There’s hardly a soul on this planet who would not agree that we now suffer from the effects of ‘always being on’… 



…from being the target of seemingly hundreds who want to sell us something; from the umpteen well-meaning folk who think we want to see their kids and their kittens; from work colleagues who want to copy us in on every message they send.

Let’s admit it: it’s all become too stressful. The answer? Simplify, simplify, simplify!

Simplification – and therefore reducing stress – is easy if we follow a few basic rules.

In this article, we’ll outline some simple (ah, that word) guidelines that should help – if you are serious, that is. And if you are not, ignore what follows and get back to checking your emails … quick, before the world decides it can do without you.

1. Let’s remember what our parents used to say: ‘A place for everything, and everything in its place’.

This was often uttered in response to their seeing our teenage bedroom. Clothes anywhere and everywhere; books and magazines on the floor; a week old, half-eaten sandwich at the foot of the bed … and heaven knows what else. This scene certainly stressed our parents and it could not have done us much good either.

Clothes belong on hangers and pegs. Books and magazines belong on shelves. And foodstuffs belong in kitchens not bedrooms.

A small amount of effort results in enormous payoffs, like pride, peace of mind and practicality.

2. Of course, such an approach requires a pinch of discipline.

Do we have enough of that characteristic to invest in personal improvement? Each must answer for him/herself. Psychologists employed by marketing companies are paid megadollars to make sure that we fall for temptation every day: another bag of chips; just one more piece of chocolate; just another minute or two on YouTube (a minute or two …? Don’t make me laugh); another spin of the wheel. It’s all scientifically programmed to disarm our ability to resist.

Really want a simple way to beat this diabolical system? Then buy a dictionary and look up the word ‘No’.

Just say ‘No’. Seriously, that’s all it takes

3. Family information and documents grow in volume exponentially the longer we live and, like clothes in a teenage bedroom, they become blights on the landscape.

All too often, we look guiltily and this expanding universe of ‘stuff’ and solemnly vow we’ll fix it … one day. Of course, that day never seems to arrive. Why not? Because there’s always something else crying out for our attention. Yet, really, how important are these other distractions?

The truth is that there are relatively few very simple, important things we need to get right to live a relatively stress-free life – however, although comparatively low in number, they exact an enormous price when a ‘contingency’ arises, and they have not been fixed.

Contingency? Yes, such as ___________ fill in the blank for yourself; then reflect on what your family’s world will look like when this happens (because ‘happen’ it will.)

Let’s briefly summarise.

Mess means stress, whether we are talking clothes, books, and things of all types and stripes. There is a place for everything – and if there isn’t, then start chucking out.

Doing this requires discipline in one area above all others – and that’s the firm determination to say ‘No’ and mean it.

When it comes to family information and documents, we need to fix things before an inevitable contingency arises – because if these aren’t organised, the stress of loved ones goes through the roof.

Here’s a little self-check that might be very useful. If you need further input, contact us via and we’ll be glad to help.


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