Simplify Your Life Week 7 Ways to Simplify Your Life
7 Ways to Simplify Your Life
In Honor of Simplify Your Life Week, here are seven actions you can take to simplify your life.
I take a different view on clutter. My definition of clutter is this: clutter is anything that prevents you from creating the life you choose, deserve and desire.
I am also different from a lot of professional organizers. One, I consider myself a professional LIFE organizer because whatever is going on on the outside, will be reflected on the outside. And vice versa. As you clear clutter and simplify your life in one area, it will affect other areas of your life.
In this blog post on simplifying your life, I am going to make suggestions in different areas where you can clear clutter to gain peace of mind.
Physical: Create Routines
Routines build good habits, increase our efficiency by getting more done in less time and can reduce clutter by easing your mind and reducing your stress. They help us focus to get the important things done. You save time if you do things regularly instead of letting everything pile up.
Morning routines could include: prepping dinner, packing lunches, grooming, checking the weather, and reviewing your calendar.
Evening routines could include: gratitude, morning meal prep, laying out clothes, returning phone calls.
Weekend routines could include: family time, spiritual or religious activities, errands, and homework.
Consider creating morning, evening and weekend routines for yourself, your family and your children.
A blog post on Distractify shared that the average person:
- Watches TV for 9.1 years.
- 2 years are spent watching commercials
- 70% of our waking life in front of digital media.
- 18% of social media users can’t go a few hours without checking Facebook;
- On Facebook: 39,757 years of time collectively spent of Facebook EACH DAY
What’s your poison? What do you need to unplug from? Video games? Facebook? Your cell phone? Computer?
Write it down on your to do list or block out a time on your calendar. Use a timer if you must.
If you feel the urge to grab your device or surf the Internet, take a deep breath and ask yourself some questions. Are you afraid you will miss something? Is your habit fulfilling a need? Being so plugged in 24/7 can serve as a distraction. What are you distracting yourself from? Pain? Anger? Sadness?
Be gentle with yourself. We are on autopilot with these habits. The good news is if you increase your awareness—which is the first step—then it will get easier with time.
Create a list of all the things you will gain when you unplug. Better relationships? More time for solitude? Saving money because you won’t be purchasing the latest and greatest? Keep it where you can see it.
Going forward, can you continue to carve out 10 minutes a day unplugged? Is there a better habit you could replace it with such as breathing or meditation? Taking a walk or stretching?
Emotional: Do Something Differently
How does doing something differently help clear your clutter?
I talk a lot about awareness and action. Many times we are on auto pilot and so we aren’t aware of what we are doing, feeling, seeing, believing. One way to become aware and get off of autopilot is by doing things differently. We tend to create clutter and remain stagnant when we are doing the same old things. We can still do routines, which can support us in clearing clutter, but we can shake them up and still get benefit.
We can clear emotional clutter because we can clear out fear. We go for it and get out of our boxes and comfort zone and we see it wasn’t so scary after all. I used to be afraid of public speaking, but now get paid to do it.
What can you do differently? What would you like to try? Make it fun; make a game out of it.
Take a new route to work or to the grocery store.
Strike up a conversation with someone you never would.
Use your non-dominant hand for the day.
Take a course, read a book, listen to a podcast in something you have always wanted to but never made the time to. Or try something that sounds totally not like you.
Have an adventure bite. That is what I tell my nieces and nephews. Try a new food! Either go out to eat or make it at home.
What new exercise can you try?
What artistic endeavor could you pursue?
Spiritual: Stop gossiping
Do you gossip about friends? Have you broken a confidence? Do you tend to gossip about the same person?
I believe many times we gossip to feel better about ourselves and to have a focal point for our frustration. At least, that is what I found for myself. I would think I am not as bad as those crazy housewives.
Putting someone else down doesn’t raise me up. In fact, in lowers my vibration. Ever since I quit reading gossip I feel a lot better.
