Simplify Your Life

A recent change in personal circumstances was a catalyst for me to me to consider change in my life or, […]

By on April 14, 2008 | Comments

A recent change in personal circumstances was a catalyst for me to me to consider change in my life or, perhaps more accurately, changing my life. I’m hoping to get ideas on ways to simplify one’s life – from tips regarding minimizing time spent on mundane everyday tasks to reprioritizing and overhauling one’s entire life.

While this topic may seem quite off topic for a running blog, I don’t think it is. Running and especially ultrarunning can be very time consuming. Once you start adding in work, everyday errands and tasks, personal and family commitments, maintaining a house, other hobbies, and on and on, it seems like one still wouldn’t have enough time in the day even if it was 48 hours long. With so many things to take care and the need to get at least a couple hours of sleep most days, even the most enjoyable of tasks (like running) can become a burden or something to “squeeze in.”

Below are some examples of the things that I have done recently or am in the process of doing to bring more order, simplicity, and efficiency to my life.


  • Remove self from junk mail and credit offer lists
  • Cancel unwanted catalogs
  • Mercilessly unsubscribe from unwanted email
  • Set up Gmail labels immediately for new contacts
  • Set up autopay for bills and stop entering bills paid in redundant Excel table
  • Prepare more food each time I cook
  • Set up soaker hose with timer to water vegetable garden automatically
  • Reduce number of occasions and total time spent checking blog stats/blog feeds


  • Establish regular bedtime
  • Shift towards morning runs to reduce stress when work days run long
  • Switch entirely to Gmail
    • No longer downloading and refiling email with Apple’s Mail application
    • All but eliminate use of legacy Yahoo account
  • Better organize house (including getting rid of “stuff”)
  • Contemplate what is most important to me
    • Do more of what is most important and less of what isn’t

I hope the above examples are only a start. For many of us, the best thing we can do to improve our running is to run more. By creating more time to run we are likely to run better and to enjoy it more, as well. Therefore, please share your ideas for simplifying or more efficiently living one’s life – you’ll be giving the iRunFar community training tips without even trying!

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.