Do you ever feel that things keep piling up and you have more on your plate than you can handle? Too many tasks, too much responsibility, too little time. You really want to simplify your life but don’t know how.
One manager I know was so frustrated that she started a policy of “one in, one out.” When she was asked to write an additional report, she politely asked which other report she could stop writing to make room for the new one.
The “one in, one out” method can work wonders for you because it is a simple mantra to remember, and will restore balance to your life in many ways.
5 ways to simplify your life
1. One task in, one task out
Before taking on a new project, be sure that you will be able to let go of an old one. If you work for yourself this is easier to accomplish. Set a deadline for an existing project and start the new one only after you’ve handed over the old project.
This mantra will make multi-tasking a breeze. Start your next task only when you’ve completed the one before. Otherwise you’ll end up trying to do many things at one time which will slow you down and frustrate you. You’ll accomplish a lot more by focusing on one task at a time.
2. One duty in, one duty out
Relinquish an old responsibility before taking on a new one. If asked to sit on a new committee, agree only if you can hand over your seat on another committee to someone else. This gives others a chance to contribute, and allows you to give your best by focusing on your chosen responsibility.
3. One item in, one item out
This mantra has rescued me from many a shopping spree! When buying an item, decide beforehand which item you’re going to throw out when you get home. Better yet, throw out the old item before bringing the new one home. This applies to clothes, shoes, bags and even furniture.
4. One hobby in, one hobby out
While you can indulge in several hobbies, it helps to take only one hobby seriously at any one time. Say if you start piano lessons, then commit to practising piano everyday and indulge other hobbies only occasionally. Once you reach a proficiency level allowing you to enjoy piano as an occasional hobby, then move on to learn something else.
5. One thought in, one thought out
Most people flit from one thought to another quickly. Staying focused on one thought at a time allows you to simplify and enjoy the power of your mind. Concentrate on one problem and consider it from all angles until you move towards a solution. Think about one design concept until you start to see all the possible details and choose one that works. Before moving on to a new thought, make sure you’re done with the old one.
Start to simplify your life today
Using the “one in, one out” method will simplify your life immediately by halting the growth of further chaos and clutter. You will at least maintain the balance of things as they currently are. As you get used to it, you can alter the mantra to “one in, two out” if you want to further simplify and reduce clutter in your life.
If you are serious about simplifying your life, the famous Marie Kondo method may help.