Simplicity is a state of mind, the essence of happiness, and the beauty of life.
Oftentimes, we’re too caught up with deadlines and responsibilities that we don’t have time for ourselves and for the people we love. This is when we think and feel that we’re too busy.
But in fact, being busy doesn’t always mean you’re productive. You get too occupied solving everything at once that you overlook one of the most important things: simplicity.
Simplicity boils down to two steps: identify the essential and get rid of the rest. This will be difficult at first, but you’ll eventually love the process as soon as you understand the importance of it. It all starts by asking yourself: “Is my life too busy? If it is, is it balanced? Do I have sufficient time to take care of myself and the people I care for the most?”
Whether you’re reading this at the start of a brand new week, in the middle, or on a weekend, now’s the perfect moment to prepare. If the past methods deprived you of balance and peace, it’s time for a change. It’s time to prioritize yourself and your loved ones without sacrificing your career and recreation. Is this possible? Yes. It all comes down to embracing the word ‘simple’.
Simple is not boring and unchallenging, for it has its own beauty. Less stuff allows you to have more freedom to do things in your own will, without putting too much pressure on yourself. After all, we human beings are created with our own free will. And the key to finding a happy balance in this modern era is simplicity.
How to do it? Here are 10 easy ways to simplify your busy week.
1. Slow down and observe
Don’t rush even if you have a lot of things to do. Slow down, take a deep breath first, and observe. This will allow you to see which are the essentials and which ones are not.
You’ll miss life and other opportunities if you always rush. The spiritual connection that is supposed to lead you to a more meaningful path will block distraction. Therefore, always be mindful of serenity and stillness.
2. Analyze what you value most
Now that you’ve figured out the most important things, list them all. Most people (and probably you too) value family, socialization, cleanliness, career growth, faith, and helping others.
You have to spend more time in these areas so you can plan on how to simply and balance them. When doing this, make sure you’re not in a hurry and you’re being honest with yourself. Don’t worry about what others may think of your priorities. Because some people may not see cleanliness as something valuable, but to you it could be.
3. Engage and prioritize
Since you’ve finally assessed the people and things that you value the most, it’s time to engage with and prioritize them.
If you value family, are you really spending more days with them? How many days in a week do you bond or interact with them? Or is it your work that still occupies most of your time? If yes, this shows a contradiction to your values. It’s not your family that you value the most, it’s your work.
If you want to have a simplified and meaningful life, engage with your priorities.
Stress and frustration often come from living out of line with your priorities. Always be there for your family because they are irreplaceable. Plus, prioritize self-care too, because fulfillment comes from knowing your own value and self-worth.
4. Schedule and organize
Simplicity is about management. Planning ahead of time will prevent you from being overloaded and stressed, while letting you focus on the most important things in your life. Schedule days for exercise, socialization, family, and ‘me-time’.
Don’t mix your hanging-out-with-friends-day with your family day. This will cause a diversion of priority and energy. Organize according to your priorities. And make more time for your top one priority in case you’ll be caught up with unexpected challenges later on.
For example, on weekends, spend time with your family first before accomplishing other important tasks. Because chances are, you may be called unexpectedly at work or a business client might call for your attention. Since you already made time for your loved ones, you have all the week to do other stuff.
5. Accomplish the most important things first
This is quite similar to number four, but in a more detailed way. When you accomplish the most important things first, the rest will eventually fall into place.
Once this happens, you’ll start to feel the true balance in your life, and you’ll have more time to do the other not-so-important things. Or maybe explore the outside world more.
Haven’t finished the laundry? Don’t binge watch movies yet.
Not finished with your tasks yet? Stop scrolling on social media.
If you finish the major tasks with careful planning and organization, you can freely do non-priority ones without guilt.
6. Learn to say no
You may feel horrible when you say no to other people, or feel guilty when you resist other opportunities. Well, don’t be.
Because saying no means not now, saying no means saying yes to something better, and saying no means respecting your own decisions.
If you say yes but your heart resists, you’re breaking your inner peace, which can make things more complicated. Especially your mood and decision-making skills.
A simple scenario would be: for example, your friend asks a favor for you to hang out with her. You said no because you followed your heart. Then your child comes home from school, feeling lonely about her grades. At that moment, your child needs someone and you’re there because you stayed at home. Imagine being away for hours, then coming home to your child upset and just finished crying alone.
Bottom line, only say yes to things that your heart and instinct are OK with. Or say yes to positive energy.
7. Balance your time and energy
Time management also means energy management. Your energy levels serve as your sign whether you’re having the right balance of things or not.
If you feel that your energy is constantly draining, you have to either improve your activities or change your routine.
If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself what's blocking your energy and balance.
Is it due to work? If yes, there are useful tips on how to manage common work-related stress.
Is your workout routine draining you? If you feel this way, there are uncomplicated exercise routines that will match your busy schedule.
8. Declutter from time to time
A clean house contributes to a clear mind. Coming home from work with your house clean and tidy makes the ambiance feel more relaxing and comforting. Plus, you don’t have to clean anymore because everything’s in order.
If you’re working from home, you can focus easily and become more productive, since your environment looks calm and neat.
Declutter your closet, cupboard, kitchen,bathroom, and storages. You’ll be surprised at how many unnecessary items you can let go to make your house look more spacious and organized. Do this often.
Place bright lights and decor, use aesthetic home items, reorganize if you feel the need to, and throw away the non-essential storage or boxes.
9. Deal with the emotional baggage
Are you dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, fear, or grief lately? Most of the time, these feelings are due to past emotional baggage that you’re unable to let go. And in the long term, this can progressively worsen your physical and mental health.
It’s hard to let go, but always think that clinging on to negative energy will only make things more complicated and miserable. You will always feel lost and powerless to move forward.
10. Always check your health
Meal plans and sleeping schedules don’t always have to be complicated and forceful. You don’t have to pressure yourself to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal, nor force yourself to sleep properly, because these should come naturally.
The reason why you lack the time to eat clean is because you have poor time management. The reason why you can’t get enough sleep is because you have a poor sleeping pattern. These all fall back to tips number four and five.
If you’re running out of ideas on what healthy breakfast or meals to prepare, you can check out these two blogs:
- Breakfast Recipes That Will Keep You Fully Energized for the Day
- An Easy 7-Day Meal Plan to Increase Your Energy Levels
A simple reminder for you:
Life becomes more beautiful when you appreciate the simple things. Because it’s not how much you have, it’s how much you value everything, even the littlest things, that make life worth living.