A few years ago, life felt completely overwhelming for me. My husband and I had just gotten custody of the twins and they weren’t sleeping through the night…which meant that we weren’t sleeping through the night. I was completely sleep deprived! On top of that, I had a too-busy schedule, a cluttered house, an overflowing inbox and a to-do list that kept getting longer rather than shorter. Eventually push came to shove and we made some changes! If your life is like mine, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by an overly complicated life. If you’re looking for ways to gain control over your life or your current situation, consider simplifying. Check out these 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life!
Simplifying your life can mean different things to different people but here’s what I think it entails: cutting unnecessary to-do list items, eliminating clutter from your home, fine-tuning your priorities, or otherwise gaining perspective on what truly matters to you.
You can use these strategies to simplify your life, beginning today:
1. Identify what’s most important to you and then get rid of everything else.
Know what really matters the most to you. Things that don’t matter are simply wasting your time and energy, so purge them as soon as you can.
2. Make a list of the top 4-5 priorities in your life.
Keep this list with you all the time so you always remember what counts the most. Put a copy on your bathroom mirror, another above your bed, and keep one in your planner for good measure.
3. Evaluate your current commitments.
Look at absolutely everything going on in your life right now. Which of these commitments actually deliver value or joy? Which are in line with the 4-5 priorities you listed in the previous step? Eliminate everything else. This may be hard to do, but it will be worth it!!!
4. Assess how you spend your time.
How are you spending your time? Make a list of everything you do in a day and compare that to your list of priorities. What can you eliminate?
If getting a handle on how you spend your time and how you should spend your time is daunting to you, I highly recommend Tell Your Time. It’s an easy read, but makes time management a lot more attainable for those who are time management challenged!
5. Simplify your work tasks.
Rather than trying to knock off every single task on your to-do list, focus on only the most essential tasks and then find ways to eliminate all the others. For starters, make sure you have a good planner! I chose one that allows me to list my 3 priorities for each day!
Once you’re written your daily priorities, knock the other things off you list with a combination of delegation, outsourcing, moving them to other days or simply dropping them.
6. Simplify your home tasks.
Simplifying your home tasks doesn’t mean avoiding tasks you hate. I have found that using the Motivated Moms Chore Planner allows me to tackle more each day! It’s a list of items that should be done daily to keep you house in tip-top shape. I’ll be honest…I don’t get everything done every single day, but I get a whole lot more done now then I ever have before! It also helps when you get your kids involved in chores. I love this chore chart alternative!
7. Learn to say no.
When you learn to say no, you’ll begin to take on only as much as you can handle. Then you can give your attention to the tasks that matter the most.
8. Limit your consumption of media.
The abundance of media available today can overwhelm nearly every second of our lives. Try to simplify your own life by limiting media and information consumption whenever possible. If you struggle with limiting your time online, I highly recommend Circle by Disney! This has been revolutionary for our whole family! It allows you to put settings on your internet which include time settings on websites and bedtimes so you’re not up past your bedtime playing on the internet!
9. Be selective with your methods of communication.
Designate certain times for communication by only e-mailing at certain points in the day, only using the phone during certain hours, only chatting via IM in your off-hours and so on. Limit the ways that you communicate throughout the day to prevent communication from overwhelming you or your day.
10. Purge unnecessary stuff.
Devote one weekend every month to getting rid of absolutely anything that you don’t want or need in your life. Removing everything that doesn’t really matter can be therapeutic and cathartic. Purging your home and your life once monthly is a really beneficial process to your overall health and well being. If you’re a could-be hoarder like me, feel free to purge unnecessary stuff every weekend. Our curb is full of stuff we’re getting rid of every weekend! If you’re drowning in clutter, you need this book!
This is only a small sampling of the things that you can do in order to simplify your life. Consider this to be a foundation, though, that will guide you to find new and interesting ways to create a simple life. With just a little conscious effort, you can achieve simplicity in all aspects of your life.