Simplify to do what you love.
That’s really the message I want to share with you. But how do you simplify when there’s so much you want to do well? You don’t want your house to look like a train wreck everyday because you’re doing what you love. That becomes projects without the peace, and we want both: Peace AND Projects. At least, I do.
Where does that feeling of balance exist? From my own trial and error, I believe you have to start with a basic foundation. If you’re working smarter – not harder – in these three areas, you can have more fun and get some amazing work done, too.
Plan ahead. Living in the moment is a lot easier to do with these essentials in line: Food, shelter and clothing.
- Create a weekly meal plan. Head over to The Organized Home for the long version of this tip.
- Grocery shop using a master shopping list. Click here to download mine (items are in order of how we navigate the store) or revise at will.
- Pack snacks and water for long car rides or shopping trips. Granola bars, nuts, crackers and fruit are easy to grab and go. This saves money by avoiding fast food and convenience stores, too.
- Live like a small house. A minimalist approach to personal possessions means I spend a lot less time cleaning and decluttering. Get as much off the floor as possible and donate the stuff you never use. Here are some really good posts to help you get started.
- A guide to creating a minimalist home from Zen Habits.
- Clear the clutter you can’t see from Be More With Less.
- Managing common household clutter from Serene Journey.
- Get and stay organized by subscribing to Unclutterer.
- Find your laundry groove. I like to wash and dry everything in one day, dump in a big pile on the floor and fold it all at once.
- Store things like cloth napkins and wash cloths in a basket and quit folding them.
Turn off distractions like the cell phone, TV, social networking sites and email. When you need to get something done, give it your attention. Single-task.
Set a timer. Take 10 minutes and see what you accomplish. Then give yourself permission to stop or take a break when the bell sounds.
Break up with social networking sites. A friend recently sent me this email: “I am breaking up with Facebook! There is too much life to live and too many baby giggles that I don’t want to miss.” That really sums it up. If you want keep your Facebook relationship, consider limiting the time with a timer or checking it once a day.
Limit email checking. The more emails you send, the more you’ll get. Give it your full attention once or twice a day instead of each time the ”new mail” icon appears on the screen.
Spend time in solitude. Filling your schedule to bursting never feels like balance. Give yourself permission to be alone.It could be on a walk, sitting on the couch or a moment with the bedroom door closed. Tell the people you love: “I need to be alone for 15 minutes.” Lay down and daydream. Rest from the demands of those who need you.
Exercise. This is still one of my top picks for feeling less stressed and overall better about yourself.
Reflect. Are you really spending time on the things you love to do? On some days, the answer for me would be “no.” We can change that. If you want to write a novel – like I do – you have to take the time. So figure out what you really love and start doing it – It doesn’t have to be work related. It has to be you related.
Try this: Write down the top three things you love to do. Things that really matter to you. It could be your life’s work or your extended family or your marriage. Look at the list. This is where you should spend your time.
I truly believe that time is a gift and it’s precious and you have the choice to do something great with it. You can. Today is the best day to start. Today is the best day to do something amazing.
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Change your life with tips from my book, The Hybrid Homemaker. Click here now.
Photo by charamelody