I’ve gotten the call to simplify my lifestyle over the past few years.
Aside from allowing space for personal growth in the midst of an ultra-busy life, these changes have enabled me to hold onto my peace even when I’m feeling overwhelmed. My marriage, two kids under three, three big dogs, a full-time job, and a business inspire and overjoy me daily – but the sheer number of responsibilities in my life mean that I have to be very intentional about self-care and energetic maintenance. That intentionality has caused me to shift in small ways so that I can make the most of the time that I do have.
These are some practical shifts that have helped me to maximize my time and energy.
- I’ve started asking for God’s help up front.
God, our guides, and the angels are all there for us at any given moment, and although it’s tempting to try to solve the problem and then ask for help if there’s a hangup, it’s a lot easier to just have the help up front. There are so many things that I’ve been able to solve quickly and easily by asking for assistance ahead of time, instead of waiting to reach a stopping point like I used to. Sometimes the struggle is necessary for growth – but a lot of times it isn’t. And that extra step of initial faith can ultimately make a big difference in time spent.
- I’ve stopped getting mad.
Of course there are still things that have frustrated me and that I’ve had to deal with, but somewhere along the way I recognized that being angry was hurting me the most – taking my time, energy, and focus away from the things that really mattered. When things spark my anger, instead of spending time stewing over them, I clear my energy, look at the situation as an observer, and ask what the lesson is for me. Sometimes it’s patience (hello, toddlers flipping light switches repeatedly), sometimes it’s about perfection (you mean it isn’t possible?), and sometimes it’s something else entirely. But if something triggers me, it’s for a reason – and that reason is where the lesson lies. In finding the lesson, the anger dissipates . . . and I can dedicate my time and energy to more important things.
- I’ve made gratitude a way of being.
It is so hard in the moment sometimes, but if I can pause and just be grateful when I’m starting to be overwhelmed, it really puts things into perspective. Difficult situations are a catalyst to growth, and gratitude for that growth – even if it seems like there’s nothing else to be grateful for – can often clarify perspectives and solutions. (And if something’s really difficult and just can’t be improved after significant effort, it probably isn’t meant to be anyway). Gratitude also has the benefit of raising my vibration, so a lot of my stress and frustration falls away naturally as I vibrate higher and higher.
- I’ve minimized the stuff in my life.
As someone who has always been ultra-prepared and super-organized, I have a lot of things . . . and I’ve had to really whittle it down to what matters. Part of that came from moving 1200 miles – there’s really only room for so much – but a lot of it has been to make energetic space for the more important things in life. Things like my wardrobe, shoe collection, and book collection have been dramatically minimized. We don’t even have a dresser or a dining room table at the moment – and our space has felt so clean, open, and inspiring without the extra physical blocks in the way. The amount of time I’ve saved by reducing focus on these things cannot be overemphasized.
- I’ve reduced time spent running errands, shopping, and generally taking care of small needs for my family and me.
Over the years, I’ve developed a pattern of stocking up at sales and forgetting about errands for long stretches in between. This goes for everything from pantry staples to necessary toiletries. I’ve also developed a short list of places that I trust to supply the goods that I need – I focus on American-made, healthful, quality items that I can consistently rely on, which minimizes not only research time spent on new products, but also time spent visiting and purchasing from multiple places.
I’m still getting the call to simplify things, and I’ll continue to do so in order to become the most efficient and effective version of me. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the extra time and energy that come from the shifts I’ve made.
If you’ve had the call to simplify your life, consider which of these tools resonate for you.