Simplify your life so that you can be happier. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or the CEO of a big company, the hours of the day are often not enough for everything we have to do. We wake up every morning with list as long as the day itself, and still end up with some chores remaining. In the middle of the thousands of things we have to do every day, we sometimes lose tract of the important ones.
Even when you have an extremely busy lifestyle, not everything we need to do every day is important. We can simplify our lives if we want to, and not miss out on what’s really precious in our lives. You don’t even need extraordinary organizational skills to make your day simple; all you need to do is to pay attention to all the aspects of your life.
Learning to Simplify your Life
Our days are meant to be lived simply. Our brains might be extremely powerful, but we are not supposed to burden it with too many stressful thoughts. As human beings, we are not created with too much on our minds, but that’s not the way real life is.
We start every day with too much on our minds, too many worries to ever let ourselves enjoy our time. If this is what’s bothering you, here are ten steps that you can try to simplify your life.
- Make your To-Do List the Day Before
Your mornings will usually be too hectic to sit down and make a to-do list, so it is better if you can do this the previous night, before you go to bed. This way, you can add to the list in the morning if you remember something. Besides, with a complete idea of what the next day is going to bring, you can sleep better, too.
What’s another benefit of having a to-do list ready when you wake up? You can spend your mornings contemplating and improving on it instead of creating the whole thing.
2. Divide your day into sections
Instead of thinking that you have just a single dayto complete everything, divide your whole day into sections: early morning before work, morning, lunch time, lunch to evening, evening or after work, and night time. This way, you can assign your chores to six sections throughout the day, and have more time on your hands to complete them. At least, in your mind.
3. Pick the Three Most Important Ones
Of everything that you have to do, pick the three (or four, depending on their severity and significance) most important one. These are the chores you have to complete by the end of the day, no matter what. They can be lengthy and important ones like attending a business meeting, or a small one like responding to an email. However big or small, completing at least three important tasks will give you a sense of satisfaction.
4. Try to Accomplish Something Before the Day Starts
Important or not, try to complete at least one chore early in the morning, even before your day starts. This could be something very simple like making a call or an appointment, tidying up your room before you leave the house, or preparing the ingredients for your dinner in the morning. An early win will also give you a sense of accomplishment, and that too, even before you have officially started the day. If you pick something simple – such as, deciding on a gift for a friend’s birthday or looking up a recipe you want to try for a party the next week – you can complete them even before you’ve left the bed.
If there’s nothing on your list like that, let the first task of the day be to make your own bed. This is something many successful entrepreneurs and leaders vouch by! Making your own bed first thing in the morning means that you have already achieved something before you’ve even left the room.
5. Simplify your Access with People
These days, we have tons of ways that people can reach us: emails, social media, cell phones, fax, and many other modes. These can actually be distraction when you are trying to work or go through your day. A lot of people end up addicted to Social Media websites and spend hours on Facebook or Instagram, discarding everything else. This is not just among teens and young adults, but also with grownups.
Although we can’t really stay disconnected to the rest of the world, our days will definitely be more simple if you can limit your access. Allow yourself to take work calls only when you are at work, and to go on to Social Media only a few times during the day. Completely avoid any kind of outside communication when you are concentrating on your work or spending time with your family, and your schedule will seem much less hectic.
6. Create (and Stick to) a Specific Bedtime Routine
Unless an emergency or a special situation, stick to your bedtime regime. It can be a bath, a few pages of your favorite book, and then off to sleep, or it could be a small meditation session before going to bed. Try to end your day on a specific time every day, and this will create a routine in your daily life. Simply by going to bed on a definite time every night, you can regulate how much sleep you get, and wake up fresh in the morning, ready to face the day.
Another part of your bedtime regime can be to clean up after yourself as much as you can before going to bed. Something as mundane as getting the dishes done or putting your children’s toys away means that you’ll wake up to a more organized and clean home in the morning. You won’t have to start your day worried about the mess you are going to find in the kitchen or in the play room.
7. Create a Boundary between your Two Lives
This essentially means that you should keep your professional and personal life separate. This may sound cliché, but when at home, your work problems should never bother your relaxation. You can concentrate better at work when you know you have a relaxed time waiting for you at home, with your family and loved ones.
8. Simplify your life by grouping your Chores Together
Instead of running out of the house several times a day for your various chores, try to do some of them together. Grocery shopping, picking up your dry cleaning, pop in for a coffee or refilling your prescription – do them at the same time instead of leaving the house several times. The same goes for your workplace. If you have chores outside, try to finish them when you are out for your lunch break or when you are leaving for home, instead of taking several little breaks throughout the day.
9. Plan your meals and wardrobes in advance
You can simplify your life by planing your weekly outfits and meals in advance before the week even begins. It helps if you know in advance whether all your work clothes for the week are clean, and what you need to buy during your weekly grocery shopping. Some people have fixed dinner plans for every day of the week, and it really helps reduce time thinking about what to make for the whole family every day. If you can do the same with your clothes at the beginning of the week, you won’t have to worry about what to wear every morning before heading off to work.
10. Plan some Alone Time
Everyone needs some alone time by themselves, especially if they had been surrounded by other people all day. This can be any time of your choice: an hour before bedtime when everyone has fallen asleep, or early in the morning before the rest of the family wakes up. Or, if could just be a solitary lunchat the officewhen you can relax and let your thoughts run wild, or an hour after work at a coffee shop or a bar before you go home. Thistime is not for planning for the future, or to think about problems at work, but just some time for yourself. You can spend your “Alone Time” thinking, or read a book, or listening to music, or doing anything you want to do.
Life can be very complicated, but we don’t have to let our days get hectic. There are no limits to all the different worries we have in our mind. Worrying about the future, our financial situation, our loved one’s health, our education or jobs – there’s no escape from everything that bothers us every day, all the time.
However, it doesn’t mean these thoughts have to crowd our minds every second of our lives. We can make our days simpler and less chaotic, merely by planning in advance and knowing what we truly want in our lives. Simplify your life means slowing down just a little so that we are not exactly running from our responsibilities, but taking each day as it comes.