Life can overwhelming, from endless hours of work to piles of clutter around the house. Even if you’re well on your way in your journey to a more minimalist or zero waste lifestyle, the hectic parts of life seem to have a way of creeping back up. Simplifying your life means removing what’s dragging you down and adding activities and habits that create peace and joy.
I spent much of my time in university feeling as though I was drowning in an ever increasing amount of tasks, with less and less time to focus on the important things in life. These eleven straightforward — and often quick and easy — ways to simplify your life are all things I did, and still do, to reduce my stress levels and find more enjoyment in every day.
1. Prioritize Your Day
Try organizing your day by priority. Each morning, know what your main tasks are. To make it easier, try to have no more than three crucial tasks each day — tasks that are so important you feel as though you can’t sleep until they’re done. Try to plan your day around what must be accomplished, rather than all the things you’d like to do. Once you’ve completed your most important tasks, you can move on to other to-dos and enjoy your free time without the weight of important assignments and responsibilities hanging over you.
2. Borrow, Re-use, or Make Your Own Rather Than Buy
Maybe this sounds like more work, but buying new things is both time consuming and clutter-creating. For example, borrow a book from the library instead of buying; re-use a glass or stainless steel water bottle instead of buying more plastic ones; make your own soup,
3. Go Paperless
Certainly keep what you need (I love my planner and notebooks), but consider using your phone, computer, or tablet to jot down ideas, make plans, and write up lists. It keeps all your ideas in one place and takes up much less space, too.
4. Make Lists
Whether using a paperless method or jotting things down in a notebook, make lists ahead of time — things you need to order or pick up from the supermarket, what needs to be cleaned, what you’re running low on, etc. Having lists allows you to know your needs ahead of time and prevents time wasted on second trips to the grocery store or forgotten birthdays that leave you scrambling to find a gift or send a card in time.
5. Unsubscribe from Useless E-mails
It’s undeniably stressful to have a cluttered inbox, and junk e-mails are often the worst part. Take a few minutes in the morning and evening, when you check your
6. Connect with Nature
Connecting to the earth is often overlooked in our busy lives, but even a few minutes in nature can help you clear your mind and feel more relaxed. Whether it’s a quick walk around the park, picking flowers, or taking a picnic to the park, fresh air and nature are an integral part of feeling calmer and happier.
7. Spend Less Time Online
So much time is wasted scrolling through websites and apps. Being online is a great way to connect with friends, learn new things, and unwind, but try setting a limit each day to allow yourself to do other things and rediscover hobbies you used to enjoy.
8. Keep Only What You Need and Like
This idea can extend to many aspects of your life — furniture, decorations, clothing, activities you’re involved in, food in the fridge, music on your phone, books on your shelf. If you don’t like it and it doesn’t serve a purpose in your life, then let go of it to simplify your life and make more room for the things you do love.
9. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
I’m not talking about making your Monday-Friday meals on Sunday (but that’s cool if you like to meal prep). Instead, take the weekend to simply jot down the meals you’ll cook (perhaps with a corresponding shopping list). It’s so much easier to, at the very least, have an idea of what you’re cooking rather than staring into the fridge, waiting without
10. Get Enough Sleep
Easier said than done, of course, but getting a solid 7-8 hours makes it much easier to accomplish things and plan ahead. After several years of living on 4-5 hours of sleep each night, I found I was more productive and happier with more sleep and by prioritizing, planning ahead, and spending less time online, I discovered there’s often a little bit more time to squeeze in some extra sleep.
11. Find A Relaxing Activity To Do Every Day
Two of the biggest reasons to simplify your life are to feel happier and to have more time to do the things you love. Having an activity that you love might not simplify your life, but it’s a great motivator to focus on the important things. Even if you’re still short on time after simplifying aspects of your life, find something to do for yourself that only takes 5-10 minutes — a nighttime meditation, a quick morning yoga session, a brisk walk after work, coloring or crocheting while watching TV. The more you can find time to give back to yourself, the easier it is to get the important things done.
Sleep is probably the most important thing to do. If you don’t . get enough sleep, then well, everything will feel super overwhelming (not simple at all)… Because you’ll be cranky! Ha! I always make sure to get enough sleep but I definitely get irritable when I dont!
Priortizing the day is so so essential. I do that a lot to avoid distractions. Thanks for the reminder.
These are all great tips! I wish I knew some of these when I was younger.
Super love your list, amazing and very important. Everyone should be doing these, everyone. Thank you so much.
Amazing list! And so easy to follow. The trouble is in getting started. So I’m going to take up one tip a day. Thanks for reminding.
Oh my yes I totally agree with the unsubscribe emails one – I think I must spend so much time deleting emails in the mornings! I am going to have a clear out now!
I love this one because I am always looking to simplify my life. ALWAYS! Saving this post for sure!
making lists are the best !! I swear I have lists for everything!
I completely agree about unsubscribing from useless emails. I try to do that monthly if I can remember!
As a blogger it is so hard to spend less time online but i am working on only doing so when necessary and staying off every other time
OMG unsubscribe from useless emails. YES! Even useFUL ones that you just ain’t got time to read. I had a “one day” folder of emails from some awesome bloggers and business owners that I legit wanted to read but just could NOT get around to. *facepalm* they just made me feel worse to look at – like I wasn’t keeping up. But I was working my ass off. I was just setting the bar too high and it hurt.
Connect with nature and spend less time online. Sounds like amazing advice. I was wondering just how to do these more this year.
My inbox is a nightmare. I would love to declutter it first and then move on to other things. I also think it is very important to get proper sleep
love this topic! every single one of them is such an important guide. Thanks so much for sharing
This is a great post to ponder. I love that quote. It shows how being simple are being formed us in our daily living.
Priortizing the day is important. Love all the tips especially de-cluttering.
I totally agree, I often miss to read something important for me, because I wasn’t able to notice it because of too much unnecessary emails..
Love your blog and this post so much!