When we focus on the faults of others, how can we expect others not to do the same to us? Whatever you put out in the world comes back to you in some way, shape or form. When we take delight in the mean things about others, couldn’t our time be better spent working on ourselves? Improving our own lives or supporting the others?
How to stop
Like many things, gossiping is a habit and can be unlearned. Begin to take a diet from gossip.
First, take some time to reflect on why. Why do you listen or contribute to gossip? Do you lack self-esteem and do it to feel better about yourself? Do you feel you are missing something, like friendship, and do it as a way to connect with others?
After spending some time reflecting, pick an area where you would like to stop gossiping.
If you are someone who likes to read about celebrities:
Stop your subscription to people magazine.
Put a moratorium on reading online gossip.
Tell your buddy you gossip with that you are on a moratorium on gossip.
Ask yourself if there is a healthier way to bond with people.
Take a stand and refuse to gossip at work.
Have a rubber band on your wrist and snap it when you find yourself gossiping.
Here’s a fun statistic. Today you.gov found that most of us take less than half an hour to get ready in the morning, 38% of women & 21% of men spend longer than 30 minutes getting ready in the mornings – that amounts to 7.6 days spent preening each year. The 4% of women and 1% of men who take longer than one hour getting ready spend more than 15 days a year in preparing to leave the house. And if you can’t find things, you are spending even more time to get out of the house in the morning.
How about you? How much time do you take to do your morning beauty routine? Could you simplify if you need to take that much time to look your best? Could you wear less make up to get you out the door more quickly?
I am going to also suggest is releasing expired make up. It’s really important because if you wear bad make up you could get: pink eye, inflammation which can lead to redness, bumps, a rash, or even blisters and swelling. You could also not have sunscreen protection. Pitching expired make up should be a no brainer and an easy first step if you are having trouble decluttering your makeup.
http://checkcosmetic.net lets you put in batch code and determined if your make up has expired.
Natural products usually last 3-6 months. If you keep in the refrigerator they’ll last a little longer, but it goes bad more quickly.
Relationships: Limit Negative People
Most of us have to deal with negative people; it’s part of life. We tend to become who we hang out with. If you notice that a lot of the people you are spending the majority of time with are unhappy and complaining, you might want to examine how this is affecting your life and creating emotional clutter for you.
In your professional life, it might be more of a challenge. If you have an extremely negative co-worker, you probably don’t have the option to fire them, so you need to have a strategy of dealing with them. In your personal life, you have more leeway. If you choose, you can end a friendship. Here are some things to think about:
How long have you known the person and what is the level of friendship? Are they a relative or someone you must have interactions with, an ex spouse for an example?
- Ignore them.
- Talk to the person.
- If they start talking negatively, ask them to share something positive about the situation. Do this often enough and they might start to take notice.
- Quickly end the conversation when they start to talk negatively.
- Offer to be their accountability partner. When you are together, if they start being negative, gently point it out.
- Set boundaries. If you continue to be negative, I am going to get up and walk away or change the subject.
- Allow the relationship to naturally fade away.
- Limit the time you spend with the person. This might be the only viable option in some cases.
- End the relationship.
Finances: Online Banking & Bills
When I first joined the credit union, it forced me to go online. Or I could pay $2 a month for paper statements. No way was I going to spend $24 a year!
Set up an online banking account. If you think you might need help, go to your local branch. Make sure you have a secure user name and password. I also set up a separate email for online banking that is separate from business and personal. I do this so it doesn’t get lost with the hundreds of emails I get each day.
Take the time to become familiar with the online portal where to log in, see where your accounts are, how you can send emails. Consider using online bill pay if your bank has that option. Most of your bills will have the option now for you to go online. Consider getting an app for your phone to make things even easier. My husband can deposit checks through an app.
Don’t ever do your online banking through a public WiFi. People can hack and steal your information. I suggest doing as little as possible in public. My husband always deposits in our home. Make sure you monitor your account for signs of fraud or theft.
How do you simplify your life? What tips can you share to support others in clearing clutter?
Go out, clear the clutter to create the life you choose, deserve and desire.