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5 Ways to Simplify Your Life Right Now

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5 Ways to Simplify Your Life Right Now

Having a crazy busy schedule is something that often results in life becoming complicated. We could all use a break sometimes, and that means we de-clutter our lives in order to get on track.

Here are some ways that you can simplify your life today.

Give up material items

Having so many items not only clogs up space in your home, it creates more distractions for you. For example, having a TV in your bedroom, the living room, on the back porch, and in your bathroom will cause you to spend a lot of time sitting. You’ll have less time to spend doing things that you need to get done. So what do you do?

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Give it up.

Sell all but one TV (or sell all of them and watch your productivity shoot through the roof). This idea can be applied to just about any material item. Not only are you getting rid of unnecessary items that you own, you’re giving them to people who may actually be in need of them. Material items cloud your productivity, giving you less of a chance to be successful. Once those distractions are removed, you’ll start to think a bit clearer.

Minimize responsibilities

Having more responsibility and time commitments will lead to get bogged down and eventually burn out. Living simply won’t amount to being busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You’ll need to clear out the responsibilities that are causing your life to be complicated.

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For example, holding 4 part-time jobs is not better than having 1 full-time job that you can dedicate your energy towards. Having more commitments will require more brainpower and energy to be used, causing you to work slower, become stressed easier, and become unhappy with your life.

Sleep

Getting enough sleep can often have a profound effect on how much energy you have throughout your day. When you get the right amount of sleep (without oversleeping), you give your body a chance to keep going throughout the day, which gives you more of a chance to live your life simply. You will have more focus to do the things that you want to do; your time and energy will go towards those few things that make your life meaningful.

Having little sleep will make you want to fall asleep whenever you’re not moving. This means while you’re in class, while your at your desk at work, and even while you’re behind the wheel. This proves to be dangerous to your learning and thinking processes. Sacrifice is necessary sometimes, but when it comes to sleep, never sacrifice what’s needed.

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Organize your life

Being unorganized can give your life a sense of complexity. You’ll never know where things are, causing you to get frustrated. You’ll look unprofessional. Most of all, you won’t have a simple life. I understand having a messy desk can inspire some people to work creatively. But sometimes, cleaning that desk can get rid of many distractions.

A simple life has less distractions.

Meditate

Meditation is a great way to relax, refocus, and recharge your batteries once you start to feel unproductive. When you meditate, you start to pay attention to the things that are often overlooked. It helps you recalibrate your mind to think deeper and provide a meaningful way to simplify your life. A great service to utilize here would be Headspace. They’ve got guided meditations for beginners and extended meditations for those who have mastered the art.

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What do you do now?

It’s very simple: get up and go. You’re not going to accomplish simplifying your life until you really start to believe that you need it. Reflect on your life. Are you on the right track that you believe will lead you to a simple life? If the answer is no, take action.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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