This week I thought instead of writing a typical post (although I hope my posts are not all that typical), I’d simply kickstart a virtual brainstorming session. The quality of comments on the past several posts has me thinking that the real brains behind this blog is YOU, not me. I want to tap into that amazing brainpower.
Many of us seek more balance in our lives. Wouldn’t it be awesome if balance was a single action we could take? However, balance is not an action itself. It’s the result of many choices we make and many actions we take (or don’t take).
We’ve been led to believe that balance is possible if we just stay in the middle of everything, if we just manage our time better, or if we carpool to soccer practice. But the real problem isn’t the way we distribute and attend to the stuff in our lives, it’s the amount of stuff we’ve accumulated. And by stuff I mean ALL the stuff — the physical stuff, the activity stuff, the relationship stuff, the emotional stuff, the financial stuff, etc.
Most of us now have more “stuff” than we know what to do with, and it makes us feel overwhelmed (another way of saying “out of balance”).
There is only one way to create a more balanced life: simplify it. It is so much easier to stay balanced when you only have to manage the stuff that’s truly important.
Simplification comes in many shapes and sizes and commitment levels. Here are a few examples of how I’ve simplified my life over the past several years:
- I am debt-free. This has had the single greatest impact on my life, and the life of my entire family. It was also a multi-year process, so it’s definitely on the more difficult end of the spectrum.
- I block my entire calendar. Instead of having an open calendar, I consider my calendar completely blocked. That way when someone asks for a meeting or I’m invited to an event, I have to ask myself if it is important enough to me to give up my time. I find myself saying no to a more things this way, and that’s good.
- We make our bed every day (we take turns). This sounds almost silly, but it makes our bedroom feel so much cleaner and less cluttered. And on those days when life is bit out of control, being able to retire to an uncluttered, peaceful bedroom is awesome.
I could seriously make a list a mile long because I am always finding new ways of simplifying my life. But I would rather hear from you. How have you simplified your life, or an area of your life? What do you do to de-clutter, manage your time better, or stay focused on what’s truly important?
Leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear your ideas!
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This week’s bribe, I mean prize, is a copy of The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks AND Standout by Marcus Buckingham. With these two books in your brain, I believe you can conquer the world.
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