Got an hour? That’s enough time to map out a plan to simplify and find more time and energy with some minimalist tactics. This quick exercise hits the “hot spots” and creates results and momentum that move you toward bigger changes. This blueprint applies the simple living 80/20 rule to quickly make progress on issues that are stealing your time and energy.
Step one: Assess
Grab a journal, a coffee, and find a comfortable spot. Then, list 3 specific elements of your life that are consuming the your time, energy and money. Here are some big categories and some ideas for hot spots to target:
- Work: dressing for the office, commuting, unproductive socializing, eating low-quality food for lunch/snacks, procrastinating with social media, news sites, texts, etc.
- Home: disorganized kitchen; overflowing closet but nothing to wear, lack of “your” space where you can read, create, breathe, cluttered entryway that adds to morning chaos.
- Kids: toys, toys, toys(!), over-scheduling, lack of routine, not enough help from partner.
- Health: no movement you enjoy, lack of sleep, no time for self-care, no time to prepare food that improves your health.
- Creative/Spiritual: Not enough time/money/energy to pursue projects that feed your soul, like crafting, traveling, drawing, whatever brings you joy.
Step Two: Define
Get very specific about the hot spots you identified. What exactly is the problem? If your kitchen is disorganized and keeps you from making healthy meals, is it because you don’t have the right kitchen utensils or maybe too many kitchen tools or maybe your pantry lacks the essentials for quick, nutritious meals (and contains too many boxes of macaroni and cheese!). Get specific and figure out exactly why these areas are a problem.
Step Three: Make a Step-by-step Plan with a Deadline
Once you have your three areas and the details of the problems, it’s time to make a plan. And, to set a deadline to make it happen.
If you targeted your kitchen, maybe you could list 5 quick, healthy meals that you know your family would eat and decide on the pans, tools and pantry items you need for those meals. Once you know what you want to create, list the steps you need to make it happen.
For example, you could organize all the pans and utensils you need for these meals to make them easily accessible. Then, list the pantry items you should keep on hand to make these meals on short notice. Finally, create a handy list in you phone of the fresh items you need for the meals, so when it’s grocery time (on-line or in person), you won’t wonder what’s for dinner.
Now, set a deadline. Will you implement in a week? Two weeks? The timeframe doesn’t matter, but your commitment does. Pick a timeline that works for you and make it happen.
Once you’ve had three successes with your hot spots, you can look to less urgent areas, and rinse and repeat toward a more minimalistic, energy-filled, simple life.