I think one of the keys to simple living is changing our mindset from one of "getting it done" to one of being fully present in the moment and being grateful for the little things. The more activities a family is involved in outside the home, the more computer time, video gaming and television programming become a priority, life becomes a blur of motion and meaningless activity and often harried rushing.
Taking time to make a meal from scratch instead of using pre-packaged ingredients helps to reduce waste and is healthier, but more importantly, if I am not rushed and instead giving thanks for the food, and thinking about the importance of making my family a healthy meal, it is no longer a chore, but a pleasure. If we are not under time constraints because one of the children has to be to an activity (which is sometimes the case), then I find myself even more at peace while preparing the meal.
Another key to leading a less rushed life is practicing gratitude throughout the day. Our great-grandparents probably led a much simpler life (although the work may have been harder), enjoying conversation, sunsets and meals together. By just being grateful for their food, for those 30 minutes to sit together at the end of a hard days work sipping a lemonade, those precious moments make up a life. I think they were able to appreciate the little things without all of the distractions and without rushing.