I am on a journey to simplify my life.
We’ve filled our lives with so many distractions these days that we’ve all but forgotten how to live. Don’t tell me you don’t have subscriptions to several services or that you don’t spend the day buried in your phone. We all have a version of these distractions in our lives. Things that don’t really matter, but things we have somehow gotten into our lives.
It’s not a coincidence that the world has seen a rise in stress and anxiety-related disorders in the past decade. It’s also not a coincidence that electronics and internet use has skyrocketed since then.
A simple life helps to remove these distractions from your life. It helps to de-clutter not just physically, but mentally. By removing these distractions, I believe we can become much more productive and focus on what really matters. Whether it’s a dream project, caring for our loved ones, or simply being a good person, it’s all possible.
I have thought a lot about how my wife and I can simplify our lives recently. Below, you’ll find 10 ideas that can help greatly in simplifying your life. I don’t think we can accomplish all of them, but it’s a good starting point 🙂
10 Ideas to Simplify Your Life
1. Set a Morning Routine and Follow It
This is a tip from some of the most powerful and influential people in the world. Having a morning routine helps businessmen, Presidents, entrepreneurs, etc. It may seem like a ritual for those leading complicated lives, yet it seeks to simplify.
Your morning routine can include exercise, bathing, dressing for work, listening to music, reading news, etc. This takes care of everything important right at the beginning of the day so you don’t have to worry about it later.
Even with a small child, my wife and I try to do this even though it is hard. Making a habit out of it, makes it easier, though. Also, having a morning routine, I found, sets your biological clock for you. You automatically want to go to bed early so that your body is ready to spring into action.
2. Get Rid of Unnecessary Subscriptions
How many of you have subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc? Others may have subscriptions to Apple Music, Spotify, any of the hundreds of news services, etc?
To put it simply, I believe subscriptions are cluttering up your life. You can’t possibly watch everything out there. It’s fine to have something to watch with your family or friends at the end of the day. However, the practice of binge-watching eats up so much of your time. I was definitely part of the group of people who could binge-watch shows. It took up so much time that could’ve been spent actually interacting with my family.
Think about the services that you need or really like using. All you have to do is cancel all the remaining subscriptions. A good way to choose is to find the services that create connections between you and family. For example, if you watch a series on Amazon Prime with your family regularly, keep that subscription.
3. Automate Payments
I don’t know why I ever hesitated to do this. Opening up my banking app and paying/transferring money multiple times every single month was a repetitive chore. However, since I’ve automated inter-account transfers, investment transfers and payments on all my utilities and loans, it’s been a breeze. Automating payments is a great way to regain lost time.
4. Take Advantage of IFTTT
IFTTTT (If This Then That) is an app for both iOS and Android. It links certain actions together so that you don’t have to do everything manually. I’ve set location-based actions to turn my phone silent when I arrive at work. You can also set your door to lock when you leave home or get an alert if there’s a disease outbreak. There are a lot of functions on your smartphone as well that can set location-based and time-based actions. Give them a try.
This is a no brainer. Reading helps you disconnect from technology. Those annoying people who always complain about the show or film not being as good as the book are right. Nothing ever is as good as a good book and a cup of hot coffee.
Reading is a very relaxing activity. It helps me calm down from the incessant bombardment of information from my phone. I try to read a few pages of a book every day before I go to sleep (but don’t always succeed!).
6. Donate Clothes You Don’t Need
After housing, food, and transportation, people spend the most on clothes. The worst part is they don’t wear most of the clothes they buy. I know I rotate the same 5 or 6 outfits. I have found some good, quality items that I use for a long time. I very rarely go shopping for new clothes.
It took me a while to realize those 20-30 shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, and sweaters were just taking up space. Do yourself a favor and give them to a charity. It’ll free up space, and help the less fortunate.
7. Donate Anything You Don’t Need
Donate everything you don’t need. This includes electronics, kitchenware, shoes, stationery, furniture, electronics, etc. You may be surprised at all the things taking up space in your home. Even donate the books that you don’t like or are never going to read anymore. Half of simplifying your life is just getting rid of things you don’t need.
8. Limit Interaction with Technology
I am slightly addicted to my phone. You’re probably too. You more than likely have to deal with computers or some other machines at work already. So here’s what you could do and what I have done very successfully!
Turn off push notifications for everything except for your phone app and messaging app. This will reduce your interaction with your phone to a minimum. You won’t be tempted to pick it up every time a new status update or tweet comes through. As for emails, you can check them once a day. No need to look at them obsessively.
I once heard that turning off notifications has been linked to better mental health too.
9. Reduce or Eliminate Social Media
No matter what your profession, you don’t need 100 different social media handles. Do yourself a favor and delete every single messaging app except the one you mostly use. This could either be WhatsApp or iMessage or Messenger. Also, delete the social media profiles that you don’t use to communicate. If you’re just on Instagram or Twitter to scroll through your feed every day, they’re just eating up your time.
This is very hard and I haven’t succeeded fully yet. I am currently considering to drop my Instagram account.
10. Find Long-Term Value in Purchases
Finally, you should try to find value in everything you buy. Sometimes, it’s fine to get something you just like at face value. However, most of the time you should refrain from spending on things that are passing fancies.
Trust me; you don’t need that new smartphone just because it’s selling in record numbers. You also don’t need this season’s latest fashion items. Learn to be content with what you need and limit your wants.
Following these 10 tips will help you start, but it’s easier said than done. I am slowly implementing these tips in my life and it’s already having an impact. Once you’ve done it, you can begin to focus on more important things 🙂