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EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Health & Fitness
Real Simple The Power of Less

Real Simple The Power of Less

Real Simple The Power of Less

We live in a world of clutter, of collapsing closets and expanding e-mail, of constant mind chatter and calendar challenge. But more and more, people are striving to live a life with fewer possessions, distractions, and commitments. Now, this special edition can help. Begin to unplug and recharge and streamline your work communication. Find more quiet time alone with the helpful art of saying no. Learn to use less and waste less, from efficient dinners to an eco-friendly wedding. And, of course, dive into powerful ways to declutter the spaces where you live. Let this special edition help you create a balanced, orderly, and productive life by taking a mindful approach to your possessions, your relationships with technology, social media, and your environment.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Meredith Corporation
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In this issue

10 min.
the more of less (stuff, clutter, stress)

CONFESSION: I AM A RECOVERING MAXIMALIST. As a child growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, I enthusiastically embraced a “more is more” mentality. With Madonna’s “Material Girl” cranked up to 10 in the background, I spent my formative years striving to accumulate and amass as much as I could get my paws on, a policy that I applied with equal vigor to my boundless scrunchie and Cabbage Patch Kids collections and to my teeming and precarious social circle. (I attended a middle school where it was standard practice for pals to receive the oxymoronic classifications “first best friend,” “second best friend,” and so on.) What can I say? Greed was good. By the time I graduated from college, in 1999, the whole planet seemed to be drinking the same supersize Kool-Aid.…

9 min.
find more alone time (without being lonely)

IF YOU’RE ONE OF THE RARE PEOPLE who like spending time by themselves, enjoy this article as validation of your natural instincts. If, on the other hand, you’re among those who would rather endure physical pain than spend time alone with your thoughts (true story: in a 2014 study published in Science, many of the participants preferred to give themselves electric shocks rather than spend 6 to 15 minutes by themselves with nothing to do), we’d like to change your mind about solitude. People who value their alone time are often accused of being antisocial, aloof, or just plain weird. But recent research has uncovered positive benefits of solo time. “Studies show people feel rejuvenated when they are alone,” says Julie Bowker, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University…

8 min.
the delicate art of saying no

A REQUEST TO HOST the swim-team party. Coffee with a young colleague who wants to “pick your brain.” Drinks with the new neighbors. Every day, we are peppered with requests—for our help, for our time, for a caterer’s quantity of our famous meatballs. They fill our brimming in-boxes and arrive through our bleating phones, and our usually knee-jerk response to the deluge? Yes! Yes! You got it! Yes! Of course, there’s much to be said for saying yes. We want to help friends in need, to put ourselves out there. (Television producer Shonda Rhimes’s best seller, Year of Yes, was a celebration of this open-arms approach to life.) But too often we agree without thinking, take on way too much, or, when cornered by a coworker in the break room, say…

7 min.
unplug and recharge

RECENTLY, my sister and I went to our parents’ place for dinner. Over a glass of wine before the meal, we were immersed in a fun and lively conversation about Instagram animal influencers, and I randomly asked if anyone knew the difference between a praying mantis and a grasshopper. (Like you do.) Suddenly, the phones came out, Googling began, and there was no turning back. We were mindlessly scampering through the pixelated hills of iPhone Land, and soon enough our whole family was sitting in total silence, together but worlds apart. Of course, this was not the first time I’d ignored fellow humans in favor of pointless phone activity. You’ve probably been there too. And if you’re like many people, you’ve just about had it with your phone interfering with your…

2 min.
how to gain control of your in-box

1 SEARCH AND DESTROY “Don’t let your email box become a to-do list,” something that you work your way through from top to bottom, says Duhigg. “It’s the worst to-do list possible, because literally everyone can add items to it.” On the way to work, spend 10 minutes thinking through your priorities for the day and setting a realistic start and end time to a morning email session. Then seek out important emails that require immediate responses—those about priority projects and those from your boss. Open those messages only. One strategy: Hit reply on each important message, and let the responses sit on your desktop. There’s your to-do list: this stack of replies. Use your prescribed email time to write thoughtful, cogent responses, rather than attempting to tear through a larger…

3 min.
streamline your work communication

THESE DAYS YOU’D BE PRESSED to find someone who hasn’t felt a pang of anxiety brought on by a flashing ellipsis in a chat box, or spent time analyzing the meaning behind a period versus an exclamation point in an email from their boss. While technology might make communication easier, sometimes it seems that niceties are dropped in favor of being super responsive. These expert tips will help you decide what form of communication to use and how to use it well. A MEETING Finding it difficult to communicate thoughts, ideas, or feedback to a group in less than a few paragraphs? Are multiple departments involved? Opt to meet. Timing is everything Decision fatigue generally occurs as the day progresses, says Melody Wilding, a licensed social worker and career coach. For this reason, afternoons…