Simplify Your Life in 30 Days

Simplify your life challenge: Day 9


Day 9: Simplify your life - commitments

This is my journey through the 30 Day Simplify Your Life challenge. If you would like to join in, you can get the ebook here and follow along.

The official Youtube video for “Evaluate your commitments” week, by muchelleb.

I am working through the challenge in an order that suits me best, instead of directly following the set challenge order. Feel free to do the same!

Day 9: Evaluate your commitments

Day 9: Simplify your life - commitments

Day 9 in the official challenge is actually ‘kitchen’ but I did this weeks ago. So today we are covering what is officially Dayย  20 of the challenge: “evaluate your commitments”. This is a continuation of the mental decluttering phase of the challenge.

Evaluate your commitments

I have a lot of commitments so I was looking forward to this challenge, hoping that it would give me some kind of push to drop some things and free up my schedule a bit. But let me tell you how that didn’t happen.

The first part of this challenge is to list every commitment in your week. You can write a list or draw up a weekly schedule; whatever will help you visualise everything you commit to doing each week (as well as one-off events). To do this portion of the challenge, I pulled up my time blocking schedule on Google Calendar, which blocks out every portion of my awake time to my different commitments.

My weekday mornings time blocked in Google Calendar

Side Note: If you would like to see how I use the time blocking scheduling system, I have written a blog just for that and you can read it here.ย 

I used this to help me write a list of everything I am committed to on a weekly basis, and added any extra one-off commitments that I could think of.

My condensed list included:

  • Full time work
  • Blogging and joint project
  • Online course
  • 30 Day Simplify Your Life Challenge
  • House Cleaning
  • Wedding and Bridal Shower Planning
  • Yoga
  • Social Events

The only commitments I have that aren’t ‘weekly’ commitments are social events, which happen sporadically (although still fairly frequently) throughout the year. All others are frequent and recurring.

Once I had this list of commitments, the next step was to start culling and prioritising; find the superfluous commitments that are just sapping up your time and cut them out of your life, then prioritise which commitments are worth most of your focus.

So here is where my failings began.

My problem is that at the moment, I have a lot of commitments but the commitments I have are all necessary. Yoga and social events aren’t exactly vital but they do a pretty great job at maintaining my sanity during a busy week. Maybe the online course isn’t totally vital but it is only short and I have gained a lot of value out of it so far.

So after the ‘culling’ phase, I was left with a list just as long as the one I started with.

In terms of prioritising commitments, that went a bit like this:

  1. Work (because if I don’t go, I get fired)
  2. Wedding and Bridal Shower (because if I don’t do that, I don’t have a wedding. But this comes second under work because most vital prep is complete)
  3. Social Events (because friends and family are important)
  4. Blogging (because there are a lot of smaller tasks that go into making each blog and without each of them, there is no blog)
  5. 30 Day Simplify Your Life Challenge (because it is a large portion of this blog and also helps me maintain my sanity)
  6. Yoga (because it makes me feel good)
  7. Cleaning (because it needs to be done but is not as intensive as the other commitments)

Once the list has been culled (ideally) and prioritised, it’s then time to work out how you can integrate some of your little moments of happy (challenge day 17) into your weekly schedule.

This step kind of felt a bit insane to me because not only had I removed no commitments from my week, but was now about to add even more.

But here’s the thing. To incorporate the moments of happy into your week, you don’t need to block time specifically for it, you just need to incorporate the moments into the things you are already doing.

Moments of happy: Picnic with my pup
Me and my pup, having a cute lunchtime picnic

For example, in the “what lights you up challenge” I noted that I love being out in the sun. So today, since I was working from home, I took the opportunity to have a lunch time picnic in my garden with my dog, instead of eating inside and scrolling Instagram. Alternatively, I may choose to take the ‘relaxation’ time in my time blocked schedule more seriously and use that time to read or spend time with my family, instead of using it to catch up on bits of work and projects that need to be done. The time is there, you just need to be thoughtful with how you use it.

So that was it. Not much happened in terms of culling and simplifying. But I had a nice lunch today, so that’s a bonus I suppose.

~ Alice Maisie


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