Less is more. I don’t know who said it first, but they were right. I find that the less I have on my plate, figuratively and often literally, the better I feel.
Have you noticed that complicating things that could actually be simple has become a cultural norm? Have you ever tried canceling a magazine subscription or changing mobile phone providers? Automated systems that were designed to simplify, more often than not, don’t. The last time I tried canceling one of my two subscriptions to the same magazine (trying to save a tree!), the computer on the other end just kept trying to extend my subscription!
It feels like everything I need to do requires me to follow a link, prove I am a human, wait endlessly on hold, or remember a zillion passwords!
I know I am not alone in my frustrations as friends and clients have shared similar stories with me. But this is the life we are all living, so the question is: How can we become part of the solution to simplify rather than part of the problem?
Instead of complaining: “This is way more complicated than it needs to be,” take action to Keep It Simple, Sweetheart.
Think of K.I.S.S. to remember. I first heard this saying in an AA meeting years ago, but apparently the phrase was coined in the seventies by Kelly Johnson, the lead engineer and creator for government spy planes, in reference to keeping design simple so average mechanics could repair the planes. I think she was onto something.
In this blog, I am going to share with you the steps to keeping it simple.
1. GIVE UP ON BEING PERFECT
We complicate things by seeking perfection. If you have ever moved a task on your to-do list from week to week, without any plan of actually getting it done, you may be experiencing perfection procrastination. The best way to work through perfectionism is to create actual deadlines for tasks you have been avoiding. Get it on your calendar. Once a task is scheduled with a hard stop, the likelihood of getting it done increases exponentially.
2. REALIZE IT DOESN’T ALL HAVE TO GET DONE
Life is full of processes. And processes take time. If you can view your to-do list as a step-by-step process, you will release some of the constriction a ticking clock can create. When you allow yourself the space and time actually needed to accomplish certain goals, you set yourself up to succeed. Through process and consistency, you might be pleasantly surprised with how much you can accomplish.
3. FOCUS ON WHERE YOU CAN SIMPLIFY
For most people, time is a precious commodity, as there are only twenty-four hours in a day. Simplifying as many parts of your life as possible will free up time to be with your family, work on your business, meditate, or relax more.
In order to create more time, give yourself permission to simplify by cutting corners where you can. Simplifying may look like ordering out once a week to save time on cooking. Or, perhaps hiring a house cleaner twice a month. If money is tight, band together with other moms or dads to work out a few hours a week that you can swap watching each other’s kids. There are creative ways to simplify if you look for them.
Ultimately, the art of simplifying is about ridding yourself of complexity that creates stress, exhaustion, and overwhelm. Trying to be it all and do it all is the perfect recipe to do less and feel let down. I see so many of my clients waste precious time and energy beating themselves up for not getting it all done on time and perfectly. Even if they do manage to get it all done, the process is not joyful. By trying out the steps above, you can create a simpler life that you can actually enjoy!
The process of life should be joyful, and it can be if we stop making everything so complicated.
@Terri_Cole (Click to Tweet!)
I am so excited to hear from you in the comments below! Please let me know what step feels most right for you to start practicing now. Where in your life can you simplify, and how are you going to go about doing it?
Wishing you a simply joyful week, month, and year.
Here’s to K.I.S.S. (ing) and taking care of you.
Love Love Love