Inside: Simplify Your Life Effectively In These 10 Areas Guaranteed.

“I’m running around like a chicken without a head”. These words came out of my parent’s mouths once a week. I was too young to understand what they meant and the visual was something that is etched into my mind to this day. It wasn’t until I was older and had children of my own that I truly understood what it meant and what it felt like.

Life is complicated and a constant juggling act. For the most part, we’re all anxious, stressed, and feel as though we’re continuously running in circles. Our life is on a continuous loop of wake up, work, sleep, repeat. If we can fit anything else into our days like friends, fitness, and relaxation it’s a treat. So what can we do to make life easier?

One thing you can do to take back control is to simplify your life. To simplify your life means to eliminate the unnecessaries in your life that slow you down or cause chaos.  To simplify your life is to get rid of the “clutter” and keep only what matters.

Here are 10 places you can start to simplify your life today!

 

Simplify Your Life Effectively In These 10 Areas Guaranteed!

 

Possessions

It’s time to take inventory of what you own. Do you need everything you have or is it time to get rid of “stuff”.  Having too much stuff can be overwhelming and can also drain you financially. Being a collector in my eyes is great if there is some sort of end game to the collection. Will you one day sell your baseball card collection (is that even a thing anymore) or do you just continue to horde baseball cards with no rhyme or reason?

When you discover a new hobby are you the type of person that goes all-in? For example, do you know anyone who took up a hobby like fishing and then proceeded to purchase everything possible for the sport before even deciding if they enjoyed it or not? These types of people will buy the best fishing pole, tackle box, hip waders, lures, etc. only to drop the hobby a month later.

Think about what you need and look to donate or sell what you don’t. If you can avoid it, don’t just throw things out but look to donate them to a charity, a friend, or have a garage sale and make some money back.

George Carlin said it best when talking about stuff! (I apologize for some of the language)

 

 

Time

Time management is critical to simplifying your life. Planning your day and prioritizing what needs to be done daily will not only help to simplify your life but also make you more productive. We all live busy lives and sometimes our schedule is packed from start to finish.

Learn to do a better job at recognizing things in our day that help moves us in the direction as opposed to things that take up our time. Wouldn’t it be better to spend time in person with real friends as opposed to spending too much time on social media?

It’s also OK to learn how to say no. I am all for helping out a friend in need but there are times in your personal and professional life that sometimes requires you to just say no. Don’t spread yourself too thin all the time. Read more about saying no here.

 

Debt

Over 200 million American’s live in debt. Let that sink number sink in for a minute.  Their debt can be so overwhelming that it becomes all-encompassing. If you want to simplify your life then begin to make small strides to cut your debt today. Put together a budget (which can be frightening) and stick to it.

The rules are simple if you can’t afford it don’t buy it. Look at eliminating lunch or dinners out and trim your budget where you can (change your cable offering or refinance your mortgage) but start somewhere.

In my home, we recently went through this exercise and looked at ways to scale back. Being that the refinance rates were so low we thought it was a good time to take advantage and consolidate some debt. In doing so we were able to save a nice bit of money monthly that we can put towards savings.

For more tips visit our article on How To Cut Expense On The Family Budget

 

Emails

How many emails do you get a day that are junk or from companies and individuals you never signed up for? On the flip side, how much time do you waste daily going through these emails and deleting them? Unsubscribe from mailing lists that you don’t use. (But not mine of course). You might not even recall signing up for that fishing website (back when you were into fishing for a month) and now you get bombarded daily with all things fishing emails.

Simplify your life and opt-out if you aren’t using their services and organize your inbox. A trick I use if to organize my inbox and leave only the items I need to follow up within the short term. When an email arrives I read it and decide if I need to take action immediately.

If I do, I respond and file the message in its’ corresponding folder (in my case the sender’s company folder). If it’s something I deem important I might tag it with a due date so I am reminded when I need to take action on it. The same can go with papers crossing your desk at work. Read it once and decide what you need to do with it. React, file, or dispose of it.

 

Workouts 

I see way too many people wasting hours on end in the gym exercising fruitlessly. Exercise is important for both mental and physical well being but no one needs to be in the gym for 3 hours a day. Unless you are a competitive athlete or training for a marathon most people can get their workout done in 30-60 minutes.

There is a multitude of websites that offer short, effective workouts.  Simply your life and workouts by trying HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) if you haven’t already.

FOR MORE READ 5 HEALTHY TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY AT THE GYM

 

Social Media/online activity

Simplify your life by spending less time online and on social media. Have you ever found yourself in a wormhole of YouTube videos on some benign subject and you don’t know how you got there? It’s happened to everyone at some point. Apple has a great feature on their phones that will tell you how much time you’ve spent online weekly and even better where you have spent your time. If you have an iPhone I recommend you use it. It can be very eye-opening.

You should consider setting time aside during the day when you are completely off the grid. Limit social media activities to a certain point in the day and you will gain back a tremendous amount of time to accomplish other things.

 

Negative Thoughts

The majority of negative thoughts you have tend to be useless time wasters. We spin our wheels thinking about all the possible negative outcomes instead of just facing the situation head-on. Our defense mechanisms and common thinking errors cloud our judgment at times. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts try to shift the thought process to the positive side.

