Last updateTue, 25 Feb 2020 5pm

Stressed out? Simplify!

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” - Thoreau

Overwhelmed? To-do list spinning out of control? Dozens of daily details - clients, merchandising, vendors - can leave you feeling swamped. Every new suggestion for beefing up your website, social media or staff enrichment seems tantalizing. But it may also leave you floundering. There are only so many hours in the day! How to cope?

“Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.” Thoreau’s elegant directive cuts through the clutter. His advice is just as timely today. And you don’t have to retreat to the woods to try it!

As life rolls on we accumulate excess baggage. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Routines, strategies, goals evolve and expand adding layers of complexity. A newspaper ad snowballs into a multimedia extravaganza of direct mail, social media and video. There’s always something new to try. Growth is good. It’s essential for success. But more doesn’t necessarily mean better. What’s really working? Old habits die hard. Hit the reset button. Adjust your attitude. Refresh. Simplicity begins with a state of mind.

• Review & Re-evaluate               

Start by taking a fresh look at your goals. What do you really want? To be the biggest store in your area? Have multiple retail outlets? Or carve out a niche market where you shine? What’s your passion? Where have you been most successful in the past?

Clarify your goals. Then focus on the most effective way to implement them. Think outside the box. Cultivating a niche clientele?  Mass direct mailings and TV spots may not be the best tools. Eliminate what’s not key. Courting Millennial clients? Hire Millennial staff who are tuned into them. Focusing on an upscale niche? Join their local clubs. Attend galas. Become a star in the social spotlight.             

• Back to Basics

How orderly is your environment? Clean out clutter. It’s hard to think clearly amidst chaos. A fresh, organized space inspires efficiency.

How many hours do you spend surfing the web? Running multiple errands that could be combined? Time’s precious. Don’t waste it.

What’s really essential to do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly? Pare down your to-do list to rock bottom to see what can be eliminated. You can always add on.

According to the 80/20 rule 20% of our activity results in 80% of our sales. Focus on the 20%.

• Work Smarter. Not Harder.

Additional time and energy doesn’t necessarily lead to more success. What’s eating up most of your time? Staff management? Vendor relations? Merchandising? Simplify. Delegate.

Who’s best at which tasks? Hire, eliminate or replace staff. Set up simple, effective procedures for all routine activities so they’re automatic. Outsource wherever it works. Designers and vendors may be happy to help you design ads, write press releases, even contact customers. Partner with local complementary retailers - florists, bridal shops, photographers - to share publicity and clients.

• Be Proactive

Procrastination is the bane of efficiency. Pare down your to-do list from ten to two but actually DO the two. Those phone calls or that paperwork you’ve been putting off is weighing you down. Do them first and cross them off the list. Do what’s most essential first.

• Enjoy

Simplicity is freedom. Power up your energy level naturally. The better you feel, the more effective you are. Get plenty of rest. Eat well. Take time to relax. After all what’s it all for? Life’s what happens when you’re making plans. Trodding the day-to-day treadmill we become blinded to living. Be thankful for life’s simple pleasures. Smell the roses. Take a walk in the fresh air and sunlight. The beauty of Thoreau’s words is all around. Simplify your life and enjoy.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”

Mia Katrin is an award-winning jewelry designer featured in over 100 top stores nationally. She is available for lectures and seminars. To add her Collections or book a lecture: www.jeweljewel.com, 877-539-3569, facebook.com/MiaKatrinforJEWELCOUTURELLC.