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I am on a mission to simplify my life. If that’s what you want too, then you are in the right place.
I thought that by my age, life would be simple, not complicated. But, that is just not the case. In fact, many of the women that I talk to say the very same thing.
Although everything in our lives is not in our control, there are a lot of things that are.
By making some easy changes in our life, we can make our lives simpler.
Here’s a list of ideas and ways to simplify your life:
Take Care of Yourself
Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is becoming a popular word. In its most simplistic definition, it is all about self-care. In the midst of all of our busyness, it is essential that we take the time to take care of ourselves.
Yesterday, I took 30 minutes out of my day and set outside on the patio and read a book. It felt good. This is a simple example of hygge. I recently read this very interesting book on Hygge. If you’re interested, check it out.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting good sleep is essential to our health. We can’t be at 100% when we don’t get enough sleep. This post, Get a Good Night’s Sleep has some helpful ideas.
Be True to You
Listen, if you are a fellow introvert, may I speak bluntly to you for just a moment. Introverts are energized by time spent alone. That’s how the Lord created us. There is nothing wrong with us. If you need time alone after a busy week or a busy weekend – take the time.
My husband is an extrovert through and through. He, like all extroverts, is energized by being around people. It has taken us some time, but we have found a happy compromise. Since our weekends are usually spent with lots of people, Mondays are always a stay at home day for me. This allows me some much needed time to recharge.
If you need downtime, take it. Life gets overwhelming and complicated when you have no energy.
Simplify Your Stuff
Get Rid of Stuff
Having less stuff can be such a blessing in our lives. This doesn’t mean that you have to adopt a minimalist living lifestyle. When we have too much stuff, we have every nook and cranny in our home filled. Not to mention we often can’t find what we are looking for.
Declutter your closet
Speaking of too much stuff – a great place to start getting rid of stuff is in our closets. There are many ways of going about this. One good way to start is by removing the clothing that doesn’t fit.
One of the reasons we have so much stress in our lives is because we have so much to do. We have so much to do that we are almost constantly overwhelmed. Are there things on your to do list that you don’t really need to do. If so, cross them off.
Just Say “No”
You may need to start saying “No” to things so that your to do list doesn’t get any longer.
Did you know that journaling is good for helping to reduce stress? It seems that writing down things helps to get them off of our chest. It’s a good practice for when things are bothering you.
Consider writing down 3 things each night that you are grateful for. Maybe some blessings you received during that day. It will lighten your load as you look at the positives.
Restore your Gut Health
Just as sleep is important to our health, so is our gut health. The typical American diet is not favorable for our gut health. Take the time to identify the foods that you shouldn’t eat and the ones that you should eat. Life is simpler when our gut is healthy.
We all know that we need to stay hydrated. Drinking water is the best way to do that. Create a habit of taking water with you everywhere you go. Hint – Use a straw. It turns out that studies have shown that we drink more when we use straws.
We all know that we shouldn’t eat processed foods or sugary foods. Even if we aren’t ready to give them up, we can certainly eat them in moderation.
There are all kinds of simple changes we could make to our diets that would greatly improve them. Try eating one more serving of vegetables and a fruit each day.
Staying healthy and fit is a key factor in simplifying our life. If we don’t take care of our physical body, then we will need to deal with illnesses and aches and pains that would not have happened otherwise.
Take the time each day to go for a walk. Or take part in a physical activity you enjoy. Even a 10 to 15 minute exercise program for the day can be helpful.
Make Time to Refresh Your Spirit – Quiet Time
Simplify your Bible Study
Sometimes we get overwhelmed with all the options for Bible Study. Maybe we try to do it all – all the ways. Or, maybe we start a “Read the Bible in a Year” plan and get way behind.
There are so many great Bible studies available online. Just start one. Pick one that you can do at your own pace. Choose a topic or a book of the Bible that you’ve been wanting to study. Type it in Google and see what studies show up. There are many free and inexpensive ones available.
Simplify your prayer time
The idea of praying is often overwhelming to us. A friend recently mentioned that trying to pray for all of the people on her list took up a great deal of time. She was retired and had a little extra time. But, most of us are struggling to find 5 or 10 consecutive minutes for our prayer time. It doesn’t have to be complicated, our Heavenly Father just wants to hear from you.
