Less is More – Ways to Simplify Your Life

April 24, 2010 | 38 Comments

I found this post from Get Organized Now a great one in terms of staying on top of things in one’s life. I strive to do these things on a daily basis and sometimes it seems an overwhelming task. 
The society in which we live is all too often obsessed with how much we have. We spend a lot of time accumulating things and have a hard time giving things up. All the extras can add up and stress us out. Below is a list of 15 things that we can do with less of in order to help simplify our lives and free up our time.

1. Limit commitments
Many of us have a hard time saying no. Even when we’re overworked and overbooked, many of us feel guilty telling people no. It’s time to learn that it’s okay to say no and not feel guilty. When you have too many commitments, you aren’t able to fulfill them to the best of your ability and you add unnecessary stress to your life, not to mention all the time that those commitments eat up. Next time you’re already committed and asked to take on more, gracefully apologize and say no–remembering that next time the need arises you may not be so busy.


2. Shorten To Do lists
Get rid of all the post-it notes and scraps of paper on which you’ve jotted down things to get done. Consolidate everything into 2 lists. One list should be your to do list for work and the other one for home. Each list should only contain the most important things in order to keep your lists short.
3. Control wasteful actions
Think about your typical day. How much of that time is spent doing things that don’t really have a purpose? Things like watching hours of TV and pointless Internet surfing often draw us in and waste more of our time than expected. Gain back some of this time by making such activities more difficult to do or by avoiding them altogether.

4. Reduce clothing

Many Americans have closets and drawers full of clothes, much of which they haven’t worn in months or even years. Look through your clothes. Take out anything that doesn’t fit, is out of style, or hasn’t been worn in over six months. Donate these items to a local charity, sell them at a garage sale, or give them to a friend who could use them.

5. Donate books

Books that aren’t useful anymore and ones that you do not intend on reading again are just creating clutter. Go through your books and weed out all of your clutter books, including college textbooks, reference and self-help books you don’t use any more, and books you’ll never read again. Either sell these items at a garage sale or donate them to a friend or charity.

6. Consolidate email accounts

If you have multiple email accounts, consolidate them. Send out that mass email to let people know you’re changing your email address. Keeping track of more than 2 email accounts is a great waste of time. Keep 1 personal account and 1 work account.

7. Focus on fewer goals

Having goals is a great thing, don’t get me wrong. Everyone should have goals, but working toward too many at one time can be detrimental to your success. Focus on only 2 or 3 goals at a time and you will find it much less stressful and much more enjoyable as you achieve more success.
8. Curb credit cards

Credit card debt is a major problem for many Americans. One way to avoid this problem and stress is to limit credit card use by limiting the number available to you. Scale back to only 1 credit card and 1 backup. If this just won’t do for you, try scaling back the number of cards you keep with you in your purse or wallet.

9. Reduce banking institutions

Let one bank supply all of your banking needs. Some banking institutions consolidate all of your accounts onto one statement each month, reducing the number of papers to sort through and file. It will also reduce the number of websites you have to login to each time you want to check balances and activity online.

10. Reduce bills to mail

There are many recurring payments that we make each month, from cable bills to car and mortgage payments and even utilities. Sign up with the companies or your financial institution to have these charges automatically withdrawn from your checking or savings account. Other than saving you time and the hassle of mailing in your payments, it also saves you any late fees you may otherwise incur in the process.

11. Eliminate car clutter

Get rid of the trash and anything else that doesn’t belong in your vehicle. Keep a small bag in your vehicle for any garbage that may accumulate while you’re driving. Make sure everything that belongs in your car has a place. Most commuters find that they do some of their best thinking while they’re on the road. It’s rather hard to think and keep your mind clear when the space around you is a mess. It’s also not a very good environment in which to decompress after a long day at work.

12. Control communication

Email, IM, cell phones, paper mail, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and forums can all rob us of our precious time if we’re not careful. Allow yourself a reasonable amount of time to communicate with friends and family, but don’t let it overwhelm your day. Schedule certain times during the day for such communication, but only allow a certain number of minutes and stick to your schedule.

13. Plan dinner choices

Create a weekly dinner menu. It can be something as simple as 10-day rotation of chicken dish, pasta dish, veggie dish, etc. Need more variety? Combine your favorite recipes into one binder and make weekly dinners from that one recipe book.

14. Quit multi-tasking

Stop multi-tasking! Generally people are less productive when they multi-task. It adds more stress and makes things more complicated. Stick with a single task until you can cross it off your to do list and then move on to the next thing.

15. End gossip

Gossip creates drama whether it’s at work or in your personal life. Eliminate the majority of this drama by not repeating any of the gossip you hear. It’ll make you a more enjoyable person to be around and a better friend.

Source: www.getorganizednow.com




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