No matter how much technology has helped us to accomplish a majority of our communication, shopping, paying bills, etc. from the comfort of our homes or while standing in line for our morning coffee, life has become busier and more attention-stimulating than ever. Below are a few techniques recommended in the book, “The 50 Best Ways to Simplify Your Life”, to help you find more peace. Yes, it is another few things to add to your to-do list, but they will be so worth it when you are done!
Get organized by creating a plan of attack. Determine how much time you will need. If it feels overwhelming, start small, i.e. 10 minutes for one drawer. Clear out the space, and for each item ask yourself:
1) Do I want or need to keep this?
2) If so, where should it be stored? Grouping things together is a great way to stay organized and save time frantically searching for things.
Get rid of what you don’t need! Letting go of belongings can be very hard as often we may think, “Well I don’t need this now, but maybe later or I could give this to my cousin.” Yet, the clutter that it is creating is ultimately not worth holding on to. Donating to Goodwill is a wonderful thing to do. Collect at least a bag of items and take them to your closest donation center; you will feel great for helping your community and you will not give a second thought to those items again!
Revise your Routine
How much time are you spending getting ready in the morning? Are you constantly wasting time hunting for things? Organize clothing by color and by work or leisure. Every six months, go through your closet and anything you haven’t worn since your last cleanout; donate. This creates space for new items and makes opening your closet door a much less overwhelming ordeal! Also, could your bathroom cabinet use a quick reorganization? Dispose of old/expired products and experiment with possibly finding new products that can provide multiple benefits, i.e. a tinted moisturizer with SPF, to decrease your prep time.
This can often range from obsessive cleaning to total neglect. If you live with your family, roommates, etc. spend time creating a clear schedule that everyone can agree upon as fair. If you live alone, determine which chores give a result that really matters to you. And regularity always helps, it cuts down on time doing major cleaning jobs as well as negates the nagging voice in your head. Write it in your calendar (preferably the same day each week) as one hour of cleaning/straightening and blast some music, for the rest of the week you can relax and enjoy your clean home.
Slow the Flow
Do you feel like you are overloaded with information? The news, our email inbox, or a chatty friend can produce sensory overload on a daily basis and often first thing in the morning. Begin to be selective of what media you take in. Take ten minutes to go through your inbox and unsubscribe from newsletters or shopping sites. If you want the information, you can always find it. Take a TV, Netflix, or YouTube timeout, choosing a day to be media-free or an evening cutoff time.
Give perfectionism the boot. Because of the monetary compensation attached to work, it can often be very hard to decrease your perfectionistic tendencies. Yet, because of this, we may find ourselves dedicating more and more of our time and thoughts to our jobs. If it is hard to determine whether your expectations are fair or unreasonable, ask yourself whether you engage in these perfectionist behaviors:
1) Excessive checking of work; not knowing when to quit
2) Repeating or correcting your work or that of others
3) Constantly seeking reassurance from your coworkers or supervisor
4) Difficulty making decisions
5) Giving up too soon due to anxiety
6) Avoiding tasks because you fear you’ll be inadequate
Being aware of and trying to avoid these patterns will not only increase your efficiency but your mood and thus the relationship you have with your clients, co-workers, and loved ones. Looking at how these patterns got started or why they might be so hard to break may take some self-reflection on issues around self-doubt, having a pessimistic outlook, or the need for control. Look to those who seem to be more confident yet balanced in their work, surrounding yourself with people who are successful can be a major source of support and guidance.
All in all, simplifying your life does take some time and effort. Begin with small steps and share your hard work with others. Enjoy the feelings that will surely arise as you are able to begin life in a more present and grounded way! If you’d like support and accountability in this pursuit, working with a coach is a great option! Reach out today to learn more about how I can support you.