I am always trying to find ways to not only simplify my life but how to do less. Let's face it quality of life has to do with not cramming more activities into one's precious day. Quality of life is about having more time to do what one really wants to do. I am not into multitasking, which is defined as simultaneous execution of more than one program or task by a single computer processor (wikipedia). We are not computers nor shall we want to be. We are not meant to be doing many things at once. So in all my research and talking to women, men, young people, college students and elderly, I am repeatedly told "Lucia, I want to slow down but I just feel it is a lost cause." So this list is for all of us and starts with you taking the first step.
1. Say No without the guilt. It is ok to tell your son's coach that your son cannot make it to the game or cannot come three times a week for training. It is ok to tell the dentist's secretary that you cannot schedule that appointment that day. You don't have to justify yourself with anyone. It is ok to say no to your child that you cannot take her to the mall. It is ok to say no to your spouse that you cannot have Mr. and Mrs. X over for dinner tonight.
2. Wash and dry clothes only once a week. If possible, hang your clothes outside to dry. Even if there is no sunlight, the air and wind will dry your clothes. This was something I did not know and learned from the Italians. There is nothing like air dried clothes and you will save in electricity costs.
3. Shop for groceries only once a week. Be creative with your meals and use what you have without having to repeatedly go to the supermarket.
4. Run your dishwasher only once a day. The more you run your dishwasher the more you have to empty your dishwasher which also consumes more electricity.
5. Keep only one waste / recycle bin area in your home. You don't need waste bins in every room. More bins equal more trash equal more physically having to empty them. If your home has more then one floor, each floor should have one recycle area.
6. Don't bring home unnecessary advertisements, pamphlets, business cards. You can find most anything nowadays online and these create clutter which will then lead you to have to do more de cluttering. I now refuse any free gifts and all the packaging materials, free pamphlets, free gadgets, free clutter!
7. Tidy up your bedroom as soon as you can first thing in the morning before leaving your house. This means fold and put away clothes, make your bed, etc.
8. Clean your kitchen, counters, etc right after mealtime. This will save you loads of time and help you feel less cluttered.
9. Go outdoors. Spend as much time as possible outdoors. It is an energy booster and will rejuvinate you.
10. Eliminate your telephone land line. I was constantly interrupted by solicitors all day. I eliminated the land line and have one personal mobile and one mobile that I use as a land line for emergencies. This one change has freed up my time and put a skip in my step.
I want to hear what your suggestions and tricks are for doing less and living more!! I welcome your comments.
For more information on living a slower and simpler life as the Italian lifestyle reach out for my book and resources at: