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Do you feel like you never have enough time to get things done? Do you work too hard but achieve too little?
I used to have this problem as well. Once I noticed my productivity was getting alarmingly low, I started looking at how I spent my time to figure out what the problem was.
Do you know what happened?
I discovered that I, much like most people nowadays, was obsessed with perfection and owning as much as possible. Very quickly did I discover that it complicated my life to the point of constant stress and worry.
And I also noticed that both my mind and my home were too cluttered. So, what did I do to overcome that? I started cleaning and simplifying my life to free up more time for high-priority tasks.
Can you guess what happened next?
My life became so much better! Keep reading if you want to find out how minimalism can help boost productivity and how you can simplify your life to do more with less.
100 Ways to Simplify Your Life
Have you ever wondered how much time you spend doing things you don’t have to, things that have no beneficial impact on your life, or things that are just plain redundant tasks?
You need to stop doing it now!
Without further ado, here are the top 100 ways to simplify your life. You can apply these right now to gain more mental clarity and emotional stability and boost your productivity.
Remove Excess Items: Declutter Your Home to Simplify Your Life
- Reduce the consumption of digital media. It is actually better to say, reduce media consumption in total. Have you ever wondered how much time of the day you spend mentally engaging with events and stories that are either not real (TV shows, movies, video games) or don’t directly impact your life? Limit your media consumption, and you’ll notice your anxiety and stress reducing dramatically. You’ll feel more rested and better focused on actual work that does impact your life.
- Ditch magazines. Unsubscribe from magazines arriving in your mailbox (both paper and internet). Being less exposed to ads, stories, and topics that don’t concern you will also free up precious hours for productive work and improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
- Read online news scarcely. Choose a couple of trusted sources to read and spend no more than 30 minutes each day reading about relevant events.
- Remove excess items from your home. The furniture you’re not using, knick-knacks that are only piling dust, drawers full of outdated mail and paperwork you no longer need, and clothes you haven’t worn in ages only take up both physical and mental space.
- Choose multifunctional items. Household items that serve multiple purposes, from furniture to cosmetics, clothes, and appliances save space, time, and money.
- Minimize music by digitizing them on your computer and either selling or donating your CDs; that way, you can listen to all of your music on-the-go and at home. Plus, there’s no CD clutter on your shelves.
- Download music and movies instead of buying or renting CDs and/or DVDs. Subscribe to your favorite channels, and your entertainment will remain saved for you to watch over and over again. There is less clutter with the added commodity of accessing these media types through each of your devices, any place and at any time.
- Put away items and pick-up throughout the day. This will help maintain a tidier home and make weekly cleaning faster and easier.
- Have a regular cleaning routine, including doing daily, weekly, and monthly chores. Knowing when and what to clean will take the stress out of the process and help you plan around daily activities.
- Find a place for every item and make sure it’s put back after each use.
- Clean spontaneously throughout the day; for example, each time you see piles of mess or spills.
- Create a daily routine checklist that will include all of your main tasks, from cleaning to errands and other activities.
- Wash large laundry batches to save both time and natural resources.
- Stock up on laundry and socks to cover a full wear cycle and avoid being without clean clothes to wear.
- Don’t wash towels daily, but instead, stretch them out to full cycles.
- Organize your arts and crafts supplies into a designated spot or station, so they’re neat and ready to use anytime.
- Say goodbye to creative activities and hobbies you no longer practice and keep only those supplies you use.
- Get rid of an old item whenever you buy a new one to avoid clutter.
- Instead of collecting items, choose productive hobbies and activities that don’t generate items that need storing.
- Say goodbye to one unnecessary item each day to get used to not emotionally attach to things, and of course, to reduce the number of items in your home.
- Put dirty clothes in a hamper right away or hang those you’ll wear once more onto a designated rack.
- Categorize clothing to access items you need faster and easier.
- Store small jewelry pieces and trinkets into containers, so they don’t lie scattered around.
