The Power of Simple

Has your head ever felt like a whirlpool?

career coaching, career change, love your work, find your remarkable life

My head is spinning..

So many ideas, deadlines, projects, priorities, people to see, things to do, good intentions, fun ideas, serious plans, visions, goals and challenges….

Last week I hit the overload point – my head was spinning.  I felt overwhelmed.

The last few months have been really busy building Less Ordinary Living; finding new partners, coaching my wonderful clients, keeping up with blogging, creating new products and service offerings. It’s been amazing and exciting, but exhausting.

I’ve also been trying to stay connected to my friends, take advantage of the amazing summer here in Britain, keep fit and healthy, learn new skills and train for an adventure race in September.

I always have personal development projects on the go too – learning to meditate, keeping promises to myself, taking up journalling.

Finally, last week I got some personal news that knocked the wind out of me.

Life started to feel far too complicated and I didn’t have the energy to cope with everything.

The Power of Simple

This week, I’ve cut back to simple.  KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid…

I looked at what is most important for me right now:

  • To be healthy
  • To grow my closest relationships
  • To get my new website finished

This week, I’ll only do what is needed to achieve this.  The rest is not important – it can wait.

The whirlpool in my head has stopped spinning.

The Power of Simple has changed everything.  I feel calmer, happier and back in control.

Over to You

  • What are your three most important priorities?
  • How do you keep your life simple?
  • How do you cope when things get overwhelming?

Please leave a comment and share.  To get regular ideas on creating a remarkable lifestyle, click here to join our mailing list.

Photo credit : DOH4 (Flickr Creative Commons)

Related posts:

  1. Find your Focus – The Power of Now
  2. The Power of Promises – How to Never Let Yourself Down Again


  1. Phil
    July 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    How do you keep things simple? How do you deal with overwhelm? Please share and let everyone know.

  2. July 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi Phil,
    My #1 priority and my marvelous obsession is my writing.
    #2 is the business of it all and #3 is my health (physical & spiritual).

    I have found that time will expand or contract to accommodate what needs to be done. When things seem overwhelming I trust in the infinite that time will expand so I can take care of business.

    I am excited for you and can’t wait to learn more about your expansion for Less Ordinary Living.

  3. Farnoosh
    July 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Phil, not only am I spinning (cycling) in literal sense, I couldn’t agree with you more on my mind spinning. It is SO important to prioritize and to stick to the plan. Fighting distractions and knowing my own priorities hasn’t been easy but I do keep it simple: super health (same as you here, eating and e ercise), my hubby, the blog and my yoga. I leave the other 300 lower items unsaid… :) good luck!

  4. Denny
    July 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Less is more. Couldn’t agree more.

  5. July 7, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi Phil, please know that I’m saying this with love, but oh I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’ve just written a post about being overwhelmed, so I get where you’re at. My priorities are my family, our collective health, and my business. I’m so glad you asked, because just that exercise has helped me to prioritize some current tasks – if they don’t relate directly to one of those three things, they can wait. I’m glad you have a strategy to get you through this, I’ll be thinking of you, let me know if I can help, and I’ll see you on the other side :)

  6. July 8, 2010 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Ah the spinning head…the one that whirls round and round and seems to go at top speed when the lights are out and you are trying to lie quietly in bed for a few hours rest.

    My Type A personality causes my head to spin 24 hrs a day/7 days a week. I can’t turn it off. Never have been and never will be able so I just live with it.

    My top priorities are my 2 cats…they are actually #1 & #2…I guess I could then call hubby #3 as he is just as needy as they are.

    I have learned to simplify my life if anything these past few years. I have ditched all the ‘physical clutter’ (still can’t turn that darn head off) and I have given up the temptation of bringing any more into the home. This has freed up my life tremendously in more ways than one. When I become overwhelmed by life I climb into my hot tub and just relax…the x-tra hot water (I keep it at 107 degrees)…I know, I know… but the heat makes my mind shut down even if for only a few moments at a time…For me that is what works

  7. July 8, 2010 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Hey Phil, I know what it’s like to get the wind knocked out of you. Hope all is OK. You’re very wise to recognize that many things can wait. For me, I’ve also noticed that many things can wait forever, and in the big picture don’t truly matter. But I have to keep remembering that. Right now I’m trying to remember that most important to me is (1) wellness, (2) the joy of being connected to people, play, creativity, and nature, and (3) continuous learning and growth so that I may do good work that is of service to others. Take care, my friend.

  8. July 8, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Phil — your post put a big smile on my face. Just the idea of a KISS makes my head feel like a whirlpool. ;-)

    Thank you!

  9. Phil
    July 8, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    @Rob – You are a zen master of time management and clearly have your priorities sorted. I find time can be a distraction sometimes – it forces us to act with urgency yet this is really an illusion. Almost nothing is so urgent that it can’t wait a little. Sometimes we need to draw breath and admire the view.

