Finding Simplicity in a Busy Life

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. During the Ladies in Leadership monthly meeting, we talked about the book, When Less Becomes More, by Emily Ley. We've been reading the book as part of the EDIT L&D Simplicity Community's book club. For the meeting, we talked about five topics that are mentioned in the book:

Creating your manifesto

In the book, Emily introduces her own family's manifesto and how they have used it to find simplicity. Webster’s dictionary defines a manifesto as, “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” Basically, you are telling the world what you intend to do. In Emily’s case, she approached this with a focus on what she will do less and more of. The entirety of the book is the embodiment of her manifesto. Each chapter focuses on a different part of her manifesto. As I reflected on her words though, I was struck by how important it is to have a vision as a family for how you will live life. It allows you to work together and focus on the same goals.

Managing technology

This topic is threaded throughout the book. What it boils down to though is making sure that you are managing the devices in your life and that you are filtering out the noise from them at the important moments in your life. Emily shares her thoughts on specific ways to manage tools but she focuses more on the manifesto. If you have an overall intention to focus more on real interactions and less on technology-based interactions, you have to manage what you are seeing and what is interrupting you.

Scheduling techniques

Emily talks about how she uses batch scheduling techniques to make time to focus on what she needs to do at the moment. She makes conscious decisions about how she will communicate, work, and spend her time. We talked about block scheduling methods and how you can set up your day by blocking out the known elements on your calendar. The example below shows the calendar of someone who works from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Rest and burnout

Emily talks about her own journey to wellness and how important rest was to avoiding burnout. During the CoC meeting, we talked about making time to rest and enjoy moments. The block schedule above includes mindfulness, exercise, and sleep times. If you don't schedule them, other things can fill the time.

Wellness and self-care

We also focused on some simple things you can do to promote wellness in your own life. The biggest keys are sleep, exercise, water, and good nutrition. Emily talked about the value of having testing done at your physician to find out what is going on with your body. Testing can tell you if you have any imbalances that you need to change your diet or lifestyle to treat.

The meeting was a great success and we were all able to identify ideas for finding simplicity in a busy life. If you are interested in learning more about the book club so that you can read along with us, check out the EDIT L&D Simplicity Community. You can also purchase the book through this Amazon affiliate link: When Less Becomes More. I've included links to all of her books below if you're interested in any of the others. They are all on major sale right now on Amazon.

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Christy Zuehl

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