“I have come to accept that Ii can’t experience everything in this lifetime, but what I can, I will experience deeply” ~ Shivya Nath
As a business owner, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to keep things simple around here.
Now, I have somehow 10x’d my desire to rush through my to-do list as fast as possible, I get upset when I can’t seem to get everything done within a day, I’m always thinking about my clients, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to be present when I’m with family or friends. My mind is always running on autopilot, thinking of everything else I should be doing instead of taking a break. Let’s not even talk about social media! I feel like I’ve failed my weeks if I don’t write content for my blog, keep up my visibility on Instagram, have an aesthetically perfect picture, or haven’t quite conquered the concept of having a good theme. You know what I’m talking about?
I’ll be honest with you, a part of me misses those pre-business days when my plate and my life were a lot lighter. I wish I could just slow down this fast-moving train, put my phone down, take a peaceful nap, read a book for hours, forget about social media, and maybe even binge watch my favourite TV shows without the feeling of guilt.
However, more than anything, designing my own creative career has been a dream come true. So I’ve asked myself, how can I simplify my life and still achieve career success? Brainstorming the creation of boundaries and discipline around my time, peace and happiness has led me to these beginner-friendly ways that I will incorporate into my life to empower me to live an abundant and purposeful life, with less.
Being a solopreneur and having to deal with multiple software and systems to keep this business running is no fun. So instead of clouding my mind and confusing myself with all the latest progressions in email marketing, social media advertising, landing pages, webinars, team-building and so much more, I’m downsizing my focus to the core essentials that keep my business progressing upward and allow me to do what I love.
Simplify The To-Do List
As a real perfectionist, I always feel like everything on my to-do list is a top priority. But in reality that’s not the case. It’s going to be a challenge at first to not focus on every little thing I want to accomplish, but having bee-line focus on completing my top priorities is what I should actually care about, and not beat myself up about not finishing the rest that don’t fit in with what matters most at that point. By simplifying my to-do list, I will be able to identify my core priorities, finish my tasks faster, and open up more space for less stress and more joy, and maybe even more acknowledgement and success. That way I can slow down and consciously immerse myself into each task. Sigh…bliss.
Increase Simple Eating
Instead of eating random junk and drinking random sugar-filled juices, I plan to incorporate more conscious eating so that I can protect the vessel that allows me to create. This means more whole grains, more fruit and more vegetables. Healthy eating will give me greater boosts of energy, help me to control my weight, and aid in keeping my body disease and illness free. This also means drinking a lot more water than I already consume too. Stocking up on more water than my favourite juices will definitely allow my mind and inner organs to function like well-oiled machines. Water and healthy eating kick physical chaos to the curb. I know it’s a must!
The media is extremely distracting. Without meaning to, what was supposed to be a 10 minute browse through social media or flicking through the TV guide can lead to me spending over 2 hours excitedly reading content from my favourite websites, nosily looking through my peers social media posts, or engrossed in a movie or TV show. It’s really bad. So, to save on the hours spent mindlessly sucked into the media vortex, I plan to spend one day per week media-free. The television will be off. The social media notifications will be down. And I’ll be giving my favourite blogs and websites a 24 hour break. On this day, the hours will be spent doing simple things that make me happy – journaling, losing myself in a book, spending time with family, phoning a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while, and taking a walk in the nearby park. Things like that.
Decluttering can be quite a time-consuming act – especially if you have a lot of stuff. However, spending a portion of time each week or each day to downsize your wardrobe, closets, drawers and shelves can make potentially the biggest impact on having a simple life. Therefore, I plan to make a more conscious effort to get rid of the mountains of clothing that I no longer need or use, and find a home for all of my keepsakes. One place I especially wish to create a minimalist look is my workspace. I plan to move all books and gadgets that have nothing to do with the tasks at hand, clear my desktop of all unnecessary documents, and turn on those creativity apps for distraction-free work. This will only leave room for my laptop, a pen and pad, a comfy chair, a glass of water and myself. Starting with a simple, distraction-free workspace will give me more space for creativity, more room for new ideas, and more peace of mind – which leads to less stress and more joy.
Make Time for the Simple Pleasures
This is the most important one for me because I’ve been failing in this area a lot. The constant feeling of having something more important to do than enjoying my life is my daily battle. Therefore, to combat this, I plan to discipline myself with a few new hobbies. I will spend time in solitude so that I can enjoy deep self-reflection, listen to my intuition, and journal my thoughts and insights. I will practice deep-breathing meditation for 15 minutes a day to calm and clear my mind, reduce my stress levels, and bring more patience into my life. I even plan to become more mindful of little things like laughter with my family and friends, laying on clean sheets, and feeling the heat of the sun. Other times I will focus on doing absolutely nothing, which is a very difficult thing to do. I’ll practice spending that time resting and visualizing the accomplishment of my personal and professional goals. These new hobbies will allow me to refresh, rejuvenate, re-energize and renew myself. Which is much needed every week.
Get Rid of Gym Membership
Instead of surrounding myself with the chaos of gym equipment, countless people and waiting my turn to use the weights, I am going to go out and get some fresh air. Surrounding myself with less people and more nature screams peaceful simplicity. I will use that time usually spent within those gym walls to start running, walking and doing more outdoor physical activity. Not only will I save more money, but I’ll be able to enjoy the fresh air, and beautiful surroundings. After a run or a walk my endorphins are racing and I just feel so good about myself. Not to mention, I see physical changes in my body at a faster rate too.
Say No More Often
Saying yes to everyone and everything is a sure way to open the door and warmly welcome stress and anxiety into your life. I’ve been there! The desire to people please comes from a good place of being empathetic and sensitive to others’ wants and needs. It means you enjoy making others happy. Which is an overall good thing. But what happens when making others happy no longer makes us happy? What happens when we can’t deliver on our “yes”? To avoid these stressful situations, and stop senselessly giving my time and energy away, I am finding it okay to say “no” with confidence. Saying “no” with confidence, maybe with a brief explanation, means that I’ll be respected more by others, I’ll regain respect within myself, my time will be better managed, and I’ll be saying “yes” to the few things and experiences that I actually care about.
Overall, living a simple life is a challenging task in today’s world of hustle, distraction, and information overload. To create a simple (or simpler) life requires mindful implementation, new habits, and self-discipline. It ain’t gonna be easy! However, simple living makes life easier, more enjoyable, more peaceful and makes us happier people. I’m ready for more of that in my currently busy life. Who’s with me?
Photo: [Artem Bali – Pexels]