Advertising

5 Ways to Simplify Your Life Right Now

5 Ways to Simplify Your Life Right Now
Advertising

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?

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More by this author

You Need To Keep These Items On Your Desk If You Want To Increase Productivity How To Dominate With A Focused Day of Work 5 Ways to Simplify Your Life Right Now Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty about Taking a Nap Every Day How to Make the “Impossible” Happen

Trending in Productivity

1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
Advertising

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next