Have you ever thought… “Life used to be simpler?” 

This is something I recall my grandparents saying. When I’d hear them say this, I’d usually rolled my eyes and wondered how OLD they were!

Today, we have so many modern conveniences!  Phones that talk to us, ovens that will turn on by themselves at the right time to get dinner on the table, thermostats that automatically adjust to keep us comfy all the time and the list goes on. 

With all this convenience at our finger tips, you would think we would be sitting on the couch eating bon-bons all day without anything to do, right?

What seems to be happening is just the opposite. The simpler our lives could be, the more complicated we make them.

I, too, find myself making things that could be easy and simple, chaotic and difficult.  For example, I am working on a new website (more to come about that over the coming months) and instead of making it uncluttered and easy to understand, I want to keep adding more and more information.  It’s like I want to put everything I’ve got AND the “kitchen sink”, too, into this website. 

One of my instructors/mentors looked at one portion of my new site and told me she was confused.  She asked, why was I adding so much to it?  That’s when it hit me – Keep it simple. 

Simplicity can apply to almost any part of your life, whether you’re running a business, interacting with your family, doing chores or planning a vacation. 

Why do we try to make it so much more complicated? Are we trying to show off?  If it’s easy, does it mean less?  Or, is something that is difficult the only thing that gets rewarded? 

I feel that often if there isn’t a struggle, people do not value the experience as much.  That’s sad, isn’t it? 

What if…

  • You started valuing simplicity more than struggle? 
  • Things happened easier and quicker without all the drama of a struggle, how would that feel? 
  • Keeping it simple would give you more time? 

What other benefits could there be when you begin to take the simple road vs. the complicated road?

Here are a few tips to help you keep it simple:

Ask: “How can I keep this simple?”

Starting a new habit of asking this question can make a big difference.  If you’re picking an appetizer to take to a dinner party, asking yourself, “How can I keep this simple?” may lead you to a forgotten past appetizer that is simple to make and very yummy.  The trick with this tip, is to remind yourself to keep asking yourself the question. It won’t be long before it becomes one of your favorite habits!

Do a Brain Dump.

When you are faced with a big task, take 10 minutes of focused uninterrupted time and write down everything swirling around in your head about this task.  Don’t judge it.  Don’t edit it.  Just write it down.  Once it’s out on paper, you can begin to group things together and start to put a plan in place.  Before heading off to tackle the first step, do a sanity check by asking the question from the tip above, “How can I keep this simple?” 

Could a 5-year-old understand it?

When I worked in technology, many of my colleagues would love to talk in “techie terms” that only other techies would understand. It made them feel important and they thought it made them indispensable.  UGH! Communicating clearly and briefly (this is something I’m working on…) can be so much better than trying to show off. It saves time.  Everyone can be on the same page so much faster and “it”, whatever that is, can be finished much sooner. 

Keeping it simple in a complex world can be challenging to do, especially, initially; however, it can also be very rewarding too!  What will you do with all of your extra time?

Helen Kosinski
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