Freelance writers’ lives are usually quite busy. But busy with what?
Often we are busy doing things that don’t matter, or actually detract from our lives. And that’s why we should practice simplicity.
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail. — Henry David Thoreau
To me, simplicity means simplifying my life as much as possible so I have more time for my truly important goals, from business to family to personal development.
There are four broad principles you can apply to simplify your life:
Examine everything you do and decide whether or not it really needs to be done. Ask yourself these questions about every activity you do:
- How will it enhance my life or benefit others?
- Does it really matter in any significant way?
- Who or what benefits from a given action?
- What harm could come from the action?
Think carefully before every potential purchase. Before you buy, ask yourself these questions and carefully weigh your answers:
- Will it save me time over the long run?
- Will it make me happier over the long run?
- Will it increase my productivity?
- What effect will it have on the people in my life? Will it bring me closer to them, or will it distract me?
- What are the environmental costs of this product in terms of resources and energy used, and pollution created?
Travel takes time and money and energy. Think carefully before every journey from your house, whether it’s to the local store or across the country:
- Do I really need to go?
- Do the benefits outweigh the costs?
- Can errands and activities be combined into fewer trips?
I’m not saying don’t use your brain. On the contrary, you should think about important things in your life, or about things that make you happy or relax you.
I’m talking about minimizing the amount of useless thinking you do. Much of this comes from all the stimuli in the environment that clamor for your attention, but that you should usually ignore:
Tuning out this noise calms your mind and allows you to focus on what’s truly important.
Simplicity and the Successful Freelance Writer
I’ve been applying these principles for years and they have had a major positive impact on my happiness, health, and relationships.
And they have also had a major positive impact on my freelance writing business. By doing less and owning less, I have more time and more energy to devote to marketing my freelance writing and actually doing my writing projects.
What can you do to simplify your life? How would this not only boost your writing income, but also benefit you in other important areas? Any suggestions/ideas to share with us?