Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Simplify, simplify


simplify red
Originally uploaded by celisa


Now that we're getting back into "the more serious time of year," with school resuming, vacations over, next year's budgeting on the docket, we're getting ready to heave the overloaded backpacks of responsibility on our shoulders. Why assume we have to be doing it this year in the same cumbersome way we did it last year and the year before? How about unloading some of that excess life poundage by simplifying things?

We could choose to simplify

  • Our schedules
  • Our closets
  • Our wardrobe choices
  • Our language
  • Our house environment
  • Our personal regime
  • Who knows what else?

A while back I was watching the Today Show while getting ready for work and Matt Lauer talked about how every time he buys an article of clothing one article has to go. There's no accumulation of stuff in his closet because he's only replacing, not adding. Wow. What if I didn't add a weekly or monthly activity to my calendar without removing another one at the same time?

Editing can be one of the toughest things to do - mostly because of the emotional attachments we have to some of the things in our lives. Perhaps we still love the dress we bought (or the jacket we earned) for that special occasion umpteen years ago, haven't worn it in ages, yet can't let it go? What makes us think that we'll forget the garment and the occasion/achievement if it's not hanging in our closet?

Here's another piece of this - your over-complexity isn't just yours. It has an impact on people around you. I might execute a project at work with my own little twists and enhancements because it's part of my own personal branding. But if someone else has to use my work plan they'll have to be completely inside my head to understand what I'm trying to accomplish. In addition, if I've got something convoluted and one change has to be made, I'm going to invest way too much time re-engineering the thing.

I'd be curious to hear where you see the biggest need for simplification in your life. Is it your calendar, your household, your method for approaching projects? Send a comment and we can take this discussion to a more specific application.

1 comment:

-- Don said...

Julie -- I'm in the process of simplifying my wardrobe. Sounds goofy, perhaps, but I'm most standardizing my business wear to khakis and white oxfords. But, moreso, I'm purchasing *only* wrinkle-free garments. No more trips to the dry cleaner to get shirts and pants pressed. MUCH simpler.

I've simplified -- of all things -- my cologne to one choice. It may change, but it's one at a time now.

Finally; I've developed a habit of putting magazines into a stack. I pull from the stack, read the magazine, and toss it. If I want to save any articles, I clip them and store them in a folder, cross-referenced to a master list. Some say OCD ... I say "organized and simple".