I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve got a LOT of things to juggle in life. Between my full-time job, my business, and my personal life, it’s a lot. And I know some of you have WAY more than me to juggle (I don’t know how you do it, btw). So it would be really nice to be able to simplify your life and focus on the things that REALLY matter.
I’ve made a bunch of changes in the last few years to simplify my life, and boy am I glad that I did! I’ve learned a lot, so I wanted to pass some of that knowledge onto you guys. Enjoy these 21 easy ways to simplify your life!
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1. Narrow Down Your Priorities
There’s a quote that says, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”
Basically, it means that if you don’t decide what’s most important and how you’re going to spend your time, someone else will find things to fill your day with.
Plus I really find that when I don’t have my priorities laid out, I spend a LOT of my day doing things that aren’t as important to me. For instance, I used to watch a LOT more TV – mostly binge-watching shows on Netflix. But that was time I could have spent growing my blog. When I really forced myself to think about it, I considered one year down the road, how would I rather have spent that hour? Which would have a bigger impact on my life? Definitely spending the time on my blog, NOT watching Netflix.
2. Focus On One Big Goal
I LOVE goal setting. Like, I get super excited at the idea of creating new years resolutions for myself. The problem is, I was setting WAY too many goals.
When you set a goal, you’re sending a signal to yourself that this is something that is really important to you and something that’s going to get a lot of your focus. But when you’ve set a lot of goals, how do know what’s REALLY important?
What I like to do is creating ONE main goal for each part of my life (career, relationships, finances, etc).
Plus, when you really start breaking it down, each BIG goal will be broken down into a ton of SMALL goals and tasks that will go right on your to-do list.
3. Use a Daily Planner
I have ALWAYS used a planner. I’m pretty sure I would be lost without one! I just have a lot of things I need to keep track of between my blog, my full-time job, and my personal life – I’m not sure how I would keep up without a planner.
If you find that you’re feeling overwhelmed with life or things are slipping through the cracks, try using a daily planner!
You can use anything from a physical planner to a phone app to just a regular notebook. That way, when life gets crazy, you don’t have to remember EVERYTHING because you have it written down!
One thing I’ve done to simplify a lot of areas of my life is to automate anything I can. For instance, I automate a lot of things in my business, so that I don’t have to spend ALL of my time keeping up with promoting my blog.
I automate payments on my monthly bills when I can, so I’m not spending as much time paying bills every month.
Also, if you haven’t heard of IFTTT, it’s time to check it out! It’s a website that basically allows all of your devices, apps, and online accounts to talk to each other, and you can set up certain automation. Seriously, you can automate just about anything with IFTTT!
5. Get Rid of What You Don’t Need
This one sounds like a pretty big undertaking, I know. And that’s because it is. Massively decluttering my belongings was a MUST for me, but I’m so glad I was forced to do it!
In 2017 I got divorced and moved from a three bedroom house to a studio apartment. As you can imagine, not everything was going to fit. I was forced to get rid of a LOT of my stuff. Pretty much anything I didn’t use SUPER regularly. At the time it felt really overwhelming, but now I feel SO much lighter because of having so much fewer belongings.
Unless you’re in a situation like I was where you’re forced to do it all at once, you can take your time. Pick ONE room to start with. Once you’ve finished that one and realized it wasn’t so bad, move onto the next room.
6. Declutter As You Go
Now that I’ve pretty thoroughly decluttered my belongings, I still like to declutter as I go. For example, every time I move, I use that opportunity to revisit every single item as I’m packing it to decide if I still need it.
Also, as I’m cleaning my apartment, I’m constantly revisiting areas that seem cluttered and asking myself what I can get rid of.
Another great way to do this is seasonally with your wardrobe. Every spring, pull out those spring and summer clothes and get rid of anything you didn’t wear the previous summer, and anything you don’t think you’ll wear this summer – especially if there are items that don’t fit!
7. Simplify Your Wardrobe
I’m not that into fashion, so this one is pretty easy for me (and probably a lot more difficult for some of you), but believe me when I say that a simplified wardrobe saves a LOT of time and space in your life.
When I purged my wardrobe, I just wanted to get rid of things I didn’t love or wear often. And once I did that, I found that almost everything I DID love was either black, white, or gray. And let me tell you, it’s a LOT easier to put together outfits quickly in the morning when my options are more limited (and when I love everything in my closet).
I’m not suggesting that everyone limit their wardrobe to those three colors because I know most people would get bored of that pretty quickly, but at least start by eliminating all the clothes you don’t love (or at least REALLY like).
8. Purge Your Social Media
I think we all find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through social media at some point. Definitely no judgment here – I do it too! But since we aren’t really thinking about it, we might not even notice that a lot of the people and posts popping up in our news feed, we don’t actually care about at ALL.
Consider unfollowing those on social media who’s updates you don’t really care about. That way when you start mindlessly scrolling through social media, you’re more likely to see updates you actually WANT to see and not just those you glaze over because they aren’t important to you.
9. Set Social Media Boundaries
Once you’ve purged your social media so you’re only following the people you actually care about, you should still set some social media boundaries for yourself so you aren’t wasting a big chunk of your day on social media.
Here’s one way you could do it. Only allow yourself to hop on social media AFTER you’ve finished a task on your to-do list. And set a five-minute timer for yourself, so you are only allowed to scroll until the timer goes off.
You might also want to set the boundary of not checking social media when you’re spending time with family or friends. Most of the time the person we’re with is WAY more important to us than what we might see on social media, but it’s just something we do without thinking about it.
Overall I think it’s just good to get into the habit of being more mindful of your time on social media. Know how much time you’re spending on it. Know WHY you’re spending time on it.
