Our present day lifestyles cry out loud for simplification. Most of us live in over-complicated, stress-laden daily routines in which we keep on trying to fit in even more activities, commitments and tasks up to a point where it’s totally insane.
We consume more of everything, constantly try to do more and always end up blaming the clock for not giving us more time by the end of the day or week. It’s pretty obvious that we need to turn around our lives and relearn how to live simpler – or in other words think, plan and do things simpler.
1. Start Freeing up Space:
Decluttering is an essential part of simplifying life since leaving your outer and inner spaces clutter-free allows more clarity, less noise and obstruction and hence more harmony overall.
2. Filter the Essential from the non-Essential:
This is a very important point I emphasize a lot in my course on Simple Living because it is the basis of a simple, hassle free life or oppositely the cause of an entangled, chaotic one. In short, simplifying life means learning what is essential to your life purpose and discarding all that isn’t.
3. Write your most important tasks first:
Every morning write the three most important tasks that are directly related to your life mission or that in some way support it (could be less or more than three tasks). These are the tasks you should focus more on and the important thing is to start straight away with them if possible and try your best to complete them within the day. This habit will channel you in a focused, distraction-free life in line with your purpose.
4. Learn to Say No:
When you try to make everybody happy, you very often create more stress and complications for yourself.
Being helpful is important but you need to do this without sacrificing simplicity. The trick is to learn to say no when necessary in a firm and nice way.
5. Learn to use more help:
Life can be so much easier – and simpler – when we get rid of pride or shyness and try to reach out for others’ help. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!
6. Give up the ‘Maybes’:
We spend a lot of time and energy on ‘maybes’ – indefinite things on our agenda or things we are not sure of whether they are important or not. My advice is – it’s better to drop the maybes than carry them around because the probability is that they are not important for the long term goals of your life.
7. Use your intuition more:
Thinking and analysis requires a lot of energy and mental contortions. Intuition is simple and energy-saving since it bypasses all logic and analysis and points you straight to the solution.
My advice is – spend less time in your head and open up more to listen to your heart’s intuitions.
8. Keep a simple digital life:
Keeping a simple digital life makes a whole lot of a difference considering we spend so many hours a day in our digital space. In fact the paradox is that digital life has complicated our lives in as much as it has made it efficient. A simple digital life involves keeping a clean email inbox, a tidy file and folder system (where it’s easy to find what you’re looking for) and using tools and apps that simplify your tasks and work loads.
9. Be nifty with information:
The bottom line is to use information as long as it helps you make your life better. The rest is superfluous and a distraction which can only contribute to overcomplicating things. Use information more wisely and life will get much easier – not to mention you will free up more time.
10. Consume less of everything:
A general rule in simple living is to stand back from excesses and consume only what nourishes you and supports you. This doesn’t mean you need to impoverish your life. Quite the contrary, abundance does not mean an oversupply of things but rather an always available supply of those things that support your most authentic needs. Think about it.
In our hectic lifestyles, we spend little time with ourselves. Some will actually feel lost by themselves which would show there are things that need to be worked on.
In any case spending more time alone encourages you to stand back and review certain things in your life such as what is working for you and what is holding you back.
This can also be a good time to contemplate on how to simplify your life and make it better.
12. Be clear in your words:
Not being clear in our speech often reflects the fact that we are not very clear in our thinking. However sometimes we are clear about our thoughts but fail to communicate them clearly which can create confusion, misunderstanding, lack of clear guidance and ultimately more issues and complications. The way to a simpler social life is being more clear in speech and if you are not clear, then it’s better to say less until you are.
13. Declutter on the go:
For those of you who like me are not really decluttering freaks, I have found that decluttering on the go really works for me.
This means that you can clear up and pack up things while you are doing stuff like cooking, using a room or moving from one room to the next.
I find it much easier to do something while I am already on the go rather than having to do it as a chore by itself.
14. Make away with useless routines:
Whether you like it or not, chances are that you have some routines that are useless at best if not downright counterproductive or making your life harder than it should. Routines should be there to simplify life but we often implement routines out of habit, compulsion or merely without any clear intent whatsoever. Be mindful about which of your routines are helping you and which are making other things in your life more difficult.
15. Honor your free time:
Time is as important as space in the philosophy of simple living. Having more free time is important since it helps in decompressing your mind from worries, stress and other things lingering on in your mind. This decompression time is quite essential for re-booting and refreshing yourself and ultimately keeping your life simpler.
We live in a world constantly bombarded by media. Yet our consumption of media is not just passive.
To make things more complicated, we also actively search and consume more information on different media channels – most notably social media nowadays.
It’s easy to get stuck and waste hours of our day hooked up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, consuming information that is ultimately irrelevant to our life goals.
17. Prioritize your work load:
It goes without saying that prioritizing is an important word in time management and managing your time is at the same time an important key to simplifying life. In the working life, most of the stress comes from pressure due to restricted time frames, urgency, conflicting deadlines and unclear priorities. Having a clear strategy for prioritizing tasks and projects is not only effective at work and business but a good attitude to adopt in life in general.
18. The KISS mantra – Keep It Seriously Simple:
The overall attitude to a simpler life is to always keep things as simple as possible. It has to become a mantra or a constant reminder present in mind. Whatever you do, be always conscious that simple will work out best in the long run. This should permeate all aspects of your life whether it is work, business, relationships and health. Keep it simple and you will see how it will always work magic.
This article was written by Gilbert Ross. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and his blog Soulhiker. You can also take his course at Udemy.