8 Simple Tips to Simplify Your Life

simplify your life enjoying a sunsetSimplify your life this week. Enjoy a sunset.
(Photo by NOAA’s National Ocean Service)

Ahhhh, simplicity. What a glorious word! A concept most of us have found elusive and fleeting. For August, which is Happiness Happens Month, I am thinking about what happiness means and how it happens. The first week in August in particular is National Simplify Your Life week, which got me thinking: why are our lives so complicated, and how does that affect our happiness?

Our lives have sped up in recent years, and although the advent of technology was supposed to help simplify life, it has had the opposite effect.

We keep running faster and faster to keep up with our jobs, products, social media, activities, and all the advances taking place by the minute. We can’t stop hearing about everything either, since even gas pumps feature flat screens that scream new products at us, or we hear the news in the cashier lanes at Wal-mart.

We are constantly bombarded by sounds, people, things to do, places to go, and obligations. Even restaurants have us surrounded by multiple flat screens showcasing every possible sporting event or news broadcast. We can only simplify things by a concerted effort to do so.

Establishing priorities in your life helps you know what you want. Take a few minutes this week for each of these important, often neglected areas, and make the effort to calm down your life.

These 8 Simple Tips to Simplify Your Life can help anyone, and it’s never too late to make things simpler.

#1: Organize

Some people have a knack for this without trying, but most of us need a little help. The biggest challenge is taking a bit of time and creating a system so that “a place for everything and everything in its place” really happens. Then, it’s just a simple method of following the system. Discount stores have plenty of bins, buckets, and organization systems to help simplify your life by removing clutter. It can be fun to design a system around colors, sizes or styles.

#2: Purge

Clean house and give away anything you haven’t used in one year. If in doubt, look at the replacement cost and decide if it can be easily re-purchased or borrowed if you do ever need one again.

#3: Digitize

Get rid of excess paperwork by scanning anything that you need to keep, and shredding the rest. Imagine that you are trading in your house for an RV and need to compact everything you own. Extra papers would only get in the way, and they would be a nightmare to work around. So get cracking! Using digital cloud storage or receiving online bills and statements rather than paper ones are quick ways to help simplify your life.

#4: Delegate

Even a small child is capable of helping put toys away. As soon as a child is ready, help them learn organization strategies. Be consistent so that they know their helping role. Sometimes, you may need to put up with a little mess at first in order for kids to learn, but in the long run, it’s a great benefit to have a child who can help you with tasks around the house.

#5: Say “No”

Know your own limits. If someone asks you for help, you can always set parameters on how much time or effort you have to give. Or just say, “no.”

#6: Renew

simplify your life relaxing outsideEveryone needs some “me time.” Find out what gives you the quickest burst of energy or the most relaxing feeling. Is it taking a bubble bath? meditating by the tree? walking in nature? playing with your child? building something with your hands? Set aside some specific time to enjoy a simple thing you love.

#7: Plan

You may find relief from worrying helps to simplify your life. Ceate a “to do” list. There is something reassuring about knowing you won’t forget something you need to do. So, let it go, and give your mind some peace once the task is planned out on paper.

#8: Analyze

If you’ve let things slide for a while, then tasks meant to simplify your life – like organizing or purging old stuff – may seem overwhelming. Break a big job down into smaller tasks, so that you have many feelings of accomplishment as you complete the task. It will be easier to keep going. For example, one day clean off the bookshelf and give away old books. Another day, pull out giveaways from the garage. Don’t try to do it all at one time.

The first step to simplify your life is to decide what will give you the most satisfaction with the least amount of effort. Once you decide, then take it one step at a time. Let it be a process that grows. The more you reap the benefits from the process, the more you will want to continue to simplify your life, every day.

What tips do you have to share that help simplify your life? Tell us! Leave a comment or tweet us. We want to know.

About Cindy Readnower

Cindy Readnower, MBA, specializes in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship. An award-winning certified Life Coach, business consultant, and publisher at Skinny Leopard Media, she helps writers produce and promote their books. She is a newspaper columnist, author of "Inherited Secrets," and a blogger.

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