Streamline Processes

Make It Stop: How to Stop Complicating Your Life


Life isn’t that complicated, but our inability to focus can make it seem that way. If you don’t start each day with a clear plan and a well-defined goal, your day could unravel and spin out of control. Fortunately, there are simple, proven steps to getting your life back on a more straightforward track.

Why Do People Make Life Complicated?

Most of us don’t want to make our lives more complicated or stressful, so why do we do it? Most of us do it unintentionally. We think a complicated problem must have a complicated solution. In reality, a simple answer is usually the easiest and most effective solution.

Neuroscientists have found differences in certain portions of the brain among people who “overly complicate” things by being too literal and unable to see simple solutions. These people seem to operate on a higher plane, but they have difficulty dealing with everyday problems.

Could that be causing you to overthink everything? If you think so, it’s time to bring yourself back to earth. Try this experiment, run your problem by a trusted friend. Ask them to propose a solution. Chances are, they’ll come up with something much simpler than the complicated answer you chose.

Are You Designing Your Life or Letting It Design You?

Are you letting your life get overly complicated? All too often, we can get confused, derailed, and blown off track.

This type of thinking affects many aspects of our lives. According to Psychology Today, financial planner Michael Kay says his clients sometimes complicate their financial lives with too many accounts. As he concludes:

“There is a dividing line between our self-created complexity and our ability to simplify and move forward. We all have habits that ‘feel right’ because we’ve always done them. However, when we examine those habits, we may find that they don’t provide the value they once did. What are you overcomplicating? What can you simplify?”

How to Simplify Your Life

Here are some daily steps you can take immediately to make your life less complicated.

1. Stop worrying about the future: The past is gone, and the future isn’t here. Stop worrying about either one. The present is the only time you can control, and you can get control by having a plan for every day. Use meditation to keep yourself focused on the present moment.

2. Take action: If you can’t face your work right away, start the day by doing something you enjoy. It will “wake up” your mind with something enjoyable and spark your creativity. Don’t use it as an excuse to put off work for too long, however. Procrastination can lead to more complications if you don’t get your work done on time.

3. Change your mindset: Studies on neuroscience and motivation have found that a negative attitude about life can affect your ability to focus on your work and goals. To reverse this, read something inspiring written by a business leader, meditate, write down your goals again and start small. Even a few minutes of action can change your negative mindset into a positive one.

4. Clear the decks: If you have too many commitments, start cutting back on them. Stop saying “yes” to every request. Hire help for specific time-consuming tasks that don’t help you make money. Drop everything that isn’t necessary from your calendar. If it’s complicated, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.

5. Stop comparing yourself to other people: We all tend to compare ourselves to people whose successes we envy, especially if they’re successful in our chosen field. Of course, we never really know what the lives of those successful people are like. You’ve had your struggles and triumphs. Everyone reaches their life goals at a different pace. You will get there if you stay motivated and work every day.

Make It Stop: Untie the Knots of Your Life

If you’ve let your life become a tangled mess, it’s time to unravel the knots. Look for simple solutions to your daily problems and stop worrying about things you can’t control.

If you’re having trouble with this or any issue related to your productivity, contact me at the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute. My team and I can help you find ways to simplify your schedule and get your life back in balance.