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Simplify Your Life

Think you don't have time to simplify your life? Check out our review of 52 Ways to Simplify Your Life. It's a book's worth of simplification techniques printed on a deck of cards.

Life is complicated. Which is probably why hundreds of authors have written self-help books on the subject of simplifying your life.

The problem with so many self-help books is that they run about 300-plus pages. For those of us too busy grappling with the complications of modern life to read such a tome, there's 52 Ways to Simplify Your Life (Chronicle Books) by Lynn Gordon. She has taken the concept of how-to and condensed it onto a deck of cards.

The playfully illustrated cards help you to simplify your life in a big way by prompting you to make small changes along the way. The cards suggest techniques such as clean off your desk, unclutter your thoughts and reduce your social commitments.

One card called "Media Down and Out" advises us to cut down on the amount of media information we inhale by tuning it out once a week or more. While Gordon admits the information is interesting, she finds that it can also be distracting to some of the quieter and more local news events happening inside our heads. Media over-consumption tends to make us numb to our more personal issues.

Another card addresses the hassles of junk mail. Did you know that you could cut down on annoying junk mail by jotting your address down on a postcard and sending it off to the Mail Preference Service with the words "Take me off your mailing list?"

In the fashion of the Jim Carrey flick Liar, Liar, another card suggests that by telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you will be able to simplify your life. Telling the truth may require conquering some fears, but in the end it's easier than navigating the complicated web of deceit.

Like poker, the 52 cards we're dealt from Gordon's deck aren't all four-of-a-kind winners. Some of the cards lean toward psychobabble, while others, like the rest and relaxation card,  are too obvious.

Although playing cards is often risky, this deck primarily will deal you a stream of good hands.

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