How to simplify your life


For me, simplicity rests on the premise’ Less is more’. Choose a few things that create meaning and happiness in your life and do them well.

Because attention is a limited resource. It requires mental and physical energy that your body can create only in limited amounts. The more you scatter it over a heap of activities and objects, the more distracted and complicated your life becomes.

While researching for our new book, ‘What You Seek is Seeking You’, co-authored by Brian Tracy & me, we came across research which indicated that as far as the workplace is concerned, distractions take up almost two hours a day for most employees. Most of them spend 11 minutes working on a project before they become distracted by something else, after which it takes them 25 minutes to again focus on their original project. Imagine if we conducted a similar study for our personal time!

So one of the biggest tools for simplifying your life is accounting for the attention you give to many areas of your life.

I suggest the below 7-step formula to create a more simple and productive life.

1. Be Present– Being totally present and in the moment puts you in the zone for great results. When you sitting with your spouse, be with your spouse. Don’t think of the unfinished report and vice versa. Or for instance, don’t leave your Twitter, Facebook and Gmail open while you work. Give you 100% attention to whatever you are doing at that moment.

2. Practice the “Power of the Hour” or the 20-20-20 formula– Your inner life influences your outer life and the outcomes you create. Every morning, spend 20 minutes in exercise, 20 minutes of meditation and 20 minutes of reading something inspiring. A daily practice of this habit will help you center yourself and give you a great head start for the day ahead.

3. Create a stop-doing list– Challenge every activity and object occupying your life. Ask yourself “why am I doing this and what could be done to eliminate the need for it.” Fill up your life with things you love to do vs. things you like to do. In fact, reward people who bring up ideas for your “Stop Doing” list. It will help both you and others to create more valuable time.

4. Organize around a tight set of priorities– Every night before you go to sleep, outline the 3 most important activities for the next day and begin your day with them. Do not start any other thing till you have completed them. Don’t do the easy stuff simply because it’s there.

5. Measure your time like a budget – Since we do not measure time, we do not know how we lose it. Measure the time you spend on an activity daily and follow this activity for three days. It will tell you where you are expending needless attention and energy.

6. Stop over-consumption – This includes consuming excess food, shopping for what you don’t need, watching too much television, and spending too much time on social media. This will substantially reduce clutter in your head and the space around you.

7. Spend time with people you love – Ensure you spend time daily with people you love, admire or mentor. Find time to do things with them, talk to them, and be intimate with them.

Azim Jamal

Courtesy: Speaking Tree