- Go for versatile pieces of clothing that are suitable for multiple seasons and occasions.
- Keep only the clothes that fit you well, look good, and make you happy.
- Get a simple haircut that won’t take long to style.
- Maintain a natural hairstyle instead of dying and styling each time. Saves both time and money!
- Minimize make-up and keep only those items that are fresh and flattering, as well as those you use regularly.
- Use multipurpose skincare products, so you don’t have to buy and store multiple items.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”Leonardo Da Vinci
Remove Redundant Tasks: Streamline Daily Routines
- Establish a quick and simple daily grooming routine that doesn’t last longer than 15 minutes.
- Buy only skincare cosmetics you’ll use regularly and ditch those you’re not using.
- Reduce or quit smoking and drinking. Smoking a single cigarette takes 5-10 minutes, and you could easily lose 2 hours each day just on smoke breaks!
- Cheer up. Rely on natural radiance and positivity instead of alcohol, smoking, drugs, porn, and video games.
- Cook for multiple meals and save and freeze leftovers. A dish takes roughly the same amount of time to cook regardless of amounts, so why waste time?
- Cook for the entire week and freeze meals for later use.
- Plan your diet, meals, meal sizes, and grocery lists to avoid wasting time on sudden shopping and unplanned cooking.
- Always shop with a list to speed up the process and avoid getting unnecessary items.
- Cook simple meals you can make either fresh or in one bowl or pot.
- Wash dishes, glasses, and utensils you use every day to reduce sink clutter.
- Go through all gadgets and items you rarely use and donate or throw out unnecessary ones.
- Organize gadgets, cables, and small pieces of electronics into containers, so they’re ready when you need them.
- Keep only basic pots and dishes, and sell or donate specialty ones you rarely use.
- Plan out a healthy diet to reduce sick days and medical costs.
- Put items away from countertops to make cooking faster and easier. A less cluttered kitchen makes your life simpler.
- Plan standard go-to dishes and recipes and vary a couple of sets of ingredients for easier cooking.
- Unsubscribe from mailing lists and catalogs that aren’t essential.
- Digitize bank statements and monthly bills to avoid paper clutter.
- Store paperwork in digital files instead of piling it up around the house.
- Store digital files on the cloud to prevent losing them and taking up space on your devices.
- Switch to paying bills online. It saves time from having to go to the bank.
- Switch to online banking overall. Purchases and billings are a lot faster and easier that way.
- Automate as many transactions as you can. That way, you won’t have to take the time and fill out each individual form.
- Schedule and automate investments by buying fixed amounts. This reduces the number of decisions to make and protects you from dollar fluctuations.
- Pay your bills and taxes regularly to stay out of debt. This will reduce worry and stress.
- Purchase bundle services from the same providers to reduce the number of bills to pay and the number of tasks to think about.
- Work from home whenever you can to save commuting time and expenses.
- Recycle your mail to disallow junk pile-up.
- Have a paperwork sorting station and immediately organize paperwork by actionable tasks.
- Organize digital files into a logical system, so they’re easily accessed.
- Free up space on your device daily and weekly. Delete files, bookmarks, programs, and apps you don’t use or need regularly. Keep those you need only if it’s essential and re-installing them would be complicated.
Eliminate Negativity: Cleanse Your Mind and Thoughts
- Quit social media. It doesn’t have any real-life significance and takes away hours each day. If not, limit the use of social media to no longer than 15 minutes each day.
- Focus social media use on positive and beneficial contacts and content.
- Schedule email times. Read and respond to emails only during those times to avoid distractions.
- Take digital detoxes and spend designated amounts of time (hours or days) detached from all social media and digital content.
- Turn down offers and requests that are out of your schedule.
- Learn to set boundaries and say ‘no’ to things that take away your time and energy. No is a full sentence. And you shouldn’t feel guilty about saying no.
