In the current age of globalisation and technology the word simplicity doesn’t appear to fit in. But there has become an increasing realisation that it must factor in our daily lives if we are to make it through the recession and into the next phase of growth.
Business and stress have returned to many people’s lives as moratoriums on recruitment and increased pressure to perform in order to remain employed have become the norm in most people’s lives. How do you maintain this increased workload, increased pressure and increased pace of life?
The answer is we can’t; we must learn to slow down to achieve more, to simplify and to reduce.
Below are a few simple ways to reduce the workload and distress your life.
Delegation: handing over of work to another. This should become a comfortable part of your everyday life. Be it at home or at work never do anything that somebody else can do for you. We always have a temptation to do things ourselves because we think we are the best to do it. Instead of getting the office administrator to book your flights you do it yourself, instead of sending someone else to the sales meeting you go yourself, instead of getting your teenage son to clean the car you do it yourself, Instead of asking the children to tidy up you do it yourself. The reasons we give ourselves are many, we will be quicker, we won’t have to listen to complaining, we won’t have to deal with any errors or mistakes.
The philosophy to pursue is the following: Only do what only you can do! Your time is too precious to waste it doing tasks that can be done for you. Your time is too costly, work out what you are worth per hour and ask yourself would you pay someone this amount to clean your car or to book a flight?
De- clutter your mind and your environment. Schedule time to clear out your office and clean up your files, it’s amazing the psychic confusion we experience when we have a chaotic environment. Start with doing a mind dump. A mind dump clears everything from the mind and gets it down either on paper or into your electronic systems where you won’t lose track of what needs to be done.
Take a look at your working environment; remove anything in it that does not help you to complete your daily tasks. Look through your drawers and cupboards and remove the mess and non work related objects. Make sure your filing system is in reach of your desk, otherwise the filing won’t get done. Ensure that everything you need is close at hand and everything you don’t need is out of your way.
Simplify your systems
Some people use too many systems reminders on their iphone or blackberry, to do lists in their diaries and task reminders in outlook, too many systems have the effect of complicating not simplifying your life. The GTD system is a great personal productivity system to follow but this too must be kept simple.
Simplify your commitments
Are you doing too much? Check out your appointment calendar day time and evening and assess whether you are committed to too much. Maybe you are part of a committee which is taking up a lot of your time, a parents association that expects a lot from you or maybe just a hobby which adds to your stress rather than takes it away. Take a fresh look at the things that are necessary and the items you could eliminate from your agenda. Are their meetings or task groups you should participate in that could do without you? Would the meeting minutes suffice?
Reduce online submissions and newsletters etc
Take stock of your online presence, are you submitting to Linked in, Facebook, Twitter ? Which ones add value to your life and which ones are time wasters? Eliminate the websites that sap up your time and don’t give you any return. Reduce the number of newsletters and RSS feeds you subscribe to, you cannot possibly read them all.
Taking the time to simplify and de clutter your life is time well invested, by eliminating the baggage and disorder in your life you will benefit from decreased stress and increased productivity and efficiency.