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Simplify Your Life

January 29, 2012

Last night I babysat for an adorable little girl. During her bath time, I got to thinking about how simple her life is and I got jealous! No, I don’t wish to become a toddler again, but I want that simplicity back on my life. As a kid, you let people know when you want or need something. Your attention goes to only one thing at a time. Becoming an adult means more responsibility, but that doesn’t have to complicate your life. It’s easy to get wrapped up in anything; I definitely let it happen more times than I can count. I decided to look at my day-to-day activities and find ways to simplify things so I can better enjoy the moment.

As a pr professional, my life is full of multi-tasking and thinking in a million directions at the same time. That isn’t going to change anything soon! But that aspect of my day doesn’t have to affect my personal life.

1. You don’t always need to multitask. One thing I’ve started doing is sitting quietly on the bus instead of playing on my phone or reading a paper. This allows me to focus on my surroundings, while watching the sunrise over Lake Michigan. Another area that people tend do to while doing other tasks is watching tv. Mashable notes that “a full 42% of American consumers surf the Internet while watching the television, 29% talk on their phones while the TV is on and 26% of consumers are texting or sending IMs.” Do you people ever just watch tv? I know I don’t. I’m watching the X Games as I write this article. I challenge everyone, myself included, to focus on the tv show that your watching and not get distracted by other technology.

2. Ignore your cellphone for a few hours – or turn it off. Gasp! It’s good to be unplugged every now and then. I love when I accidentally leave my cellphone at home when running errands. It gives me peace of mind to focus on what I’m trying to accomplish. I don’t feel the need  to check twitter every 30 seconds, catch up with friends or play Words With Friends.  Work is a good time to leave your cellphone in your purse. I’m surrounded by coworkers who have their smart phone glued to their hands. Not only do they have a work phone available but also their computers, with email, are never far. It’s just one more thing that has to constantly be checked.

3. Similarly, unplug yourself! Read a book, go for a walk, have a nice dinner out, BUT do it all without using technology. Give your eyes a rest. The New York Times recently published a very interesting article about how young girls who are more “plugged in” are unhappy compared to girls who aren’t glue to a screen. Do you agree? While socializing on the internet and media sites surrounds us, it doesn’t replace the personal quality that comes with in-person communication. And the internet can’t replace that. You need face-to-face conversation to develop social and personal skills.

4. Read the entire news article or blog post (especially mine!). It takes just a minute more to read the whole thing. Doing this will help you feel less rushed so you can focus on the task at hand – reading the news. I’m notorious for skimming articles, and then I don’t remember anything that I read cause it all happened too fast. But I feel as though I need to read absolutely everything. That’s not true. Read what is important to you and will help your career. Limit yourself to reading the news sources that are going to give you the most amount of info. Get up your Google Reader with your favorite new sites, check out Newser and bookmark your favorite sites for quick reference.

These are just some great tips that are easy to follow and can be adapted to any lifestyle. Everyone has a busy life. Taking a few moments to slow down your life can make you a much happier person. Share with me how you are simplifying your life!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Robert permalink
    January 29, 2012 10:56 PM

    I agree that our generation is too “plugged in”. Being connected is great!…but we should use it as a positive catalyst to enhance our lives in the ‘real’ world, rather than a substitute.

  2. January 31, 2012 12:20 PM

    The article you referenced about how young girls who are plugged are more unhappy is great insight. I couldn’t agree more because, as a young-ish girl, when we’re so up-to-date on what each of our “friends” are doing on Facebook for example, we make expectations that we should be having as good a time as those who we see. Because honestly, who is going to upload a photo album of a bad time? Regardless, your entire post is a great reminder of how the digital age, while a huge benefit to our everyday activities, should be better mixed in with the non-digital activities that once made us happy.

  3. robyn permalink
    January 31, 2012 12:28 PM

    I completely agree, as I sit here on my computer with my music in, cell phone in hand. Baby steps i suppose.

  4. January 31, 2012 12:59 PM

    I completely agree that we never focus on one thing at a time… Even if it’s something mindless like tv. It’s just become so normal to text, be on facebook, and watch your favorite show at the same time!

  5. Ashley permalink
    January 31, 2012 1:15 PM

    Unplugging is awesome. Learned that best in Australia where none of my technology worked.

  6. Carly permalink
    January 31, 2012 1:16 PM

    It’s really ironic about texting/web surfing and watching tv. Just last night, Kristin and I were watching TV and we were both on our computers and both texting!! I can’t remember a time since I was like 11 that I didn’t have a cell phone. I also definitely just skim news articles. Or I’ll scroll to the bottom to see how long it is to see if it’s worth reading more of. I should probably take all of your advice on this one 🙂

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