How to Simplify your life and live happily.

How to Simplify your life and live happily.

Surekha Garde

Shriram has a very good habit which I really envy sometimes.

That habit is – “Keeping everything clean, simple and tidy”!!!

This results in no clutter at home and his office, simple work routine, simple desk and even simple life!

That’s why I feel his life is not at all complicated and is very simple. He knows very simple methods which further simplify his life.

I know Shriram for more than 3 decades now and he is been like this since the time I know him. My mother in law used to tell me that he is been like this since his childhood when he was about 7- 8 yrs old.

Very surprising! And truly amazing too!

He has developed this habit so perfectly that he knows right at the beginning as to which things are going to be important and which he can get rid of. And over a period of time this habit has got spread in to all aspects of his life.

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So I’ve listed down the things which he often does to achieve this.

If you just take an example of how he keeps his drawer or even his wallet free of clutter, you will get a fair idea of the things.

You will not find anything like menus of restaurants which have already closed down, outdated manuals of products, unwanted tools and wires, rubber bands, paper clips, old pens and pencils and all sort of other rubbish which you haven’t used for years.

One can really spend all day sorting through the stuff and still have more stuff and finally get fed up and leave it as it is.

So let’s see what to do to keep your life simple –

  • Drawers
  1. Gather everything together – Just collect everything no matter what by emptying the drawer.
  2. Select what you want – Just keep those things which you really USE and are really really very important to you. Be selective in this. Whatever you have chosen to retain, just keep it separate.
  3. Getting rid of things – Jut get rid of everything else. Those product manuals will never be used by you again so just throw them and don’t ever be sentimental about that. Just collect the items which you don’t need in a separate bag or at the most you MAY keep them at a different place, may be on the loft or something. If you feel someone may use the stuff which you don’t need, just give it away.
  4. Rearrange – Clean the drawer. You may add an old newspaper on the base of the drawer and arrange the required things back neatly inside the drawer, with a lot of space around. Group the like things together. This will make everything look neat and simple.

What you did with the drawer can be done with each and every area of your life. Just think where all you can apply this technique. Try focusing on one area at a time to get better results and then move on to the next.

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  • Closets – Take any one area of the closet at a time; say a shelf at a time. Just take everything off the shelf and put it on the floor. Only pick up those items which are really important to you. Remaining things, you will just throw away or give away without any hesitation. Arrange important things back on the shelf, grouping like things together. Once you are done with this, move on to the next area. Keep the floor of your closet clean which makes it look nice and simple.
  • Working table or desk – Clean the surface. Just keep very essential things and a nice photo nothing else. Keep all else in attached drawers and papers in the file.
  • To do list – Think of adding every small task or project in your “To Do” list. Then choose only the tasks that you really want to do, or that will give you long-term benefit, and put those on a separate, shorter list. See if you can eliminate rest of the stuff or delegate them or put them in some other not so important list. Then focus only on your short list, trying to choose the three most important things on the list to do each day.
  • Commitments – List down all the commitments in your life. Right from work related to personal. Include hobbies, clubs, online groups, civic groups, your kids’ activities, sports, home stuff, etc. Anything that regularly takes up your time. Now pick out the few of those that really give you value, enjoyment, long-term benefits. Remove else if possible. It might be difficult to do that, but you can get out of commitments if you just tell people that you don’t have the time anymore. This will leave you with a life that only has the commitments you really enjoy and want to do.

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  • Wardrobe – Do you really need so many T-shirts? Or so many pairs of shoes? How many jeans do you actually wear? Put everything on your bed, choose the clothes you really love and actually wear on a regular basis, discard the rest.
  • Your Room – Start with the furniture. Which ones do you love and use? Get rid of the rest. Now clear every flat surface in the room, from counters to tables to shelves to desktops. Leave the flat surfaces as clear as possible, only putting back a few choice objects. Also do everything on your floor that’s not a piece of furniture, leaving the floor as clear as possible.
  • Your email inbox – Have an email inbox full of clutter? Dump all your emails in your inbox into a folder. Scan through the folder, choosing only a few to reply to and putting those in a separate folder. Delete or archive the rest.

Inputs from zen habits

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About The Author: Surekha Garde

With a Masters’ Degree in History along with Bachelors’ Degree in Commerce, Psychology and Education, I am a full time Teacher and Supervisor at a Private School in Mumbai.

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