Simplicity’s Plan | In-Between the Pages

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Build a Plan and Stick it Out (Image: Shawn Ward)

The last two posts in our discovery together on simplicity were spent on what simplicity is and what some of our past/present experts have discovered about it’s very positive affects at optimizing us.

This last post for the series we will lay out examples of plans to build simplicity into your habits daily. We will build some work around getting to simplicity and staying there.

A simple start can be with your technology, particularly your smart phone if you have one. Smartphones are rated as one of the biggest productivity killers and creators of complexity in our work lives. Fact, over half of the people surveyed by a CareerBuilder.com survey stated the biggest distraction at work were employees using their cell phones.

Several months ago I learned the simple power of just deleting apps I didn’t need, I thought I needed. I went from what you see in the before photo below to the after photo below.

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Before Konmari (Image: Shawn Ward)
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After Konmari (Image: Shawn Ward)

The power of this simple filtering not only decluttered my phone so I can optimize better, it got rid of a lot of noise those apps created like notifications and badges that distracted me every time I woke the phone up. I applied the Konmari method to the apps. Did they bring me joy? If not, why have them on my phone? This is a simple exercise that can be applied to your computer’s desk top files, your tablet, and any other technology you have at work or home. It’s a great way to try the Konmari method with out getting completely submerged. You make it through this and your ready for next.

Bruce Lee said:

It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.

We have to practice hard at being aware. Another way we can practice is being more aware of when we mindlessly succumb to consumption and spending. I am a terrible impulse shopper. I like it, I buy it. I create my own distractions and clutter in my home life which leaves zero chance for simplicity to live in my personal life. A simple practice is to create a list like below of things you did’t buy that at the time you thought were essential.

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Things I Didn’t Buy List 30 Day Challenge (Image: Shawn Ward)

Reflect on all the things you thought you needed, but didn’t get. At the end of a month of logging in your journal what you didn’t buy, it will be a  great reminder and reward for yourself to celebrate seeing, knowing you’re a lot less cluttered in your life.

This next exercise is a little more drastic, but effective at practicing simplicity in your life. Pick a room in your home. Go through that room using the same approach mentioned above with the apps exercise. Look around while in it, is there anything that doesn’t bring you joy? If there is, grab a box and put that item or items in it. Once they box is full, remove it from the room, and take a pause to see how that room now feels to you. What’s it say to you? How does it feel? Focused? Less cluttered? If yes, then rinse and repeat. If no, keeping working on it.

It takes time, don’t be discouraged. Once it feels just right and you have no more boxes full of stuff and the room looks great, make this space your space to come and be in the moment with simplicity. The regular practice of adding yourself to what simplicity feels like visually on a regular basis is a great best practice to remind where you should be if you’re feeling off track. Have one room that will always be a go to for what simplicity can look and feel like. This room, like mine in my own home, will quickly become the room where your most productive and creative ideas spring from.

That’s the series and I hope you found your own way to simplicity in them. Thursday we will start a new series. I’m hoping you’ll cast your idea for what it will be on the Twitter spot @onthepages. Just reply, retweet, or DM me with your ideas.

Thanks and hope your start to the week is going well. Thanks for reading!

Shawn

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