Have you ever thought about how many choices you make in a given day?
From work to health to relationships to finances to business to friends – there is sooo much going on.
Sometimes, the solution is to push through.
Other times, the solution is to simplify the crap out of your entire life.
I have been simplifying my life over the last few years. My life is seriously unrecognizable from what it was 5 years ago. I used to have things. So many things. All the things. All the friends. All the food. All the clothes. All the events. All the everything.
It was exhausting.
Enter the beautiful world of simplicity. This, my friends, changed everything.
Here’s are the top 31 ways to simplify your life that I’ve used to seriously get rid of all. the. things. and make my life oh so much better…
31 Ways To Simplify Your Life
Here are 31 ways to simplify your life…
Remember that simple doesn’t mean easy. You’ll have to actually do the work, and it might be tough, but the result will be less overwhelm, so it’s totally worth it.
Okay, let’s get started…
1. Learn from one teacher at a time
Put a constraint (aka rule) in your life that you only learn from one teacher at a time.
There are so many books and courses out there that it’s overwhelming you don’t regulate yourself.
The way it works is that if you want to learn something, buy the book or the course, go through the entire thing, then implement it all. Only, once you’re finished learning it all and implementing it, can you then move on to the next course or book.
This saves a ton of time, money, and reduces overwhelm. I do this in my life and love it!
2. Set one goal at a time
Instead of setting 3-6 goals at a time, try just setting ONE big goal.
Going “all in” on one goal and focusing every ounce of your energy on something is awesome. It leads to crazy good results and is very motivating.
Next time you want something, immerse yourself in it. Don’t dabble in a bunch of areas. Get committed.
3. No email until after 12 pm
Put a rule in your life where you don’t check email (or social media) until a certain time of day.
Your morning hours are when you’re most productive, so saving email and social media until later in the day reduces the chance for other people’s agendas taking over your day.
4. Only wear certain colors (capsule wardrobe)
Implement a constraint in your life where you only wear certain colors. This is sort of like having a capsule wardrobe.
You can do this with any colors. I do it with neutrals.
I was so sick of spending time and energy on clothes. I like to dress nice, but hated the effort required. So, I implemented a neutrals-only policy. I only wear/ buy neutral colors.
It saves me time, energy, and money. Things always match and it’s super easy to get dressed every day.
5. Schedule 15 minutes of alone time EVERY DAY
Depending on the crazy in your life, 15 minutes of alone, quiet time every day may seem like a lot or it may seem like a little.
Either way, make sure you have at least this much time alone where you can just be with yourself.
So often, overwhelm is a mindset problem in our heads. Give yourself time to slow down, remove the drama from your life, and get centered. This can be a great time for meditation, too.
6. Journal for 5 minutes a day
Writing is one of the best ways to organize your thoughts. When overwhelm and business creep into your life, write down exactly what you’re thinking for a couple minutes.
The more you write – even for a short time – the more you’ll get clarity about your thoughts. And clarity with your thinking is key to solving for overwhelm.
I LOVE the Five Minute Journal for this. It’s amazing.
I keep a small pocket journal in my purse for note taking, too. It’s amazingly useful.
Here’s a list of 8 amazing journals and planners I reviewed if you’re looking for more ideas.
7. Keep minimum baselines in your life
When it feels like you don’t have time for everything you want to do, keep minimum baselines for the bare minimum amount you’ll do.
For example, you may prefer to workout for one hour every day at your fave workout class. Instead of doing nothing on the days you can’t make it, put a minimum baseline in your life that no matter what, you run for 20 minutes as the minimum baseline for your workout routine.
Minimum baselines help keep you at a minimum of where you want to be without totally doing nothing in that area (e.g.: not working out at all).
8. Get a new email address
Email overload? Instead of unsubscribing from everything, how about taking the plunge and getting a totally new email address?
Sounds crazy but it works. If you really want to clear things out and start fresh, a new email can really help. To do this, you can put up an autoresponder telling people to reply if they want the new email address. This way, you’ll only get replies from people with real emails.