Two options for simplifying your prayer time is by using a Daily Prayer Sheet or a Prayer Journal.
Simplify your Life with Routines
Create a Morning Routine
Routines are simply made up of several habits that we do in a row. You probably have a morning routine already. Maybe it looks something like this – wake up – take a shower – fix your hair – put on makeup – brush your teeth. Or some variation of that.
In order to simplify your life and add some self-care to your morning routine, you could add another habit or two to that routine – how about 10 minutes of quiet time with a cup of coffee or tea before you hop in the shower.
Or fixing a healthy smoothie to drink before you head out the door on your way to work. What habit could you add that would help simplify your day?
Create a simple Evening Routine
Just as a morning routine can help simplify the beginning of your day, so can an evening routine simplify your day even further. In addition to washing your face, flossing and brushing your teeth, you can add some other habits to your evening routine. For example, take 10 minutes to do a few yoga moves. Or, how about writing in a Gratitude Journal?
Invest in an Air Fryer
There are so many small appliances that we can add to our kitchen that can shorten our time in the kitchen and/or help us make healthier foods. This can greatly simplify our lives. I’ve owned a crockpot for years and I’m guessing most people have one, that’s why I included an Air Fryer in this list. If I only use my air fryer for making French fries, it is worth it. It makes healthy French fries super simple and they taste great!
Keep healthy snacks available
It is super easy to grab a candy bar or a piece of chocolate or an ice cream bar out of the freezer. Do you know what I mean? The problem is that they aren’t really good for us.
Simplifying our life can include a healthier lifestyle. So, one goal we should strive for is to make grabbing a healthy snack as easy as the unhealthy ones were. Replacing the unhealthy snacks with healthy ones is really simple, but it does require some advance planning.
Have a few simple and easy recipes that you can use when life gets rushed. There are great recipes out there with only 6 ingredients or less.
Additionally, there are plenty of meals that you can put on the table in 30 minutes or less. Make a list of these and keep in the ingredients on hand for those days when you need a simple meal.
Create a Meal Plan
You don’t have to plan all 28 (assuming you are responsible for 3 meals per day for your family) of your meals right now. Instead, simply start with breakfasts for the week. Every morning will be simplified because you already know what you will be serving. You may even be able to set the table or get out some of the supplies/foods needed the night before as part of your Evening Routine.
After you have the breakfasts figured out, then you can work on the lunch plans, and eventually you’ll be ready to tackle meal planning for dinner also.
Try a Meal Kit Service
If you need a little variety in your meals, and you enjoy cooking, a meal kit service may be ideal for you. I’ve tried Hello Fresh and have been very pleased overall with the service.
Invest in an Instant Pot
I just got this Instant Pot during the Black Friday sales and I love it! I will be sharing some great recipes at a future date. I’ve only made a couple of pot roasts in it so far, but they were super good. It sure is a time saver AND if you forget to thaw the meat in advance, you can still cook it in the Instant Pot.
Money has a way of creating problems for us. If we get in the habit of telling our money where we want it to go (budgeting), we can help it from creating issues for us.
Many companies allow you to automate your monthly payments. This can be a huge time saver.
Even if you don’t want to automate your payments, you can still pay many of your bills online. This will save you some time and money (less checks and stamps to be purchased).
Get More Things Done
I am terrible about putting off things that I don’t want to do, but I eventually have to do them. Time and time again I’ve found that it is so much easier to just go ahead and get the task done.
Manage Your Time Better
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. That’s 60 minutes in each hour. Or 1,440 minutes in each day. We may sleep for about 1/3rd of that time, but the rest of the day is ours. There are a lot of things (hacks and tricks) we can do each day to help us accomplish the things that we really want to do.
Have you ever tried writing down all the things that are in your head that you need to do? This can be a very mindboggling task. I’ve done this over a period of a weekend and the list was very lengthy. It’s an excellent process to go through. I describe it in detail in this Brain Dump post. What you do with the list after you’ve taken the time to write it, is the most important part.
As I stated above (but it bears repeating): What you do with that Brain Dump list after you’ve taken the time to write it, is the most important part. There will be some things you take off that list. The list then becomes very valuable in helping to simplify your life as you make an action plan to get those things done (and removed from the list).