10. Reduce Screen Time
In addition to spending like time on social media, try reducing your screen time in general. This includes smartphones, computers, tablets, and television!
I used to watch WAY too much TV, and I’m definitely way more productive now that I don’t. It’s a great feeling, and spending less time in front of screens will leave room for a lot of other things in your life.
11. Unsubscribe From Emails
Most of us are spending WAY too much time in our inbox, and a big part of that is sifting through sales and marketing emails! I love Target, but I definitely don’t need them emailing me 25 times a day.
Use a service like unroll.me to go through and unsubscribe from all the emails you don’t REALLY need.
12. Keep an Organized Workspace
I definitely tend to get overwhelmed if I don’t have an organized workspace. Not only does it stress me out, but it wastes a lot of time every time I have to sift through the clutter to find something!
Start setting aside just 5-10 minutes per week to get that workspace organized, and you’ll notice a big difference!
13. Create Routines
Creating routines in your day will save you a TON of time and stress. No more running around like a crazy person in the morning – you’ve got a routine that you follow just out of habit, so you don’t have to think about it!
Creating routines also reduces the number of decisions you have to make throughout the course of a day, which can make a big difference in simplifying your life.
14. Make a Budget
I think we can all agree that money is one of the biggest stressors that most of us face. Not only is it stressful to manage your money and make sure you’re meeting all of your financial obligations, but it also takes up a lot of time.
First things first, make a budget. Figure out how much you’re spending in each area of your life versus how much you SHOULD be spending. Then you can use a service like Mint to automatically track and categorize all of your purchases (for FREE).
15. Say No More Often
If you say yes to every opportunity and invitation that comes your way, it’s no wonder your life needs simplifying! I’m a people-pleaser by nature (I used to be a LOT more of a people-pleaser) so I definitely understand the desire to keep others happy and avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.
But if you’re saying yes to every birthday party, wedding, business opportunity, etc., you’re letting other people control your schedule. Your priorities are no longer your own! So work on only saying yes to those things that are genuinely important to YOU. I guarantee that you aren’t really hurting anyone’s feelings by declining to attend that wedding in another state for someone you’re only sort-of friends with.
By saying yes to every opportunity and invitation that comes along, you’re letting others control your schedule. Your priorities are no longer your own. Click To Tweet
16. Consume Less
I love reading books. I love reading blogs. I love listening to podcasts. The problem is that I found myself spending a LOT of time consuming content.
First of all, this is problematic because it was taking up SO much of my day. Also, the more content I consumed, the less I got out of each piece. For example, a lot of the blogs I was reading about growing my business were either sharing the EXACT same tips (which was just redundant and a waste of my time) or the OPPOSITE advice, which was confusing. Now, I really limit the teachers I learn from.
I also have found that I’m more creative when I consume less content. The more blogs I was reading, the harder it was to really find my own voice and come up with creative, original content for my own blog.
Plus, did I mention how much time it can take up??
17. Eliminate Paper Clutter
I’ve always been a pen and paper kind of girl. I always preferred a paper planner. When I needed to read something, I printed it off so I could highlight, make notes, etc. I was pretty stubborn about giving that up.
Recently, I’ve definitely been moving toward preferring everything to be digital. I switched to a digital planner and FINALLY went through all the paper clutter and files I had and digitized them.
To find out how I did this, check out The Paperless Home. This guide goes through EVERYTHING from scanning your documents to where to store them to how to organize them. For something who LOVES organizing, this eBook was awesome!
18. Only Purchase eBooks
I love reading and have always loved buying books and having a book collection. But I definitely realized that 99% of the books I read I’m NEVER going to read again, so there’s no point in having them in my home!
Not only are eBooks cheaper, they free up a TON of space in your home. I did set some ground rules for myself and will purchase physical copies of books I’ll read again, so it’s the best of both worlds!
19. Stick To Your Staple Meals
I don’t really cook and could honestly eat the same foods over and over again and be happy, so this one is easier for me than I’m sure it would be for others, but still makes a big difference for everyone! Rather than cooking different meals every night of the week, plus breakfast and lunch, try limiting your meals. Choose a few staples that you’ll cook over and over again.
I typically eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch within a given week, and then we just change up dinner. It makes grocery shopping a lot easier AND cheaper, and frees up room in our kitchen.
20. Be Intentional About Relationships
Decide which relationship in your life are really important to you. Because you can either spend a very SMALL amount of time with a LOT of different people in your life, or you can spend a LOT of time with the very SMALL number of people who are truly most important to you.
This also means removing toxic relationships from your life. If you have that one friend who always makes you feel miserable for one reason or another, it might be time to rethink that friendship.
21. Focus on Your Mindset
Believe it or not, changing your mindset can go a long way in simplifying your life.
For example, maybe you want to start incorporating minimalism into your life. Yes, having fewer things is an important step. But so is WANTING fewer things. Because if you get rid of a bunch of your stuff but haven’t really adopted that minimalism mindset, you’ll probably just end up re-buying things and you’ll find that your home is once again cluttered.
As another example, I used to spend a lot of time dreaming about when I would be in the next season of life. When I was in high school, I couldn’t wait to start college. When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to graduate. When I was in an entry-level job, I couldn’t wait to move up. When I was planning my wedding, I couldn’t wait to get married. When I was living in an apartment, I could wait to buy a house.
You get the idea.
It was until after my divorce when I was in a season of life that some might want to wish away that I really realized that I COULD be happy in any season of life. It wasn’t the job or the marriage or the house or the stuff that made me happy. It was my mindset.
Figuring that out really allowed me to narrow in on what was actually important to me in my life, and simplify or eliminate everything else.
Are you looking to simplify your life? Follow these 21 steps and you’ll DEFINITELY be on the right track!