Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to keep it simple. Find one area of your life that you can trim down, let go, or otherwise simplify.
Nobody will argue if you tell them we live in a busy world. No one is surprised if you say that you’re overwhelmed with all that you have on your plate. We humans tend to over-complicate almost everything.
Making all your food from scratch certainly doesn’t help ease your time management burdens. There are vegetables to cut, bread to make, recipes to test…and then there’s the problem of figuring out what to eat in the first place.
From the mundane to the massive, I guarantee you can find something to simplify this week, even if it’s only in your own mind.
Here are some of my personal simplifications, from the silly to the serious:
- Put the measuring spoons back in the drawer if you just measured salt.
- Let your dishes air dry.
- Skip the bread. I’ve learned in the last few weeks of going grain-free that it’s rather freeing to simply have soup and salad, instead of soup, salad, and bread. No one has gone starving, and it’s been lovely to skip a step. I wouldn’t recommend doing this every day, but it’s nice to let yourself go once in a while (without calling for pizza).
- Recycle rather than file: if you’re a conscientious person like me, you have file folders of all kinds of things. I realize that I have warranty papers for numerous $5-10 items, statements that are also online, and 401(k) prospectus pamphlets that I won’t understand any better next time I see them, all cluttering up my files. I’ll recycle them eventually, so why not right away?
- Let the kids play. Release the pressure in your mind that you have to play with your kids every second of the day. It’s okay to kick them outside and let them play with sticks for an hour. You’ll all be the better for it.
- Have fewer decorations on your surfaces. Less is more, especially when you have to move them all to dust.
- Get rid of stuff. I constantly desire “less stuff.” The more toys your kids have, the more there is to break, lose, change batteries in, clean, and put away. Simplify by blessing others with your abundance. We try to maintain a “one in, one out” rule with new toys. (How to Make Money Selling your Stuff)
- Wear clothing until it’s dirty instead of throwing everything in the laundry after one day.
- Let go of the perfect lawn.
- Have a meatless meal. If you choose the right recipe for simplicity, not having to thaw and deal with meat can streamline your dinner prep for one day.
- Take simple steps to change. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do it all at once with your nutrition. Try my “3 Easy Changes that Won’t Cost Too Much” (of your money or time) and subscribe to keep up with the weekly Monday Missions (like this one).
- Send a cash donation instead of buying and selling for your child’s school fundraiser – especially if the food isn’t healthy and the items to buy are less than necessary.
- Automate your billing online (I even automate a large portion of our monthly tithe).
- Turn off. The TV, computer, and other techie toys should get a break for at least 24 hours each week. I choose Sunday.
- Let go of your list for a spell and visit with a neighbor or play outside with your kids.
- Say no. I know I’m not the only woman who suffers from “Yes, I can” syndrome. Whether it’s something for fun, a service opportunity, a child’s activity, or another job, prayerfully discern if you need to say “no” in order to trim something from your schedule. (What I think about mothers of young children and volunteering)
- Don’t drive. Walk to your destination whenever possible, or perhaps pull a “say no” just to avoid driving to one. more. place. (Or carpool!)
- Cut down on gifts. My son and I both had no gifts at our birthday parties, and I’ve always been rather determined to make my gift purchases practical and useful, even if some friends think I’m boring because of it.
- Read my essay on seeking simplicity, traditionally (my other post for today).
I’m not saying that you should stop cleaning your house, or neglect your children, or order that pizza every night this week. Life can’t go on without you. But you can release some of the crippling mental pressure that says you have to “do it all” and do it all well. No one can achieve perfection.
And actually…sometimes I don’t vacuum as much as I should.
Photo from Muffet.