July 12 is National Simplicity Day. Search “simplicity” online, and you will find everything from sewing patterns to Zen websites. At it’s core though, the word evokes images of peace, calm and serenity. In this day and age it can also seem very elusive, but it’s not impossible to achieve.
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993
“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” ~Charles Warner
In my life I am learning to discern the things that disrupt my peace of mind. Disorganization and overcommitment are two of my hot buttons, and Informant has helped me tremendously in this area. I love the fact that I can look in Desktop Informant or Pocket Informant, and see exactly what I need to see. I have filtered out quite a few calendars in my Pocket Informant – I just don’t need everything constantly visible – but I’ve kept it all there in my Desktop, so I know if I need a broader view of things it’s still easily accessible. In the words of Hannah Montana, it’s the best of both worlds. 🙂
Two of the biggest things that add stress to my days if they are not previously decided are precise work plans and dinner plans. My performance at work is much better if I have a detailed plan of what I need to do. There’s something about a task list that is motivational. I’m still working on refining this, but I’m getting there. I would love to be one of those type A personalities that always just gets it done. I’m married to one, and he’s wonderful! I, however, need a constant kick in the seat to get moving. Thankfully Informant is there to serve in this area. Maybe I should create a task folder called “Kick in the Seat”. Hmm….this might require some thought…
Dinner plans are so important to the running of our family. It may seem like a small thing, but trust me, it can be huge. I plan my menu a week at a time, and I exclusively use Informant for this task. I have a special calendar devoted to my menu plans, and I can then see at a glance what I’m cooking, as well as track the menu so that we don’t eat the same thing all the time. Knowing that dinner is already planned is one way to eliminate stress in my daily life. If I haven’t done the menu for some reason, it always adds a level of crazy. Just ask my family. We’ve been known to eat cereal for a few days in a row. It’s not pretty.
I also use Informant to keep track of my children’s activities. I have a calendar for each of them, and I use it for everything from doctor’s appointments to school events. It’s a huge help to be able to visually see what each child is needing/doing. My youngest has special needs, and for many years she had constant doctor’s appointments, therapies and more. Thankfully she is doing very well, and her calendar is much more clear than it used to be. However, because I marked literally everything on the calendar, I can look back and easily gather any important information (dates of med changes, etc.). These also turn into celebrations for us, which is super cool. If it’s a “biggie” event I make it recurring, and then we remember to cheer when it shows up in the calendar. It’s a simple and easy way to remember how far she’s come.
These days my Informant is not quite as full as it used to be. I’m using it to fit my needs, and my needs have changed. I’m learning that a full calendar does not equal success. For me, success is the smile of my little girl when she’s learned a new skill; the satisfaction found in a family evening at home; working with my husband on one of his many projects; my older children choosing to spend time with Mom…even though I’m not that cool anymore, and so many other little things that make up my life. There is contentment to be found in the simplicity. Each item that Informant manages for me allows room for the important things in life, and that is an irreplaceable value.
My Pocket Informant
My Desktop Informant