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« Workshops: Painting in the South of France | Main | Balance: Two Steps to Simplify Your Life »

Balance: The Medium List of 50 Things to Simplify Your Life

Balancing Art, Life, and Marketing Series

I remember summer vacations in elementary school as long, languid and lazy. In those days in my neighborhood fun was unplugged. We rode our bicycles, built sand castles in the sand box, went swimming at the public pool or ran through the lawn sprinkler to cool off. If we were lucky, there was a fire hydrant that mysteriously became a fountain and a source of shrieks of delight.

Life is sooooo… much more complicated and full now – for me and the artists I work with.

I’ve added several big projects to my work and life, so we are fellow travellers in addressing the theme of balancing art, life and marketing.

Last week, I shared Two Steps to Simplify Your Life from Leo Babauta. I also said the two items were not enough for me. Leo also has a long list of 72 items. That seemed too much – especially if the topic is to simplify. And his list has links to more information – all very useful, but I found myself gagging at too much information.

I think, therefore I organize. I can’t simplify random things. So I used his generous “uncopyright permission” – while adhering to some of his tips – and simplified the list to 50 items, with like items and roughly grouped together. I’ve also bolded seven items that make all the rest of the list work. (I can’t stop myself from doing this to everything. For the record, my socks are organized by type, season and color.)

A few caveats:

  • Not every tip will work for you.
  • Don’t make simplifying into hard work.
  • Choose the ones that appeal and apply to your life right now.
  • Just choose one at a time, and focus on that.
  • When you’re done with that, focus on the next thing that appeals to you.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Give yourself a reward or at least make a big check mark next to the ones you’ve done.

The Medium List of 50 Things to Simplify Your Life.

  1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things.
  2. Evaluate your current commitments against those most important things.
  3. Evaluate your current use of time against your commitments.
  4. Live life more deliberately.
  5. Go for quality, not quantity.
  6. Decide what “enough” is.
  7. Create a written simplicity statement.
  8. Free up time for the important stuff.
  9. Do what you love.
  10. Spend time with people you love.
  11. Spend time alone.
  12. Learn to say no.  
  13. Eat slowly.
  14. Drive slowly.
  15. Be present.
  16. Limit your buying habits and learn to live frugally.
  17. Simplify your goals.
  18. Make a Most Important Tasks (MITs) list each day
  19. Use a minimalist productivity system.
  20. Leave space around things in your day.
  21. Simplify work tasks.
  22. Single-task.
  23. Create a simple mail, paperwork and filing system.
  24. Keep your email inbox empty.
  25. Clear your desk.
  26. Simplify your computing and online life.
  27. Declutter your digital packrattery.
  28. Limit your communications, media and advertising consumption.
  29. Simplify your RSS feeds.
  30. Simplify home tasks.
  31. Create a simple system for housework.
  32. Create an easy-to-maintain yard.
  33. Make your house minimalist. Have a place for everything.
  34. Purge your stuff. Declutter before organizing.
  35. Get rid of the big items first.
  36. Edit your rooms next.
  37. Edit closets and drawers after that.
  38. Simplify your wardrobe.
  39. Simplify your financial life.
  40. Consider a smaller home.
  41. Consider a smaller car or no car.
  42. Create morning and evening routines.
  43. Create a simpler weekly dinner menu.
  44. Find inner simplicity. Develop equanimity.
  45. Learn to decompress from stress.
  46. Learn to do nothing.
  47. Fill your day with simple pleasures.
  48. Carry less stuff. Learn to pack light.
  49. Live closer to work.
  50. Always ask: Will this simplify my life? If the answer is no, reconsider.

Click here if you want Leo’s Long List of 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life with all the links.

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I’ve written hundreds of evergreen, practical tips to build your art marketing and art business to-do list. You’ll find them in The A.C.T. Art Marketing Blog.



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