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Too Much To Do? Simplify

Man juggling.

Do you sometimes feel like you’re trying to juggle too many objects in the air? Forget sometimes. Do you frequently and often feel like you multitask more than is even remotely healthy? We’ve all been there, and many of us still are.

Minimalist living room scene

It is a conundrum of our culture that we fill our mental and physical spaces, and then dream about escaping the stress we create. Sometimes the answer seems to be the perfect interior design a la Martha Stewart Living or Konmari. 

Other times, the answer is a seascape or forest bathing. We create beachfronts in our back yards with tiki torches, fairy lights, and fire pits. But, you know, after the weekend beach party of less than ten masked people, there’s still a clean up squad of … you?

Maybe we should try yoga. Full disclosure: I practice yoga most days because a.) it keeps me sane, b.) it keeps my body happy, and c.) I’m far too timid to surf.

Man surfing.

But, Back to the Problem

How do we turn this

Cartoon of woman with six hands, all holding devices.

Into this?

Cartoon of woman in lotus position

If you’re ready to brainstorm on such matters, this is the week for you. The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week, a moniker I can’t help but think was created by someone in the business of organizing … almost anything. Closets. Files. Body Cleanses.

The essence of the activity schedule for this auspicious week is

Refocus – Declutter – Simplify

Refocus your attention onto what’s truly important to you.

Declutter your mind…schedule…life, so you can focus on what’s important to you.

Simplify everything you can, but not all at once. That, by definition, would be anything but simple.

Uh Huh. So how does that work?

The best advice I ran across is to “say no and let go” of things that complicate your life. I know for a fact that’s easier said than done, but the point is to quit doing things that make everything worse. Over-commitment complicates many lives. What if you reduced your commitments by five…three? Okay, one would help.

Next, take a breath, otherwise known as stop and breathe. There’s even an app for that.

Looking at downtown Hilo from Liliuokalani Park

Third, take a technology break — an hour a day without a screen might be a good time to do yoga, or walk, or enjoy a view. Heck, even five minutes enjoying a view and breathing calmly can make the day better.

National Simplify Your Life Week is yet another reminder in a schedule full of lists and reminders, that we all need to step back, rediscover what’s important to us, and find our zen.

Zen Garden at Yuushien Gardens, Matsue, Japan


“Picture taken of me juggling” by James Heilman, MD.

Cleaning up at Noon. Public Domain.

Surfing in Hawai`i. Public Domain.

Time Management Cartoon by Vectortoons.

Cartoon Woman in Lotus Position. Free Clip Art.

Photo of Downtown Hilo and Zen Garden by Author

Author Sandra Wagner Wright

Sandra Wagner-Wright holds the doctoral degree in history and taught women’s and global history at the University of Hawai`i. Sandra travels for her research, most recently to Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of her new Salem Stories series. She also enjoys traveling for new experiences. Recent trips include Antarctica and a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.

 Sandra particularly likes writing about strong women who make a difference. She lives in Hilo, Hawai`i with her family and writes a blog relating to history, travel, and the idiosyncrasies of life.


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