GUEST POST BY OLIVIA OF SIMPLY LIV & CO.
Whether you’re a business owner, a blogger, a mother (or a creative in any right) the words “running a million miles a minute” are probably so ingrained into your daily life that you don’t even think about it anymore. We live in a go-go-go world where downtime is frowned upon and having a calendar that isn’t filled to the brim is out of the norm. Darting from meeting, to photoshoot, to soccer game, to self-appointed-me-time can get overwhelming. If you’ve ever ended a fully-scheduled day and asked yourself if you really even got anything done, you’re not alone.
Chances are that like most women, you have big goals, but without the proper priorities, goals can be difficult to reach at best — impossible to achieve, at worst.
At Simply Liv & Co. I thrive on “inspiring simplicity”. I love showing women how simplifying their lives — everything from their closets, to their hearts, to their social schedules — will not only help them be more productive, but allow them to find joy in what they do.
Living simply doesn’t come naturally for everyone though (myself included!) so I’ve come up with a few “steps” that can help you learn to simplify your priorities in your business, social life, and at home, so that you can get more done and love what you do.
1. Learn the Power of “No” /
It doesn’t sound glamorous or inspiring at first glance, but believe me that those two little letters can simplify your life more than anything else. More often than not, when we feel overcommitted it’s because we’ve said “yes” too often when we should have said “no”. Saying no more than you say yes takes the possibility of overcommitment off the table entirely.
List out all of your commitments (either mentally or on paper) and note the ones that are non-negotiable. Those, you can’t really say no to. Think things like parent/teacher conferences, meetings at work, or obligations that align with your values.
Then, focus on the ones that you don’t necessarily have to do, but want to do. Limit yourself to only one or two of these, so that you can truly pour yourself into them.
Lastly, any event that you’re committing to for the sake of someone else can be an immediate “no”. Causing yourself unnecessary stress or spreading yourself too thin just to make someone else happy isn’t worth it. Chances are, they’ll understand when you say you’re overcommitted and support your decision to step out.
2. Less But Better /
No matter what it is (except maybe in the realm of coffee and ice cream…) my mantra is always “less but better”. I’ll use your closet as an example, even though the rule applies to so much more than just the clothes you buy.
Instead of having an overstuffed closet full of clothes you never wear, don’t feel awesome in, and can’t really pair with the rest of your wardrobe, doesn’t it sound better (and more productive) to have fewer pieces but ensure that they’re all ones you love? If every article of clothing in your closet fits you well, makes you feel beautiful, and can be worn with at least three other pieces in your closet, it’s a keeper.
The same can apply to any aspect of life, really. Committing to do less while simultaneously ensuring that what you do commit to brings you real joy, will ensure that the things you put your mind to are fulfilling and that the work you’re producing is higher quality.
3. Lists Are Your New BFF /
Again, practicality over glamour.
Even if you’re not a “list person”, I always recommend that people at least make a “master list” of things that must get done. You can group your lists by day or by type of event (think “blog”, “social media”, “household”, etc.) but the main thing is having it all on paper. There’s nothing like the sound of a pen crossing off an item on your to-do list that brings focus and motivation to tackle the rest.
Once you’ve eliminated the excess through mastering the art of “no” and committed to doing fewer but better things, you list won’t seem all that overwhelming.
Do you often feel overcommitted and spread thin? Try these tips and watch as the stress slowly melts away as new habits take the place of old ones.
Olivia is the founder of Simply Liv & Co., an online resource and community for women looking to live simply and with intention. She shares everything from practical decluttering tips, to capsule wardrobe advice, to help with shopping ethically. When she’s not blogging, she can be found coffee(s) in hand with her two toddlers, dreaming about a mountain vacation.