7514787686_5f4b86b0a8My dad always throws out the Christmas tree and has it on the curb by 7AM December 26th. The funny part about this is that it usually has all of the ornaments and lights attached. His motto is that life is better if you keep it simple.

I guess dad finds it easier to go to a store and buy the ornaments and lights in one quick swoop every year, versus wrapping and storing everything and then having to push heavy boxes into a dusty attic. He started this holiday tradition well before recycling and reusing became a worldwide issue. And although I don’t agree with the wastefulness of this specific Christmas tree approach, the overall philosophy is a winning one. I owe him tremendously for helping me develop one of my most stress-reducing, life-decision-making tools – the DEF™ (Daily Ease of Functioning) score, which I now share with you in hopes of helping you start the new year with a simpler, easier life.

Simplify Your Efforts

In order to reduce stress, start simplifying your life. To utilize DEF™ score, make a list of all the decisions you’re responsible for making and mentally score and rank them based on how much they complicate your life.  And I mean EVERY DECISION.

The scale goes from 1-10 with 10 being the most complicated of all and 1 being the least complicated. For example, if you are having a birthday party for your son, consider DEF™ in all of your decision making. Do you want a birthday cake or cupcakes? Well, a birthday cake is large, usually has to be special ordered (DEF™ score is creeping up!), you have to fit it into a car and make room for it in the fridge (okay, about the same as cupcakes). Other tasks include purchasing and providing utensils, a cake cutter, plates and plenty of napkins (more trash, not good either). On the other hand, with cupcakes, you just hand them out with a napkin – done! (excellent, right?) In contrast, with a cake, there are usually leftovers to deal with … tempting leftovers that end up in your fridge. The DEF™ score is climbing!

def score graphDid you know that the average person makes 612 decisions in a day? This adds up to 4,900 decisions a week, 254,800 decisions in a year! And that sampling probably doesn’t even include an average mom’s output, so that number is likely even higher in your own life. If you are simplifying and cutting down on energy and wasted effort with every decision in a day, it adds up tremendously.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t recycle or shouldn’t go out of your way in choosing the birthday cake route if that’s your preference. However, I am suggesting that you free yourself from the stuff you care less about so that you can focus and spend more energy on the things you do want and care about. The difference here is that while using DEF™ you are consciously aware of the impact  of time and energy spent in ALL of your decision making. This frees you from some of the ridiculous amounts of time we moms expend doing too much. If you have two toys to pick from while you are Christmas shopping and one is going to have a thousand pieces that lie all over your house (DEF™ score 10), instead purchase the one with 2 pieces.

Got It Girl Takeway: Stop giving it away. DEF™ score is a unique way of taking care of yourself, and it isn’t just for mothers. After awhile, this kind of thinking becomes automatic. I have received tons of positive feedback from others about this concept. Users report it is a major stress reduction tool in their lives. Of course you could, and should, use it at work as well. Try it and see what you think. It is amazing to experience how it decreases stress. Let me know your results.

Top Image from Compfight.