6 Ways to Simplify Your Life
Everywhere you look, it seems like there are people trying desperately to find ways to simplify their lives. I am one of them. Life is so busy. We live life in the fast lane and I think people are getting tired of it. I think that people are craving a simpler time when we were more connected to one another and the sense of community was stronger.
I love technology but I think it’s a big part of the reason we are so desperate to get back to a simpler time. Although I depend on technology for many of my day to day tasks, I have recently discovered that the more am able to let go of it, the more fulfilled I feel. Easier said than done though- right? Here are the things I have done to be able to successfully simplify my life just a bit.
1. Make a list of tasks complete
Everyone has things around the house that just never seem to get done. For me, it’s cleaning off the top of my dresser in my bedroom and cleaning the baseboards in my house. Take 15 minutes and go around your house making a list of all the things that you would like to get done but you continuously put on the back burner. Then make a point to get one of these things crossed off your list every week. You will feel a huge sense of accomplishment each time you complete one of these agenda items.
I’m putting this in the second spot but it probably should be number one. I am convinced that the reason we have become such a “workaholic generation” is because of email. As a teacher, when I first started my career, the school-day ended when you left the building. Yes there would be lessons to plan and papers to grade at night often times, but the school-day was over. Because email is such a prominent communication tool now, it feels like work doesn’t end. Emails pour in 24 hours a day which constantly adds to that oppressive feeling that the work is never done. I can speak to this firsthand as a teacher but I am also sure it is true for almost all professions. Even when I make a conscious decision not to open my email there is always that looming feeling in my gut as I question what might be lurking there that needs my attention. No wonder why we are such an anxiety ridden society!
I read once that you shouldn’t check your work email from home and although I like that idea in theory— I don’t think it’s 100% realistic. We live in a world with technology and we can’t ignore that. Expectations of jobs have changed and we can’t ignore that either. Strike a balance. Designate 10-15 minutes to check and answer emails at night. Just one block of time. Outside of that window, it will have to wait until tomorrow.
3. Slow Cooking
I love to cook but I hate having cook. For that reason, I LOVE my slow cooker. Planning out a couple slow cooker or instant pot meals for the week makes it easy to serve a delicious home cooked meal without having to fuss over it when you would rather be doing something else. It does take a little bit of preplanning and thinking ahead, but makes all the difference in the world with your day to day.
4. Working at home at night
When the day is over and you settle into your comfy clothes on the couch, that can seem like a great time to get some work done. This does not do much in the way of helping to simplify your life however. Doing this day after day and night after night only makes it feel like work has taken over your life. To combat this, set a reasonable stopping time that will ensure you do not work straight up until bed. For me, it’s 8:30. After that, for my own sanity, it will have to wait until tomorrow.
5. Close down and shut down
This one is not hard to do and I have been amazed at what a difference it has made in my mindset. When I’m ready to be done with my electronics for the day, I close them down and shut them down. It is so easy to reopen that computer and do just one more thing or check one thing on my phone really quickly before dozing off. I find however, I am less likely to do that if the devices are completely shut down. I fall asleep easier when I do this and amazingly I think I feel better in the morning.
6. Use multitasking products around the house
This has recently become something that I’ve gotten quite passionate about. Using household products that multitask has been a way to free up so much of my cupboard space and simultaneously become a way to get rid of many of the toxins in my house. By keeping my pantry stocked with the items below, I have been able to get rid of the majority of the cleaning supplies and toiletry items that we have used traditionally. To my surprise, these products have worked better for cleaning and on our skin than any commercial supplies ever did. These are the products I now can not live without:
- Coconut Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Castile Soap
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
There may not be much we can do to immediately change the world we are living in to slow things down however there are small steps we can take. Adopting a few of these things outlined above will make a difference that may surprise you. I would love to hear if you have anything to add as I am always looking for more ways to simplify! Drop me a note int he comments below, I’d love to hear from you!