We've all heard "less is more," but it's a powerful little statement when put to the test. After completing a "get rid of 100 things challenge" recently, I realized simplifying can, and should, be applied to many other aspects in life. I've also found that the more I simplify, the easier and more refreshing it becomes. I run my business from my home and noticed a connection between my physical environment and my mental state and productivity. This was the biggest motivator to get started. Once I started, I didn't want to stop. It soon went from "do I need these items in my home," to "how can I streamline my business?" and "who can I hire who actually enjoys doing this task?"
Here are just a few ideas you can simplify your life:
- Learn when and how to say no. Respect your time.
- Focus on quality rather than quantity.
- Automate your bills, opt for paperless billing and do as much banking online as possible.
- Organize your digital files and auto-backup your hard drive.
- Take a few minutes to unsubscribe from all emails you don't need, or use a program like unroll.me. Those 40% emails are tempting, but that's part of the problem.
- Separate work from home life if possible. Stop checking your work emails from your phone.
- Check email at designated times, like twice per day.
- Exercise and eat healthfully. Both of these will give you more energy, thought clarity and save you time and money dealing with health issues.
- Leave a time window around your commitments for decompressing and unanticipated issues.
- Use something like Evernote to keep all of your ideas, lists, business cards, etc. in one place.
- Use the cloud to eliminate USB drives, emailing things to yourself, etc.
- Keep your kitchen clutter-free and inviting so you're more likely to cook.
- Keep your cell phone, laptop, exercise equipment, etc. out of the bedroom so it's a clear relaxation and sleep zone.
- Spend time volunteering. It will make you appreciate what you have.
- Stop being busy for the sake of being busy. Take time for yourself and learn to relax.
- Ask others for help and delegate when it makes sense. Instead of splitting chores 50/50, talk about which person is better or enjoys which tasks the most.
- Don't shop unless you need something and avoid buying things that aren't on your list.
- Start a gratitude practice. At the end of each day, write down 3 things you're grateful for.
- Try things before you buy them. You can get numerous cookbooks from the library or borrow something from a friend.
- Focus on experiences. One of my favorite simple quotes is, "Collect moments, not things." -Aarti Khurana.
- Let go of guilt and embrace forgiveness.
Which are your favorite ways to simplify? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.