I am compulsively productive. I always need to be doing or rather achieving something, I even have to schedule in unstructured decompression time.
I have recently started what is potentially the most challenging role of my career and definitely the one I want to succeed at most, I know there is a need to simplify my life in order to succeed.
I’ve come off doing 2 jobs for the last 6 months. This is in addition to two startups, two blogs, running regularly, settling into a new (old) country, personal development needs and other productive activity.
Simplifying one’s life is either pruning back the leaves or chopping off the branches. It is also like spring cleaning, the less disciplined I am in protecting my attention in-between “cleans”, the more I have to do. Each time I do this exercise it’s quicker and easier.
If you can relate to the above, here are some practical ideas that I am doing or have done before to help simplify – Start by recognising that all of these are reversible – maybe pick 1 or 2 to start with and see how your attention anxiety is reduced:
- Unsubscribe from newsletters and promotional emails – protect your inbox(es).
- Close or consolidate email addresses. Decide between having all together or separate, depending on how frequently they should be monitored, volume and whether they are conflicting in your attention.
- Delete apps from your phone that you don’t use or want to use less (the mobile versions of Facebook and Gmail are fine and less intrusive) – remember they can be re-installed. Is it time for a phone detox?
- Switch off WhatsApp notifications (mute) of noisy groups or people.
- Switch off other notifications, digital noise produces a lot of anxiety.
- Take a break from meat, alcohol, dairy, news media and/or social media – a week, a month, what works for you?
- Do a frugal experiment.
- Close redundant accounts or overlapping
- Dropbox and Google drive and one drive?
- Netflix and Sky/DStv?
- Google music and Spotify?
- Evernote and One note?
- Clear out clutter in your house – Time for a general de-clutter?
- Start by theme or room
Pick 1-3 of the above to do and see it as experiment, observe the impact on your life.
What steps do you need to take to simplify your life?