With the holiday season coming to an end and the New Year upon us, I am especially tuned into the high stress levels around me and people’s ongoing struggles with  motivation & productivity, happiness & fulfilment and achieving a healthy work/life integration.

It seems each year there is more to do with less time. People are running from place to place, overbooked, overtired, overwhelmed. But why?

There has to be a better way to live. Quite often we are stressed because our lives have taken on complexity that doesn’t need to be there. If we unravel the complexity to create more simplicity, we create more calm in our lives, and as a result less stress.

So how do we create more simplicity and less stress?  

Stop procrastinating, 

One thing at a time, 

Say no.  

Stop procrastinating.  Don’t let that stuff pile up – the mail, clothes, decisions, if it can be done in less than 10 minutes do it now.  Create a habit of putting things away after you use them, keep your desk clear of anything unrelated to the task at hand, clean out your closet periodically (if you haven’t worn something in a year get rid of it), don’t put off decisions you can make if you have all the information you need.  In other words…do it now.   You will feel a sense of relief for having kept up with those minor tasks before they collectively turn into a burden. 

One thing at a time.  We really aren’t meant to multi-task.  If you are checking your emails while on a work conference call you aren’t giving your full attention to the task at hand. While you may think you are accomplishing more, you are most certainly accomplishing less.  As a result, you will not produce your best work or fully engage with the person you are speaking with and will always feel a sense of distraction which will add to your stress.  When you focus on one thing at a time you can provide the creative thought and attention to do something well and actually complete the task before moving on to the next thing on your list.

Say no.  There will always be 24 hours in a day, but we seem to forget that and overcommit ourselves whether at work or in our personal lives.  By doing too much (this is something I constantly work on myself) and saying yes to every offer or favour we don’t allow time for us to simply be.  We need that space in our lives to recharge and clear our minds. So really think about how you spend your time.  Understand your priorities.  If it isn’t important and you don’t have the time, say no.  You will be glad you did.

As we begin the new year, I hope we can all find simplicity in our lives and reduce our stress.  I wish you a happy, healthy and SIMPLE 2019!