Simplicity

How to Prioritize Your Life

Buy this car to drive to work, drive to work to pay for this car” –Emily Haines of the band Metric

I remember some old colleagues who worked crazy hours at the office and had to hire a full-time nanny to take care of the kids. I understand that people are highly dedicated to their careers, but doesn’t it make sense to work less and spend time with your kids rather than work like crazy to pay for a nanny to parent your children for you?

Only in the past 30 years has it been common for both parents to work, leaving the kids to fend for themselves. We’re all too busy, too preoccupied to realize what is most important- quality time with family and friends, hobbies, rest, exercise, etc.

It’s easy to get stuck on a treadmill: work hard, then go home exhausted, relax by watching TV, see the commercials and all the things you need to buy to be happy, spend money to buy these things, work harder to pay for these things, watch more TV because you’re even more tired, see more commercials, buy more stuff, work even harder and so on and so on. It’s a dangerous spiral.

Prioritize what’s important. Don’t let advertising or societal norms tell you what will make you happy. Figure out what you want, what you truly deep down want for yourself. Is it a sports car? Or is that what celebrities and action movies are telling you that that’s what you want? A sports car most likely will just lead to debt and financial problems, not to mention the stress of getting it scratched.

If you love to hike but don’t have enough time to ever go, what can you eliminate that can allow you hike more? Are you working way too much to pay off that giant house that you don’t really need? Think hard about what it is you want and put those things in a list. Then work on eliminating anything unnecessary that’s getting in the way.

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