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How to Simply Simplify Your Life

It's kind of funny how people get when they decide that they need to simplify their life. Instead of figuring out an easy and relaxed way to do this, they freak out over it. They make all sorts of massive lists, all sorts of pie charts and Venn diagrams. They read thirty books on the subject, and eventually end up complicating their life ten fold in their attempt to simplify it. Think about it this way- doesn't it make sense that a system that will effectively help you simplify your life will be, well, simple?

The first easy step towards effectively simplifying your life is sitting down and making the smallest list possible about what you find to be most important in your life. Don't do this on your computer. A txt or word document is potentially infinite in size, and this will make it possible to make a massive list, or to use a complicated process to create your list. Instead, just take a regular piece of paper (either ruled or computer sheets) and fold it up a couple of times. Ideally, you want to only give yourself to write five things down. Figure out what the top five commitments are, the five most important factors in your life are. Think about what you value, think about what makes you most happy to spend your time on, think about what helps you grow and move forward in your life. Figuring out your priorities is the most important thing to do.

Once you know what your priorities are, subtract one from the list. Go through, figure out what's least important to you, and then remove it from the list. Chances are there's at least one item on your list that you put down there because you feel obligated to rank it as a top priority, even if it brings you neither joy nor progress in your life. Don't kid yourself, and cut the emotional hold it has on you now by removing it from your list. You will not have a mostly accurate list of what's most important in your life. Focus on these things to the exclusion of everything else. Do what you need to so that you can pay your bills and what not, but do the minimum to fulfill your obligations and the maximum to pursue your priorities.

Now that you've made an emotional and intellectual commitment to that which really matters to you in your life, you need to make it a physical reality. Go through your life and remove those things that don't contribute to your priorities and that aren't needs like earning enough money to fund your life. Clean out your desk, clean out your drawers- clean out your computer desktop your inboxes and your to-do lists. Remove all those things that are simply weighing you down and doing nothing for what really is important to you. Just purge those things in your life that will continuously be associated with unimportant aspects of your life. For those items and folders that are related to your financial and other necessary obligations, put them out of sight when you're not using them. For everything else, make sure what you see at all times has a positive association.

Now that you've decided what's important and cleared out space for it in your life, I'm going to make one last suggestion. Look over your list of priorities. If one of them is having a fulfilling social life, then great. You need to be with people to be happy in your life, you can't just be an focused goal machine at all times. If enjoyable human interaction is nowhere on the list, then remove the least important thing remaining on your list and replace it with leaving your house and enjoying your life with people you love.

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