This method is also called the Tomato Timer method. It is one of my favorite methods for managing my time. I have used it for years. I’ve used it in an office situation and working from my home. I’ve also used it for cleaning my house and for making time to do crafting. Try it out and see if it helps simplify your life.
We are told that as women we are supposed to be great at multitasking. I know, many women are, but I am not. I do not multitask at all. I’ve never been able to do it and I no longer try.
The reality is, if we focus on one task at a time, we will get it done more quickly. Most likely it will be done much better, because we gave it 100% of our attention.
To Do List
It’s beneficial to write your To Do List for the next day before you go to bed. That gets it off of your mind. If you work in an office, then you can write that To Do list before you leave for the day.
Enjoy or at least focus on the task at hand. Savor the moments that are special. You’ll get the other things done too. One at a time.
Use a multipurpose cleaner
It is not necessary to have a zillion cleaners in our house. There are multipurpose cleaners out there that can do many tasks. I love my Thieves Household cleaner. I use it for almost all my cleaning tasks. From cleaning counters to windows to floors and even mirrors. There’s no need to have an overflowing cleaner cabinet when 1 or 2 products is all we need.
Schedule Cleaning Tasks
It is so easy to get bogged down in all the cleaning that needs to be done. Simplify your life by scheduling different cleaning tasks throughout the week and the month (and the year). They don’t all have to be done in one day. I mean, who has that much time?
Email Management made Simple
Write down your tasks from your emails
My email tasks seem to get lost some days. Consider creating a written list of the tasks you need to do from your emails. You’ll be more likely to get them done and out of the way.
Unsubscribe from Email Lists
And, speaking of email lists. Unsubscribe to all of those that you seldom read (of course I hope you don’t unsubscribe to Gift of Simple).
If you seldom read the advertisements that come to you from your favorite grocery store, just unsubscribe. You can always look the ad up online if you need to.
If you get a lot of emails every day, this may be hard to do all a one time. Some people like unrollme.com for helping with this task. I’ve used it in the past.
Currently, I’ve just committed to unsubscribing from at least 3 that show up in my email box each day. It’ll take longer, but I’ll get it done.
Don’t Subscribe to More Email Lists
Part 2 of the above step to simplifying your life is to not keep signing up for more newsletters/emails/ads, etc.
I admit that I have a problem with freebies. I love them. It’s so much fun seeing what other people have created. But, usually, in order to get a freebie you have to sign up for a newsletter or email. This doesn’t help me have fewer emails. So, say “No” to freebies and getting on lists that you don’t really want or need.
Create some folders inside your Email Provider Page
Setting up folders for family, financial, work, and other specific items will help you keep the emails under control.
In all honesty, you may never look at some emails, but this is a place to keep them until you are sure they aren’t necessary. An example may be that you are interested in learning a new hobby, say crocheting for example. You may subscribe to a few blogs on that topic. But, you aren’t ready to dive in to crocheting quite yet. You could simply name a folder “Crochet” and put the emails you receive in there.
When you are ready to start crocheting, you can open the folder and see if you need to look at any of those emails. Of course, if you decide you don’t want to crochet after all, or you simply don’t need those emails, go ahead and delete the folder. There’s no need in holding on to them if you don’t need them.
Unsubscribe from Facebook groups
Talk about facebook and its algorithms is something we hear about all the time. I do not understand all about how they decide which posts I see or don’t see. Nevertheless, I have learned that if I am following groups or pages that I seldom, if ever, engage with, then I need to stop following them. Doing so will help us make room for the posts from our family and friends that we do want to see and groups that we do wish to engage with.
Electronics can Simplify Your Life
Listen to audiobooks and podcasts
Whether you listen to audiobooks or podcasts for educational purposes or for pleasure, they are a great option. Afterall, you can listen to them while riding in your car or while exercising at the gym. Not only do they simplify finding the time to “read”, but it’s also one less (book) thing to keep track of.
Use the cloud for automatic backups
When my son put DropBox on my phone several years ago, my picture-taking and management simplified immensely. I could take pictures while I was out and about and when I got home, they were already on my laptop.
Today, the cloud backups can be used for almost everything. No more dragging an external hard drive or flashdrive around.
Wrapping It Up
I hope you found some ideas in this list that will help you simplify your life. I’d love to hear which ones you’ve tried and how they helped make your life simpler.
If you have some other ideas that have worked for you, please share them in the comments below.