I’ve mentioned here before that I’m adopting the idea of simplify and refine.
This is not a natural tendency for me.
I’m someone who craves process and routine (even as I long to live spontaneously—it’s an interesting tension), and as I seek that structure, I tend to make things more difficult than perhaps they really need to be.
So when I talk about the idea of simplify and refine, I don’t mean I’m going to throw away all my worldly possessions and live in a tent. I mean that I want to loosen my grip on the overcomplicated. I want to plan as much as I need to, but not so much that I feel stifled. I want to only do what's important and leave the rest behind.
But sometimes ideas take a while to sink in. I’ve been doing my best to pay attention, to pull back when I feel myself going too far, but it’s not always easy. So I was overjoyed when I recently found myself unconsciously simplifying.
Here’s how it went down. A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Emma of W&E Photographie came to my home for a photo shoot. I was pretty nervous (just me and a camera? Hmmm…), but Emma put me at ease immediately and made the entire thing a joy. And when the images came back last week, I immediately started adding them to my website. I worked feverishly—I love a good project—but when I was done and I looked up, I was overjoyed to find that I had unconsciously pruned my site as I went, instinctively letting the beauty of her work shine through. It was wonderful to see how the investment I had made—one that felt a bit scary—had paid off in even bigger ways than I had imagined. And I was so happy to find that by holding my awareness on the idea of simplifying and refining my life, I’m really making it happen. Naturally.
So now I turn to you.
What are you overcomplicating? How many steps can you peel away while still creating something you’re happy with? What areas could use a bit more simplicity to make make room for other things you love? Do you really need to...
...post as often? Or can you pull back a little and focus on quality instead of quantity? So many times, less is more. And if you're putting out your best work, not just your quick-I-have-to-share-something work, what good might happen?
...do so much research? Or are you more ready than you think, and possibly just a little nervous? Don't be unprepared, of course, but know when preparation turns into procrastination.
...look at every single photo or post in your feeds? Or are you maybe just worried about missing out? Or giving in to that procrastination monster again?
...say yes to every client / collaboration / interview / guest post request? Or would creating a little breathing room in your schedule make space for other things you want to focus on?
P.S. Speaking of simplifying, how's your relationship with the content you consume? If you're anything like me, even if you try to prune regularly, you find yourself inundated with thoughts and ideas and images and more, more, more. It's overwhelming.
This Friday, I'll be sending my free book, Consume Mindfully: Clarity and Consistency for Information Overwhelm, to my newsletter subscribers. If you're interested in taking charge of the content you consume, you're going to want to read this. And I'll let you know now that this isn't a quick fix or even a short process. This is real, nitty-gritty, actionable work—the only kind I know how to create. It's as simple as I can make it, but it's still pretty darn powerful.
So if you're interested, hop on over and sign up for the newsletter! I'll see you Friday.
P.P.S. I believe in being gentle with myself (and others, of course). Friday is my target release date, but we all know things happen sometimes. If it's not Friday, it will be in the next week or so. I think it's more important to be realistic than it is to do crazy things to meet a deadline! I hope you'll also be gentle on yourself this week.