Living a more simple life can be tough! I’m constantly faced with how easy it is to clutter everyday living with too much time wasted on things that don’t matter. Even with good intentions, it’s easy to sabotage my simple living plan.
The same 4 problems keep popping up and preventing me from living a simple life: social media, television, and activities and people that don’t share my priorities. All of these 4 things can be good, but there needs to be a limit on each in order for me to live the life I want to live.
Signing up for that first Facebook account was a little intimidating. I did it to keep up with my kid’s pages and be able to see all the pictures. I still love following my kid’s accounts and stay in the loop with their lives and my grandchildren. During the pandemic, social media is really helping me to feel like I’m still involved.
If you use social media for business, there are different reasons to be on these accounts. But, most people are just scrolling and scrolling for no reason. After you do this for awhile, you look up at the computer clock and notice that you just spent an hour! It’s so easy to waste time scrolling with no added benefit to your life.
Evaluating why you spend time on social media will help you to plan limits for your time. Sometimes it helps to set a time limit and an alarm. This is easy to set up on your phone. The way social media is set up, it’s often hard to see the posts made by your friends or family. You may scroll longer just trying to find something that actually interests you.
Ways to see the posts you are interested in:
- Only like or comment on posts that matter
- Mark “See them first” on facebook friends
- Unfollow pages that are not as important to you
- Unfriend those who no longer are important
Because I have chronic illnesses, I spend much of the day at rest. Television has become my constant companion for the last 5 years. Much of the time I leave the tv on to have white noise. It’s just a habit. There are times for all of us that we watch more tv than others. The pandemic has been one of those times. We’re all watching Netflix or Prime Video much more than before.
Television or streaming services have a real ability to cause us to waste many hours a day. Watching series on Netflix or Prime Video can go on and on for hours, and before you know it the day is over. To live a more simple existence, we should examine our priorities. Having a daily schedule (even in a lockdown) helps us to spend each day in a beneficial way.
Good questions to ask yourself:
- Am I meeting my work goals?
- Am I spending enough time with my family?
- Are people in my family staring at their screens too much?
- What did I miss today because of the television/screen drain?
Setting your priorities, having a daily schedule, and following through will help you to not waste time watching hours and hours of television.
Before and after the lockdown, activities can create a chaotic lifestyle that prevents us from living a simple life. This is especially true if your home has children. Children want to do things. They want to be involved in sports, dance, arts, and have all kinds of play dates.
Homes without children can also get hectic with lots of activities to draw us in. We may want to take classes, join the gym, attend arts events, have church activities, and many more. We don’t want to say no, because all of our activities are enjoyable. Again, we need to set our priorities in order to live a life that is simple and joyful.
Having a schedule that follows our priorities will make it easier to say no when our calendar gets full. Activities can be rotated so that we don’t necessarily miss out on our favorite things. We don’t have to do everything every week or month.
Some good questions to ask about our activities:
- Does this activity fit in with my simple living goals?
- Can I afford this event and the time it takes?
- Does this activity prevent me from being there when my family needs me?
- Does this activity cause me too much fatigue?
It’s ok to say no or to cancel a membership or activity. Don’t wait until you notice that you’re burned out and need to crash!
People That Aren’t Like-Minded
When I say “like-minded” I’m referring to a way of looking at life. If your goal is to live a simple life it won’t be helpful to have friends that have opposite goals. If you believe in living with the minimal amount of “things” and are content living a simple lifestyle, you will feel comfortable and encouraged with friends who feel the same way.
People who aren’t like-minded will always be trying to convert you to their way of life. I don’t mean that they are doing something wrong or knowingly trying to sabotage your goals. But, those who are out to get all the gusto they can won’t understand your priorities. This type of relationship will likely bring more chaos into your life.
Just like you set priorities for social media, television, and activities, you can set priorities for the types of friends you keep. Being kind and friendly to all is great, but when you want to take the time to develop good friends, pick them carefully. Preventing overly-busy and exhausting relationships will help you reach your simple living goals.
I hope that you’ll take a little time to see what matters to you and set the priorities and schedule that will benefit you and your family.
@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman