What if simplicity itself could be a strategy? Spoiler: it can!
I’m excited to actually share with you what this looks like in my life, which I hope is gonna spark ideas for you on what this could look like in your life. Join me as we break down this philosophy into specific areas of life, uncovering how simplicity can be the key to unlocking a more balanced and fulfilled life.
This episode will help:
👉 Busy parents find practical ways to simplify daily routines and spend more quality time with their families.
👉 Content creators simplify their content creation process, ensuring consistent and effective messaging.
👉 Entrepreneurs streamline their schedules and boost productivity
The Power of Simplicity
In this episode, we’re exploring the concept of using simplicity as a strategy. I’ll share personal insights and experiences that illustrate how this approach has transformed my life. Together, we’ll delve into various areas where simplicity can be applied, empowering you to cultivate balance and focus in your own life.
Becoming Hyper-Aware: Identifying Priorities and Distractions
The first step on this journey is all about heightened awareness. It boils down to a single question: what truly matters most to you, and what is actively diverting your attention away from it? This practice of being hyper-aware of your core values and identifying the distractions that keep you from them will unveil the gaps that need addressing in your life. Those places where you’re unwittingly squandering your focus and energy on things that don’t serve your ultimate purpose.
Less is Actually More: The Revelation
Here’s the kicker about simplicity: it can be shockingly difficult to master. Our brains are wired to think that more is better. But here’s a radical twist—what if removing something from your life adds value to it? Yep, that’s the sort of alchemy we’re talking about today.
I actually have a fantastic episode all about this idea of subtraction and it’s truly a gem. In fact, it’s remarkable how it consistently comes up as a fan favorite. This episode reinforces the idea that our brains find it more challenging to envision a simpler path, often prioritizing addition over subtraction.
This mindset shift is essential for creating space and focusing on what truly matters.
Simplicity in Real Life: The Nitty-Gritty
Let’s get into some brass tacks:
- Family Connection Time: Hey, if you’ve been a part of this community, you know how much I rave about quality family time. Forget the gourmet three-course meals; let’s talk pizza nights or even embracing your local takeaway. The point is to spend time, not spoons and forks.
- Home Sweet Organized Home: Time-blocking for cleaning is my jam. We even have a “room reset” challenge where everyone tidies up a room before leaving it. Trust me, your home will feel less like a war zone and more like a zen space.
- No-Stress Newsletters: Keep it simple and consistent. I use a master template for my newsletters, letting me pour my creative juices into the content instead of fussing over the layout.
- Effortless Content Creation: Canva is my partner-in-crime here. Reusable branded templates make content creation a breeze and keep the brand message cohesive.
- Strategic Calls: Here’s my two-step hack—designate days for specific types of calls and group them together. Zero context switching, 100% focus.
Your Simplicity Story: I Want to Hear It
Now that I’ve got your wheels turning, I want to know where are you already applying simplicity as a strategy in your life. I’m excited to hear from you! Share your experiences with simplicity as a strategy – whether through my newsletter or a direct message on Instagram (@leahremillet). Imagine the collective wisdom we can gather as we learn from one another, refining our strategies for a more balanced and intentional life.
Thank you for joining me on this episode of the Balancing Busy Podcast. Stay tuned for more insights, and let’s continue on this journey to embrace simplicity as a strategy for a more balanced and purposeful life. See you next week!
Links You’ll Like:
Never miss an episode – Subscribe to the Balancing Busy Podcast
Connect with me over on Instagram, and let me know what you’re taking away from this episode!
Want to learn how to drop an entire workday a week? Grab my FREE COURSE
Other Episodes You Will Love:
[00:00:00] Leah: Hello and welcome to the Balancing Busy Podcast. I am Leah Remay, and today we are talking about simplicity as a strategy. And what I’m most excited about is to actually share with you what this looks like in my life, which I hope is gonna spark ideas for you on what this could look like in your life.
[00:00:22] But ultimately, it comes down to becoming aware. What matters most and what is distracting you from that? That’s the question. Being hyper aware of what matters most to us and then what is distracting us from it is going to help us to reveal where there’s the gaps in our lives, where there’s those things that we’re allowing focus and attention to go to that are not serving us.
[00:00:51] The goal of this episode is to reveal more time in your life by helping you do less. I was reading in John KO’s newsletter, if you haven’t read any of his books, they are so, so good. He said, simplicity is a strategy, and instantly I could feel myself like, yes, amen. I mean, I was so excited about that and my mind just started like shooting off in a million different directions as I was trying to think about.
[00:01:17] Okay. Where am I using simplicity as a system. And the thing is, is that less is naturally harder for us to imagine. We have the episodes subtract with lighty clouds. It’s so, so good. And that’s not just me saying it because when we did the listener survey, that episode came up over and over and over as one of you guys’ favorite, favorite episodes.
