Streamlining Your Life
People frequently complain about a lack of time. Is there a realistic way can we steal back precious hours for what we really want to do? Streamlining your life may be the answer. Call a halt on “putting up” with things, which is essentially a trap that consumes energy and is not good for you.
We live in one of the most affluent cultures that the world has ever seen, with unprecedented access to technology designed to simplify our lives. And yet time is in short supply, taken up with people, possessions, tasks, habits, rituals and routines that make us anxious, drain our energy and do not give pleasure or add value to our lives.
John Lennon of the Beatles famously said: “Life is what happens when you are making busy other plans.” And busyness is contagious. While we are preoccupied with our self-imposed obligations, ambitions and endless to-do lists, our real friendships get neglected, our bodies expand and migrate south, our children’s childhoods pass, and we never get around to writing that novel/taking that trip/learning that skill or whatever our real desire or passion is.
It takes energy to be really happy with your life. Make a note of what’s currently dragging you down, and then add to it as you read through the areas of life listed below. Get rid of all the physical, mental and emotional clutter you have accumulated over the years and you will gain the time, space and inclination to enjoy life more.
Physical clutter is everywhere: on our shelves, in our pockets, purses, cupboards and floors, even on our computer. Do you use it? Does it give you pleasure? If not, then get rid of it. The acquisition cost is in the past. Those things you hang on to use up your energy every time you pass them as you try not to notice them.
Identify the stuff you do not want. Now you have four choices: sell, give away, donate to charity, or dump. Keep the rest, repairing anything that needs fixing and organizing proper storage so that everything has a place. Tackle this in stages, perhaps an hour or one large item a week. It may be hard to start with but you’ll be amazed how good it feels.
Mental clutter is an even bigger energy drain. It has three primary manifestations: information overload, aspirations, and busyness. All three are highly addictive and are valued by our society.