Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stressing over Simplifying

In three installments last week, I published a list of 72 ways to simplify your life that I found at zenhabits.net. I think it's a really great list. As soon as I found it, I knew it would help me on my quest to declutter and simplify. The problem, as is always true for me, is my perfectionist personality.

You see, perfectionists are not perfect. They just feel strongly that they should be, and that's the problem. Being one, I feel as if I should do all things perfectly, and preferably yesterday, which of course is a huge reason that I've had trouble simplifying. Simplifying your life is a huge, overwhelming task, and since I couldn't do it all right away (and perfectly), in the past I didn't do any of it. I just worried over it and stressed about it.

But this time, I'm doing it differently. I decided to choose a few items from the list, implement them, and when I've accomplished those or feel comfortable with a new habit, I'll choose one or two more and move forward.

So far, so good.

The first item on the list instructs you to make a list of your top 4-5 important things. By realizing what you value most, you'll be able to prioritize your decluttering and simplifying accordingly. So, here's mine:

  1. Spending time with my husband, family, and friends.
  2. Having time for non-work-related reading.
  3. Living and working in a peaceful and orderly environment.
  4. Being well-prepared to do my job.
  5. Exercising and eating healthfully.
  6. Having some time for myself every day. (No, this is not a duplication of my pleasure reading priority. More on this later.)

OK. I cheated. But that's my top six.

Come back tomorrow for the next step in my quest for simplification.


Heather Manes said...

Have you read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse? It follows a Brahmin man as he simplifies his life, including encounters with Buddha, a courtesan, a merchant, and a ferryman. I think it would go along pretty well with your endeavors to simplify your life. :)

Ash said...

Wow...TOTALLY identify, and I guess that's why I can't seem to simplify...