[00:01:44] So if you wanna find that one, you’re gonna need to scroll down quite a bit. I wanna say it’s episode 17, but it’s somewhere in there. But it’s. Subtract by lighty clouds. And you know this idea that less really is harder for us to imagine when we think, oh, I, I need this to happen. The first thing we think about is what can we add?
[00:02:07] Not what can we subtract? Even if the thing is, I need to have more time, I need to feel more balanced, I need to. Be able to accomplish this. We think about, okay, then what am I gonna add instead of, well, what could I subtract to make the space for it? To make the room for it? So thinking about this concept, this idea, simplicity is a strategy.
[00:02:31] Recognizing that whatever matters most to us, we need to look around that and say, okay, well what’s distracting me from it? What is keeping me from getting closer? To what I want to, that lifestyle that I’m after, to that feeling that I’m after to my goals. Because balance, it’s really a feeling. It’s not a destination.
[00:02:57] It’s not a place you’re gonna get to. It’s a feeling. And the thing about balance is everything ebbs and flows. Balance is about being able to stay in a place where we feel. Good, and you’re not gonna stay in that all the time. In fact, you might even have one day where you start feeling balanced. Then in the middle of the day you’re like, ah, crazy chaos, hecticness.
[00:03:23] And then you get back into balance. But my goal for all of us is that we spend more and more time in that feeling of balanced and less and less time in those feelings of chaos.
[00:03:38] Okay, so what I wanna do is I want to hopefully just, I’ve got you thinking. I’ve got you thinking about simplicity as a strategy. Yes. Oh my gosh. Where could this be in my life? And can I just tell you right now, I would love, love, love to hear from you. Yes. You. If you thought of an area of your life where you’re like, oh, I use simplicity as a strategy here.
[00:04:01] Will you please send me a DMM or an email I want to hear? ’cause I think it would be so fun to do a follow-up episode where we share all kinds of examples from all of you of simplicity as a strategy. Wouldn’t that be amazing to hear? I love ideas like you give me. An example, and then I can run with that.
[00:04:21] I’m like, oh, okay. Now that I’m seeing it here in this context, what if we put it there? What if we tried it in this other space? And so I would love to hear where you’re using simplicity as a strategy. Okay. Here are some of mine. Dinnertime. I feel like I talk about this one all the time. Are you guys sick of this one?
[00:04:40] Do you feel like, Leah, do you have any other areas? I do, I promise. But this one, it’s just. It is so profound in our life. Okay. It just has made such a difference for my family. But simplicity as a strategy for dinnertime, right? We’re like embracing takeout, embracing things like pizza night and we’re just gonna pick up a pizza and let someone else make dinner.
[00:05:03] Embracing, um, the meal kits and letting the kids be in charge. Embracing really, really simple dinners. Literally just walking down that cooler section. At Costco where it’s all the like pre-made stuff and being like, yes, that is what we will do for dinner for several of the nights, right? Yes, I’m gonna go ahead and take that 90% made thing, or it’s already all, um, like portioned out and I just have to throw it into the walk or the skillet or the oven.
[00:05:37] I definitely am using simplicity as a strategy. To experience family dinner because what matters most us sitting together as a family and having dinner, what was distracting me from that thinking that dinner needs to be this very ornate, complicated, time intensive thing because I do love to cook and I like.
[00:06:02] Making I, I go over the top. That’s just kind of my personality. I go over the top with everything and I’ve gotten better at it ’cause I’ve really worked on it over the years. Like I’ve recognized this about me. But I definitely applied over the top to dinner. In fact, this is kind of a side thing, but do you wanna know this?
[00:06:22] This is my experience with learning to cook. I. Did not know how to cook When we got married, I just, my dad raised me, uh, in my teenage years. We, it was just the two of us. We just ate out a lot and he would make dinner every once in a long while. But just, we just, it, we just didn’t have a lot of family dinner and, uh, when we were eating together it was, you know, a lot of restaurants and anyways, I did not learn how to cook and I get married and I wanna make dinner for us and.
[00:06:54] I, I can’t make anything. I remember one time I made this dinner, he was at work. I, I was in between jobs, so I wasn’t working at all. And I like, worked really hard on this whole dinner and he comes home and I’m like, I made dinner. And he, you know, sits down. He is like, oh my gosh, I’m so excited. This is so great.
[00:07:10] And he’s like, Like very sheepishly. He’s like, what is it? It wasn’t even recognizable. It was not recognizable. It was stew. That’s what it was. And um, I think maybe like all the liquid was gone. Like so, so there was no liquid and it was just, it was so bad. So because I am a very over the top personality, I was like, I need to make a plan.
