Over my working years, I made certain decisions which have helped me immensely in multi-tasking. I realised early that I wanted to accomplish a lot with my life but not at the expense of my peace. Peace, I have observed is the only trait that distinguishes me from most of the other people in the world. The interesting thing is that most of the things that steal our peace are not spiritual or psychological. They are simply physical and logistics.

Some of the issues that would be raised might be out of our controls but as much as we can, I urge you to simplify your life because simple works.

First in my life, I made up my mind not to live too far away from my place of work, no matter what. Someone may say that I had the luxury but no, that wasn’t the case. I preferred living in a shoe box and having proper rest after a hard day of intellectual stimulation to running after transport and getting worn out. I didn’t have a choice of jobs but I had the choice of where to live.  Most times, 30mins within reach was my maximum but in reality my abode was always less than 15mins away. I knew I wanted time to pursue other dreams and desires and that paid off. Even when it meant that I lived in a more expensive borough and forgoing some other pleasures because of the high cost of living. Trust me, the peace and ease are well worth it.

Secondly, investing in simple, easy-to-use gadgets like a juicer, blender, grill, steamer, pressure-cooker, washing machine, dryer, etc. have proven to remove stress from family lives.

Oh! Won’t those make a woman lazy someone may ask? My answer is that there is a reason why Mama ditched grandma’s firewood for a gas cooker. It’s all about the ease of life that it affords. If there is an easier way to get the job done, choose it over the laborious, hectic and energy-draining processes. It might not come easy to shift over but with time, it’d become easy.

The other issue is the use of technology and how time-consuming it could be. That you have a Blackberry does not mean that pinging all day long should be the order. Neither should the presence of an ipad impede you from getting on with the essentials of relationships and life. Take time out to switch off the phone, the internet, the Wii, x-box, movies, Africa magic and all those distractions.

Then, talking about shopping, take a day out in the week to get the clothes, food, toiletries and the other stuff. Don’t shop haphazardly from the corner shop and mini supermarket. Let your life and time get planned such that you don’t waste hard-earned funds in the corner shop on things you do not need. In case you have not noticed, visiting the corner shop draws your attention to items that are un-needed and you end up spending a bit more than your original budget.

For those with children, using help and domestic assistance could be very handy. It is understandable that some might not be privileged enough to have a maid in the house. That’s fine as long as you are maximising your potentials and living within your means.If you can, use the older women who help in cleaning and laundry around the house. Get an au pair or trusted nanny for few hours and get yourself de-stressed. Use cleaners around the house and save your back the hassle of polishing the floor.

I’d use a practical example here. As a young professional, I realised that the use of cleaners once a week in my apartment saves me a lot of hassle. It started rather funny when the company I work for offered cleaner services to my serviced apartment twice a week in the honeymoon days of the appointment. The ladies did such excellent jobs that I could not imagine how they did it so flawlessly. I once exclaimed that “My! These girls are surely born to clean “. They polished the floor tiles so well that I could view the reflection of my teeth while walking. They did the laundry, dried the clothes in the dryer and by the time I walked in, everything were perfectly in place.

After a while, I decided to do my cleaning myself (my first job as an undergraduate was as the library cleaner. So who said that I couldn’t clean or so I thought?) After painstakingly sweeping, mopping and a false attempt at polishing for over two hours, I decided to revert to the cleaners. In an hour, they accomplish more than I could muster in 2 odd hours.

Am I not being lazy and laid back? Why can’t I clean my own place at this stage? Then it dawned on me that my wages for a few hours could pay the cleaners for a month. Why stress my life when I could put in some extra hours at work and into projects, earn more and have a cleaner house without hitches? I chose the latter and now I have left cleaning (which I did to fulfil righteousness anyway) to the professionals who are yet to let me down.

What am I trying to say? Save your time (the most priced resource you have) for better things and simplify your world.

Finally and in no order of importance, sleep well at night. If you have only five hours on a weekday, make sure that your sleep is sound in those hours. Make your bed properly, use dark curtains to prevent light from seething through, remove all noise as much as possible(ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper), have proper aeration and sleep tight.

These lessons, if well applied will activate the age-defying genes that have laid dormant in many a system for years.

If you can’t afford some of the things I raised here, live within your means to simplify your world. Less aso-ebi, moving with the trends in fashion and technology might leave a few more notes in the pocket thereby leading you to destination Simple. Remember that simple works.

Marie O’Larry: Worked as a Mary Kay Cosmetics beauty consultant and works as a healthcare scientist in the UK.

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