We could all do with a little simplification. While technology has made our lives more convenient, it’s also given us more opportunity to be frazzled, cluttered and confused. We’re doing more, communicating more, buying more than we need and stressing out way too much.
In a nod to National Simplify Your Life Week, August 1-7, we thought it a good time to get back to some less is more basics. It’s a concept of simplicity that can be applied to just about every part of your life.
- De-clutter. It’s amazing how good it feels—not to mention how much easier it is to find stuff around the house of office—when you keep things organized. Discover the wisdom of actually living the adage “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
- Say good-bye to stuff you don’t use. You know that sundress you haven’t worn in years? Or, how about the really old laptop you keep around “just in case”? Get rid of the stuff you no longer use. If you can’t donate it or sell it, toss it.
- Put systems in place. Give yourself a step-by-step routine for cleaning the house. Do as many errands as you can in a single trip. The day just seems less daunting when you simplify how you live it.
- Do things now rather than later. Liberate time and nurture peace of mind by getting things out of the way. Put the dinner dishes in the dishwasher tonight rather than in the morning, say, or balance your checkbook when your statement arrives. You’ll avoid the dread.
- Go digital. Use online resources when you can. Pay the bills, buy music, get your news, read digital versions of magazines, do your banking—the list of things you can do digitally is virtually endless. You can cut paper clutter and waste, save time and even improve your budget by using technology.
- Keep the people you like in your orbit, and avoid toxic “friends”. This isn’t always practical; you can’t quit interacting with a troublemaker at work, for instance. But you can keep friends who nurture you and minimize contact with the “Debbie Downers” in your life.
- Schedule your we-time. Sure, work and the kids are very important. But, don’t forget to be attentive to your significant other relationship. Make a point to schedule some hours together, just the two of you, at least once a week, whether it’s a date night, a game of tennis or just a long walk in the park together.
- Schedule your me-time. Then there’s the relationship with you. It’s too easy to get caught up in doing for others. Give yourself half an hour of decompression time at the end of the day. Get centered with yoga. Ease the stress with a soak in the tub. Whatever soothes you, schedule it into your day or week.
- Replace bad habits with good ones. There are always things we want to do less of. Instead of “depriving” yourself, replace a bad habit with a good one. Read a book instead of watching TV. Enjoy a cup of tea in the morning rather than coffee. Eat a piece of fruit when you want to avoid those potato chips.
- Slow down. Avoid “hurry sickness.” Quit over-scheduling your time. Enjoy what you’re doing right now instead of worrying about what you have to do next. As the saying goes, take the time to stop and smell the roses.
There are many ways to simplify your life, from cooking and freezing meals for an entire week at one time to laying out your work clothes the night before. Find what works best for you and you might just find life a little sweeter.