Have you ever actually wanted less in your life? Greg McKeown has written a book for you entitled Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. The book shows you how to declutter your life, avoid being hijacked by the agendas of other people, and use strategies to keep yourself from being stretched too thin. That sounds like a recipe for peace that we could all use in our lives.
In a recent interview McKeown let listeners in on a secret that he uses to declutter and get rid of inessential things in his life:
- It begins with keeping a journal or simply making sure that your calendar is up to date each day.
- It continues with a one day off-site retreat all by yourself every ninety days.
- It culminates as you carry out for the next ninety days the decisions you’ve made on your one day retreat.
Here’s how it works. Schedule a one day retreat for yourself every ninety days. Actually put it on your calendar and make sure you do it. On the retreat this is what you do:
- Bring your journal and/or calendar with you.
- Turn off all phones and electronics.
- Spend the first part of your day reviewing your journal and calendar. What were the things you did that did not move you closer to your major (three or less) goals? What were the things that most effectively carried you toward them?
- Spend the second part of your day figuring out the inessential things you can cut out of your life that will not move you toward your three or so major goals. You might even have to make some relatively painful cuts and figure out ways to keep others from hijacking your personal agenda.
- Write down the three major goals you want to accomplish in the next ninety days.
- Put those goals in a prominent place where you will see them every day.
- Focus like a laser beam on those goals and cutting out the things that will not move you toward them.
Repeat this process in ninety days by scheduling your next personal retreat on your own calendar. This one personal day every quarter will give you the clarity you need to declutter the unnecessary things in your life and focus on the things that are truly important and necessary.
Why don’t you schedule your first personal, off-site retreat today?