“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
This article is about a few mistakes I've made.
About a few destructive habits that can make life quite messy and unhappy.
And it's about what you can do instead to replace those mistakes and habits with something better.
This article is all about uncovering simplicity if you find yourself having overcomplicated your life.
1. Stop overthinking things.
Few habits and mistakes are as common as getting stuck in overthinking.
I used to do it all the time.
And it led to a lot of analysis paralysis, to little action being taken on what I deep down wanted and to so much time and energy wasted.
What to do instead:
Set short deadlines.
When you have all the time in the world to consider something then that can often wind up in you spending a lot of time thinking about the situation at hand from every conceivable angle.
I have found that learning to set short deadlines is really helpful for this, although it take a bit to practice.
So for small decisions like if should go and do the dishes or go and work out I usually give myself 30 seconds or less to make a decision.
For somewhat larger decisions that in the past would have taken me days or weeks to think through I set a deadline for 30 minutes or for the end of the workday.
Say stop in a situation where you know you can't think straight.
I know that I'm more vulnerable to negative thinking and overthinking things when I'm hungry or when I'm close to my bedtime.
And so I have learned to stay away from thinking about anything important during that time.
And if such thoughts with a negative twist still pop up then I tell myself: No, no, we're not going to think about this now.
Because I know that I will be back to thinking clearly and optimistically again if I just get some food or sleep.
I highly recommend finding your own situation(s) when you are more vulnerable to overthinking or pessimism. And to catch yourself and redirect your thoughts at such times.
2. Stop making your daily work busier and more complicated than it needs to be.
It's very easy to get stuck in the same old rut at work or in school. To spend your hours there like you usually do and like most of the other people do too.
With a lot of time spent on busy work, procrastination and on being stressed on weekends or just before a deadline.
What to do instead:
Breathe and find what truly matters in the long run.
First, sit down and take a couple of deep breaths to relax and to focus your mind.