[00:07:36] I need to make a plan on how I’m gonna learn to cook. So what I did is I sat down with a pen and a notepad and I would watch the Food Network and my plan was to learn how to make three dinners. That way if we had people over, I could rotate them. And in my head I was thinking, you know, people won’t figure out that I only know how to make three things, but I’ll have these three dinners.
[00:07:56] So that, that was how I learned to cook The Food Network, literally was my. Cooking coach, my cooking teacher. And I would, I would take notes and I would just watch these episodes and, and get ideas. And I started learning and realizing how things connected with each other. Like, oh, every time we’re making a, a, you know, a sauce or a stew or, oh, we always start with like a roo or, um, Learning how fresh herbs worked with certain kinds of things.
[00:08:29] Like, oh, we have a tendency to use, you know, thyme and rosemary for these things and we use basil or um, dill for these things, or whatever. Right. So I, I over time really learned to cook and learned that I loved it and, and I really love making. A little more intricate things, and so I was bringing that, that mentality and thinking like, oh, it needs to be like, A food network, episode, meal.
[00:09:00] I garnish everything. Everything. I love to garnish. Okay, so I mean, hopefully this is all showing you, it’s just this very over the top mentality that I was bringing towards regular, nightly dinner that is just not sustainable, and I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out, like years, years to figure that out.
[00:09:22] But, What matters most US together as a family having dinner, what is distracting me from that? Trying to make it food network worthy, complete with garnish and pan sauce. And so simplicity as a strategy for dinnertime has been huge. Okay. I know I talk about dinner all the time. All the time, but now you understand the backstory a little bit more.
[00:09:48] Okay, so. Clean house. Simplicity is a strategy. I have a house cleaner. I, I don’t know of a simpler way, let’s just be honest. Um, we also do our power cleans, right? Where I set a timer for 15 minutes, that’s usually the average, but you know, 15, if it’s really bad, it might be 30. And I’m like, okay, power clean.
[00:10:07] Everybody in here, everybody go and everybody knows they better work their tails off for that whole 15 minutes. Otherwise I’m adding more time to the timer. But it’s amazing because we can really make. A difference when all of us together are there, just cranking it out. Um, yelling resets. That’s a sim simple strategy where it’s like, okay, five minute reset everybody, and everybody knows, like, put the pillows back, put the blankets back, bring all the dishes to the sink, somebody load ’em into the dishwasher, and we just again, you know, reset.
[00:10:37] That is simplicity as a strategy when it comes to cleaning the house.
[00:10:41] Next would be my newsletter. And with my newsletter, I feel like there’s a a few different simplified systems that I’m stacking on top of each other to make the newsletter easier. But here’s the bottom line. In all of these things that we’re talking about, whenever you’re trying to be consistent, okay? If you are trying to be consistent in anything, you want to implement simplicity as part of your strategy, you will stay more consistent.
[00:11:10] If you keep it simple, the more complicated you make it, the harder it is to keep showing up. So with my newsletter for years and years I was. So consistent. I mean, years and years I was so consistent. And then there was this period of time where I got really, really inconsistent. It was a, it, it was a lot of me transitioning.
[00:11:34] I was making huge pivots in my business. It was also around the time where we took our year to travel the world with our kids and, you know, so I wasn’t really sending the newsletters as much. And then when I got back, I’m like shifting and pivoting. And anyways, there was a big period of time where all of a sudden I wasn’t consistent.
[00:11:50] About the newsletter anymore and now I’m back to consistent and some of the things that I layered on top of each other to get consistent was having a format like this is what the newsletters look like every single Tuesday. You are gonna get a newsletter about the podcast, and I’m gonna have a few tips in there usually that relate with the topic from that podcast.
[00:12:14] In case you don’t have time to listen to the podcast yet, you can just skimm and get some value right outta that newsletter. So that’s one thing. I know what I’m talking about. It’s going to be the latest podcast episode. The second thing is I have a template. I have a newsletter template that I created that we can, as a team just duplicate and fill in the next one.
[00:12:36] And we don’t have to reinvent what this email’s gonna look like, what graphics we’re using, how, what, who’s gonna design ’em, what’s it gonna look like? So it’s just the exact same template every single time, and I shift it a little bit because I don’t want you to get bored. So it’s like my, you know, my monthly roundup looks a little bit different.
[00:12:57] The newsletter one looks a little different every once in a while. When I’m talking about this kind of thing, that one looks a little different. But they’re still the same in that the Roundup looks the same every month. The podcast looks the same, the other kind looks the same. So I create it once, and then I’m duplicating and just adjusting.
