If one of these five roadblocks to simplifying is holding you back, take one small step today. Build your UnBusy Life. It doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. Do your thing.
An abundance of people worldwide are waking up to the idea that they no longer need to live a busy, over-stimulated and fractured life. While minimalism is without a doubt ‘on trend’ in interior design, people are also starting to apply the concept of simplifying in a broader sense across their lives.
If you are one of those people, with a life so full you don’t know which way to turn next, you might have decided that you want to embark on a journey to simplify your life. In fact, that’s probably why you are here.
5 Roadblocks To Simplifying
But, you might find one or more of these roadblocks to simplifying stop you in your tracks.
1 | Your life feels too complicated
Firstly, recognize that this is a journey that will take time. It’s unrealistic to think you can drop everything and hibernate to a cabin in the woods. But there is something, something small you can do today to release the pressure.
I like to imagine my life as a spiderweb. Each strand represents a part of my life, small or big. And at the core of the web is my ‘why’ or my purpose. Why do I do all the things I do? If each strand isn’t deeply connected to my ‘why’ it will weaken the whole structure.
Take a strand of your web at a time and ask yourself if it matches up to your why. Does it help you get closer to who you want to be as a person, and what you want to do with your life? If no, then perhaps this is the first strand to consider letting go of.
2 | You don’t have time
This was me. The idea of simplifying sounded great but also sounded downright time consuming and I already had an overflowing calendar. I sat on ideas about decluttering and taking steps towards a more curated life for months… and months. What I didn’t realize was that all I needed to do was take one tiny movement towards that life.
This is not a race. It’s a journey that might take you years. Remember that each small step you take to simplify (I’m talking practically here, like the regular use of a meal planner or setting up a capsule wardrobe) is going to save you time in the future. Some systems to simplify do take time to set up but the payoff will eventually outweigh your initial input.
3 | You are saving items for a rainy day
Perhaps you have decided to start your simplifying journey with your physical belongings. There are so many different methods to do this. And one of the most common struggles that arise when decluttering is the ‘just in case’ mentality.
You haven’t used your popcorn maker in three years but you keep it because you might need it one day? Sound familiar? Sell it or give it away, reclaim the space in your cupboard and buy yourself a coffee with the proceeds! If you do find yourself in a position of needing a popcorn maker in the future – maybe you could pop the corn on the stovetop or find one to borrow?
I think this is particularly relevant for those big ticket items you purchase for one-off jobs. I love the concept of tool or toy libraries for this exact reason. Borrow the items for a fraction of the price!
Adopt a simple rule such as ‘if it hasn’t been used in the past two years, I get rid of it’, and stick to it.
4 | You suffer from FoMo when it comes to social media and entertainment
One way our lives can feel incredibly complicated and busy is via the excess consumption of social media and even traditional mediums of entertainment. And one of the main reasons this happens (besides from not being intentional about screen use) is FOMO – fear of missing out. We keep refreshing our feeds every few minutes just in case. This ‘just in case’ mentality is keeping our brains in overdrive to the point where we feel exhausted just looking at our computer screens.
Take some time to consider a digital detox. This doesn’t need to mean giving up Facebook. It might simply mean intentionally curating your feeds so that we have less to see and see more of what matters.
5 | There is hard ‘heart’ work that needs to happen
Sometimes simplifying your life means working through some big emotional barriers. Part of simplifying might mean letting go of relationships that don’t serve you or even harm you. This is hard but important work and will ultimately help you get closer to simplifying your life.
Physical decluttering often involves big decisions around sentimental items. There’s no easy answer here and every person and every item may have a different outcome. But taking the time to work through these things will bring a sense of freedom and accomplishment.
Slowly but surely
Build your simple life slowly but surely. It doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. Do your thing.
If one of these roadblocks is holding you back today, decide to take one small step to tackle it. Good things take time, and simplifying is a good thing!
Meet Emma Scheib of Simple Slow & Lovely. Emma gained her Masters in Psychology in 2013 and has since worked full time in corporate research positions for government agencies. She recently gave up her ‘dream job’ to pursue being a (happier) mum, living a slower pace of life. She is dipping her toes back into her long-lost love, creative writing on Simple Slow & Lovely. Connect with her online here: Blog | Facebook | Instagram