“Clutter is not just the stuff on the floor - it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living” - Peter Walsh.
After last week’s post, we decided to make a little experiment and ask people what comes to their minds when asked about “Clutter”. Was it physical or mental one that they thought of first? And NOT to our surprise, 96% answered “physical”. We tend to ignore mental clutter because we can’t see it. But just because we can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
There is no really one right way to start the process of simplifying your life but we think it’s beneficial to take care of your mind first and then work your way outwards. It’s a long journey to a clear and clutter-free mind and we want to take you along with us! We started with the The first 5 STEPS that you can take to simplify your life, but it doesn’t stop there. There is so much more that we are not paying much attention to but it takes up that precious mental space which could be used to store something way more important:)
So today we want to continue exploring some of the endless possibilities of clearing the path towards our priorities!
Say NO and Own It!
There are so many reasons why we find it hard to say “NO”. Mostly because we are too kind and do not want to appear rude, so we end up having our hands full with things that are not adding any value to our lives and leaving us drained with just a little bit of energy left to do what we need for ourselves. How many times you’ve agreed to something and moved your priorities on to a second-place? If you’ve noticed a pattern there, then it might be the time to stop feeling guilty and start practicing saying “NO”. In the beginning, you might feel uncomfortable and unsure if you are doing the right thing, but that definitely does not make you a bad, unkind or unhelpful person, it makes you stay focused on what’s important to YOU.
Another important part of simplifying your life is to understand who around you is draining your energy. Richard Branson once said: “Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you”. People in your life can either Inspire or Drain you. There are those who only take but never give, they bring you down instead of lifting you up, they second guess your decisions and never support you when you need it most. It’s not easy to “break up” with certain people, because deep inside we are afraid that we won’t find another friend or significant other. Sadly sometimes it might be even a family member. What we need to remember is that by eliminating those toxic people from our lives we are actually creating space for the new healthy relationships. The ones that will make you feel like a ray of sunshine on a rainy day:)
Well, we are guilty as charged! Seems like postponing things might be just part of human being's DNA to some degree. “Little bit later”, “Not in the mood for it today”, “I’ll find time for it sometime during next week”,… Sounds familiar? There might be a few reasons for that:
- Those things are not THAT important and you won’t find time for them no matter what. Here is the news, if you haven’t found time for it until now, chances are you never will. So accept the fact that these things are just not as significant and let them go.
- Your plate is too full and you don’t even know where to start. Take all the big projects and divide them into smaller ones. Handling a small task would be so much easier. You won’t feel too overwhelmed and will move slowly but surely through your To-Do list.
- You might be scared to start because you are not sure how long it will take or even whether you can do it at all. Well, that’s a curse of perfectionists :) We are so afraid to do something that won’t have an imagined outcome that sometimes we keep on postponing things for when we have better skills, mood, ideas…The key to overcome this is just to start and believe in yourself. You are capable of way more than you give yourself credit for!
- Or you simply just don’t want to do it. Then you just need to figure out if you can let it go or just get it over with.
Whatever the reason that holds you from doing anything, it helps to know it. Only then you can pull a plug on procrastination, prioritize and finish tasks that have to be done.
Stick to Your Choices
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and FOBO (Fear of Better Options) are two traps that we are constantly getting ourselves into EVERY SINGLE DAY! From minor decisions such as what to watch, what to eat, to life-changing ones like a new job, moving across the country, buying a house. We find ourselves in situations where we believe that something better might come along or get overwhelmed by too many choices. So we end up either not making a choice at all or not being satisfied by what we have chosen. We are talking here about small decisions that we keep on wasting time and energy on by stalling off. Trust your judgment, don’t second-guess yourself, and once the decision is made move on. When it comes to more significant ones take the time to weigh your options and make the choice that feels right for you.
Avoid “What Ifs”
This one can go two ways:
- Regretting something that happened in the past, and constantly thinking about what could have changed if we had made a different choice. This one always hunts us down when we feel like we failed at something, and the best remedy here would be to concentrate on what you can actually change in the future rather than dwelling on the past. There is definitely nothing that can be done there. Instead of looking back try to look forward
- If you a worrier then “what if” might be one of the pillars of your thinking, and you are not a stranger to a bit of anxiety. When your mind tricks you into thinking that “What If” strategy will actually help, in reality, it’s an enormous waste of energy on something that usually never happens. The best way to deal with it is to trick our mind back into positive thinking by changing “What If” into “Even if”. This little wordplay significantly changes the mood from feeling afraid to encouraged to deal with anything when or if those scenarios will occur.
The process of simplifying is different for each person, there is no one right template on how to do it. It’s a constant work on ourselves and what might work for some, will not work for others. Pay attention to what drains your energy, what takes more time than it should, what makes you feel overwhelmed and stressed - and you’ll know the exact place to start! Identify what’s holding you back and create a life with endless possibilities!
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