[00:13:17] So using templates, having a theme, having certain things that you’re like, this is what I deliver, this is what I do. That’s how I’m able to make my newsletter be consistent. Um, content. I feel like the same concept applies when we’re talking about content or I’m really link looking and thinking about like social media and Pinterest.
[00:13:42] Canva is incredible. Using Canva to create your graphics, but don’t create a new graphic every single time. Every time you’re sitting down to make a new quote or a new Pinterest graphic or whatever it might be. Do not go make a whole new one. Have a handful of graphics that are branded to you, that have your right fonts, your right colors, and just keep reusing them.
[00:14:08] Just duplicate and put in the new quote or put in the new thought or the new idea, or whatever it is. And there’s two reasons that I think this is really important. Number one is it makes your life simpler, okay? It makes it easier to create content ’cause you’re not spending extra time designing and you’re just duplicating.
[00:14:26] The template and making the next one. So that’s, that’s the super, super obvious that goes together with this particular episode where we’re talking about simplicity as a strategy, but second, it’s gonna create congruence. When you are constantly shifting things and it’s a whole new graphic. It’s all new fonts, it’s all new, whatever.
[00:14:47] You are not creating recognition, brand recognition. So you are making it so every single time, I’m not connecting the dots that this is you, that this is your brand again. So for the sake of brand recognition, for the sake of creating trust, you know, you’ve heard no like trust. Part of that trust comes with.
[00:15:08] If I see an ad from Apple, I instantly recognize it. It feels like Apple. If I see an ad from Nordstrom, I recognize it. It feels like Nordstrom. If you see something from me, my hope is that you recognize it and it feels like me, and that builds more trust. So that is another huge reason to give yourself permission to say, I am not going to keep.
[00:15:33] Trying something completely different and new because it’s confusing my customer and a confused customer does not buy. Just doesn’t buy. So that is another reason when we’re talking about newsletters or content creation, to keep it simple, keep it similar, because that is actually going to feel better for your audience.
[00:15:56] Anyway. And then another thing where I’m thinking about simplicity as a strategy is the way that I schedule calls. So there’s two different. Strategies that I’m using. One is I have specific days of the week, right? It’s not, you can’t schedule every single day. There’s only a couple days that are open for certain kinds of scheduling things, and that way those days are blocked out.
[00:16:23] I’m using, you know, a time blocking method where I’m like, okay, those days are blocked out for. Clients maybe, or for podcast interviews, and that way my brain is ready and to be focused in on the task for that day. I don’t have to be jumping from thinking about a podcast interview to thinking about a client project to thinking about something else.
[00:16:49] The second thing is the way that I schedule ’em is very back to back. I don’t give big breaks in between. So if I’m scheduling calls, they are going to be scheduled back to back with a five, 10 minute break. It’s enough for me to jump up, run to the bathroom, stretch for a second, get my stand on my watch, you know, one more hour, and then sit back down and go back in.
[00:17:15] And I do that because again, I don’t wanna have an hour in between where I’m like kind of trying to figure out where to fill it and it’s not gonna be efficient or effective. So I’m just scheduling ’em back to back so that it’s like, okay, boom, boom, boom. Those are done. And now I can move into something completely different.
[00:17:37] So, What are you going to try to use? As we’ve talked about these ideas, what did it spark for you? Where are you already using simplicity as a strategy? And if there’s something that you’ve been really wanting to be consistent in, but it’s been really hard, how can you make it simpler? What could you try?
[00:17:58] What could you do that would allow you to be able to have that consistency, to be able to get that thing that you want, the thing that matters most, and then get clear and really think about how you simplify instead of it being too complicated, which can be distracting. Okay. I am so excited to hear from you.
[00:18:21] I am serious. I really, really want to hear your. Simplified strategies, like where are you making simple part of your strategy? Because I could keep going. I do it in my workouts, I do it in the way that I get ready. I do it with my makeup, I do it with what I wear every day. Like where do you do it? Are, are those, some of ’em, share ’em with me because I think it would be so cool to have a follow-up episode, a part two, which is, you know, the, the simplify strategy, your take on it, and then hear all kinds of ideas from you guys.
[00:18:54] So, Either reply to my newsletter or send me a DMM on Instagram. Leah Rele, l e a h R E M I L L E T. And I hope we do a follow-up episode and we get to learn even more ideas. I wanna learn from you and we can learn from each other, and that is just. So powerful because we are so much better together. Okay, that’s it for this episode.
[00:19:22] Thank you so much for listening to The Balancing Busy podcast. Go implement simplicity as a strategy in your life, and then I wanna hear about it. I’ll see you next week.Hide Transcript