I have a separate email address for all blog, coupons, and other random pieces of email I want but don’t want to see in my primary email. This is enormously helpful for simplifying my email.
9. Separate the facts from your thoughts about the facts
We tend to make circumstances mean so much more than they actually do.
The next time your life feels like it’s getting to be too much, or when something happens you don’t like, separate out the facts from what you’re thinking about the facts.
So often our thoughts about the facts are what’s making our lives crazy – not the facts themselves. Start to watch your mind and how you think.
Are you making your life crazier than it is?
When you have a clear mind, you have a clear life.
10. Reduce screen time (including TV)
Put a constraint in your life that you don’t have any screens open during certain times of day.
Example: no screens after 8 pm, including TV, computer, and phone.
You can feel pretty bad after so much social media, so limiting screen time is a great way to be present instead of escaping through someone else’s life.
11. Intentionally choose your relationships
So many of us are spread way too thin.
Instead of spending .256 seconds with 15,000 people, try to spend more time with fewer people.
Your life is only as good as the quality relationships.
12. Ask yourself these 2 questions
When you are feeling like you have too much going on in your life, you need to make decisions about whether to do more or do less. When you’re making tough choices, to help decide, ask yourself…
- What would my future self in 5 years decide?
- What is the end goal I want from this?
Sometimes life seems overwhelming or busy or stressful because we’re sitting in confusion in our heads. We make it more complicated by ignoring things.
Whenever I feel this way, I ask these questions, and I usually get the answer I need.
13. Practice doing nothing – and liking it
Have you ever felt like life is complicated or overwhelming because your schedule is jam-packed and you have a million to-dos?
Try scheduling an evening to yourself where you do nothing. You just sit and relax.
Your mind and body can seriously benefit from learning to slow down and embrace doing nothing.
14. Create a list of 3 priorities for every day (do this the night before)
Instead of keeping crazy to-do lists, create a to-do list at night for the next day with 3 priorities for that day. List them in order of importance.
This way, anything above and beyond the list is extra.
Here’s a post where you can learn 21 simple ways to be more productive.
15. Time block weekly, recurring tasks
Anything you do on a regular basis can be scheduled into time slots that recur, weekly.
For example, I write blog posts every Sunday night (this is when I’m the “employee” in my business). The rest of the week, I’m working on other things. Having this time pre-scheduled is super helpful for being consistent.
16. Pick out your clothes and pack your lunch the night before
Did you have to pack your lunch and pick out your clothes the night before school?
And guess what? I still do it now! It works wonders for keeping a consistent routine that’s simple and easy.
17. Use dead time for learning
Create a routine where you listen to podcast or audiobooks during your deadtime, like driving or getting ready for the day in the morning.
This is a great way to free up other time for other things – instead of reading a book, you can listen while you’re driving and free up that time you’d otherwise be reading.
Here are my favorite books and podcasts.
18. Create a “follow up” folder in your inbox
Instead of letting your inbox be your to-do list and feeling like you need to reply to other people’s agendas, create a “follow up” folder in your email where you put emails that you need to reply to. Then, reply once a week.
THIS is such a game changer.
19. Only keep things you love or that are useful
Consider getting rid of material things in your life that don’t serve a purpose or that you don’t love.
If all you have left in your home are things that are useful and that you love, you’ll find your life to be sweetly simplistic. It’s a beautiful thing.
This book by Marie Kondo is the bomb for getting your life organized.
You’ll learn how to organize everything from your clothes to your cleaning supplies (and so much more) in this book.
This book will have you thinking about how you organize your life in a completely new, and better, way that’s so much more efficient and simple.
21. Set rules for what you eat and when you eat
Put constraints in your life around food. This will make what you eat so much simpler. The reason why rules make everything easier is because it’s black and white — there is no chatter around “should you” or “shouldn’t you.”
Choose foods you no longer want to eat. Then, never eat that food – ever. It’s so much easier than it sounds. You already do this with some food that you probably don’t like.
I don’t eat meat or dairy – ever. I never have to decide whether to eat them. The decision is already made.
