You know that feeling… when you can’t seem to breathe for all the demands on your time and the stuff that needs doing.
Whether you work full time, study full time, or you’re a stay at home parent, life is busy. It asks so much of us, not just in the form of family commitments, social events, and our career or life-calling, but also in the form of life maintenance. By that, I mean all the subsidiary tasks that you have to deal with to function like a (reasonably) normal human being.
Vacuuming tile floors, washing, ironing, tidying, paperwork, bills, letters, repairs, gardening, fixing, phone calls, errands, post, holidays… you get the idea.
When you can’t seem to find a moment to take a deep breath and enjoy the sounds of everything around you, maybe what you need is to have less in your life.
Less possessions, less commitments, less distraction, less baggage.
When you fill your world with stuff, and you spend your days rushing around getting things done, you are working at full capacity.
That book you dream of writing?
That instrument you’ve always wanted to play?
That country you want to visit?
None of those things can happen in a life that is already full up.
Something has to give.
Which is why I am such a big proponent of minimalism. I know what it is like to live under layers of clutter (both physical and emotional), but I also know the wonderful peace and freedom climbing out of all that stuff can bring.
Having less physical possessions will save you time and create space in so many ways – less cleaning, sorting, organizing, maintaining, tidying and washing. Less lost items, and faster and easier access to all the things you do have.
If you reduce the things in your life, you will discover an empty space, one that can be either cherished for what it is, or filled with something you have always dreamed of doing.
By reducing the clutter and commitments that you have, you can find the time to do something else – something more meaningful.
When you finish a 40 hour week at work, or your kids finally fall asleep at 8 pm after an exhausting 16 hour day of looking after them, do you want to turn to piles of paperwork, piles of laundry or piles of toys?
Imagine something else.
Imagine that at the end of your commitments, at the end of your workday, there is space for you. Space you have created because you took away all the things that were not a priority for your time or energy.
How would that feel?
This isn’t just a fantasy; there are real concrete steps you can take to make your life simpler, starting today, right now.
- Clear out all the rubbish in your home, especially paper items(newspapers, magazines, junk mail, catalogs, etc.)
If you can’t bring yourself to throw things out, try boxing them up and putting them in the loft, or garage, especially old “hobbies” that you aren’t currently spending time on (learning a language, building model planes, jewelry making, etc.)
- List all your current projects and commitments and be 100% honest about whether you want to spend your time on them. If they are not serving your goals or increasing your happiness, let them go.
- Reduce the number of trips, and the time, that you spend at the shops. Shops are full of things designed to tempt you into parting with your cash. But if you can’t find the time to use what you already own, why do you need more?
- When decluttering in the home, focus on clearing floors and surfaces for the biggest impact. Not only do clear spaces make a room feel lighter to be in, but they also make cleaning and tidying away much easier.
Don’t be afraid to let things go. Feel good about giving to charity or passing things on for free. You are helping someone else and yourself, so everybody wins.
- Life is busy. And that is a good thing. But don’t let the busy-ness of it stifle the ability to create a life full of things you enjoy.
By letting things go, you give yourself room to grow.