“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” — Henry David Thoreau
I don\’t know about you, but sometimes I find that life feels so complicated that it\’s almost overwhelming. Something is always demanding your attention and your stress levels never seem to subside.
I\’ve just actually been writing about the correlation between physical clutter and stress in my book that is coming out soon, (woohoo!) as I have been consciously taking steps over the past year to not only declutter but to simplify my home and life. The results for me personally have been liberating – a distinct reduction in the stress and overwhelm that I have been living with for so long.
If you\’re looking for ways to gain control over your life or your current situation, consider simplifying.
Simplifying your life can mean getting rid of unnecessary to-do list items, eliminating clutter from your home, fine-tuning your priorities, and gaining perspective on what truly matters to you.
Here are 10 Tips to Simplify your Life – start them 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 wallet 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.
- 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?
- 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. To do this, you can try delegation, outsourcing, moving them to other days or simply dropping them.
- 6. Simplify your home tasks. Repeat the above process with your home tasks, removing the things that you\’re not reasonably going to accomplish in a day. Simplify your list of home tasks by automating, delegating, outsourcing and removing anything that doesn\’t fall in line with what\’s most important.
- 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.
- 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.
Reducing that feeling of stress and overwhelm is worth the conscious effort of simplifying your life, so start today and let me know how you go!
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