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A simpler, clearer, easier life

Why do our lives feel so overwhelming? Why do we procrastinate all the time? Anita Chaudhuri explores the latest psychological insights to find simple, practical tools for a more streamlined life. It’s easier than you think to give your world a shake-up this spring!

These wise words are being written from the tranquil oasis of my study. Books are shelved alphabetically and by subject, so I can easily locate any title I need. Bills, receipts and magazine clippings are meticulously filed in colour-coded order and hidden in a customised storage system. The surfaces are clean. Plants on the windowsill are blooming. Somewhere in the distance, there is the tinkling of wind chimes…

A CLUTTERED LIFE AND BRAIN

Actually, I lie. Before me are three abandoned mugs of tea and a leaning tower of books. The truth is: I live in a state of creative chaos. I also appear to be suffering from what the Wall Street Journal recently identified as ‘errand paralysis’ – failure to deal with life admin. A trip to the post office fills me with dread. Give me a piece of paper, and I guarantee I will mislay it in seconds. A case in point: my GP wrote me a prescription and, somewhere in the three-minute walk to the pharmacy, it flew out of my bag into thin air. It took two hours of explanation and hanging around to get another, so it wasn’t a trivial incident.

My realm of disorder doesn’t end with paper. I’m surrounded by half-finished projects – balls of wool for jumpers I’m never going to learn to knit, boxes of paint for imagined artwork – and you don’t want to go into my kitchen, with its wall of recipe books and three types of pomegranate molasses. I don’t want to throw out these things but, every time I go into a room, I’m confronted with another creative idea, or seed of an idea, and I forget what I am actually working on. It’s not good and I am getting nowhere.

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