When we are handling complicated relationships, complex projects, or big challenges, we feel important because the ability to handle complexity is often mistaken for the capacity to do more or be more. But in reality it’s more difficult to be simple than complex; because making things simple requires you to get into the real depth of things to eliminate all that is inessential. Truth and beauty are always revealed in simplicity.
Here are a few suggestions to disrupt our daily schedules to make things simple and live the life we aspire to live.
1. Be Present
Being totally present to the moment puts you in the zone for great results. Give your 100% attention to whatever you are doing at that moment. When you are sitting with your spouse, be with your spouse. Don’t think of the unfinished report and vice versa. When completing a work project, eliminate all sources of interruption including social media or meetings.
2. Create a stop-doing list
Challenge every activity and object occupying your life. Ask yourself “why am I doing this and what could be done to eliminate the need for it?” Fill up your life with things you love to do versus things you like to do. In fact, reward people who bring up ideas for your “Stop Doing” list. It will help both you and others to create more valuable time.
3. Organize around a tight set of priorities
Every night before you go to sleep, outline the three most important activities for the next day and begin your day with them. Do not start any other thing till you have completed them. Don’t do the easy stuff simply because it’s there.
4. Measure your time
If we do not measure time, we do not know how we lose it. Measure the time you spend on an activity daily and follow this activity for a week. Within a week, you will have a fair idea of what time and attention you need to allocate to each activity on your priority list and eliminate activities where you are expending needless attention and energy.
5. Stop over-consumption
This includes consuming excess food, shopping for what you don’t need, watching too much television, and spending too much time on social media. This simplification will substantially reduce clutter in your head and expand your mind space, carving out more productive time for creative ideas.
6. Spend time with people you love, admire and mentor
The pressures of life and work can often send us in unproductive directions. So ensure you spend time daily with these VIPs. Find time to do things with them, talk to them, and share your experiences. Sharing and receiving love is not only a great source of rejuvenation but also a great tool to realign with what and who creates meaning in your life.
8. Brevity aids simplicity
Whether it’s your communication, or your style of accessorizing or completing a presentation, less is always more. Brevity forces you to clarify your thoughts and make your communication powerful.
9. Take care of your Balance
Your inner life influences your outer life and the outcomes you create. Every morning, spend an hour incorporating exercise, meditation and reading something inspiring. A daily practice of this habit acts like a grounding tool, aligning your life purpose with your day and pooling your attention and resources on all that matters to you.
Aim for simplicity in all you do and watch your performance soar. However for most keeping things simple is complex!