Have you ever noticed a shortened work week (returning from a holiday, vacation etc.) seems to feel more hectic and insane than the regular 5 day week? There is always too much to do and not enough time to do it. It has me thinking about simple living. I have been pondering ways to make my life slow down a bit from the furious pace that so many of us know all too well.
In my quest to simplify my life I have stumbled upon some good tips to reduce the hustle and bustle and hopefully get my life on a good balance. I hope these great ideas will inspire you to pursue a simple life as well.
Tips on how to live a simple life
Declutter your life….
Get rid of the things you do not need. It is easy to hang onto things simply because we think “I might need that later.” Most of the time, the things we hang onto are something we will never use. A cluttered home or workspace creates visual distractions and can actually make you feel like you do not have enough space to just breathe. Have a yard sale and make some pocket-money off of all of that stuff you have that is just lying around.
Put things in order around your home. If you keep things in order and tidy throughout the week you will be able to enjoy the weekend without having to waste time working around the house. A workspace that is in proper order will help you find things easier which is a good time saving technique and stress-busting measure.
Retail Therapy is more like retail addiction…..
I am sure you have probably heard girls (or guys) talk about needing some retail therapy. It is human nature to want stuff and many of us love to shop but is it really therapy? The answer to that question is no. Yes, we get this natural high off of zipping through the stores and exposing ourselves to all of the temptations that line the isles. It feels good (temporarily) to get some cool gadgets and nice new clothes. Before you even realize it, you are headed to your car with bags upon bags of goodies and a hefty charge on your credit card or a much leaner bank account.
Some of us do not even make it home before the guilt of overspending takes its hold and starts making us feel worse than how we felt in the first place so shopping is not therapy. When you actually need things you should shop and be picky with your spending but do not ever emotional shop. Going further in debt is not the way to simple living.
Give yourself plenty of time in the mornings…..
None of us like to rush around. Rushing creates stress which causes a chain reaction of bad things even before your day can get started. Wake up early enough in the mornings so that you have plenty of time to get ready for your day with peace of mind. Eat a healthy breakfast and get in a good routine. Enjoy some relaxing music while you get ready to tackle the day, or spend a little time practicing meditation to invoke calm feelings to get you going.
Go to bed at a descent hour so that you are able to get up earlier. It is always a good idea to remove yourself from busy distractions like TVs and electronics at least an hour before bedtime so that your mind can unwind and relax. Reading a good book before bed will help you relax so that you can get ample sleep.
Make time to spend with family and friends….
Many of us spend more time working and fulfilling commitments such as ball games, events we have signed up for and other duties in life than we dedicate ourselves to what matters the most and that is time spent with family and friends. If you need to slim down your schedule and turn down commitments in order to make the time for your personal life, then do it.
Time spent with those you love will simplify your life and bring things into perspective because it will force you to slow down and notice the most important aspects and help you understand what you are really working for.
Keep your schedule in check and do not over-commit…
Again, taking on too much responsibility and too many projects is a recipe for a hectic and stressful life. Talking about complications! Before you say yes to the next project take a look at your schedule and see if it will fit. If it does not fit, it is ok to say no. Remember a good healthy balance of work, fun, family and downtime is what will create a simple life.
Set time limits on how much time you spend on any certain commitment….
I am guilty of not doing this. I get in the middle of a project and keep working and before I know it I have spent the whole day on that one thing. Then I find myself overwhelmed with every other chore that is still demanding my attention. It may be a good idea to write out a schedule detailing what the daily schedule will be and how much time will be dedicated to each task.
Another trick that will help is to set an audible timer. Once that timer sounds, stop the task and reschedule it for another date if it is not finished. This may sound complicated but if you are guilty of mishandling your time, it will help get you in order.
You cannot multitask so stop trying….
Oftentimes we think of ourselves as super heroes and we can handle dozens of things at once. The truth is, our minds are only built to give our undivided attention to one thing at a time. If you think you are multitasking, what you are really doing is scattering your attention and thoughts from one thing to the next and so forth and are doing nothing more than losing any train of thought you had when you originally started.
Instead of getting several things accomplished as planned, you are getting nowhere and find yourself feeling overwhelmed. The best way to solve this problem is to take note of what you have to do for the day and set priority levels to each task. Do the higher priority tasks first and one by one work your way through the list. You will find you work more efficient this way, things actually get done faster and you do not experience the stress.
Make a budget and stick with it….
Everyone needs a budget and a plan on how to properly spend their money. I think money itself complicates life. We all know it takes money to survive and buy the things we need but the things we want is one of the ways a budget is blown and money gets out of hand (literally!) If you create a budget and follow it precisely, you will find yourself saving more money and simplifying your life.
It is important to save money for an emergency fund, set aside discretionary spending money and limit the amounts you spend. The less you swipe your debit or credit card the better off you are. It is easier to track your money if you pay for miscellaneous items with a cash allotment rather than with plastic.