MoHow Posted By Dr. MO Simplifying is not easy…that’s because complicating is a powerful habit and the amount of stuff we have in our lives and the number of things we have to do is often mountainous.
But we don’t need to go from overwhelmed to simple overnight. In fact we can take small steps, and enjoy the journey to simplicity.
Here are 5 simple things that you can do get the ball rolling. Choose one and do it today. Tomorrow, choose another.
When you do these 5 things, you’ll make good progress…
1. Make a list of what’s important. Make a short list of the 4-5 most important things in your life. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities. You are going to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.
2. Simplify your to-do list. Take a look at your to-do list. If it’s more than 10 items long, you can probably simplify it a bit. Try to find at least a few items that can be eliminated, delegated, automated, outsourced, or ignored. Shorten the list. This is a good habit to do once a week.
3. Eliminate one current activity. Think about all the things in your life that you’re scheduled to do, and find one that that takes up time but doesn’t give you much value. Perhaps you’re on a team, or coaching something, or on a board or committee, or whatever. Something that you do each day or week or month that you don’t really want to do. Now take action today to drop that activity. Call someone, send an email, telling the appropriate person or people that you will not continue.
4. Free up time. Simplifying your life in general is a way to free up time to do the stuff you want to do. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find time to even think about how to simplify your life. If that’s the case, free up at least 30 minutes a day for thinking about simplifying. Or alternatively, free up a weekend and think about it then. How can you free up 30 minutes a day? Here are just a few ideas: wake earlier, watch less TV, take a walk for lunch, do email only once today, shut off your phones, do 1 less thing each day.
5. Clear your desk. It feels great to clean your desk . It’s such a simple thing to do, and yet it does so much for you. If your desk is covered with papers and notes and gadgets and office supplies, you might not be able to get this done today. But here are the basic steps: 1) Clear everything off your desk and put it in a pile (either in your inbox or on the floor). 2) Process the pile from top to bottom, one item at a time. Do not defer decisions on any item — deal with them immediately and quickly. 3) For each item, either file it immediately, route it to someone else, trash it, or note it on your to-do list (and put it in an “action” folder). If it’s a gadget or office supply, find a place for it in your desk drawers (or get rid of it). 4) Repeat until your pile is empty and your desk is clear. 4) From now on, put everything in your inbox, and at least once a day, process it in the same way as above.
Tomorrow I will add some other ways to keep the simplification process going.
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