It is over easy to fritter your days away on inconsequentials. The relentless march of mundanity that demands our distracted attentions minute by minute. But, dear friends, a life of purpose is not spent in frivolity. The duties of life are many, and the dishes are never fully done. Washing piles appear and dust settles daily on our best intentions. This is why it is all the more important to take determined steps toward a life propelled by purpose rather than one dragged by demands.
There is a way to live that relieves you of duty and delivers you to fresh delight.
The Tyranny of the Urgent
The tyranny of the urgent is one thing. Many of those demands are non-negotiable. When your five-year-old falls and scuffs his knee you have no choice but to tend to the little wounded soldier. The school run will not go away just because you want to spend more time in prayer. The floor does really need cleaned and the clothes must be picked up and put away at some point.
But even these noble duties can be tamed with some creative minimalism.
In what way can recurring tasks be simplified and made less cumbersome?
A Simple Wardrobe
For me, a simple wardrobe was a good place to begin. Instead of 20 minutes sorting through socks to pair them up appropriately, I dumped my sock drawer and purchased 10 pairs of the same colored socks – not black because others in my family had black socks too. Now I spend zero minutes dredging through washed socks and no longer need to place in pairs. the same for underwear. And for t-shirts. And jeans.
I realize that this may not work for the fashionatas among you, but without question your wardrobe can be simplified in ways that offer relief from sorting and sizing each week.
My fave shopping stop? Uniqlo.com
A Tamed Kitchen
What other areas of inconsequential can you shave to free your time? Sort your kitchen and so the daily pots, pans and plates are sorted in a way that don't require you to fight through a wall of tupperware to retrieve them. Dump the haphazard assemblage of crockery and go with one style. Remove the gathering of random mugs that cram your cupboard and keep only those you love and enjoy drinking from. Have enough for visitors but don't sweat over disposing that mug you received as an afterthought Christmas pressie from aunty May in 1988.
And seriously, get rid of anything you don't use. Especially that tin of salmon chucks with a sell-by-date of Jan 1993.
My top pot and pan discovery? Tefal Ingenio
Keep your rooms in keeping with their purpose. Your bedroom is not your laundry dump! It is not the place to watch TV or surf the web. If it is your wedding chamber sanctify it as such. Set apart for intimacy and sleep. Light it accordingly. Furnish as an oasis, not a second office!
Do yourself a massive favor and buy a mattress that wraps you in comfort and encourages a peaceful nights sleep. One of the best investments you will ever make is taking care of yourself in this manner.
My fave mattress? The Emma.
Day to Day
Day to day duties are inescapable, but better we take charge and tame them to our purposes than that they overwhelm our days with drudgery.
Live on purpose, by design and not by default. Look always for ways to remove the friction from your days so you are free to pour more hours into things that matter to you.
Don't be so set on having your ducks in a row before you jump in and swim. The ducks are a moving target and you'll never have everything perfect before you embark on that heart project you've been dreaming of. The stars will not align to give permission for you to live differently – you have to just do it anyways!
Life is way too short, and you are far too important, to fumble and fritter your way through without taking time to tame the noise. Harness your best energies to bring the time-sucking, soul-destroying march of mediocrity to an end and live with intentionality.
Consider the inner fires that burn with you, the passions and purposes that you would leap from bed to grasp and grow, and design ways to carve out time to pursue them.
Oh, and one more thing that it is essential you dump?
Your excuses why you are not pursuing them already!
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