Simplify: It’s Not That Complicated

This is a guest post is written by Andria Bicknell. Andria is an accomplished and gifted writer. She has leadership experience in ministry, business and at home.

- Wes Saade, M.D.

 

Depending on where you stand on the earth, our planet spins at roughly 0 to 1,000 miles per hour.  (Zero on the poles and 1,038 mph on the Equator.)  I’m in Texas, so I’m living at about 700 mph all day, every day.  And, I can feel it.

Month, after month, after month at full-throttle.  It’s too much for me.  The faster my life goes, the less effective I become.  Showing up is not the same as being fully present.  I know if I want to make a real impact on my world, I have to slow things down.

simplify image

So on May 31, I made a decision to

simplify.

I began the month of June with this one word.  Immediately, I was tempted to map it all out on my calendar:  get up an hour earlier to read/pray/reflect, cut back on my commitments, get more sleep, spend less money, eat better, work out more, reduce my children’s activities.  Well, how telling…I was already complicating my resolution to

simplify.

So, I didn’t DO anything.  I didn’t even tell anyone.  I refused to make a project out of it.  I just committed to let that one word roll around in my heart and mind all month.  None of my responsibilities changed.  Just like the rest of the world, I still worked 40+ hours a week, tucked my children into bed, cleaned my home, paid my bills, and mowed my yard.

I just let that one word influence my choices all month.  I celebrated simple moments, and I simplified complicated tasks.  I did little things like…

Day 1:   pick up my devotional
Day 3:   take a walk with a girlfriend
Day 5:   play in the water sprinkler with my children
Day 8:   write a heart-felt email of gratitude to someone I work with
Day 13: drink coffee on my patio before looking at my phone, laptop, or calendar
Day 16: spend a whole afternoon at my girlfriend’s kitchen table
Day 17: go to bed at 9:30pm
Day 19: hire someone brilliant to do something for my career that I had been putting off for months
Day 23: plant honeysuckle in my backyard
Day 27: make an event out of picking up a friend at the airport

I tried to maximize my time by minimizing my schedule.  For instance:

I didn’t abandon Facebook, but I did reduce my idle time on it.
I didn’t avoid texts/calls/emails, but I did set aside better times to answer them.
I didn’t join a gym, but I did buy myself a pair of 8lb weights to mix up my routine.
I didn’t schedule a time to pray everyday, but I did have more conversations with God.

At the end of the month, I felt more effective in business, more passionate about my career, more engaged with my children, and more connected with my closest friends.

Day 30:  my simple observation…

It takes no effort at all to fill one’s days with valuable people to see and important things to do.
But, it takes all the purpose in the world to carve out time for oneself, to be fully present with those we love, and to just be still.

My way of simplifying and yours won’t be the same.  But what would happen if you let this word roll around in your heart and mind for the next 30 days?  After all, the world just keeps on spinning, but we all have the power to slow it down with just one little word:

simplify.

Andria Bicknell

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3 Comments
  • Misty Gilbert
    Posted at 09:29h, 09 July Reply

    Andria, I enjoyed your account of how you achieved this. In a world where there is too much noise, where we have to fight all day to make it, where enough is never enough, where the demands are high, where life becomes overwhelming, we have to take time to stop and say No. I find this is easier said than done, but I press on in my quest to Simplify.

    Thank You for sharing how you did this. Cheers to your endeavors to Simplify!

  • Andria Bicknell
    Posted at 16:47h, 09 July Reply

    Thank you, Misty. It’s a comfort to know others can relate. You’re absolutely right, there are so many demands on us these days. I think we forget that most often we can choose what we take on…and not feel guilty about saying “No” when it’s warranted. Life is just too precious to rush through and somehow discover we were too busy to REALLY LIVE! 🙂

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