The same is true for eating only at certain times of the day. If you only eat at specific times, everything is simpler with respect to food in your life. Food no longer becomes entertainment and pleasure but instead becomes fuel and a non-issue.
22. Declutter like it’s your job
Decluttering is one of the best ways to simplify your life. When you’re organized and living with fewer things, you feel better, too.
Start by giving away (or throwing away) one item every day. In one year, you’ll be in a completely different place. The key is to not feel overwhelmed by starting. When you choose to ditch only one item per day, it’s super easy to succeed.
23. Be clear about what your values are
When your values are clear, you can create a life plan in line with those values. When everything is vague and you’re unsure, you’ll create a lot of unnecessary chaos in your life.
Write down what your values are in the 8 life categories – health, relationships, money, career, personal / spiritual development, environment / space, recreation / fun, and volunteer / service work.
This is what I teach in Dream Year (how to accomplish your number #1 goal this year and feel good doing it).
When you know what you want and what you believe in, decision making and cutting things from your life is a lot easier.
24. Create buffers
Creating a buffer means putting room in a certain space – like margin. Whether it’s in your checking out or your calendar, having more buffer room makes life better.
Put a buffer in your checking account, so you’re not strapped for cash.
Put a buffer in your calendar so you have more time.
Anywhere you feel overwhelmed, add a buffer. This means you won’t do as much or spend as much, but your life will be better.
25. Use gCalendar to plan
Use gCalendar to plan everything.
Create specific “calendars” within your Google Calendar for this. You can have a calendar for 1) appointments, 2) work, 3) birthdays and anniversaries, 4) bills, etc. I use it this way and it’s worth every second it takes to set it up.
This is the best way to simplify your calendar because it’s so easy to view and stay organized.
26. Practice saying no once a day
Saying no is one of the best ways to cut things from your life.
The easier it is for you to say no, the more likely you’ll actually say no. The way to get good at it is to start small and to do it often. I suggest practicing saying no once a day for little things. Just do it intentionally and see how much easier it gets.
Here’s a post to check out if you struggle with saying no – 6 Strategies To Help You Say No.
27. Refuse to indulge in “I don’t know” or being “stuck”
When you say “I don’t know,” you are allowing yourself to stay stuck. There’s nothing worse than this.
I don’t know if I should move. I don’t know if I should marry him. I don’t know if I should get a new job. I don’t know how to lose weight. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.
Instead of allowing yourself to sit in “I don’t know,” switch to “I’m figuring it out.” At least this gives you momentum.
Like Wayne Dyer says, “You are not stuck unless you decide to be.”
28. Get your money right
If you feel stuck or overwhelmed because of money, it’s time to simplify your financial life.
Here are a few ways to get your money right:
- Fix your money mindset
- Start using a minimalist budget
- Get out of debt
- Earn more money
- Start a side hustle
- Invest in the stock market
If your money isn’t right, it’s probably affecting your ability to live a simpler life. Take these steps now. Your future self will thank you. 🙂
29. Improve your mindset from scarcity to abundance
At the heart of wanting to simplify is understanding that it’s all in your head.
All the worry. All the overwhelm. All the busyness. All the confusion. It’s all because you’re letting outward things affect your mind.
If you do some thought work and improve your mindset (read these 7 steps to improve your mindset), you can really feel your life simplify without changing any of your outward circumstances.
30. Ask “how can I automate this?”
Any time something comes your way, ask yourself “how can I automate this?” It may be that you can’t, but by asking, you’ll eventually automate a lot more than you have automated now.
It takes more time to set up the automation, but by investing that time now, you’ll save time later. Things are simpler this way.
31. Start subtracting ery’where
If you need to simplify, it probably means you need to subtract.
Think about what area is causing you the most pain and start doing less in that area. Less time busying. Less time worrying. Less overspending. Less overeating. Less overcommitting.
You’ll have more energy and feel better when you simplify this way.
A Final Note!
These 31 ways to simplify your life have seriously taken all the things out of my life that were creating noise.
When life is simpler, life is better.
My life may not look that different from the outside, but it is night and day. Simple is better my friends.