READ 12 SIMPLE HABITS SURE TO KEEP YOU HAPPY

 

Actions

I have always been a very focused person taking on one project at a time and seeing it through to completion. How many times have you walked into a friend’s house and noticed 8 different home improvement projects that they started, without one of them being completed? Parts of the wall painted with different colors for years while they decide which color to choose.

Simplify your life and do one thing at a time and complete the task, as opposed to multiple things at once with nothing ever being accomplished. These multiple actions occurring at once only clutter your mind and your surroundings. Some people can multi-task but if your house looks as I described above, you’re not one of them.

 

Words

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t get caught up in gossip and rumors and other people’s lives. Speak the truth and share your emotions with others. Don’t feel like you can’t say no if you have to. You’ll be surprised at the results.

Ensure that as much as you speak your mind you also listen to answers when asking for opinions or help.

 

Connections

The rise of social media has created an environment where people are obsessed with having hundreds and thousands of friends. Studies show as an adult it is best to have 3-5 close friends in your life. Too many friends that aren’t true friends only drag you down. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be friendly with others but don’t try to be friends with the entire world.

I often get requests from people on social media to connect who didn’t give me the time of day in high school or college and I wonder why all of a sudden they are so interested in my life. Most times it’s just so they can appear to have more friends and connections.

Simplify your life and focus on a smaller group of solid relationships that provide deep friendships as opposed to casting a wide net. Unless you’re using social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram to connect people to your business, how many friends do you really need?

 

How to simplify your life and knowing where to start isn’t easy to do. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Start slow and before you know it you, if you follow some of these tips, you will be experiencing a simpler life.

What have you done to simplify your life? Comment below.

 

19 Comments

  1. Tracy @ Cleland Clan

    I’ve really been thinking about downsizing and getting rid of stuff. I may not do it for another 10 years (even I’m closer to retirement), but I’ve asked the kids what they would like when it comes to larger furniture, antiques, china, etc. I’m starting small by just going through cupboards. I mean, really, do I need 20 or so board games that are in the cupboard…but then I think that in five years, the grandkids will be old enough to play them. It’s a never ending rabbit hole… I don’t even want to think about the other items on the list…emails, ugh…

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Its a good reality check when you clean things out

      Reply
  2. Stephanie S

    I really enjoyed this list. I keep my workouts between 30-60 minutes. I just started a jump rope routine, and that has been fun. I also make sure to take some time away from technology in general. Spending time away from that, and being with my family really just makes everything better. Thanks so much for sharing this list.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thanks for the comment, Stephanie. Glad you are spending time with the family!

      Reply
  3. Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    One of my favorite aspects of the Coronavirus is that we’ve all been forced to stop and slow down. No more busy being busy kind of lifestyle. It is such a perfect time to take a step back because there is really no excuse at the moment, and simplify our lives. Your tips are spot on for that! And at such a perfect time.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Indeed! This is a good time to slow down and simplify

      Reply
  4. Lyosha

    Great piece of advise. I often notice that I might put a lot of work and effort but I am not effective. same stuff to do can be done in hours or in minutes based of other experiences.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thanks Lyosha

      Reply
  5. Ben

    I love this post. I have simplified my life in a lot of areas, but I still have more work to do. This post helped remind me of places that I still need to work on.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thanks Ben

      Reply
  6. Nkem

    I like everything about this post! I’m in the process of simplifying an already simple life and each time I make a decision that says I don’t need that or that’s too complicated, I feel freer and more able to enjoy life!

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Glad you feel the results of simplifying.

      Reply
  7. LuLu B

    Scott, you’ve rounded up a great list of things we can do to simplify our lives. I instinctively get rid of “stuff” when I start feeling overwhelmed with life! I need to start being better at prioritizing my daily tasks instead of having a long list of to-do tasks that just create more anxiety than productivity. I always make time to do meditation and a 30-45 minute workout each day – those are non-negotiable for me because they are important to my mental health and a great way to deal with those negative thoughts that can consume our precious time! 🙂

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Thanks LuLu

      Reply
  8. Kat

    Those are some great areas – I was wondering what all you’d come up with to find 10 areas to simplify. About 2 years ago, I drastically simplified my own life. I have a very minimalist living space and expenses – which ties in with the ‘possessions’ and ‘debt’ categories you mentioned. I am actually much happier for it, even though I own and spend less than before!

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      How much do we really need in the end?

      Reply
  9. Subhashish Roy

    Great food for though.I was going through the list and taking an account of where I stand.Possessions they were important at one time but yes they really don’t matter to me now at this age.I found the e mails interesting.How many times I have thought of unsubscribing but always tend to push it for future.I must get down to taking action.Time and Time Management though matters to me the most.

    Reply
    • Scott DeNicola

      Time management is big to me as well Sub!

      Reply
  10. Britt K

    Great suggestions! As someone who works on social media, it can be hard sometimes to distance yourself. Recently I turned off all notifications on my cellphone with the exception of my text messaging and phone calls. If there’s an emergency that requires my attention, you can call or send a text. If you don’t have my phone number to do that, you aren’t close enough to me to require an instant response. As for clients and accounts that I am managing, I have set aside a work schedule during which I am regularly checking in. I have been surprised by how much of a difference it has made for my stress levels!

    Reply

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