I was walking home from bus stop just now, and because of the time, there are not many people walking on the street. So I start brainstorming what can I put onto my blog tonight. But I didn’t manage to come up with any brilliant idea during the journey home. So, I just keep walking while enjoy the mild breeze along the street. Then an idea struck me, why don’t I just write about simplifying our life. I realized one of the things we need to do regularly on our journey to early retirement is simplify our life. Our time and energy are limited, it will be unsustainable for us to pursue too many thing in life and the best thing in life normally just a few and won’t cost you much money to get them. So how do we organize our life?
Identify Core Activities
First of all, we need to identify that few core activities that contribute to most of our happiness. This should be easy because we tend to spend most of our time doing this few activities. For me it will be reading, badminton, basketball, and meet up with friend/colleague for meal.
Try not to list your TV watching habit as one of the activity, because this activity really does not bring much benefit to you in my view. When you sit down in front of the TV, your body shut down, your mind slow down, and you start to engage yourself into the TV drama that showing some fake life of those actor/actress. In between the drama you get to “enjoy” those free commercial by various company that try to sell you things you don’t need. With all the 0% installment plan shown on the TV and those free credit that lying around your house, you will stack up your debt bill till 2 buildings high in no time.
Also, based on a research done on the Australia population, compare to a person who don’t watch TV, a person who watch 6 hours of TV a day can expect to have 5 years cut off from their life. It literally meant you will live 5 years less and we are not ever counting the time and money you spent while watching TV.
Choose A Few
Make your choice from the list above; choose a few activities that match your expected return (happiness, cost, time). In this phase, you might want to cut down a few that cost you too much but without much return. For example, I seldom attend gathering that involved drinking unless it is a company event. To me, drinking is not an activity that brings me a lot of enjoyment; it is always the attending crowd that interests me. Interesting people are more important than expensive wine. But by all means choose that one that cost you the most if it brings you the most value because you are supposed to enjoy life in your journey to early retirement and not suffer along the way.
If you cannot let go any of the activities you listed, then don’t do it. You just need to cut down on those with lower return to you. For example, maybe you enjoy playing squash but playing it 3-4 days week is too much of a commitment either to your body or to your time. So, maybe you want to consider cut it down to once or twice a week. Also, you can review the list in term of money needed for each activity. Although happiness is the number one consideration during your review, you can still consider making some adjustment to each activity on the list to cut down on your spending.
Consider add in one exercise into your daily routine, it will not need to be an intense workout, just a slow walk with you dog (if you have one) will do. And the time needed is just 20 minutes to half an hour. I think a daily half hour investment into your health should be a reasonable and wise choice for you.
Lastly, check out this video below, it contain some interesting information you might be interested to know:
How many hours have you walked today?