I believe we are all looking for one simple thing in life: the pursuit of happiness.
Many times in our search we take roads paved by others. Roads that look just perfect. We believe the trip will be smooth until we realize that road leads to places we never really wanted to visit.
Fortunately, many of us conclude that happiness is not associated with how much we earn, have or collect, but rather with our ability to fully express ourselves in the world, revealing our talents as we continuously explore and develop ourselves.
It isn’t uncommon for many of us to get lost in our search for happiness. If there is a place where we can really stumble it is one that is very close: our homes.
As the space where we safely rest, recharge and explore daily life, our homes are also the physical expression of how we perceive life, experience and live it.
We pack our homes with stuff. Stuff we use daily. But mostly with stuff we never use. Stuff we have to move from this place to that place only to find that we had stuffed more there. We have become managers of stuff while our lives float adrift and we lose ourselves in our possessions.
Slowly we grow tired of the moving, pushing and shoving of boxes, piles and items, but it may take us a long time before we understand, before we make the connection between the piles and the lack of energy, of happy relationships, of healthy meals or just plain time to be.
The Road Less Traveled
If you are looking to simplify, living with less at home in order to open space to explore yourself and life more fully, let’s explore how you can find your own road.
Decluttering our home is usually the first path we take when we think of creating a simple life. Getting rid of excess is indeed a great way to make things easier on us. It’s easier to clean, maintain and care for a decluttered home with the added benefit of creating a more serene environment.
However, considering that time is one of our most precious assets and we live in a society where being busy became a synonym of being important and relevant, my experience has shown me we have more powerful results when we start by decluttering our calendar and routines.
There’s nothing more stressful than a calendar filled with activities and places to be. When we have so much on our plates, we start our days as if preparing for battle. Everything is rushed and it’s harder to live with intention when you’re fighting traffic and driving up and down the city or jumping from meeting to meeting.
Unlike we’re told, a quieter, less cluttered calendar will do wonders for our health, well-being, creativity and it brings immense benefits.
Here are 3 ways we can simplify our busy lives.
1. Don’t keep up with the Joneses.
It’s so easy to follow what others are doing, to commit to many events, to volunteer for many organizations, to enroll in multiple classes, to get our kids busy with sports (and you name it), and get every member in the family busy. But is this what you want? Is this what you envisioned back when you started your journey?
Or do you want more time to actually interact with your friends and family members?
Is adopting the “keeping up with the Joneses” mantra bringing you closer to those you love? Closer to your gifts and talents?
Eliminate the excess activities, start with the ones you find inconsequential and instead put in black out days for free time.
By knowing you have white space on your calendar will make you feel more relaxed. You know there’s a time on your week when you can stop and just be.
2. Embrace routines.
I often hear creatives saying how they dislike a schedule and a routine. How they feel “trapped” and limited in their spontaneity, but I found that embracing a routine is quite powerful and the consistency it brings, creates amazing results.
Routines are the tools that get “needs to get done” out of your way so you can do what you love. Observe your natural rhythm and plan your routines accordingly.
Are you a morning person? Then do your most creative work in the morning and adopt an afternoon/evening routine for your chores. If you are you a night owl, reverse your schedule to fit your midnight creative bursts.
Of course if you have kids and work full time out of the house, much of your routines will be dictated by them making it even that much more important to be selective with your time.
3. Don’t rush; plan.
With such busy schedules we tend to jump from place to place without much planning and it’s hard to be mindful when we feel rushed. Go against the rush and plan your time with weekly check-ups with your family and personal schedule.
Knowing ahead of time what will happen and when will give you a great sense of control and reduce any anxiety you may have about your time.
Always plan to create buffer time between activities so you can move between them fully present and ready. You will enjoy a more natural pace and those around you will appreciate your engagement.
Are you ready to take the next step? Learn more about home organization.