Simplicity

England landscape I recently watched Pride & Prejudice for about the one millionth time. My husband asked why every woman loves that movie. Men. They just don’t get it.

Besides the love story, I enjoy the scenery, the costumes, the music and most of all the simplicity of life over 200 years ago. The family in Pride and Prejudice was able to hire help around the house so the sisters spent their time dancing, reading, painting, sewing, playing the piano and traveling. That was pretty much it. No cell phones, iPods, computers, email, television or radio. There was nothing to distract them or demand their attention except the prospect of marriage and finding their one true love.

I do love technology and life is a lot easier because of it. But there is a difference between simple and easy. Life is easier now with all of our modern conveniences but life was simpler then. I am always looking for ways to make my life simpler. I unplug often. I drive without the radio on and I can go days without watching television. I also meditate, go for walks (without my iPod) and I read Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance every night before bed.

I also try to simplify my work. I keep my desk free of clutter and only have out the things I need for the project I’m working on. I turn off the radio or play soft, classical music (often the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack). I close my email and turn off the phone while working on projects.

In working with clients I focus a lot on simplicity too. I see many people who overcomplicate things. Overcomplicating leads to overwhelm. When we are overwhelmed we often don’t know what to do or where to begin. It’s always great to look at the big picture but to move forward and make progress we need to break it down. What are the steps needed to get the project done? How can you do a little bit at a time to make progress? Can you delegate some tasks? What are the distractions that keep coming up that are stopping you from making real progress on this project?

How do you create simplicity in your life and work?

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