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.

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 are ready, try one of the other ideas.  And we're not all the same.  "Simple" will be different for each of us.

4 Ways to Simplify Your Schedule

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.  This is a simple idea, and you can do it right now.

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 in the morning and once in the evening).
  • 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.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash


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