How can I simplify life?

I am increasingly feeling that life is too complicated and full of superfluous information and activity. We create work for ourselves, and we put pressure on ourselves to keep up with what’s going on outside our own lives. Our minds are often elsewhere, planning the next thing, worrying about problems that sometimes aren’t even within our control.

I’m as guilty of this as the next person. I have a lot of ideas, I like to be involved in stuff, I don’t like to sit around doing nothing, and there always seems to be something that needs planning. And I now have a small person who takes up a lot of my time and energy!

So I’m wondering whether there is anything I can do about this. How can I simplify my life? What could I stop doing, what could I start doing?

Well I suppose you could suggest that I stop blogging! That’s something I don’t need to do, it doesn’t earn me money, and it’s not really fulfilling any function. Except of course it is. It’s one of my creative outlets, and at the moment it’s also helping me think through some ideas.

What about decluttering – physical, mental and digital? Yes, I’m sure I could with some decluttering. I know my wardrobe needs a spring clean, and I’ve made good progress on some of my books and old paperwork recently. My head is full of ideas that I either write down and plan out, or file digitally with a few words as a reminder. And my digital life has just expanded and expanded – passwords, social media, emails everywhere….

I know I waste time. Sometimes intentionally, or often necessarily to help me switch off after a busy day. Precious time. I could be more efficient with my to do lists, I could definitely be more ruthless with my prioritisation and in saying no.

I have already started practising restraint when it comes to new ideas or to being helpful to other people. If I’m tempted to action an idea or to offer to do something, I wait. I wait until the next day if possible. Then I’ve often gone off the idea, seen it in perspective. Or I’ve lost the will to help with whatever it was I was tempted by. The things that are really important will stay on my mind until I do them. And the others just amused my brain for a while.

And what about new contracts or projects? Do I actually have to say yes to them just because they’ve been offered to me, and just because they’ll earn me some decent money for a while?!

Then of course there are the things I’d like to do, but which take weekly planning – for which I don’t have time! Exercise and eating more healthily – in order to lose weight and feel healthier. I need to find the best way to fit in the planning needed to do these in a simpler way.

But none of this really helps me work out how to actually simplify and what to focus on first. I wonder whether I need to take a step back and think about what’s really important?

In the past I have tried to practice daily or weekly gratitude. I have also done things like daily photo challenges or creative snippet writing to help me to notice the little things in life. I could try doing something like that for a while and see what emerges.

And it just so happens that I have discovered a small furry notebook, which is calling to me to write something in it…. so watch this space…..

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