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How to Simplify Your Life

Recently, I have noticed how unnecessarily complicated life can be. 


Maybe it is the 35,000 decisions we are faced with every day.  Maybe it is the endless quest to streamline our daily activities through technology.  Or maybe it’s that we have an unconscious bias to move away from simplicity.


Is your life unnecessarily complicated? 


For some of my friends it appears that planning for the week ahead is like planning a military operation!  Many of them have children, important jobs and active social lives which means there is barely an hour unaccounted for.  A fine balancing act is required to ensure everyone is where they should be when they should be but one wobble can knock the schedule out.  Even those of us without children seem to fall into the trap of overcommitting ourselves…..work, travelling for work, exercising, meeting friends, taking care of family…..trying to do it all.


Does technology unnecessarily complicate your life?


I’m sure this is not just me but when I introduce technology into my life I often find layers of complexity appearing which were not there before!  It’s great when it works but when it doesn’t simple activities like watching the TV or listening to music become a challenge.   Remembering numerous usernames and passwords, checking the right cable is attached to the right piece of equipment and needing to buy extra pieces of equipment to make the original piece work better….just some of the things which could be simpler.


How does having too much choice unnecessarily complicate your life?


We are faced with around 35,000 decisions each day.  From the moment we get out of bed we have more choice about every aspect of our life than ever before.  Research has shown that too much choice is overwhelming and demotivating.  The problem with too much choice is it uses up lots of mental energy on even the simplest of decisions.  Buying a coffee in your local coffee shop requires you choose the size, type of milk, how hot you want your milk, froth or no froth, number of shots of coffee, to have here or take away….and so on.


So……what effect is all this unnecessary complication having on you?


Two of our most precious resources get swallowed up by these types of complication – time and energy.  Simplifying your life means stripping away some of the things that add complexity so that you can create space to really enjoy life.  You will find you are more effective as well as happier as a result.


Here are some ideas to help you give it a go:


  • Take things OUT of your diary rather than putting things in
  • Only say yes to things you REALLY want to do
  • Create space in your day to DO NOTHING (even just for a few moments)
  • Write down your top 3 priorities each week and focus on JUST doing those
  • Get really clear about what is important to you and how you want to live your life.  When faced with something which doesn’t fit with that, DON’T DO IT


Simplifying your life is simple.  It’s not easy, but it is simple.  The benefit you will gain from taking one or two of these actions is you will find yourself with more time and energy than before AND you will feel more in control of your experience.


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