Sunday, April 26, 2015

Simple-Minded – Part Two

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Eph 5:15–16
Oh to live a balanced, stress-free life, enjoying each day because we have chosen to spend it carefully! We want to place the following suggestions, collected from various sources, in the context of a Christ-centered life.

Start with your values.

Think about your values and write down those that really matter to you. What is most important, most pleasing to God? Spending time with family? Accumulating great wealth? Achieving powerful influence? Acquiring possessions? Expressing yourself? Learning new ideas? Experiencing adventure and travel? Maintaining excellent health? Socializing with friends? Contributing to the community? You can’t do them all. Cut out activities that aren’t consistent with your core values.

Set few but focused goals.

Write a list of goals you’d like to achieve. Focus on doing a few really well, rather than a lot in a mediocre way. You can’t add hours to the day, but you can cut down on activities.
Keep asking, “Is this going to simplify my life?”

Practice saying, “No.”

Remember that, each time you are pressured into saying “yes,” you are actually saying “no” to everything else. Say “no” to whatever compromises or conflicts with your values and goals. Do not agree to requests from others just because you like to please them. Instead, realize that you are free to respect yourself and say “no.” Creating plans or policies in advance can make it easier to decline later invitations or request that may overly complicate your life.
Resign from organizations that don’t contribute to your values and goals.
Reevaluate your current expenditures of time and money.
About a year ago we canceled cable television. As a result we do not surf through dozens of channels looking for something to watch. Thanks to an antenna in our attic we receive free high-definition network and other over-the-air broadcasts. We also use the Internet and a subscription service to provide other viewing options. We are saving both money and time, and we are simplifying our lives.
Choose between spending time and spending money.
Stop constantly spending time to save money. Instead, sometimes spend money to save time. Don’t drive across town to save a few cents on a grocery item. It’s not worth your time. Hire others to do jobs that would consume too much of your time or energy.
Cancel or limit everything you can.
Cancel subscriptions to magazines and newspapers you never get around to reading. Learn to live with less information.
Review your children’s planned activities. If they have to use a time planner to schedule their activities, and you spend all of your time taxiing them around, you are all too busy.
Cut back on – or cut out – television.
Limit television time. Only watch those shows you decide on beforehand. Turn off the television unless there is something specific you have chosen. Stop watching TV news. Go a week or two without watching television at all. You will be amazed at how much time you have as a result.
Free yourself from cyber captivity.
Do not be a slave to anything electronic. Reduce the time you spend on social media, email, mobile phones, web surfing, etc. Schedule your use of gadgets. Challenge yourself to see how long you can go without looking at a screen of any kind.
Clean it out.
Clean out your basement or your office. If you’re not using something, get rid of it. Put an expiration date on items when you can’t decide to keep them or not. Get rid of them when that date arrives.
Think less about money and stuff.
Carry a smaller wallet or purse. Start by cleaning out the one you’ve got. Get rid of unnecessary credit cards and other clutter that you don’t use regularly.
Stop checking up on your financial portfolio every day. Most people invest for the long term. Checking your results daily adds to stress and might lead to expensive and unnecessary changes.
Cut back on debt. Consolidate your different debts into one and pay it off. Put your credit cards in a spot where you won’t be able to use them until you’re debt-free. Track your expenses for a month, then cut back your spending on items you don’t need. For instance, pack a lunch rather than buying one at work. Mix and match your outfits rather than constantly buying new ones.
Live on 80% of what you earn, and give and save the rest.
Automate what you can.
Automate repetitive, clerical, mechanical tasks. For instance, set up automatic bill payments. Include your automatic savings plan as part of your monthly spending.
Plan positively.
Make a plan for the weekend that doesn’t involve work. Plan to spend more time with your family or with people who make positive contributions to your life.
Make time for yourself. Set aside time each day to reflect quietly, go for a walk, plan for your future or meditate. Visit the park instead of the mall.
Plan time for a vacation every year. Some people claim, “I haven’t had a vacation in three years” as if it is a badge of courage. It isn’t.

Live near your work.

Reduce your commuting time. Live closer to your work so you don’t have to drive. Work where you live, or live where you work.


Be in bed by 9:30 p.m. one night a week. Relax an hour or two each day.

Give thanks.

In addition to your prayers, take a moment each day to express your gratitude to someone who has made a difference in your life.
To live simply, simply live.

No comments: