Today, many of us place a high value on being busy. We rush from here to there with our endless to-do list and frantic pace. Our days rush by in a flurry of client sessions, administrative work, grocery shopping and shuttling the kids to after-school practices.
At the end of the day, we look back at what we have done and feel a sense of accomplishment. We go to bed feeling tired but satisfied in knowing that we stayed busy and did all we could with our day. Then, we wake up to do it all over again.
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with leading a fast-paced life, achieving your goals and taking care of the ones you love. The problem is that this kind of lifestyle can get exhausting and lead to burnout.
Instead, you could choose to simplify your life. Even small changes can make a significant impact on your health, well-being and relationships. As we enter autumn and get ever closer to the hectic holiday season, now is the time to explore how you can remove stressors from your life by keeping it simple.
Contrary to what you might think, simplifying your life can actually help you to be much more productive in the things that matter. Read on for our six favorite tips for simplifying your life, enhancing your productivity and boosting your happiness.
6 Ways to Simplify Your Life Starting Today
Get Rid of the Clutter
The first thing you should do when you want to simplify is to get rid of all the stuff. Look around your living spaces, including your closets, refrigerator and workspace. The chances are that you have plenty of stuff that you don’t need, don’t like or haven’t used in years. The things we own have energy, and when we are surrounded by too many things, that cluttered energy can weigh us down.
We get it. The thought of going through your clutter is not a pleasant one. But clearing out the things you don’t use will free up space for the things you love. Go through your closets, junk drawers, kitchen cabinets and anywhere else that feels disorganized or over packed. Once you begin the decluttering process, you will be surprised at how light and free you feel.
Take a Tech Break
Technology makes our lives easier, but it can also create a lot of stress, competition and distraction. When you want to simplify your life, try taking a technology detox. It might mean avoiding social media or limiting the time you spend on your phone or other device.
Take an honest look at how much time you spend staring at a screen. Removing this distraction for a while could free up an enormous amount of space for you to explore other things in your life that bring you joy.
Avoid Toxic People
We all have them. People in our lives that drain our energy. Whether they are family members, coworkers or a friend, toxic people can bring down your energy and leave you feeling spent. Take stock of the people in your life that are a source of negativity. Explore how you might be able to set new boundaries with them that will create more peace and positivity.
Schedule in Self-Care
What does your to-do list look like? Does it include self-care? Most of us schedule our days with tasks and appointments, but we rarely schedule in rest. Instead, rest is just something we get as a reward for checking off all the items on our to-do list. Make self care a priority by scheduling it into your day. Pencil in a favorite workout class, coffee with a friend or simply some alone time to read a good book.
Take One Thing at a Time
Multitasking might seem like a good idea, but it actually makes us less productive. Plus, it can increase our stress levels and decrease the quality of our work. Instead of trying to do three things at once, take one thing at a time. Be fully present and attentive to the task at hand. When you are done, move on to the next task on your list.
Take Care of Energy Drains
Think about the things that drain your energy. These are the things that you spend a lot of time and mental space stressing over or avoiding. You might not even recognize that something is draining your energy, and these are the most dangerous. Some common energy drains include:
- An unresolved argument with a friend or family member
- A side project that has become something you dread
- Obligations that do not bring you joy
- Messy, disorganized finances
- Negative self talk
- Health issues that have not been addressed
Identify the things that you consistently put off. What commitments (real or perceived) do you have that do not bring you joy?
Keeping It Simple, Isn’t Always Simple
Ironically, simplifying your life can be a little complex. Even though it may seem like a lot of work at the start, we guarantee that it will be worth it in the end. Start with one of these tips and see how much space it opens up. Then, tackle the rest of the list to lead your most fulfilling life!