When In Doubt Simplify

By Leo Babauta

It’s the time of year when everyone is in a crazy rush: to shop to decorate to get ingredients to go to parties to travel to get last-minute work done to go to the kids’ Christmas pageants to go caroling to get those to-dos done.

There is a single answer to just about all your problems — Christmas or otherwise:


It’s the answer to your time-management problems: instead of trying to figure out how to manage your schedule try simplifying it. Do less. Say no to projects and meetings. Cut back on commitments. Have less on your schedule and you’ll eliminate the problem of trying to manage it all. You’ll also have less stress and love life more.

It’s the answer to your financial problems: instead of trying to manage all your bills and debts try simplifying. Spend less. Shop less. Do without for a bit. Cut back on your bills. Have fewer credit accounts. Eliminate debt and have less stress.

It’s also the answer to your storage problems: instead of trying to find more storage for all your stuff try simplifying. Reduce clutter. Having less stuff requires less storage (even a smaller home) and is less stressful. You’ll also save lots of money in storage and maintenance.

Want to lose weight? Simplify your diet. Want to change a habit? Simplify the process: do just one habit at a time.

Having trouble getting things done? Eliminate distractions and find focus.

Want to get out of the craziness of Christmas shopping? Do less of it.

Simplicity isn’t always easy. It requires the courage to be different. To say no. To make difficult decisions. To question the way we’ve always done things.

But the result is lovely: simplicity means more space. More quiet and peace. More focus and less craziness. Less stress. A happier healthier life. That’s worth the effort.