The following steps will be a guide to simplify life:
1. Turn Down the Noise
“Hutchison’s Law: Any occurrence requiring undivided attention will be accompanied by a compelling distraction.”
Noise is irrelevant information. It is distraction, even chaos, and in a way the opposite of essence. It certainly does not lead to simplicity. So here is the advice: Turn off the TV, close facebook, stop chatting about nothing. You don’t need that. The need to being constantly entertained and distracted may mean that you are running away from yourself.
Face your reality and ask yourself: What really makes me happy? How can I improve my situation? Then use your own thoughts to create that reality for yourself.
2. Clarify What You Want and Need
“For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.” ~ Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Clarity helps you to do and stay on what is important to you- and avoid what is not. Clarity creates simplicity. In order to get clear on what you want I suggest doing self-reflection- in writing. To reduce unclarity you can also set goals that express what you really want. A clear goal helps a lot to get to and to stay on the right track. The moment you set a goal you make a decision that this is more important to you.
3. How to Do Less without Losing Anything
“Do Less. Get More Done.” ~ Leo Babauta of Zenhabits
Doing less may seem pretty hard at first. After all, there is all this stuff on your to-do list, right? The only real thing to ever worry about is not how much you’ve managed to do, but have you done your top priorities? That’s all you have to really care about. And to make things simple, start to systematically get rid of the tasks that just don’t fit in with what matters to you. You will be surprised with how little you actually can have a big impact. The key is to know what that little is (see point 2. above) and then to focus your attention there.
So you won’t lose much by doing less. In fact you will gain a lot: more joy, less stress, more recognition and more success in what you do.
4. Say “No” in Order to Say “Yes”
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” ~ Alan Alexander Milne (Haha!)
You probably need to say “no” more often than you do now. It is just necessary in order to say “yes” to the few things that matter most to you. All time-management in the world will not help you if you just have too much commitments to fulfill. Saying “no” with confidence, possibly with a brief explanation why, will probably get you more respect than saying “yes” and not being able to deliver. And a strong and focussed “yes” is the key to your success in any way.
“The things you own end up owning you.” ~ Tyler Durden in Fight Club
Decluttering your environment helps to live a more simple life. It creates more space for creativity and makes room for new thoughts. It also helps to get more structure into your thoughts and to avoid being distracted by things that should have gone for good.
6. Invite Silence into Your Life
“Do not speak- unless it improves on silence.” ~ Zen Saying
Have you ever noticed how energizing and refreshing it can be to do absolutely nothing? Learn to spend quality-time with yourself.
“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.” said May Sarton. Solitude means to deliberately spend time alone. Use it to do deep self-reflection and to clear your mind of all the impressions you get constantly. That way you create space for yourself to refresh and to renew yourself.