If there’s one time you want to simplify your life, it’s got to be when you’re getting ready to move house. We recently made the decision to move this summer after being in the same apartment for 16 years. And oh how I wish now we’d learned to live a little more simply.
But this is not about decluttering (although I will write about that process if you want me to) … it’s more about simplifying your whole life so that you can get things done, and not just in your home. It’s hard to get projects completed and all your work done when you mind is cluttered too.
So here are a few “hacks” you can use to simplify your life, and still get a lot done each day.
Tip #1 – Keep your to-do list short
Having to look at a to-do list that’s as long as your arm is a sure way to overwhelm yourself.
Instead, keep your daily to-do list to only 2 or 3 items that you have to get done. This will force you to set priorities so that the most important tasks on your list get done first.
Tip #2 – Stop Multitasking
Experts have shown that multitasking results in getting less done, not more. (source)
Instead of switching between tasks all day long, focus on one until it’s complete and then move on to the next item on your list.
If you’re not sure what to focus on first, ask yourself this question:
What’s the one thing I have to get done today that will get me closer to achieving my goals?
Tip #3 – Write shorter emails
Let’s face it… everyone gets too much email and no one reads everything they get. If your emails are too long, chance are they’re going to land in the never-gets-read category.
If you can limit your emails to five sentences or less, you stand a better chance of getting them read, and having people take action on them.
And if something’s really important, text or call instead.
Tip #4 – Take care of the physical mail as you get it
This might seem like a no-brainer to you, but I can tell you when we were having financial problems, that looking at the mail was the last thing I wanted to do. It was much easier to ignore the bills as they came in, instead of stressing out over what I couldn’t pay. But ignoring them comes with its own set of stresses too.
The best thing to do is deal with it as it comes in. You may not get much physical mail anymore, but what does show up is usually either important or advertising.
Clutter experts recommend going through the mail while you’re standing over the garbage can (or the recycling box in our case). Recycle the junk mail and then deal with the rest. (source)
Tip #5 – Work offline
One of the hardest things I find working on my computer all day is the temptation to check email and Facebook every few minutes. Even though I try to keep them shut down while I’m working on a project, it’s hard sometimes.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
Sometimes when I’m researching I need to go into Facebook to look up information. But Facebook is so good at putting the things I like in front of me, I can get there knowing I only need to see one specific thing, and then twenty minutes later I’m still checking out all the new stuff in my feed!
The best answer to dealing with that is to work offline. Turn off the wi-fi on your laptop, or the data on your phone and just work. Make notes of what you need to look up and once you’ve got the bulk of your work done, then turn the internet back on and go research the rest of what you need.
Tip #6 – Eat healthy foods
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard. If you shop around the outside of the grocery store and ignore all the processed stuff in the middle, you’ll end up with things like veggies, fruits, lean protein, and dairy. At my grocery store even the bulk aisles for nuts and seeds are on the outside now, and the organic section is one aisle in.
And depending on where you live, in the summer you can get all of that at the farmer’s market and not have to be tempted by the grocery store at all!
Tip #7 – Go to bed when you’re tired
If you’re tired you’re not being productive. That’s not to say that you don’t deserve to kick back and watch your favourite show in the evening, but what’s the use if you’re just going to sleep through it?
If you go to bed when you’re tired, you’ll fall asleep more easily and you’ll also wake up feeling more refreshed in the morning.
But don’t take my word for it. Test these tips out for yourself, and see if they work for you. You can also create your own “hacks” by noticing when and where you have trouble getting things done and designing your own personal solution. It’s fun, and a simplified life works best when you have a solution that fits your life, rather than trying to fit your life around someone else’s solutions.
Feel free to share your own tips in the comments.
And please… spare a thought or two for me as the house hunt and the decluttering/packing begins. :)