Improve your life by avoiding not simplifying it …

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. (Leonardo DeVinci)

Why make it simple when you can make it complicated?

This maxim, several people seem to have adopted …

You have heard a thousand times this advice: to improve your daily life and reduce your stress, you must simplify your life.

But that is easier said than done …

What to start with?

Here are some strategies that will help you see things more clearly.

Simplify your life -

"Revolutions" by Michel de Broin

The strength of simplicity

Here's a very encouraging truth: our initiatives do not have to be complicated or difficult to deliver great results.

And as the American writer Henry David Thoreau said, "Our lives are wasted by the details. "

We must simplify!

Here are small initiatives that can make great improvements to your life, at least if you want to simplify it …

1. Keep an honest perspective on your life

Take a moment to consider all the responsibilities and activities you have.

Are certain choices unnecessarily burdens your life and deserve to be reconsidered?

What was relevant a few weeks ago or a few months ago may not be so much.

If you are honest, you will probably find at least one thing that drains you unnecessarily of time and energy and that you can eliminate.

And do not hesitate to repeat this type of verification often.

This is the basis of the 80/20 principle: 80% of the time you spend doing things only brings you 20% of your results.

A small household could lighten everything, right?

2. Eliminate everything you do not need

With time, objects accumulate and hinder the proper functioning of our life.

The idea here is not so much to free oneself of time but of space.

Diogenes of Sinope, a philosopher of ancient Greece, had chosen a barrel for any dwelling.

It helped him focus on the essentials.

Diogenes' syndrome, on the other hand, consists in accumulating a large quantity of objects that are useless.

We sometimes adopt the attitude related to this syndrome, without however paying into the pathology …

Do you subscribe to magazines that you never take the time to read and these accumulate?

In addition to the lost space, the things we accumulate often make us waste the time we spend managing them unnecessarily.

One strategy is to keep only things that are essential to what you really do.

Exit the famous "just in case" …

My father spent many hours collecting, sorting and storing a lot of DIY and construction objects: screws, mismatched nails.

They never served.

In other words, eliminate everything you are not sure about.

With the wisdom of the philosopher, you will create a sober context that will help you focus on what really matters.

Did you know that…
Occam's razor, or "principle of simplicity," is even the basis of scientific research. It states that it is useless to multiply the reasons for demonstrating facts, or that the simplest explanation is often the best … In other words, if you saw a strange shadow on a lake at dusk, it will be simpler, more useful and more rational to invoke a physical phenomenon such as condensation than the impromptu visit of an extraterrestrial phantom cloud …

3. Nothing is perfect in this world …

We often like to give the best of ourselves until … perfection.

When we try to reach perfection, we embark on an extremely demanding path.

Perfectionism can give beautiful results when one is able to finish.

But this is only at the cost of a crazy amount of work and attention (often useless) to the details.

We then flirt with discouragement, and we prevent ourselves from doing many other things that would bring quality of life (relaxation, relationships, entertainment) or more results.

Perfectionism is almost a pact with the devil, and it is an agnostic that speaks!

So, the next time you feel that this little craziness of perfection is rising in you that is raising the tension, take a deep breath and remember this simple truth: perfection is not of this world.

Instead of "perfection," then you will choose what is "really acceptable," and you'll loose your teeth.

To achieve this, however, you have to agree not to judge yourself too harshly. Here is an article that will help you if you judge yourself to have to always reach perfection.

4. Agree not to control everything

There are some things we care about a lot, but we do not control.

This is the case of our children, for example.

We want them to be happy, but when a problem arises, we are sometimes quick to question our role as parents and the quality of our education.

Simplifying is also about letting go of everything we do not control, even important and emotionally charged topics.

By focusing less on what should happen but you do not control, you will focus your energy on the best dimensions of your life.

Another example is the cult of productivity that our society is suffering from voluntarily and giving itself unrealistic models resulting from consumerism, itself one of the consequences of the bidding of advertising on our lives.

This model, as stressful and unhealthy as it is, influences us a lot.

In the wake of this quest for productivity come all devices and mobile applications.

Do not get me wrong: I'm not against technology.

I even like to use it to simplify my life.

The problem arises when we believe that, inevitably, because they were invented, these technologies will necessarily simplify our lives.

On the contrary, measuring how many steps we make per day can be useful or useless "data".

This is useful if you really use this data to do something about it, like to really motivate you.

But if you just want to exercise more, whether you know how many steps you make per day or not, it will not change anything either for the purpose or the solution: you just have to exercise more.

Adding a measure to the effect that you do not do enough will not simplify your life.

And there are applications to measure your sleep, the depth of your navel, your number of blinks and to find out if your dog's barking sounds the right tone.

This obsession to measure everything (to control everything), takes a lot of time, which does not rhyme so much with simplicity.

In this case, simplicity would consist in making sure that what we decide to add to our life, like these many measures, really brings us something of great value compared to the time it adds to worrying us every day.

We could then reformulate the principle of simplicity (Occam's razor) in the following way: "It is not because it exists that it is necessarily useful …"

5. Experience your spontaneity

The routine has its advantages, especially in that it minimizes unpleasant surprises.

But a life too routine becomes bleak and loses all its attraction. Routine, though not complex in itself, makes life a lot heavier.

So before thinking about suicide, it is good to be open to new things, to be surprised.

Spontaneity is the royal way to achieve it.

For example, leave yourself moments of spontaneous choice where only your personal taste is entitled to decide, moments that come out of all your obligations.

Make a trip and let chance decide everything!

Fight your prejudices and try to do something you have never done but do not inspire you.

You may have some nice surprises.

Give yourself a little room to breathe: this will help you get to know you better at the same time.

6. Reduce your debts

This strategy can bring unusual benefits to your life.

According to Statistics Canada and the Bank of Canada, the average household debt ratio reached a record 124% in 2005.

That meant an average of $ 1.24 in debt for every dollar earned annually.

This sad record is broken every year since and in 2015, we reach almost 164%!

Consuming can be exciting, but not being sure you have enough money to meet your financial obligations is extremely stressful.

Of two evils, is it not better to choose the least?

I will provide personal finance strategies in this blog, and good debt management is a great way to make life easier and sleep soundly.

Simplifying your personal finances will reduce your stress level and the pressure you are experiencing.

And once your debts have reached a more acceptable proportion, be careful not to see them inflate again!

7. In closing, here are 3 more small strategies to simplify your life:

Plan daily.

The bigger the tumult, the more it is imperative to plan.

But planning does not mean rigidity.

The challenge is to find a balance between constant and effective planning and the flexibility to adapt to everyday changes.

Fight against the syndrome of immediate action.

Instead of dispersing yourself, simply completing the current action will greatly increase your sense of accomplishment.

Learn to be satisfied.

A tragedy of our affluent society is to suggest too many choices.

Get inspired by Epicurus, a philosopher of antiquity, who encouraged his contemporaries to be happy by desiring less.

Avenues to deepen the subject

  • What can you start to simplify right now in your life?
  • Are there any negative memories that you are still struggling with that contribute to some discomfort? If this is the case, to simplify your life, what can you do to let go?
  • Are there misunderstandings and unspoken things that have slipped into the relationships with the people who matter to you and who have helped keep you away from them? If so, simplify your relationship by speaking frankly but with respect what is wrong. Write down what you can say, take your courage with both hands and take action quickly to make things better.

If you liked this article, know that it is from my book Ask yourself the right questions. You can get it in ebook version to read it in full.

Suggested readings to go further:

And you, is your life simple enough or complicated?

Tell me what are your best tips in the comments!

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