- Don’t try to do everything on your own. Instead, find people who can take up extra tasks that aren’t the most productive use of your time.
- Minimize your commitments and keep only the essential and beneficial ones.
- Adjust your expectations. Before deciding on the outcomes, plan, research, or think about what’s realistic to expect from a situation based on your resources and capacities.
- Let go of arguments that aren’t productive and don’t lead to positive changes in your life.
- Embrace spontaneity. Have a schedule, but also don’t rely on it too rigidly and adapt on-the-go.
- Embrace flexibility and plan in ways that allow schedule changes and enough time for delays and working around obstacles.
- Ditch perfection and make ‘good enough’ your goal when it comes to lower priority tasks. With higher priority tasks, be happy with ‘doing the best you can.’
- Address small problems immediately to prevent them from complicating.
- Consolidate daily tasks by reasonable logic, daily scheduling, and practicality.
- Cluster your errands in a series or in one trip, instead of setting time aside each day for one or two of them.
- Analyze your daily activities and remove those errands and routines that aren’t essential and beneficial.
- Get educated advice on important issues instead of consulting friends and family members who can’t find a solution but often only contribute to worry.
- Share your expert opinions with others and get advice from people in your life you look up to instead of caring about everyone’s opinions.
- Always strive towards doing less and achieving more.
- Be open-minded when conversing and having discussions. Rely more on rational than reasonable logic and don’t dismiss other people’s viewpoints just because they don’t match yours.
- Don’t worry about other people’s flaws, and don’t obsess about those people you don’t get along with. Instead, either accept people the way they are or stop/reduce your communication with them.
- Focus on the present moment and spend less time thinking about the past.
- Don’t intrude on other’s life or get involved with issues when it’s not your business. Instead, focus on your life.
- Don’t compete with others. This only leads to stress and unnecessary costs.
- Follow your instincts and tastes instead of doing what everyone else does, particularly if it costs you money or it consumes your time (unnecessarily).
- Never act in rage or out of fear. These emotions never produce reasonable actions. Instead, take the time to calm down and think about the best actions going forward.
- Don’t speak on impulse. You can’t put words back into your mouth.
- Nurture emotional resilience through therapy or life coaching, mediation, and self-awareness. This way, you’ll be less sensitive and won’t get upset about other people’s remarks or provocations.
- Let go of grudges and free up your mental space for positivity.
- Don’t be unnecessarily dramatic. Instead, strive towards reacting and thinking in a rational, level-headed way.
- Cultivate gratitude and think more about positive things in your life.
- Stop thinking that everyone judges you and monitors your life. People have their own issues that take up their time.
- Think more about doing enough than focusing on perfection. This way, you’ll be happier and more relaxed.
- Enjoy things without having to buy them. Focus your attention more on those objects (e.g., landscapes, public places, etc.) you can enjoy for free than those you’re not able to buy.
- Move to a smaller home. A home that fits your needs with unnecessary space is more affordable in terms of maintenance, rent, and utility bills.
- Walk or ride a bike instead of driving a car (whenever possible). This way, you’ll save money, preserve the environment, and be healthier!
- Block out as many ads as you can. That way, you’ll only shop based on your true needs.
- Shop only when you need to and only buy the items you planned and accounted for. This way, you’ll eliminate impulse shopping and avoid clutter.
- Define your own success. Figure out your standards for being happy and successful and don’t strive towards fitting into the mainstream image of fulfillment.
Minimizing and simplifying your life is all about reducing redundancy and increasing benefits and productivity. This goes for items, tasks, influences, relationships, and routines. However, it’s often a challenging process.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to do all of the things from this list, and you don’t have to do them all at once. Take your time and introduce changes gradually.
One of the biggest challenges with simplifying your life will be to get people used to respect your boundaries and schedule. Be persistent. People will get used to it after a while, and you shouldn’t feel compelled to accommodate everyone’s needs. Instead, focus on the benefits of being more focused and productive.