The Decluttering Quick-Start Guide, Part 3

It's often true that a cluttered home is a symptom of an over-busy schedule and an over-commitment to screens instead of real life.  After all, if you're like the average person, you spend over 40% of your waking hours in front of a screen.  You can see why it's hard to keep up with home chores.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you should drop everything and pare your schedule down to yoga and meditation.  Just simplify one thing.  Make it a daily reality.  When you're ready, try one of the other ideas.  


4 quick ways to simplify your schedule

We're not all the same.  "Simple" will be different for each of us.  But any one of these practices will make a noticeable improvement in your day-to-day life.

1.  Let go of one commitment.

Our schedules are crazy because we say yes to everything.  Then we rush around and feel the stress of being too busy, and we begin to feel resentment and regret.  

Simplify your life by letting go of just one commitment.  What isn't fulfilling to you right now?  What can you get out of doing by saying that you can no longer make it a priority?  Say no with confidence.  (Bonus tip:  Do the same for your children's commitments.)

2.  Single-task.

The next activity you choose to do, do only that.  Close your browser, put your phone away, and just do that one thing.  If you're reading, focus on that until you're done reading.  If you take a walk, don't bring music or an audio book, simply walk and focus on nature or the people around you.  Just eat a meal, just wash the dishes, just answer your emails.  You'll add more peace to your days and have an easier time accessing your knowledge and creativity to actually get stuff done.  

3.  Say goodbye to FOMO.

We often let ourselves get too busy out of fear we'll miss an important event or opportunity.  Let's get real, shall we?  We are going to miss things.  We aren't equally good at everything, and we can't be everywhere at once.  It's far better to focus on the people and events we most value and enjoy.  By concentrating our talents and attention, we'll get more out of every experience.

4.  Limit the noise.

  • Delete text and email alerts (except for your spouse and children who need to be able to reach you), and only check those things at certain times of the day (for example, once each in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening).
  • Set limits on social media use, either by allowing a certain amount of time (such as 30 minutes a day) or by participating in just one platform.
  • Create a tech-free zone (the bedroom works particularly well for this).
  • Don't use the TV as background noise.  Turn it off unless you're actually sitting in front of it.
  • Keep one day a week as a face-to-face communication day, and stay off social media for that day.

Find Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4

Updated March 2023


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