Simple is a relative word; it can hold different meanings for different people. For some people, it means going with the barest minimum. For others, it is having all they need to be comfortable and be at peace. Whatever your definition is, you need to know what works for you and what ranks important on your scale of preference in order to simplify your life.
We may think living a simple life is the easiest thing to do but in many cases, it is not. For instance, if spending time with your loved ones is what you consider living a simple life, you might need to sacrifice other things for that. And making out time from other legitimate activities – read, work – is not the easiest thing to do. Sometimes, you are doing just fine, other times, it looks like you are messing things up.
So, if you are often in that state of confusion where you are struggling to find balance or finding simplicity in the chaos that is life, this post is for you. We have written this to show you some routines that would greatly simplify your life.
- Identify What Ranks as Most Important to You
Most times, we think we easily know what’s important to us until we really sit down to think about it and itemize them. Therefore, in trying to identify what ranks as the most important, we may just need to make an actual list. This may seem unnecessary but it’s really helpful. Some of the pertinent questions to ask yourself are; what do I value the most? What are the first five things I want to do once the opportunities present themselves? Who would I rather be with all day? To live a simple life, you have to start by prioritizing what’s important and putting other things that take up unnecessary time as secondary.
- Appraise Your Dedication
After identifying your top priorities, it is time to find out how much attention you really pay to these priorities. If you find that you give enough time to them, fine. But if you don’t, it’s time to make changes. You need to make room for them and that will most likely require you to cancel other activities for them. For example, if spending time with your children and spouse ranks high on the scale of priorities, then you want to evaluate if you have been spending quality time with them. And if not, what activity/ies can you cancel or reduce the time allocated to make room for your family?
- Assess Your Time
It is not enough to identify your priorities, you must also assess how you spend your time. What do you do daily? What activities do you allocate more time to and what suffers? For example, if you are a writer and one of your priorities is completing your book, you have to ensure that a substantial number of hours in a day is dedicated to just that. Because if you are not careful, you will find that weeks have passed and you are yet to write a single sentence. If you are finding it difficult to keep tabs on how you spend your day, make a daily plan with time allocated to each activity. Then, tick them off as you keep them to keep you accountable. That way, you are able to stay organized and focus on things that matter.
- Simplify Your Tasks
Whether at work or at home, if you have a lot of things to do, it can seem overwhelming and thus, discouraging. The list of things that need to be attended to could just seem to go on and the time almost always looks insufficient. And sometimes, even when you get them done, you feel completely drained afterwards. So, what do you do? You need to simplify your tasks. Among the list of priorities, there are urgent tasks and those that can wait. Focus on completing the urgent one instead of trying to complete everything in a day. And then leave those that can wait until the next day.
You can also simplify your tasks by further reducing them into easier tasks. For instance, let’s still use the example of writing a book. Maybe you need to carry out extensive research on the topic before starting. How about setting today aside for looking for research papers and valuable materials online? Then, tomorrow, you can sort through the materials for the important ones. And the next day, you can start writing a chapter a day or ten pages a day.
Of course, we are not presenting a rule set in stone as other things have to factor in. But we are sure you get the message. You will achieve more productivity by breaking down your list into simple doable tasks per day than being overwhelmed with the weight of what you have to do every day. Remember, the most important thing is to be consistent.
- Learn to Say ‘No’
Many people struggle to simplify their lives because they try to juggle their personal issues with other people’s requests. The fact is people will always have one thing or the other that they need from you. And many times, people don’t know where to draw the line when confronted with someone that cannot say no. For many, the requests just never stop. So, it is up to you to put a stop to it. Don’t be afraid to say no – albeit politely. Sure, some might get offended but you’d be protecting your mental health. And those who actually care about you will understand, so it’s even a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff.
- Control your Media Consumption
We live in a society that’s totally obsessed with social media and it is very easy to forget your priorities and get pulled in into the world of social media. If you really want to simplify your life, you must be deliberate about your media consumption. You cannot afford to let the media take over you because it will. And you will find out that you have spent long hours being on social media and achieving nothing productive all day.
To curtail this, set out a specific time to go online and keep to it. In fact, take a step further by downloading apps that will keep you in check. They’d notify you when you are going beyond your allotted time on social media. Another thing we’d recommend is taking periodic breaks from social media except it concerns your career. Taking time off social media is amazingly good for your mental health.
- Declutter Your Space
As trivial as it may sound, your environment or your space can influence your life. You may never know that the only thing keeping you from living your best life is your cluttered space. Try to give room in your space, so you can breathe and think well. Take out things that are not necessary and allow your room to breathe. A wise man once said, “a free room gives rise to a free mind”. Decluttering can also give you room to put things of actual practical or aesthetic value.
Most times, the best way to find fulfilment or simplify our lives is by impacting other people’s lives. Studies show that there is a connection between making others happy and finding self-satisfaction. So, try to put a smile on somebody else’s face. And it really doesn’t have to be more than that honestly, because, sometimes, we feel we have to be wealthy to give to others. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The little you have can make someone else happy. And it will end up making you happy as well.
- Live Your Life to the Fullest
Do what you love. A simple life is not one devoid of excitement and adventure. It is, in fact, the opposite. There is no better way to simplify your life than doing what makes you happy. Therefore, deliberately make out time to do what you love and be with people that make life more meaningful to you.
Cheers to living simply but fully!