13 March 2006

Living The Simple Life

What would happen if you simplified your life?

No, don't tell me you can't. You made it complex, you can make it simple. The choice--there's that word again--is entirely yours.

Here's an example of simplifying life: How often do you check e-mail? Personally, while working at My computer, I used to check it every 15 minutes. Now I check it every 3 hours. The difference? I gain about 30 minutes more time to work on higher-priority issues than spam, press releases and the very occasional urgent message.

A simple change in e-mail use simplified My life and I gained the benefit of better workflow. Why didn't I do it earlier? Because I bought into the myth of "always connected" as a definer of My work's value.

Stepping back to take a look at My life, I realized there were other areas I could simplify:

-- Less TV: I watched about 10 hours of TV a week; now it's down to 2. (Except for the World Baseball Classic games.)

-- Fewer newsletters: Dropped from 55-60 a week to 23.

-- Fewer bookmarks: I have over 6,000 bookmarks in Opera. Decluttering is a tension reliever, so I refiled over 5,300 of them to an archive file, keeping only the ones I'll use for writing. Doesn't seem like a big deal? I now own those 750 bookmarks as part of My work rather than being overwhelmed by clutter. (Try it in your home or office: you'll see what The Jenius means.)

-- Said "No" more often: Reduced My commitments so I'd have time for what I really want to do.

-- Discovered a website I'd bookmarked in October 2005: Live Simple. Created by John December, it is a very personal guide to simplifying one's life. (This is what I mean by "owning" a bookmark: I could now review it to My heart's content and gain new insights for My path.)

December's take is direct and blunt: simplifying your life is more than an option, it is a duty. Your health, your family, your relationships, your career--your very life--depend on eschewing complexity and embracing simplicity.

Take a trip through Live Simple and choose just one idea to implement in your life, like The Jenius did with his e-mail. You almost certainly will discover a horizon of benefits that you never knew, or wanted to believe, existed.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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