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How to Simplify Your Life

Do one thing at a time

Green wall background, with large dill flower in foreground.
Dill flower in a vase against a green wall at Evergreen. Doing just one thing - looking beautiful.

Have you ever paused at the end of a long, busy day, unable to recall what you’ve accomplished? This is a sure sign that you need to simplify your life.

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to simplify your life and still get important things done. I’m going to tell you this secret for free. Here it is:

Do one thing at a time

Do One Thing at a Time

Back in the Stone Age, 2.5 million years ago, people did one thing at a time. They were either hunting animals or gathering fruit, seeds, and greens for dinner. They were bathing in the river, climbing trees to spy on their neighbours, making utensils out of stone, or walking to their next cave if they were nomadic.

They focussed on whatever task they were doing because their life depended on it.

But that’s not how we do things. We flatter ourselves that we’re more skilled than they were.

We buy our food in shops while pushing trolleys, reading messages on our phones and listening to upbeat music through our earbuds. We cook dinner while watching the news out of the corner of our eye, listening to a child doing their reading homework, patting the dog, and worrying about how long before we’re superseded at work by a heartless robot. When we’re heading for a new destination, we must listen to an informative or inspirational kick-up-the-backside podcast otherwise we feel guilty that we’re wasting time.

We focus on more than one task because we think our life depends on it.

We live like a film on fast-forward. And like a film on fast-forward, after a while our lives don’t make any sense – to us, or to anyone else.

So, stop multi-tasking. Do one thing at a time. Be fully present with one task.

Just make dinner. Just drive on the freeway. Just pat the dog.

Just make dinner.

Focus. Slow your breath. Open the fridge door. Select ingredients. Wash and chop and slice. Watch them sizzle and change colour. Add flavours. Lower your nose to the pan and take a big sniff of what you’re cooking for dinner. Stir and toss and serve. Savour.

Just drive on the freeway.

Focus. Slow your breath. Be fully present in the car. Feel your bottom on the seat. Sense your leg on the accelerator. Watch the scenery or the long stream of vehicles ahead and behind. Don’t think about what you’ll say when you get to your destination. After this fully-present-drive-to-your-destination, the right words will come. Every time.

Just pat the dog.

This is not a quick, cursory pat. Focus on the dog. Slow your breath. Be fully present. Sense your hand on its head. Feel its fur flatten. Be with the dog for a minute. Or two minutes. Or three. Really sink into these moments with the dog and the dog will be with you. Your eyes will connect. Your spirits will merge. Both of you will feel nurtured, appreciated, loved.

Be Fully Present

Try this easy way to simplify your life today.

Be fully present by doing one thing at a time.

  • Your day will be more productive.

  • Your actions will be more meaningful.

  • The sensual texture of your day will be richer.

  • Your soul will sing because you will be in tune with yourself and the universe.

The quality of your life depends on it.

With love, Marlane

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