5 Steps to Better Zen Living in 2012

Zen livingWhen our homes and lives become full of clutter it can be overwhelming. There are so many places for our energy and focus to go that nothing seems to get done and our brain never has time to “power down”. At the same time committing to living more simply can seem impossible. There is nothing that can just be cut or removed from our life! Surely we need it all. Here are five steps to help to reach Zen living in 2012.

1. Know What is Most Important in Your Life.

We all have core values, things that are most important to us. Our lives should focus around these things. Write them down if that will help you stay focused. You should make a list of 3 to 5. Common sense says we should direct the decisions we make to focus on these important values, but life can get murky. Without re-evaluating this from time to time you may find yourself spending a lot of time and energy on things that aren’t truly important to you at all.


2. Realize the Consequences of Saying Yes.

Many people have a hard time saying no. But if your goal is simplified Zen living, you are going to need to get better at it! By taking on more and more you have no down or free time in your day. This means no time for you to do things you truly enjoy. If you are already overcommitted really consider the consequence of saying “yes”. What are you giving up? What are you not going to do as well because of your new time limits?


3. Empty the Top of Your Desk.

Having a clean workspace is going to make you more productive. On top of that many of the papers piled on top of your desk likely belong in your home filing system- it’s time to put them there. Knowing where papers are for future references can be a big stress saver. Be decisive as you clear off your desk. Putting off a decision about whether to keep something, or where to put it, is procrastination. And procrastination will eat your time! Every day you think about a decision you are waiting to make you slowly throw away more time!


4. Start Small.

If you are completely overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning out your home office, then start small. Clean out a drawer in your desk. Keep the items in your drawer that you treasure and love OR that are useful to you. Everything else goes. If you have a lot of papers clean out this drawer with a paper shredder handy. Papers that you need go into your home filing system, papers that you don’t go into the shredder!


5. Have a Plan and Stick to It.

Do you check your email, twitter, Facebook, or do other tasks compulsively? Decide how many times a day you really need to do those things. You are wasting time and eating up your entire day by going back and forth between all of these things. You don’t need to stop doing them, just have a plan about how often you’re going to. Try hard to stick to your limits for a few days, see how much time you gain!


Zen Living Can Be Yours In 2012

If these five tasks still seem overwhelming start with one, and do it today. Decluttering both your physical space and your task list will leave you feeling great. Using your home filing system and clearing out what you don’t need will open up your physical space. Learning to say no and engaging in activities you truly care about will open up more time in your day. Both will leave you feeling more Zen.


What will you do to achieve Zen living this year?

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11 Responses to “5 Steps to Better Zen Living in 2012”

  1. Noreen February 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Thanks Heidi,
    I need to clear my desk off and I need to move my filing system from another room to right next to my desk.

    • ClearSimpleLiving February 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Let us know how it goes Noreen. I think you will find things are much more likely to get filed right away when you can reach your file system from your desktop!

  2. Susan P February 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Thanks for these great reminders, so simple but why is it often so easy to forget? My biggest challenge in the months to come is to clear the clutter more than I ever have. I also have to get better too at scheduling time to do tasks like checking emails. I have six kids so I often have fires I have to put out throughout the day that seem to throw me off task, I guess that’s where deep breathing comes in handy to help me refocus and stick to my schedule!

  3. Heidi N February 11, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    I like the idea of staying on top of a clean desktop. That is one of my goals this year so I can keep track of where all my bills end up and pay them on time. Thanks for your steps to better living in 2012.

    • ClearSimpleLiving February 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      I am a big believer in a clear desktop, it makes a big difference if you can start your day fresh! Remember don’t give up if you notice things starting to stack up again, just remind yourself of your goal and clear that desktop off again! New habits take time to build.

  4. Jan February 12, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    Oh boy did you hit it on the nail. I have been working out of town and coming home on the weekend. I work every other weekend. This means I only have everyother weekend to clean and fix. I bring things in and pile them up. Too tired to really clean. You have given me the drive to start. I have scheduled 4 hours in the morning cleaning my office. Yes, sad to say it will probably take that long. I need to do it anyway for taxes.
    I have (because of you) started getting my receipts together. I started a excell sheet to list them on. This way at the end of the month I can auto sum them and put them into that monthes Large envelope. I have small 5×6 flip top envelopes I put each reciept in after I have listed it on my excell sheet. I would never have done this if it were not for you. I love your viedos and emails.
    Thank you so much.
    Jan recently posted..How To Become A ClickBank Super AffiliateMy Profile

    • ClearSimpleLiving February 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

      The good news is now that you’ve gotten yourself motivated you won’t ever need to spend four hours cleaning your office again! I’m glad to hear some tips are already paying off for you. Good luck with your taxes!

  5. Rowena List February 12, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    When I need a little Zen I grab my book or monthly magazine and head out the door to a local coffee shop. If the sun is out I grab a coffee to go and head to the park bench. I treat myself to one hr of reading in the quiet. If it is raining I simply stay at the coffee shop. I love these stolen moments. We all deserve them no matter how busy our lives are.
    Rowena List recently posted..Organizational Frequently Asked QuestionsMy Profile

    • ClearSimpleLiving February 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Well said! It’s those moments that help us be effective in the rest of our day.

  6. Denise February 12, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    I am still learning to implement your power and accomplishment course. This list of 5 basics is a good refresher. Lately I’ve been making a daily plan and working my plan. When I do, I have an effective and easy day. I try to get my desk clean at least once a day. I keep my daily to do down to 3-5 important things. And I am making meditation part of my day. Instead getting overwhelmed I stop and plan. You are a great help, Heidi. Thank you.

    • ClearSimpleLiving February 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your successes with us Denise! It is great to hear from you!

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