We have never had so many tools, methods, techniques and so much information available to help us be more productive. However, many offers and proposals lead to less productivity and satisfaction and thus to more stress and chaos. If we could cut down on all that we had, would we then be more productive? “More productive and happier,” assumes Leo Babauta, in his best seller,The Power of Less.
Yes, simplify our lives, but how?
1) By identifying the essential
2) and eliminating the rest. Simple, right?
We all have limits. As human beings, we can consume, digest, understand, read, do, choose and appreciate only so many things. When we exceed this limit, we lose ourselves.
Paradoxically, having limitations will increase our freedom, not the opposite. It will force us to make choices.
What? What can we limit? For example:
• The number of suppliers and products we use
• Equipment and tools
• Seed varieties
• Meetings and associations
• Information received
• Clothing, trinkets and toys
• Children’s activities (classes, TV watching time)
• The number of daily tasks to accomplish
• Time spent on the telephone
• The number of future projects
• E-mails, websites visited, etc.
In fact, each category of activities may be rethought by setting limits on it.
How? Select the situations that have the most impact. One way to do so is to make the selection using one or more criteria, such as:
• What gives you the most satisfaction in your life?
• What are the most profitable in the long-term?
• What brings you long-term recognition?
• What has the most positive impact on your family, peers or company?
• What respects your values?
• What are the most useful?
• What you will still find relevant in 20 years?
Or: To start, ask yourself which part of your life is overburdened.
• Ask yourself what should be simplified first.
• Choose an area, and set a limit,
• then continue with another area, and note the benefits.
Why? Simplifying your life has several advantages:
• it reduces stress
• it enables you to focus on ways to avoid spreading yourself too thinly
• it increases effectiveness
• it increases satisfaction
• it leaves time for what is truly important
We do not have enough time, energy and room for everything. Therefore, we have to choose to set limits for ourselves. Then we will be freer.
Work Psychologist, professionnal speaker, author and business coach