Feeling overwhelmed? As though you have no control over your life? Like you just can’t cope? What you need to do is simplify, simplify, simplify.
Here’s how to simplify your life in two easy steps:
Step One: Make yourself a cup of tea (do it now – we’ll wait)
Step Two: Read through (then follow) our 10 easy life hacks that will help you simplify your life.
1. Love It or Leave It
Apply this rule to friends, your job, television shows and anything else that fills up your life. To simplify your life, don’t spend your valuable time on a job that doesn’t float your boat or with people who aren’t true friends. Find a career that fulfils you, and reserve your time for only those friends who contribute positively to your life.
2. Use It or Lose It
Clothes with an inferiority complex, pointless furniture, irrelevant emails and CDs that you never listen to should be reclassified as clutter, and clutter affects all of us negatively. Keep what you use on a regular basis and ditch the rest!
3. Be a Neat Freak
There is no question that our immediate environment has an effect on our mood. Without terrorising the whole household with a Gestapo-like cleaning regime, try to keep on top of things in your home and office by tidying up as you go. Waking up in a bedroom that’s neat as a pin will start your day on the right note.
4. Be a Health Nut
You know the rules, so follow them. Eat good food, get enough sleep and find a form of exercise that you really love. Avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol and junk food and say no nicotine. Sure, this one is obvious, but the importance of paying attention to your health can’t be emphasised enough.
5. Make a Plan
As complicated as planning may sometimes seem, it is essential to simplify your life. Keep things clear by allocating twenty minutes every evening to plan for tomorrow – that way, you can wake up with a focused goal for the day and eliminate feelings of panic and agitation. Make sure that your schedule includes the television shows you’re going to watch, the meals you’re going to make and what’s on the family agenda for the day.
6. Write It Down
You know how it goes: you have a lightbulb moment and randomly come up with a bright idea, but can’t remember what on earth it was two hours later. Make sure you keep track of those brilliant thoughts that may hit you in the grocery store, at the gym or while stuck in traffic by keeping a notebook and pen close by at all times.
7. Have Laser Focus
Forget multitasking. Your life will be so much simpler if you do one thing at a time, which will allow you to get through your to-do list much faster. To maximise efficiency, try to act on each item immediately, so if you’re going through your emails, for example, don’t procrastinate: reply or delete straight away. Do what time-management gurus do and apply the Premack Principle: do the least desirable task first. This simple rule guarantees that the completion of each task becomes increasingly reinforcing, which means you’ll get through your list quickly and efficiently. To balance this super-focused approach, allow yourself a set ‘anything goes’ timeslot later in the day as a reward, when your eyes can glaze over as you surf social network sites and entertainment channels.
8. Start and End Your Day Gently
Be kind to yourself by easing in and out of your day as calmly as possible. Allow yourself only one press of the snooze button on your alarm clock (put this on the other side of the room to force you to get out of bed, thwarting the urge to go back to sleep), then make yourself a cup of something delicious and have some quiet ‘me time’ in the form of an early walk or a spot of meditating in the garden. When it’s time for bed, listen to some soothing music or read for a bit before going to bed. Life will be so much nicer… we promise!
9. Have Commitment Issues
A.K.A. How to Say No.
Nobody expects you to do everything, and you shouldn’t expect it of yourself either. Don’t over-commit or take on tasks that you think you may not be able to follow through on – nothing will lead to stress faster. Know your limits and create some boundaries. You’ll thank yourself later.
10. Ask for Help
Who said that you had to tackle everything on your own? Whether you want assistance with household chores or have decided to see a life coach to assist you in setting your goals, learning how to ask for help when you need it is the easiest way to simplify your life.