Simplify Your Life

Life today can be very complicated. Many of us are pulled in multiple directions every day by commitments to work and family.  Many have responded to the pressures of modern life by seeking ways to consciously simplify their routines and attitudes at home and work.

"The goal of living a more simple life is not to arrive at a static point in your life, but to become skilled at balancing your personal relationships, workplace issues, finances and other demands," says Heather G. Mitchener, coauthor of The 50 Best Ways to Simplify Your Life.  Here are four suggestions that may help:

Slow Down - If you feel like you have too much information in your life take a few steps to decrease the “info overload.”   Stop subscriptions to magazines, newspapers or e-mail newsletters you rarely have time to read.  Leave the radio and TV off unless it is something that really matters to you. Turn off your cell phone unless you're making a call or waiting for one that is important.  And remember, texting is not a “life requirement.”

Get organized - Begin by sizing up the problem areas in your home or workplace and making a plan of attack. If you're easily discouraged, start with a small, confined area, such as a single drawer. Otherwise, target an area that gives you the most grief. Your goal should be to clear out clutter that causes you to waste time, for example, a hall closet that has become a catchall for everything from clothes to sports equipment.

To reduce the amount of "stuff" in your home, ask yourself these questions before you buy something: Do I really need it? How often will I wear or use it? Where will I store it? Is there a reason why I must buy it?

At work, learn to focus. Multitasking can be an asset, but often the lack of focus it requires means you actually get less done in a day, or less done well. To increase your focus and break free from distractions:

  • Begin each day by setting priorities on what you want to accomplish.

  • Check e-mail at set times, rather than letting each new message interrupt you.

  • Set aside a time to retrieve voice mail and return calls.

  • Keep a calendar of your deadlines and obligations.

Be in the Moment - One way to simplify your life is to practice mindfulness -- to slow down and recognize and appreciate the simple things in life. To be mindful is to simply stay in the moment and be conscious of what you're doing. Don't think too far ahead or keep looking back.  "When we look ahead constantly, we not only rush through the less pleasant tasks, we also tend to hurry through the things we love to do, because we're always thinking or worrying about what we have to do next," says Ms. Mitchener.

Consider a Call to HealthQuest EAP - The HealthQuest Employee Assistance Program (EAP) specializes in confidential assistance for just about any of life’s concerns, especially resources and strategies designed to simplify your life.  Call confidentially 24/7:  1-888-275-1205 (Option 7).