Does it seem like you never have enough time? Do you feel like you hustle all the way to the weekend and don’t get to relax even then? Are you in desperate need of a break? Is it time for a change?
You Know You Need to Downsize Your Life When…
the resources needed to sustain your life are more than you have or want to give. What resources am I talking about?
If you are spending more time acquiring or maintaining your clothing, lawn, car, image, home, job, hobby, or relationship than you are enjoying it, it may be time to downsize. The things we bring into our lives are there to sustain us. We are not there to sustain them. If you’ve got it backward, perhaps it’s time to make some space in your life.
We all need money to survive because we can’t produce everything we need on our own. We all trade our time and skills for it, then use that money to trade for goods and services. So think about how many work hours it takes to buy that new iPhone. How many work hours does it take to have that dinner, that vacation, or take that class? Is that a life enhancing trade?
I see a lot of people who go without sleep, forego meditation or exercise, or grab fast food so that they can work longer. Really? That’s essentially trading your health for money, your reputation on the job, or a chance at a promotion. Health is wealth. When you don’t take care of your body, you end up with a pretty poor place to live!
Quality of Life
Your quality of life is a reflection of the choices you are making now. Some of those choices affect the physical world, but your mental outlook has to power to trump that. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. All there is is now. If “now” is not good, something is out of balance. Maybe it’s time to downsize your life so that it can be better.
The magic question is how to downsize your life?
Get Rid of Stuff
Stuff takes up physical space. Believe it or not, it also takes up mental space. It takes time to clean and organize it. Stuff is energy. If there is too much stuff in too little space, it bogs down the energy in a space. Clear it out. This saves you time and clears out energetic congestion.
Be careful not to fill this space with new stuff. You might set a limitation for yourself such as “If it doesn’t fit in the closet/bookcase/shelf, I can do without it.” This means that you have to decide just how important something is. If you have to get rid of X to acquire Y, do that. Another guideline is “Is this item useful or does it make me happy?” If not, it’s either time for it to go or not something you want to bring into your life. These guidelines can help you keep life enhancing things without acquiring more stuff than your life can realistically handle.
Downsize Your Social Life
That might sound harsh, but realistically, you can’t have ten thousand quality relationships. Relationships take time and attention. It’s better to have five intimate, reliable friends than fifty acquaintances. Sometimes to make that happen you have to divest yourself of the people who are not supportive and affirming and give more time to those that are.
If you’re a big social media user, I’d start here. This is often a huge time waster and life sucker. These are often not real relationships anyway.
Trim Your Commitments
How many of us are people of leisure? Nobody that I know! We all have too many commitments. We all want to do everything. If you want a good quality of life, you have to limit your commitments. Here are some ideas: Limit your hours at work. I know we all want to get ahead and make money. However, if you work all the time, there won’t be any space for you in your life. Commit to ending each day at a certain time, never working more than X number of hours, or taking on more than x number of clients.
Limit your self-improvement projects to one at a time. This will help you to focus on what you are learning without burning out.
Limit your other projects (home improvement, volunteering, hobbies, etc) to one at a time. This can allow you to finish things. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you are juggling three projects. On the other hands, you’ll feel fabulously productive when you’re banging out the projects. So do one thing at a time.
What can you do with all this new found money and time? It can be temping to fill it with something else. Don’t! Slow down. Enjoy life. I don’t mean by watching more tv. I mean savor the things that you used to rush through. Enjoy dinner. Spend a little extra time on your nightly walk. Play with your kids. When you’re working, spend a little more time thinking about what you are doing. If you don’t have a self care routine, implement one. When you talk to your friends, be present. You will be amazed at how much happier you can be when you downsize your life.