It seems that as we get older, we begin to accumulate things. These things begin to eat up our time. One example is a man I know who has a Harley, a boat, and two cars. He spends so much of his time providing maintenance on these possessions that his possessions end up possessing him and his time. He admits he has too much on his plate, but he still isn’t willing to simplify his life by cutting back on his possessions.
Why not have a media fast? What I mean is to just unplug from the world and get away from all the electronic devices. A pastor I know took one day a week to completely unplug from the world. The only thing he would have to do with electronics was to answer a phone call, but this was only during emergencies. The next week he tried three days with no media, phone, Internet, TV, or anything that needs electricity. What he discovered was he suddenly had more time on his hands to just sit back and read a good book or sit on the front porch and drink his coffee.
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If your plate is so full during the week that you are frantically trying to catch up on the weekends, you don’t need a bigger plate; you need to delegate some of what you have. A man I know who is currently caring for his mother gets frustrated because his brothers and sister won’t help him. He finally spoke to them at a holiday gathering and told them he needs help. It was only then that some of his other family members offered to take some of the load off of him. He wouldn’t have reached this point if he didn’t ask.
I finally started decluttering my home office and garage. If I saw something I hadn’t used in over a year’s time, I either gave it away, sold it, or trashed it. Why did I still need a broken-down lawnmower, a recliner that was well worn, and a host of other things? When I finally starting tossing things, I discovered I had a lot more room to park the car. Now it’s a lot easier for me to find things in my garage when I need them. I did the same thing in my closet. If I hadn’t worn something in over a year’s time, then I wasn’t ever going to wear it; so thrift store, here I come.
Eliminate Impulse Buying
I don’t buy things unless it is absolutely necessary. However, there are times when I buy something only on impulse and then later ask myself, “Why did I buy that when I don’t even use it or need it?” When you are tempted to buy on impulse, ask yourself if it is necessary. Can you get by without it? Is this something that will help others or only you?
I have finally learned to say no. What I mean is that when I get asked to do something, I have to count the cost and see if I have time to commit to whatever it is I am asked to do. There really is wisdom in saying no to those things that are not productive but also those things that create such a busy schedule that I do a poor job at some things just because I have to rush to the next commitment. I have learned to say no, and it feels great.
Maybe you can suggest some ways we can declutter or simplify our lives. I need all the help I can get, but I discovered that I needed to downsize, unplug from the world once in a while, begin to delegate to others, get rid of things I don’t use, stop buying things on impulse, and begin to say no to some things that I know will eat up my time.