Once you get a handle on The Basics of living small (Food, Clothing, Shelter, Money), and have your essentials identified and separated, it’s time to move on to all the mass of “stuff” in your life that remains.

Overwhelm and The Vegetative State

You are much more likely to enjoy your life more and “vegetate” less if you have fewer busy-work responsibilities and fewer mundane things you have to handle. Think about it. When you feel totally overwhelmed, how much energy do you have? How likely are you to jump up and start organizing and cleaning things? How much do you enjoy cooking or even eating a meal? How motivated are you to pursue a hobby or visit with friends?

When you are juggling too much, you are much more likely to select some form of passive entertainment — like television, surfing the web, reading or playing video games — where you can “get lost” and not interact with people. You are much more likely to require this form of vegetative “down time” when you are trying to accomplish too much during the bulk of your day. Modern-day “overwhelm” leaves you less able to be creative, to socialize, to pursue hobbies, to spend real time with your significant other, your friends, and your family. You have less energy to do what matters most to you.

Quit the Guilt

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with watching a movie, reading a book or playing a game — or even spending time online doing nothing in particular — but passive entertainment is becoming the default activity for so many people these days. Those are the same people who often feel like all they do is eat, sleep, work and repeat. It’s not very satisfying and many of us feel constant guilt not for what we ARE doing, but for what we AREN’T doing.

Ever feel that way? Have you felt that way today? If so, it’s probably time to tackle some of the advanced simplification techniques, and begin lightening your load!

Your next steps toward simplification and living small might include:

  • Organizing and minimizing and even eliminating superfluous things from your life.
  • Identifying ways to become more self-sufficient and learn to be more self-reliant.
  • Determining how to simplify the technology in your life (to make it serve you so you spend less of your time serving it).
  • Taking better care of your body, while nurturing your soul.
  • Developing and maintaining more satisfying interpersonal relationships.

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