Simplify Your Life

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Simplify Your Life

We doubt Simon and Garfunkel are big on multitasking. This was the duo who sang, "Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last."

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

There's a tendency, especially in the United States, to try to do as much as possible. We multitask incessantly, as evidenced by the BlackBerry and iPhone crazes.

But a good day can also mean making a trade-off between doing many things and a few meaningful ones. Think about what's important and what you can do away with. You may be able to get rid of some possessions, or you may be able to eliminate certain stressors.

Another term for simplifying your life may be -- and this idea arises in several tips in this article -- mindfulness. Mindfulness -- slowing down, appreciating and observing what is around you -- is a form of simplification. It allows you not to worry so much about the future and to remain more involved in the present. It encourages not overscheduling yourself, completing tasks at an appropriate pace and spacing out tasks so that you can better reflect and decrease stress in your life. Following these ideas, it's possible to recognize what concerns are truly important and what have instead been impressed upon us as important but may not be.

One happiness-oriented Web site recommends focusing on doing one thing at a time. For example, if you decide to watch a classic film and spend the first hour of the film writing some e-mails to your colleagues, by the end you may have gotten several things done, but did you fully commit yourself to either? Is it possible to enjoy and understand and even feel a connection with the movie if your attention was divided for much of the time?

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