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Keep Life As Simple As Possible

Updated on July 8, 2014

Simplification Is Key

These are cushy times we're living in as far as convenience and comfort, but they're also challenging and hectic times.

Everything is becoming simultaneously more complex and more practical. What I mean is that with the advance of mind-blowing technology, we've been able to tackle more tasks. And now that we've demonstrated the ability to tackle more tasks, it's demanded of us to do so. This can be detrimental to all aspects of life.

We need to take a more simplistic approach to...well, everything. Here's why.

  • It improves mental health by reducing stress.
  • It fosters better relationships.
  • It gives us more balance in our lives.
  • It makes hard work easier.
  • It makes it easier to focus.
  • It keeps us more satisfied with accomplishing smaller goals.

A happy couple
A happy couple | Source

Simplification Builds Better Relationships

Are you one of those people who has no regrets? Well, that's good. I'm not one of them, and I have the impression that many other people have regrets as well. The reason for this is all of the past dwelling I see friends and family do.

If I could just have a do-over on my last relationship, I would have tried so hard to push this idea of simplification. We had so many pointless fights that could have been handled rationally, instead of with anger, contempt, defensiveness, and sarcasm. Would it have worked? I don't know, but I wish I could--that we both could--have the chance to try.

It wasn't a lack of love that drove us apart, but our childish inability to sit there and talk like two rational, decent human beings.

Instead, we all should...

  • Treat each other kindly instead of harshly during disagreements.
  • Stop blowing small issues out of proportion.
  • Talk calmly, instead of yelling at one another.
  • Leave past issues where they lie, and stop bringing them up every argument. It only compounds the problem.
  • Not automatically get defensive when your partner raises an issue. Instead, let them speak their minds and reply calmly.
  • Not make them feel replaceable.
  • Not insult them personally.

All this stuff seems like common sense, and I suppose it is. But it's hardly ever implemented correctly. If it were, we wouldn't all be so damn dysfunctional.

A Simple Poll

Does Simplification Reduce Your Stress?

See results

Simplification Is Better For Hard Work

Oh, sweet mother of death, how are you ever going to finish this impossible task? It's so hard; it's so overwhelming; it's so much work; it's going to take you forever; there's no end in sight!


That's where the problem starts. You're already over-thinking. We're always told to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes this works, but in cases like this it doesn't. In a case like this, the parts should be constructed to create the sum.

The key to large projects, whatever they may be, is to break them down into smaller pieces and concentrate solely on that piece. Create each moving part, and then move.

I'd hate to break it to you, but worrying isn't going to make the project any easier.

A Japanese Rock Garden

A Japanese rock garden, representing simplicity.
A Japanese rock garden, representing simplicity. | Source

Keep It Simple

Some of the immediate benefits you'll see from simplicity

  • More time to relax.
  • Much easier to balance time and leisure.
  • Life is easier to maintain.
  • Long-term goals don't seem so hard
  • Keeps you focused on the present
  • Reduces stress and worries
  • Good for mental health

Simplification Is Better For Long-Term Goals

When you are mapping out your long term goal, this is a case when it is great to look at the bigger picture. That way you can have the right motivation to begin your journey.

However, it's important to plan each step toward that goal, and move in a linear fashion toward it.

In other words, plan several small goals, and reach each one in order to achieve a larger goal. This makes each step more rewarding, and narrows your focus on the task at hand.

It's a much better, more-productive, and less stressful approach. And it's certainly better than wanting instant gratification and being overwhelmed by how far away your ultimate goal is.

How To Simplify Your Life

Simplification Stops Daydreaming, Improves Focus

Did you know that daydreaming is actually bad for you? It's been proved by neuroscientists and psychologists that daydreaming is detrimental to your mental health.

The reason for this is because you are imagining where you'd rather be, instead of focusing on the task at hand. This makes you unhappy.

Daydreaming happens most often when you are feeling overwhelmed by tasks, goals, or any issues taking place in your life. This has again placed emphasis on the importance of breaking each problem down, addressing them individually, and keeping your focus where it needs to be.

Say you have a big project to finish. I'll use a large article as an example, as I make a living from freelance writing.

  • Contact client, and get clear instructions. Ask questions if you have to.
  • Brainstorm on how you want to write the article.
  • Spend 15-30 minutes researching. Less if it's in your area of expertise.
  • Write an outline based on the research.
  • Write the article.
  • Leave for 15 minutes, come back, proofread.

A simple, yet effective, approach. This can be applied to any line of work and any task.



To close, just remember to look at the parts before assembling the sum. It makes each step less stressful, concentrates your focus, and even gives you more time to enjoy yourself.

At times, you will forget to keep it simple as anxiety and stress creeps in. An easy way to remind yourself is with phone alerts or sticky notes. For myself, phone alerts throughout the day works wonders.

Do this and you will have an easier time in everything you do. There's no reason to make things harder on yourself than they already are. How do I know this? Because I'm an anxious, emotional cripple and had to figure out ways to reduce stress, organize, de-clutter, and make life a bit more pleasant. So, take it from an expert.

Good luck to you.


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    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 3 years ago from Australia

      I couldn't agree more. We're licks enough to have a weekender in 100acres of bush, no television, no phone, no mobile, the electricity cable often taken out by a kangaroo - and even my teenage daughters come back spiritually refreshed. Voted up, and look forward to reading more

    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY

      Trisha, thank you for the comment. It's the only thing that works for me. Some people thrive on chaos. I tip my cap to them.

      Paula, thanks for commenting again. You've been awesome! I'm glad you liked the article. I felt like I was spinning my wheels while writing it, and don't feel like it delivered. Nice to get good feedback. :D

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Blake.....You make perfect sense....and pass it on to your readers quite flawlessly. "Simplicity." of my favorite things. You're spot-on when you admit that we learn the beauty of simple things by first going the way of chaos and confusion. That crap sure didn't work now, did it?

      Your disclosure about fighting unfair.....and loudly ...and angrily.....been there honey. Have spent a lot of years and tears kicking myself in the a$$ too. We live....we learn.

      Regret is a bitch and we simply can't let it hang around long enough to destroy our hope for the here and now. I like to think about an inspiring comment from Maya Angelieu....."When we know better....we DO better." The smartest of us keep trying til we get it right.

      Yes......keeping it simple. Wonderful idea......Up++ tweeted & pinned.

    • Trisha Roberts profile image

      Trisha Roberts 3 years ago from Rensselaer, New York

      Another great hub. I learned a simpler life leads to a much happy life and I do tend for my life to stay that way. :)