Book Review: How to Simplify Your Life (Tiki Kustenmacher)

In this day and age, when terms like “work/life balance” and “personal bandwidth” have become household words, it’s safe to say that many people are struggling to take back control of their time and to find a way to get their lives back under some semblance of control.  A large percentage of our clients, in fact, report being ready to step away from the intense pressure of “acquiring more” and are seeking help re-establishing their real priorities — and finding a way to live by them more sustainably.

Along these lines, while we certainly counsel people on this topic from a career standpoint, we recently picked up a copy of the book “Simplify Your Life” to get a sense for what others were saying about this important subject.  And while at first we were a little turned off by the breezy writing style, and use of cartoonish graphics, this book got better and better as we went along — and in the end, it gained our respect as a”tour de force” of advice around the whole life simplification topic!

In total, the book is built around seven distinct sections, discussing how to simplify your life in relation to 1) Your Things; 2) Your Finances; 3) Your Time; 4) Your Health; 5) Your Relationships; 6) Your Life; and 7) Yourself.  This breadth, alone, makes it a classic in the field.  And while any avid student of this subject matter will have heard many of the book’s suggestions, before, from other authors, Ms. Kustenmacher still offers a treasure trove of ideas ranging from creative ways to get better at saying “no” to people (p.93); how to figure out how fast your “inner clock” ticks (p.102); how to embrace the seven common characteristics of happy people (p.132); how to get out of bed on a positive note each morning (p155); and how to avoid feeling envious of other people (p.174).

So in the end, while “How to Simplify Your Life” doesn’t necessarily go into staggering depth on any one aspect of the life simplification continuum, it’s a great starting point for anybody who feels the time has come to revisit their priorities in a serious way — and possibly make some fundamental adjustments to the way they work, live, and love!

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