In this lesson we talk about simplifying our day.
Simplifying your day is a complex topic and depends on what you have going on in your life.
- you may work from home
- you may have a demanding and busy job
- you might be working a job and managing a family
- you may be going to school
- you may not have a lot during the day but do housework or projects
- you might be volunteering
There is a wide range of needs and situations.
From this lesson to the next start to look at ways you can simplify your day. Now you might not completely change your schedule in the next few days but you can start.
Simplifying your Day
- Make a list of all of your time commitments. It could be picking up the kids, classes to attend, meetings, projects, volunteering, committee commitments, friend time, playing games etc. Make the list.
- Make a second list of the 4-5 most important things in your life. For me, it was spending time with my family (mostly my wife and kids), writing, exercising, reading, mediating. Those were the five essential things that I really wanted to be in my life. You might have yoga or volunteering. Maybe you have a list of 10, with 5 at the top and 5 at the bottom. What are the 5 at the top? The truth is that if you have 10 things on your essentials list, then you are not choosing what is really important. You are trying to do everything. What are the 5 things you care about the most and want in your life? If you could do nothing else, what would those 5 things be?
- Evaluate your lists. Look at each one and evaluate. See which ones on the long list match up with those on your short list. It takes a while, but eventually, your short and long list will get closer to what is really important in your life. This then frees up much more time!
- Start to say no to the things you have already said yes to. It could be a simple email or phone call or a talk in person. Many of mine were simple emails letting them know that I couldn’t take on the projects I had agreed to because my plate is too full. Sometimes people are disappointed, but they lived and found someone else to do it. It worked out in every single case.
- Say no to more things. When requests come in, see if it matches up with your short list. If yes, it lines up, then do it! Say no to the things that don’t line up with your essentials list really helps to simplify your day.
- Shorten your daily list. For your day, pick 3, maybe 5 things you are going to do today. Have your short list of MITs (Most Important Things) and then the nonessential list of what you need to do but are not a current priority. If you have fewer things to do in a day, you create space in between.
- Give some weight to your space between. Maybe you stretch, go for a walk, meditate or read. Take a short break. Space between really helps your schedule. Don’t just fill the space with endless distraction on the internet and games and whatnot. Limit the distractions and don’t let them fill up your day.
- Take some things on the short list and do them early in the morning. Do them before things get crazy and everyone wakes up. My writing and running I do before everyone wakes up. They are important to me but I needed to find time for them so I did them early before everyone woke up. If you are not a morning person, but are a night owl, find some quiet space at the beginning or end of the day when you are going to do the things that are important to you.
Simplify your commitments over time. When you shorten your long list to match your short list, you have freed up your time for the essentials. This is simplifying your day. It may take a day, a week, or a month to simplify your commitments. Some you can cut now but you may need to fulfill some others for now. Shift them to the short list. Have fewer of them. Have fewer things to do each day and have some space in between.
See what you can do today, tomorrow, and the next day. Enjoy the space of a simplified day. Thanks.