Simplifying & Downshifting: An Update

I am re-reading Simplicity: Easy Ways to Simplify And Enrich Your Life by Elaine St James.   I had to buy another (second hand) copy since, on lending my own copy to a colleague, I remembered how good it is (!) and I thought I would revisit it.

My life is simpler than it might be because (in no particular order of importance):

  1. I have no TV (although Thank God for iplayer)
  2. Consequently I have no TV licence and yes, I’ve read they want us computer watchers to pay, maybe/maybe not though…
  3. And I don’t watch or listen to or read “the news”
  4. I don’t read newspapers or magazines or give them house room, except rarely, so nothing to pile up or chuck out
  5. I don’t wear a wristwatch as the time is everywhere – car, computer, mobile etc., although weirdly I do still have a luxury one or two on my visionboard
  6. I don’t own a car, mine’s leased – if it goes wrong, its their problem and I get to choose a new one every 2 years
  7. My parents are dead (outside my control and definitely not an efficiency move on my part but that’s the result). So many of my clients in their middle years are coping with growing teenagers and dying parents, driving across the country at weekends makes for a very complex and exhuasting stage of life.
  8. I have no significant other (my choice, no regrets)
  9. I have no kids (never wanted any and I already live in a tiny, overcrowded island or so it seems to me)
  10. I barely use telephones. The phone/Skype rings by appointment sometimes and I keep my mobile on silent and most don’t know I even own one and that’s how I like it.  I HATE any phones ringing so I discourage it big time.
  11. I am registered with both the TPS (telephone preference service) and the MPS (mail preference service) so I minimise telephone calls from people trying to sell me stuff, and junk mail.   Yee ha!   I also phone up everytime I get junk mail and asked to be removed from mailing lists. This does eventually take effect and reduce stuff you have to handle.

I realise I’ve done all of this since reading Simplicity the first time around; s’taken me about 13 years but I do have a great deal more peace in my life than before.   Chuffed about that, to be able to measure my progress in hindsight and keen to get some more simplification in place.

Where I’m looking to simplify next:

  1. Complete obliteration of all bad debt, taking away gazillions of bank payments each month. I have a plan for this within a couple of months.
  2. Following that up with paying off all good debt – same thing, takes whole layers of admin out of my life/banks/taxes and puts me – finally – ta ra! – into financial freedom. I have a plan for this within the year.
  3. I want to (as the Americans call it) re-model my home. This will bring short-term stress into my life but medium and long-term amenity which I am assuming will be worth the hassle. I may pass and make do.
  4. I am having a bit of hassle with the freeholders of a couple of my properties, buying the freehold at one would reduce that.
  5. Email still dominates my life – attempting not to reply to anything which doesn’t need one.
  6. This month I am getting rid of books and bookshelves, unused old computers and various gadgets, photos, recipes, and anything which is not regularly used or loved.   What to do with my piano sheet music I am saving for the day when I again have a piano?
  7. Am replacing those things which need it but remembering to chuck out the old stuff which is replaced.
  8. I’m starting the long march to paperlessness in August – as the mail comes in each day I will try to work out what I have to do to stop it coming. Banks are enthusiastic about this and offering incentives. Good.
  9. I propose to get better about saying No.   I shall go to less. Nothing personal, don’t take offence.
  10. I think I could learn to communicate more cleanly, thus reducing the amount of mis-understandings which all need clearing up, usually caused by my enthusiasm to be off the phone quickly!
  11. I’ve got far too many Limited Companies – hoping to amalgamate all that’s important into one IBC (international business company) with overseas tax-freedom benefits, a long-cherished dream.   Its not that I dont want to pay tax here, although no-one LOVES that, it’s that I want to spend more time abroad.

So, in summary – some progress made, more to go.   The Simplicity book reminds me that often its two steps forward one step back and so I draw comfort from that and renewed vigour.

Three Things I’m Grateful For Today:

  1. Perky Pete, my keen-as-mustard estate agent
  2. The carpet-fitters in Nunhead
  3. The other Peter, who has done a brilliant job of re-decorating the BTL.

Three Things I Intend to Manifest:

  1. A gorgeous new tenant who will look after the new decor and carpets and enjoy their lovely new home
  2. A locksmith to sort out all the doors – pronto
  3. BTL peace of mind

Your Biz Your Way

If you have enjoyed reading my words here, you might also enjoy my book - Your Biz Your Way: Learning to Trust Yourself. Relax! You've Got This. Find out how to buy the book here Read My Book