasters and have no value. Again, which ones are important to you? Do they bring you joy? Do they improve you or the world around you? If the answer is no to any of these questions, why is this activity still in your life?
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