Thursday, July 31, 2008

simplify your life

My clients will often tell me that they always seem to be busier during the summer months than during the school year...and they don't see how this is possible. Part of the busyness is because the weather is so nice that we spend more time outside, on vacation or with neighbors, family and friends that we do cleaning and organizing our homes, our offices and our lives.

Never-the-less, I have put together a list of ways to simplify everything from your trips to the grocery store to your filing system and I will share them with your over a 3-day period. Day one (Wednesday) focused on simplifying your home and home activities. Day 2 (yesterday) shed some light on how to simplify your office space. And day 3 (today) will give you some much-needed advice on how to simplify your life and your family's life. Keep reading for more tips!

DAY 3: Simplify Your Life

simplify your goals
Make sure you are clear about what matters in your life. Take an 8" x 11" piece of paper and fold it into 8 smaller sections. In each section, write down one of your major life goals, values or dreams (example: family, faith, travel, health, career, home, friends, etc.) In the same section as your goal, write a list of smaller "sub categories" to your major goals (example: career --"have a job that I love and that gives me flexible hours.") You can be as detailed as you want. Write down everything you would like to do or have. Come up with five, ten, even 100 sub categories to your major life goals. Then take a step back and compare your list to your current life. If your current life does not match the life your goals describe, figure out what you can do to change. What's standing in your way to make your list a reality? Is it time? Is it clutter? Is it not knowing where to start? From now on, every time you make a decision, stop and think if it will help you achieve one of your goals...if it won't, then don't do it!

simplify your schedule
Before you sign yourself or your children up for another activity, decide what you will give up in its place. There are only 24 hours in a day and that fact won't be changing any time soon! Really stop to think if you have time to add another activity to your schedule and how it will affect you and your family. To keep your schedule simple, think twice before adding anything new.

simplify your to-do list
The first important thing to note is that you MUST have a to-do list that is regularly updated with your tasks for the day, for the week or for the month. And if you are like me, you have multiple lists and love checking things off as they are completed! If you don't have a list, start one today. If you do have a list but you are always adding new tasks instead of accomplishing what is already on the list, you might try to establish a "do-it-now" mindset. If a task takes less than a few minutes to do and you're in the right place to do it -- do it now! It often makes more sense to do something the first time you think of it instead of adding it to your to-do list. Either way, to-do lists are essential if you want to remember everything that needs to get done over a period of time. Get in the habit of making one on a regular basis.

start today
If you are serious about starting a new, simplified life, there is no better time to start than right now! It takes at least 21 days to change an old habit or create a new one so if you start creating a more simplified life today, you will be in great shape by the time school and the Holiday season begins. Pick one idea from the list above and get started today! Once that item is complete or has become a habit, come back and try something else.

For more ideas on how to simplify your life or for help with your organizing endeavors, contact us directly or visit our website at We would love to help!

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