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Simplify Your Life

Simplify Your Life

Berkeley Organizing

Keep it simple and eliminate the unnecessary

We’ve been hearing in recent years we need to simplify our lives, get off the hamster wheel, slow down, leave the rat race, return to nature, escape corporate America and find time to be with family and friends.While our lives have certainly become busier, filled with more stimulation, increased work load, debt and responsibilities, we may have forsaken what’s important to us and forgotten what is of highest value. Yet how do we break free from the ties that bind us? How do we move back to center and have more balance in our work, home, hobbies, family, and other lives so we aren’t running non stop and finding ourselves falling behind?

To simplify means, “to streamline, to diminish in scope or complexity, to reduce to basic essentials.” When we streamline, we eliminate what isn’t necessary, we cut away that which bogs us down,that which clutters our homes and offices and which clutters and confuses our minds. We cut back on doing too much and over doing so we can more effectively manage what we have, how we work and how we interact with others.

It begins with choosing to change how we live and operate in our various spheres. If we are prone to excessive volunteering and pulled to give our time on various committees, we can learn to say “no,” to pull our energies back to where we want and need to give them. If our workload exceeds 50, 60-70, 80 or more hours a week, are we giving quality time to our family members, our intimate relationships and personal well being? Do we have time to exercise after sitting all day and eat a home cooked meal, rather than grabbing an energy bar or fast food?

Simplifying requires slowing down, which seems so counterproductive to our on-the-go culture that  some might even frown on that behavior. We need time to recharge, to reevaluate, to renegotiate, to review, renew, reduce, and re-create. Taking that time, not to sit idly in front of a TV for hours each night, spent in meaningful pursuits to each of us is key. Do we belong to a team  sports league, a reading group, an artist’s group? Do we take classes through adult education to learn new computer skills, a foreign language or something about literature? It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it provides you with the nourishment to recharge and invigorate you.

Taking time for meditation, prayer, spiritual pursuits, being in nature, can all serve as vital links to simplifying our lives. We streamline what we are doing by doing less and accomplishing more. We find ways to delegate our tasks so we aren’t trying to do everything ourselves so we can give our time to what’s most important.

Look around your living and work spaces and see if there is anything there that needs streamlining and simplifying. I bet there is. I have been practicing what I preach this year and eliminating more and more things–things I had stopped seeing that were right before me. I got rid of old papers, files, shoes, clothing, photographs, books, vinyl records, CDs, and more. I keep finding new things to eliminate. I closed down my art studio and got rid of all my paints, brushes, paintings, shelving and the like. It was a big release. I know it is necessary for me to do this right now and the practice feels like it is helping me simplify my attachment to things.

Take a look at your physical world, your work world, your relationships, commitments and see where you can simplify. Make one small change and let that lead to others. It is both liberating and supporting you in creating a life you want to live. If you need help with any of this, please give us a call at 510.501.1213 and we can help you get started.