Are you a "human doing"-- running from place to place, over-scheduled, over-committed, with your priorities lost in the trivia of life? If so, this ebook is for you. With it, you can adopt tactics to reduce the clutter of your life, the complications of your daily routine, and your living costs in terms of time, energy, and money. This ebook about gaining the abundance that a simple and peaceful life can offer.
Are you facing the need or desire to simplify your life? You might be newly laid off, retired, or a student, homemaker, or entrepreneur who has to make do with less. This ebook can help you restructure your life. Or perhaps you have decided that your current profession, although well paying, is unfulfilling. In this case, you could simplify your life so that you could pursue your more desired, but perhaps much lower paying, way of life.
This first section introduces you to the idea of simplicity by looking at case studies of complex lives. I will describe how the people in these case studies could simplify their lives. I'll then describe how you can start to use this ebook to simplify your own life.
Consider Kyle's situation:
CASE STUDY: Kyle is a single father raising his four-year-old daughter, Nicole. He gets up at 6 am, dresses and feeds Nicole, and drives 30 minutes from his home on the west side of town to bring Nicole to the daycare center on the east side of town. Kyle then drives fifty minutes to the south side of town where he works as an engineer. Off work at 5 pm, he drives on Tuesdays and Thursdays directly to evening classes at the University on the north side of town. On those days, he doesn't pick up Nicole until 8 pm. On other days, Kyle does errands and shopping after work. On many days, they both don't get home until 9 pm. Then there's only enough time to eat, bathe Nicole, and put her to bed. Kyle sometimes stays up late to clean the house, but he finds that his energy and attention are so low he sometimes ends up watching TV. On the weekends, Kyle's ex-wife picks up Nicole for a visit until Sunday afternoon. But for Kyle, the weekends involve more driving around town to accomplish the shopping and errands he could not get done during the week.
Can you relate to Kyle's situation? Do you seem to drive around town a great deal but have little satisfaction? Is there anything Kyle can do to make his life easier?
For Kyle, I suggest he try some tactics to simplify his daily routine. He can consolidate his shopping trips and see about rearranging his work schedule. He could start doing this with tactics in "Hone Your Routine." His choice of where he lives seems to lead to a great deal of driving. "Optimize Your Place" should help him re-evaluate his location. "Live Your Dream" could also help him re-think his priorities among working full-time, going to school, and raising a child. He should use "Tap into Resources" to reconsider the support (or lack of it) that he is getting from others. By simplifying his life, he might be able to spend more time with his daughter, complete his education faster, and probably be more satisfied with his life.
Perhaps you, unlike Kyle, have routine things under control. However, you might find yourself in an unexpected change in your employment status. You may have been laid off or suddenly have less money than you had been counting on to live. Consider Maggie's situation:
CASE STUDY: Maggie's employer forced her to retire early. Now Maggie will get less retirement income than she had originally planned. With her husband George, she owns a big house in the suburbs; their children are all grown. George had retired just the previous year but works as a groundskeeper at a nearby golf course. He enjoys the work, and it brings in extra money. They have paid off their house mortgage, but the property taxes have risen again, and they can barely meet these tax payments in addition to the rising maintenance costs for the house. Maggie is isolated all day in the house. George takes their car to the golf course. She tries to clean the house, but their lifetime accumulation of possessions fills the attic, basement, and garage. One spare room contains so many boxes of papers and old periodicals that guests can't stay there. Maggie grows more perturbed that George spends so much time at the golf course.
Maggie doesn't seem to have a complex life. In fact, she seems bored. But is there something Maggie and George could do to improve their lives? Their house in the suburbs is big, isolated, and full of things they probably don't want.
I suggest Maggie and George immediately use "Rule Your Stuff" to purge all the unwanted things they have in their home. Then, after reading "Live your dream" they should be able to state more clearly their hopes for their lives. Then they could revisit their choice of where they live in "Optimize Your Place." The rest of this ebook will help them simplify their daily routines and use of resources.
Perhaps unlike the previous examples, your life is less complicated by particular things or where you live. Perhaps you seem to just experience a disappointing daily routine. Consider Kevin:
CASE STUDY: Kevin gets up on Saturday, reads the newspaper and has coffee. At 11am, he feels like he should do something, so goes to the grocery store, which is full of people. He stands in line for 45 minutes to check out his groceries. He drives home and decides to do his laundry. The laundry room is very busy--all the washers and dryers are being used. Finally, he drives to a restaurant, eats, and comes home by 4 pm. He wants to work on his hobby of photography, but his equipment is all in the storage room in his apartment building. He can't find the chemicals he needs to do the developing even though he drove to four stores in town. Rather than call friends and enjoy some social time, he does nothing for the rest of the evening except watch TV until late at night. He feels he accomplished nothing, and sleeps in until 1 pm on Sunday.
Is there something Kevin could do to improve his routine? He could look at his choice of timing, his habits, and most importantly his dreams. Kevin could start right away with improving his daily routines in "Hone Your Routine." He needs to get rid of his habit of going to places at peak times. Then, he could find out and state his personal goals using "Live Your Dream." "Tap into Resources" should help him get the materials he needs for his photography and "Rule Your Stuff" should help him get those materials organized. Despite what you might think, Kevin does have a life. It is just on hold.
Perhaps unlike Kevin, your life is definitely off hold--you have a life full of activities. You might be a busy young person starting in education or a new career. Consider Denielle's situation:
CASE STUDY: Denielle is a graduate student at a State University. She works as a teaching assistant and is taking graduate courses. She lives in an apartment with four other roommates. On a typical day, she takes a bus into campus at 7 am, teaches, holds office hours, has lunch with other teaching assistants, and then attends her own classes. She spends some time at the library studying until she meets up with one of her roommates at 9 pm to get a ride back to the apartment. At the apartment, it is too noisy to do any work--the TV is usually on and loud, and her roommates and their boyfriends are coming and going until late at night. Denielle doesn't sleep well in the cramped bedroom she has, and she is mad at her roommates because she found out they are not passing along phone messages to her. Denielle also has a hard time paying her bills at the end of the month. She resents having to ask her roommates for rides to the store and laundromat. She feels isolated from campus life and no peace at the apartment.
Could Denielle simplify her life? While she seems very motivated on her academic goals, she works less efficiently than she could in other areas. She could look at "Optimize Your Place" and "Hone Your Routine" to get suggestions for picking a better place to live and using her time better. In the long term, she could gain a stronger focus on her work by stating her personal goals using "Live Your Dream."
Do you find yourself sharing some of the problems of the characters in these case studies? Do you seem to be driving around all day like Kyle? Are you like Maggie and George, stuck living in the suburbs? Do you share with Kevin a feeling of not being able to get something done? Like Denielle, do you wonder how you can make your life and routine more enjoyable?
The good news is that you need not spend energy for results that don't matter to you. You can live a life of abundance and peace rather than confusion and clutter by making your life more simple. If you recognize yourself in these examples, it is time to simplify.
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