Simplify Your Choices to Save Time

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We live in the land of opportunity. If I want to make Thai food for dinner, I can Google a recipe, stop at the store for all the ingredients, and whip something up. Just in my local community I can sign up for Chinese classes, painting classes, and violin. I had dozens and dozens of stores that woo me with the latest styles.

There is nothing wrong with cooking something new, starting a new hobby, or trying to dress fashionable. But all these things take time. Just because you can expand your horizons doesn’t necessarily mean you should. In fact, simple living comes down to one thing: simplicity.

I’m a mom of six children but also an author. I discovered this truth about simplifying when researching for my Amish novels and my Amish devotional book, The One Year Book® of Amish Peace. The Amish are simple, plain. But they also are effective.

The Amish wear the same type of clothing every day. They don’t fill their lives with media entertainment. They cook the same recipes their parents and grandparents cooked, which means they don’t waste time trying new things. It takes time to make choices, to try new things, and to follow the latest fads. The Amish get a lot of basic stuff done each day because they stick to the basics.

Simplify your wardrobe. I’m drawn in by sale signs. Who isn’t excited about 80% off? Yet too often I find myself buying one clothing item that doesn’t go with anything else, which means I spend time hunting around for something to match. Can you relate? To save time, pick fashion based on function rather than fads. Also choose a few favorite stores. As “unhip” as it may be, I do 90% of my clothes shopping at Old Navy and JC Penny. I know I can find simple items for me that fit and that last.

Simplify your meals. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy trying new recipes, but it takes time to try something new and hunt down all the ingredients. I use my 20 top recipes 80% of the time. I keep my pantry and freezer stocked. I have what I need to get the job done at a moment’s notice. It just saves times!

Simplify your routine. Every morning I wake up, drink a glass of water, gather my Bible and Bible study, and sit down to connect with God. I write a blog, then shower, dress, and get the kids dressed and fed. I drive my daughter to school, return home, get started on chores, spend time with the littlest kids, and then I answer emails. During nap time I work on bigger writing projects. It may seem like a boring routine, but it works. I know what I need to do and what must be accomplished to have everything done. There are lots of places I’d like to go and lots of things I’d like to do, but if I get too scattered nothing gets done.

We live in a land of opportunity and I continually have to remind myself that I have chosen what’s most important . . . and what’s most important is to stick to that!

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Tricia Goyer (77 Posts)

Tricia is the author of more than 30 books and has published more than 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine. She won the Historical Novel of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award in 2005. Tricia's co-written novel, The Swiss Courier, was a nominee for the Christy Awards.


Comments

  1. We do business with the Amish. They’re good hard working people in our experience. A bit different, but certainly in a good way. Overall, this society would be a whole lot better off if we all had the faith, work ethic, and self-reliant accountability of the average Amish adult. Are there bad ones in the bunch? Sure, because they’re humans. But in our experience we’d trust the average Amish at their word more than we would the average “English”. The more this society slips downward, the more we respect the Amish, http://www.amishcabincompany.com

  2. I much prefer simplicity too. Jeans and a tshirt, meat n potatoes, and hanging out at home with my family. It was great to move away from much of my friends and family about 1.5 years ago and have the opportunity to start fresh with no commitments other than the farm and my family. Add in church and groceries and my life is perfectly full!

    • I just realized how cold it sounds that I am glad I moved away from family and friends. I appreciated the fact of being able to start fresh but I do still appreciate and miss my loved ones. We still get to go visit them regularly but I am not obligated to attend all the numerous playdates, mom’s days out, church functions, volunteer functions etc that I was attending before I moved. I didn’t realize how much those commitments were overwhelming me until I didn’t have to do them anymore.

  3. Not only is this blog helpful, but for me it’s actually freeing! Society makes us, especially women, feel so pressured to keep up with the latest fad, latest food, latest fashion, latest toys. It’s actually quite frazzling and your words are like a permission slip to keep it simple and do what works best for myself.

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