Keep it Simple

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All this talk about choosing your “word of the year” has inspired me. The thought of making it that easy, of simplifying a resolution down to one word that resonates and guides me really stuck with me because who has the time for much more. So, keeping with that theme, I’ve decided my word will be: Simplicity! The more I think about it, the more I’m recognizing that the universe is keeping this concept at the forefront of my life. With only a few days into 2018, it’s already hit me like a ton of bricks a few times.

There are many areas of my life I’m seeing could use some simplifying: Feeling frustrated about making a budget perfect…why not start with a small spreadsheet and build out over time? Overthinking the perfect wording for that sales email…why not just focus on what matters most to the recipient? The house making me crazy because there’s stuff everywhere…yep, you guessed it, why not get rid of everything that doesn’t matter and simplify?

The more I do this, the lighter I feel. It may seem so obvious to some, but the perfectionist in me has taken a long time to even consider a simplified and iterative approach. In case this resonates with you, I thought I’d share a few of the things I'm doing to help alleviate the mental load, simplifying to leave space for clear and efficient thinking:

1.     Tackle the hardest stuff first. By getting the least enjoyable stuff crossed off my list first, I can eliminate that awful feeling that comes with procrastination. Better yet, when I get to the work I’m excited to take on, I get to take my time and enjoy it.

2.     Put everything on an electronic calendar. Everything. I stopped writing to do lists and, instead, started scheduling a time to handle each task. It helps hold me accountable and keeps me from taking on too much. The act of putting an item on my calendar feels very deliberate and ensures that I’m spending time on things of value. It also helps a lot with the next item...

3.     Say ‘No’ to events and activities that drain me. Once I started adding tasks to my calendar, it was very clear (and very visual) that my social time is limited. Seeing that has been helping me to evaluate and spend my limited time on what brings me joy.

4.     Clear all the clutter in my house & reduce my wardrobe to essentials. Because, seriously, who has time for all that laundry? Being able to grab an outfit and go in the mornings has been really wonderful for my routine. Once I took a closer look at what was in my closet, I realized that I didn’t even wear half of it and someone could really use it more than me. Talk about joy – dropping those bags at Goodwill made me so happy!  

When I left my corporate job to start a coworking space in Columbus, OH, I expected there to be long nights, complex problems and a lot to learn, but I didn't really expect the second-guessing and anxiety. As any (honest) business owner will tell you, when it's all on your shoulders, the roller coaster of emotions are real. It was a very tough adjustment for me to not be able to walk away or turn it off when I needed to, so I’ve been searching for a way to make space for joy and gratitude. It's a lofty goal for 2018, but simplifying is already helping. Here’s hoping that clearing out the mental and physical clutter in every area of my life will help provide peace and clarity! What’s your word for 2018?