Life is full of complications, distractions, and mayhem-foolishness and nonsense . . . AND it probably is making your business suffer.
I’ve seen businesses fail for the sole reason that a person’s personal life was barely hanging together by a thread. Simplicity gives your mind, schedule, and heart creative space.
Creative Space Is a Doorway to a Thriving Business
I will share 7 ways that I’ve created some creative space in my life. I don’t expect you to think ALL of them should apply to your life – in fact, I anticipate that some of them might even make you cringe.
I’m most concerned with you looking at your life in new ways to find creative space that is unique to your lifestyle and goals. You’ve got to fight to find your own life of simplicity.
Read on in hope that you’ll find at least one tip that you can apply to your life of simplicity:
One – Quit doing so many dishes.
I’m a nerd, therefore I know it takes like 30-45 minutes per day to do the dishes for our family of 4. For a season, we bought some paper plates and cups and we recycle them all. We haven’t done dishes for 4 or 5 days and the world hasn’t collapsed. This might not be for everyone, but this simple action “purchased” us almost 4 more hours this week. After 24 years of mowing the lawn, I hired someone to do it. We “pick up the house” most evenings to keep things from getting out of control. How can your daily chores impact the simplicity of your life?
Two – Schedule your priorities.
Call me boring, but I know approximately what I’ll be doing at any point of the day on any given day. You can only have one priority at a time and by scheduling my priorities in advance, I’m giving myself a better chance at achieving them. Our children’s bedtime has a routine that eliminates most drama. My wife and I are able to look at our priorities in our schedule and if something needs to happen at the last moment – we are calling an “audible” that tweaks a set play instead of inventing a new playbook every day.
Three – Create a workable & fun meal plan.
We sit down together for dinner every night – all together. Monday is fish and salad. Taco Tuesday Takeout. Wednesday Sandwich (hamburgers, chicken, etc). Homemade pizza/salad on Thursday. Breakfast for dinner Fridays. Saturday play it by ear. Sunday leftovers from lunch with my parents. There is a rough structure here, but room for variety in each category and it’s food that the kids like. We pray together, share one thing we each did during the day, and read a library book to keep the attention on food going into the mouths of the 4 & 6 year old. Dinner can be stressful for many, but it should be peaceful.
Four – “Small-size” your wardrobe.
I just donated 3 large bags of clothes – most of it was what I call “corporate office apparel”. Buy quality. Simple colors and patterns that can mix and match. My wife is choosing to accessorize more. Have good “staples” in your wardrobe and buy only things you LOVE. . . don’t just keep it because you only “kind of” like it. If somethings been hanging in your closest for too long without you wearing it – get rid of it. Take “sentimental clothes” and put them in a storage bin – not your primary closet.
Five – Do your shopping in batches.
Shopping robs you of your time and energy – most people underestimate how much time this necessary task takes. Write down what you need to research or purchase on a list. Wait until one day of the week to do all of the shopping at once (in person, online, or both). Realize that the 3 hours to find the perfect product for your need/want might be overkill when you could spend 10 minutes and achieve 95% of the benefits. Also look for ways to shop less in the first place. More stuff is not simplicity – buying just the “right” stuff is.
Six – Focus on tasks that “multiply your time”.
This is a tip that I’m just starting to put into practice at a higher intensity. Don’t just keep juggling your priorities each day (work is so important that exercising drops…then you gain weight and focus on your health so much your social life suffers….then you focus on improving your social life so much your work efforts fall and you’re back in the same cycle). Start looking for ways to eliminate, automate, delegate, and procrastinate your tasks away by giving yourself permission to ignore, invest, choose the imperfect, or do a task incompletely. Read Rory Vaden’s book, Procrastinate on Purpose and send me $1,000 for the hot tip – the book really is that good!
Seven – Know where you’re going.
Everyone has seasons or cycles of life. Make sure you can identify what your season is all about and always be about those purposes. Our family’s focus right now is on the core themes of simplicity in our daily lives, freedom in work, leaving a spiritual legacy for our family, and pursuing “deep waters” (opportunities that are bigger than ourselves). We took weeks to write these out, talked them out with friends, and we “own them” with no doubt in our hearts and minds. It is a two page document that we can refer to make sure we are on track. You’ve got to know where you are going or you will end up anywhere and everywhere.
Final Thoughts From Jason
Simplicity will not happen magically in your life. You have to constantly seek it out and keep modifying your behaviors. Complications will sneak in – it is inevitable. You must hunt them out and remove them.
A simple life really can help your business thrive by removing distractions and improving focus.
Saying, “I’m too busy” your entire life is a weak excuse – it’s ok for a season, but it should not be the norm of your life.
I hope you are now thinking about ways to simplify your life!
Regards, Jason Malinak CPA of Etsy-preneurship.com