Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Ten Easy Ways To Simplify Your Life Today

Sometimes it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day, doesn't it? Between keeping all the plates spinning of work responsibilities, keeping up with family and friends, keeping on top of your home and taking care of other duties, isn't always an easy balancing act. Fear not I've come up with ten easy ways to start simplifying your life today.

Reading a book and drinking a coffee in the sun in a post about ten easy ways to simplify your life today

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak". Hans Hofmann

1. Brain dump everything

Just grab a piece of paper (or digitally) and write down everything that comes into your mind. I keep a pad of paper by my bed, so I can quickly offload the thoughts whirling around my brain.

Just brain dump as often as you need to stop your brain continually having to remember something. It takes it out of your mind, so you're not always using your subconscious to think about it.

2. Make lists

Following on from the brain dump exercise, organise your thoughts into actionable lists. I use the TeuxDeux app for this as you can separate and make a different list for different categories. For example, I have a "To do this week", and a "To do before the pub re-opens". Last year it was great because I had a tab for my friend's wedding and another few different ones for uni deadlines. 

By creating separate "to do" categories, means you can choose just to focus on similar tasks at one time. Thereby batching and often making better use of your time.

Remember to try to limit the tasks you put on your daily to-do list. It is essential to only concentrate on two or three main tasks per day, so you don't feel overwhelmed.  

3. Minimise your belongings

A cluttered home will lead to clutter and more stressful mind. Not only from the visual appearance, but it will also make navigating and finding your belongings that more difficult.

Minimalism isn't for everyone. I know, I've spent years as a borderline hoarder. What I do know though is having less stuff and everything has its own home, makes my brain feel a lot less foggy. I wrote about five areas you can start to decluttering for a more simple life.

I also recommend reading Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It isn't a book about minimalism, it's about strategies to tidy, organise and simplify your home with only things that 'spark joy'. And let's face it, who doesn't love her folding methods!

Neatly folded clothes in a post about ten easy ways to simplify your life today

4. Break down your goals

Get rid of any goals that no longer matter to you. Who cares? Life has changed, and maybe so have your priorities. 

Instead, consider setting smaller monthly goals to break down larger goals into manageable chunks. Smaller, more actionable goals will allow you to start new habits, and achieve things you've meant to do for a long time.

5. Set a budget 

A budget will help you keep track of your finances. If you're anything like me, I couldn't tell you other than set bills where my money went to. When I sat and broke it down, I was spending way too much money on basically just stuff I didn't need. I stopped and set myself a no-buy challenge for 2020.

Having a budget will also help you reduce the clutter coming in. Maybe even help contribute towards achieving some of your goals.

A good rule of thumb is 50% of your monthly income on living expenses, 30% on lifestyle and 20% should go to savings.

6. Meal plan

Meal planning can save you so much money and time.

We roughly eat variations of the same meals each week. But in more specific times, sit down with recipe books, Pinterest inspiration or ideas from YouTube and plan your meals for the week. When I worked in schools, I would also prepare my lunches, but now I just have a rough idea.

As we eat the same staples each week, we have a running list of things we regularly get from the shops. Then we just add any extra bits of ingredients we need to make something different.

Batch cooking is a total game-changer when it comes to simplifying your life if you are willing to set aside the time. It will free up so much time in the week. You will also make better food choices because you're not just grabbing things because you're tired or hungry.

I also find it really helpful to know I have healthy snacks, such as olives and nuts. Otherwise, I will just start eating crisps.

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7. Follow a morning and evening routine

I recently did a post about the benefits of creating a calming morning routine. Establishing a morning and evening routine has so many benefits in terms of reducing stress, making you feel more organised and in control, and it will instantly begin to simplify your life.

My top tips are to prepare for the next day the night before. Make your lunch, get your clothes out ready. Organise your bag, so you have everything you will need. Or if you work from home, clear your desk and have out only what you will need for the tasks tomorrow.

8. Unsubscribe from any unnecessary email lists

Do you really need your inbox full of pointless emails? It will be taking up your valuable time even just deleting them if you don't want to read them. Go through them and unsubscribe. You never know it may also save you from any unnecessary money you might spend by that clickbait sale.

9. Limit your online time

I've been doing Duolingo Spanish and one of the start screens really resonated with me. It said 15 minutes per day can teach you a new language, what can 15 minutes of social media teach you? Obviously, it depends on what you read, but it is unlikely to really show you anything.

Limit your screen time. Turn off unnecessary notifications. 

Limiting your exposure to news and negativity can free up time and make you feel a whole lot better. 

10. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness is something I am very new to, but I am already seeing the benefits of enabling you to live a more simple and intentional life. There are lots of books, YouTube, and apps where you can get started with mindfulness. I've started with a Be Mindful course. 

How do you simplify your life?
 I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Lots of love,
Helen x

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  1. These are all super helpful tips - thanks for sharing! I love a good list (I organise literally everything) and I definitely need to start unsubscribing from emails, they seem to be never-ending! :')

    Stay safe,
    Sophie | Love and Literature

    1. Thank you! Haha I am so not naturally organised. I need you tips! x

  2. Ooooohhhh I love a good list! I always feel like I've got superpowers once I can tick off all items on a list :-) My most favourite weekly list is deciding which recipes to cook the next week!

    1. Hehe you can't beat a good list can you! I need to get a little more adventurous with my food choices, so I think that maybe a really good thing to addd to my list, thank you x

  3. I love the idea of brain dumping things. I have a pen and paper by my bed and an app that lets me write notes, and I've learned how "freeing" it can be to get everything out of my mind.

    Thanks also for the app recommendation (I love productivity apps!). Will go and check that out.

    1. Yes, it so freeing just to get everything out of your head isn't it! You're very welcome :) x


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