Does your life feel complicated? How would it feel to keep it simple? During the pandemic we were forced to be less busy. Life was simpler, albeit stressful for other reasons. Living with less activity sparked a reset for many people. Now that life is returning to more “normal” rhythms I am wanting to stay at a slower pace. My word for the new year is Simplicity. A simple focus fits, although simple won’t be easy. You are welcome to join me in discovering the beauty of simplicity. This month’s research into all things simple has been inspiring. Here are the top five areas where I am seeking simplicity in life over the next twelve months. Maybe some will resonate for your journey to keep it simple, or inspire you to seek simplicity in other life spaces.
When I moved into my new office in 2019 I carefully curated every piece of furniture, art, and book that entered my space. I have been intentional to not accumulate excess with my limited space. The office stores only the essentials. It is a peaceful space. My home is more random. Simplicity was not my mindset when I moved into my home over twenty years ago.
Using the simple principals of Marie Kondo, one room at a time, I hope to create greater calm in my home. Less time managing stuff will allow more time for rest and creative pursuits. Thinking about decluttering the whole house feels overwhelming. Where to begin? Fortunately I discovered this five minute video to get unstuck when my motivation is lacking.
Simplify work flow
With a calm space in place at work, it’s time to develop simple systems for administrative tasks. My efficiency in certain business related action items is hit or miss. This year I plan to schedule time for the predictable (sometimes boring) to dos. Instead of running into deadlines, I will attempt to “batch” certain activities together. This is not the same as multitasking. Batching will involve scheduling similar activities together at regular intervals. Examples would include data entry for taxes, and creating blog articles within a bigger block of time. My mind can stay “in the zone” and work more efficiently on tasks that I tend to procrastinate. I think it will be rewarding to prepare taxes without the last minute crunch, and to post twelve times this year. Stay tuned.
The pandemic shook up many of our regular time commitments. Last year my word was balance and I began slowly recommitting to the activities that aligned with my priorities. This year will build on maintaining prior progress with a special focus on relationships, creativity, self-care, and volunteerism. There will always be pulls on my time, but simplifying what I say yes to will result in a less complicated life.
Work-life provides a structure to the middle of my days, but the bookends of morning and evening are not well defined. I am curious to research routines that will give me smoother transitions. One tip I will be starting this week is writing my “to do” list at night. The purpose is to pre-organize my materials and direct my attention so I can see progress in my efforts. Just like a recipe, I can gather my “ingredients” for the next day and if I’m missing something I can simply make a new plan. My cookie baking practice may serve me well in building this new habit.
The “anti-diet” movement has captured my attention both personally and professionally. I’m convinced that the diet mindset has complicated our relationship with food. I’m ready for simple health. My focus will be on fitness through activities I already love, and eating slowly and mindfully. The new year finds me seeking fresh air for movement, and real food as the star of simple meals at home. Researching nutritious and fun recipes will add to creative kitchen time.
Keeping it simple
I look forward to a slower, less cluttered life in the days and months ahead. Simplicity will be the thread that ties my daily intentions together. Is this minimalism? I am not sure yet–still researching. Maybe a modified minimalism. It is important for me to find transformation in all that was lost and changed during the pandemic. The past three years have been so complicated and chaotic. Let’s make time to keep some things simple.
Health & happiness,
Dr. Lisa Marotta