Simplify your life

Simplifying your life is such a broad-sounding task that it almost – almost – seems impossible. What makes the somewhat arduous decision to change things so wise, though, is that actually doing it isn’t really that difficult at all. In fact, once you start, it’s downright easy.

Here’s why: the big payoff is that you suffer less stress. In this frantic, manic-paced day and age, when everyone is always on the go and people are always in search of the next quick fix, taking even a two-minute breather almost seems like a luxury. But when you consider the effects of simply making one or two relatively small changes, you start to wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

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One of my favorite, tried-and-true simplification methods is also one of the oldest in the book. I make myself a to-do list every weeknight. While this isn’t very complicated, it has proven to be an enormous help in keeping my schedule on track every day. Sure, I could type notes on my phone or e-mail myself reminders, but there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned notepad and pen to keep myself in check. And this isn’t just a basic “answer e-mails” and “respond to calls” list. This is a list that breaks down each day in such a way that renders it almost impossible to forget anything.

It serves as a daily manifesto, detailing whatever professional responsibilities I need to complete by day’s end. I aim for a reasonable number of tasks that can actually be completed in a day – no more, or I risk feeling disappointed or overwhelmed. When each task is complete, I cross it off the list. It’s as simple as that.

Seeing all those crossed out tasks inspires confidence, keeps me on my toes, and actually makes me look forward to the next day’s tasks. There’s something so satisfying about meeting goals, and that kind of organization makes my professional life much simpler – which, in turn, makes my personal life far more relaxed and enjoyable.

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