Simplify your life to give yourself immediate benefits. It decreases stress by taking worry out of the equation. Once you learn to let go of stuff, you start to recognize the things that have true value to you. Relationships thrive more readily and often you find yourself struggling a lot less financially.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that you need to become a minimalist with very few possessions. What I mean is that how you spend your time, energy and money should be determined by what is most important in your life. Let go of the rest of the stuff, both physical and mental, and enjoy a life that is intentional.
Plan to Simplify
Determine what’s most important
In order to simplify your life, you first have to identify what your priorities are. Make a list of all the things in your life. Now, look over this list and determine which ones are the most important. To the best of your ability, get rid of the rest. Get a planner to manage your schedule. See Planner Recommendations for excellent options.
Reduce mental clutter
One of the biggest challenges in our lives today is an overload of information. Your brain is trying to keep track of more and more stuff with each day. Simplify things and dump your task list. Maintain your master task list either on paper or electronically. Use this list to make your daily plan so that you are intentional with your resources. This frees your brain up from having to remember all of those things that you want to do in the future. Once it’s on the master task list, your brain can forget it because it knows it will be handled at the appropriate time. My daily planning set printables has a brain dump sheet you can maintain your master task list on. Get your daily planning set here. If your interested in an electronic master task manager, I recommend Asana. It does a great job of managing not only your master task list but everything in your life and best of all it’s FREE. Stay tuned for some Asana courses coming next month.
Outsource to Simplify
The number of areas you can outsource or delegate in may surprise you. Can you make your husband or children responsible for the general pick-up that needs to be done every day? Are there time-consuming things in your regular schedule that you don’t like to do? Hire someone to do them for you. I realize this will probably cost some money but remember if we’re doing the jobs ourselves we’re trading time and energy for them, so it may be worth it. Get our outsourcing workbook here for lots of ideas.
Organize to Simplify
We really need to be mindful of what kinds of possessions we invest our energy in. If we don’t pay attention to what we’re doing, useless stuff will start to accumulate. Simply start going through all the belongings you’ve collected over the years. You can dedicate a whole weekend or week to the process, or you can tackle one room or pile of stuff at a time. Make a set of three boxes, tubs or bins to use for sorting. Use the printable below to label them Keep, Trash, and Sell or Donate. Now all you have to do is sort things into the appropriate bin. If this is traumatic for you, also create a bin labeled Maybe. Here are some pretty labels to use.
Once you are finished sorting for the day, put the items in the Keep box where they belong. If you aren’t finished in this area and this is where they belong, leave them in the box until you are finished. Take the Trash out immediately and put the Donate box in the car so you can drop it off the next time your out. If you’re going to be holding on to these items, seal the box to reduce the temptation to grab something back out of it.
Automate to Simplify
Set up simple routines
Anyone who knows me knows that I like routines and systems. But, I don’t use them just because I like them. I use them because they make my life simpler and give me more time for the things that I want to do. Schedules and routines get a bad rap. It is amazing to me the areas of our life where a simple routine can help. This is even true when it pertains to families. A good routine or schedule actually brings freedom and creativity to your days. Routines help you prioritize what is important. Things that don’t require much thinking can be done on autopilot with a good routine.
There are other areas of your life you can automate too. Set up a monthly subscription service with someone like Amazon to get your regular household necessities delivered each month without having to remember to order them. Have prescriptions set to auto-refill each month so all you have to do is pick them up. Or, go one step further and order them from an online pharmacy service that will automatically send them to you on a regular schedule. Pay attention to the things you do throughout your day, week, and month to watch for things that you can set up to just “happen” without any work on your part.
Eliminate to Simplify
Learn to say NO
Contrary to popular belief, NO is not a four-letter word. Whether we’re asked to volunteer at our kid’s school, take on more clients at work, or do a favor for a friend, many of us say yes more often than we should. Acknowledging to ourselves that we can’t do everything isn’t easy. However, you’ll find that the first NO you voice will be liberating. Grant yourself permission to say NO. It’s perfectly okay to turn down an event and stay home to read a book or watch the sunset. You don’t need to justify your NO, it’s none of their business. If you have trouble saying no, read this blog post for help: Say Yes to Saying NO
Review your relationships
Be very mindful of who you spend your time with and for what reasons. You need to take responsibility over your relationships. No one can make you do anything but yourself. Simply put, you want to stop spending time and energy on worthless relationships. You want to recognize them and cut down their importance in your life.
Once you start noticing exactly what you are getting from each relationship, you’re likely to cut out meaningless or toxic relations and strengthen supportive ones. At the same time, you free up time and energy for more valuable matters and decrease emotional distress.
All simplifying boils down to is being mindful of what we spend our resources on. Simply by becoming aware of the details of our lifestyles we can begin the changes we need to make to create a life of happiness and contentment.
Which of these recommendations will you try out? Let me know in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.