A study conducted by Trends Research Institute revealed that about 80 percent of those questioned said they would be willing to accept a reduction in pay if they could work fewer hours to spend more time with their families.
It is a lovely thought, but how realistic? Working less usually means earning less—hardly an option for most people. But that doesn’t mean we cannot take small steps to simplify our complicated lives. A little bit here and there, and before you know it your efforts will add up to something significant.
1. Dejunking your life by getting rid of clutter is a cheap, fast and effective way to become physically and financially sound. It’s also the path to emotional and intellectual happiness, too.
2. Cultivate contentment by choosing to be happy with what you have. The social imperative that one must consume to be happy is what breeds dissatisfaction and nonfulfillment. The constant ratcheting up of standards demands that we constantly upgrade in order to keep up. It takes a conscious effort to desire less.
3. Write down the things you need to remember, and forget everything else. Don’t allow your mind to dwell on things over which you have no control.
4. Share, lend, borrow and rent. Part of the reason we have our love affair with shopping and consumerism is because we think we need to personally own everything we use. Before you agree to complicate your life further with yet another possession, consider the alternatives.
5. Turn off the TV. You may not realize how your household television viewing is affecting your purchasing and lifestyle choices. If you are addicted to television, kicking the habit will simplify your life and allow you to find satisfaction.
6. Drive a simple car. High-end, luxury automobiles are nice to drive, but can complicate one’s life. Typically they are gas-guzzlers and expensive to insure, register, maintain and repair.
7. Select patterned carpet. Light colored, plush carpeting is beautiful but life altering. It shows every speck, spot, fleck and crumb. If you want your carpets to look good without having to spend all your free time spotting, vacuuming, de-flecking and uncrumbing, go with something speckled, patterned or multicolored.
8. Take charge of the phone. Just because it happens to be a convenient time for someone to call you doesn’t mean it’s convenient for you to answer. Let your calls go to voice mail or get an answering machine. Getting control of the phone will add simplicity to your life.
9. Become label conscious. Unless it’s mandatory for your profession, do not buy clothes that must be dry cleaned. You’ll save time, aggravation and a ton of money over the long-haul.
10. Get up earlier. The best hour of the day is the one right before you normally get up. It may take you a few weeks to truly enjoy that hour right before dawn, but when you create the habit you will be amazed by the simplicity that 60 quiet, stress-free minutes will add to your day.
Question: Is simplifying your life in 2013 on your list of New Year’s resolutions? If so, what area do you plan to tackle first? Join in the conversation here.
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