    @Farnoosh – yes best to leave the other 300 items unsaid! How do we find so many “priorities” in our life. It is pretty amazing that our brains don’t explode with all those competing ideas. I’m thinking about life like chess at the moment – one move at a time with an eye of the future.

    @Denny – thanks for stopping by. Glad we are on the same page. Simples!

    @Topi – thanks for sharing too. It is reassuring to know that most people face this on a regular basis. Life is pretty complex these days. Cutting back to what really matters can help get rid of the froth.

    @Finally – you really have got your priorities straight – lucky cats! That type A brain is a wicked thing – always plotting and scheming. I’ve found daily breathing / meditation really helps me to find a peaceful space in the day, and a hot-tub is another form of that. Keep using the energy in a focused and creative way!

    @Patty – thank you sincerely. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and your sincere words. I’ve been using the rule of 10 a lot recently – will something matter in 10 hours, 10 days, 10 weeks, 10 months, 10 years? It’s helped me see the wood from the trees and calm the vortex in my mind a little. I am sure you’ll keep your priorities at the top of your mind and keep serving others beautifully. Please take care too.

  10. July 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi Phil,

    We humans love to complicate our lives, don’t we? KISS – great way to go through life in a way that lets you enjoy those sterling moments. Congrats on slowing it down. Now, you can enjoy it!

    Over to you –> cute!

    My 3 most important priorities

    a) get outside as much as possible this summer. Winter is too long!

    b) finish my card deck. Text done. Artwork ideas forming.

    c) get together for margaritas with long lost friends re-discovered via LI, FB, etc.

    I keep life simple by REFUSING to go along with the “speed it up program.” We can choose to savor life or speed through it. If you follow the curve of the whip smarting your tail side, you’ll discover you’re the one holding it!

    If overwhelmed, I pick the one activity speaking to me the loudest and pursue it. Attention splatter helps no one.

    Fun post! Giulietta

  11. July 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Hey Phil, firstly I love “The Power Of Simple” that’s a real gem of a title! As you already know my life has recently become more simple in one sense of it’s own accord. Now my challenge is keeping myself inspired to keep moving forward. Although I will that I am going to make the most of the first few weeks and really give myself a chance for some down time as it’s not something I do often enough.

  12. July 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Hey Phil, I’m with you on the power of simple. I have days when all the different roles I play rub up against each other and my sanity-preservation instinct kicks in. For me, what simplifies things is the act of stepping away from the bubble. Get some perspective. In the end, so few things are a big deal.

  13. July 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Phil: I think you have touched on a topic and a challenge we have all experienced. Life really can suck you in with all that you have to do and you are trying to take care of everything as best you can. One day you look up and realize you are overwhelmed. You have pushed yourself too hard and for too long. For me, when I realize this I know it is time for a time out. It is time to just let go a little and let things be. I think the focused priority approach you mentioned is a good one. Pick only 2 or 3 things that you want to focus on and complete and do those. Let everything else go. The key is to prioritize your calmness and peace of mind over anything else you think you have to do. Thanks for this post and sharing some good thoughts about keeping things simple as a remedy.

  14. July 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I found that I’m better off keeping a short list also. That’s why keeping a task list on the computer doesn’t work for me, I can’t ever seem to choose which tasks to do. Instead, I keep a short list of the tasks I need to get done, either today or within a couple days. It helps me focus when I only have a few items.

    I’ve found a similar truth with my 4 year old daughter. When asked to clean up a room, she just gets overwhelmed, but if I tell her two or three items at a time, she will have the room cleaned up quickly and without any fussing.

  15. July 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    •What are your three most important priorities?

    1. Taking care of my family
    2. Blogging
    3. Songwriting

    •How do you keep your life simple?
    – am contented with what I have.
    – I concentrate on people rather than things.
    – I only have 3 pairs of footwear, sneakers, flip-flops and clogs.
    – sell and give-away stuff I no longer use.

    •How do you cope when things get overwhelming?
    I generally stay away from overwhelm. But… I have gotten quite good at saying no to many things.

    Do I get a gold star now? :)

    I came here from the Registry over at Barbara’s “Blogging Without A Blog.”

    I appreciate your blog.

  16. Liz
    July 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Wow! This is exactly what I’ve been feeling this past week. Great post. Thanks for reminding me that I’m not alone.

  17. July 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Nice post, Phil.

    I definitely know how you’re feeling.

    I made a mistake and started another blog just a week ago, so now I have two relatively new blogs to take care of. Needless to say that it seems like I don’t have any time left for real life anymore.

    The good thing is that there’s no one else to blame, I guess. :)

    I have definitely kept my life simple by focusing only on the websites, but maybe I have lost the little thing called balance.


  18. July 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    For me, the key is boundaries, buffers, and using three stories to drive my day, my week, my month, and my year. I straddle that with 30 day improvement sprints each month to batch and focus whatever needs the most attention in work or life.

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