In an age of information overload and material overflow, life has become more complex and cluttered than ever. To develop a great quality of living and to maintain your inner peace, harmony and your mental and physical health, it has become absolutely necessary to simplify your life as much as you can.
What Does It Mean To Simplify Your Life?
A simplified life is a life free from material clutter. A life that is free from the mental and emotional baggage that most of us carry around subconsciously.
It’s a life of total freedom, both internally, on a mental and emotional level, and externally, on the physical and material level.
It not only saves you from a lot of hassles but also gives you clarity in your thinking and decision making. You begin to make smarter and wiser choices in all aspects of life.
How To Simplify Your Life in 2019?
With so much going on in our lives today, living a simple, minimalistic life might seem like a farfetched concept, but it really isn’t. In fact, it’s very easy and straightforward.
It’s mostly a mind game. All you have to do is to have an open mindset and apply the ideas that I’m about to list below.
Before we begin, a rule of thumb to keep in mind is that in order to simplify your life, you just have to remember 2 things:
- Subtract and Let Go of certain things
- Make smarter choices in life
Below I have put together 34 simple, actionable ways and ideas that’ll help you simplify your life instantly.
1. Begin to Declutter and Organize your Space
The very first step towards a simplified, minimalist life is to begin to declutter your surroundings.
Don’t tolerate the mess in your life anymore. Start to organize and clean up your space.
Specify a certain place for everything and then make a habit of keeping things in their place after you use them, even if it’s something that you use often.
2. Simplify Your Home
Take a look at your home.
How does it look? What does it represent?
How we live in our homes is a reflection of who we are, isn’t it?
Here we are not talking about how much the home is worth or how lavish or well furnished it is. Instead, Focus on cleanliness and organization.
Look for things that are not in your use anymore or things that are not that important and you can do just fine without them. Consider removing them.
Think outside the box and look for smart ways to make things more efficient, simpler, and more organized, so that you don’t waste your time and energy every time when you do a certain thing.
3. Simplify Your Wardrobe
Do you have to think and decide what to wear every day?
Do you find it difficult and time-consuming to decide what to buy when you go shopping for clothes?
Does keeping up with the latest trends consume a lot of energy, time, and money?
All of this only makes life more complex and makes us overly self-conscious which drains our mental energy every single day.
Instead of having too many clothes to choose from, have a simple minimalist wardrobe so you don’t waste too much time thinking about what to wear today.
Develop a simple and specific dress code that you would wear on a normal day, so when you go shopping, you would know exactly what to get and from where, instead of searching aimlessly for something that would look good on you.
I, as a guy, for example, have a daily dress code of a plain t-shirt/polo-shirt and jeans. They are simple and comfortable to wear, and you do not have to worry about it getting wrinkled or anything.
I only shop when it’s absolutely necessary, and whenever I go shopping, I prefer plain designs and mostly neutral colors so they go along with everything and I don’t have to think too much about what to wear on a daily basis.
Instead of getting caught up by the latest fashion trends and big brands, keep things simple and get neutral, evergreen clothing. You’ll feel a sense of freedom, believe me.
4. Simplify Your Thinking
The absolute number 1 key to simple living is to simplify your mind.
Stop taking things so personally and wasting your mental energy thinking about who said what.
Stop thinking too much about the past, or what’s gonna happen in the up ahead in the future.
Let go of the urge to blame or to find the flaws and negativity in people or circumstances.
Calm your mind, and just be in the NOW. Learn to be more in the present and develop mindfulness. To learn more about how exactly to become more mindful and simplify your mind, check out my detailed guide on Mindfulness where I have discussed 11 practices that will help you be more mindful and start living in the now.
Additionally, if you want to calm your mind and clear your head from any stress, negativity or anxiety, Download my Guided Deep Relaxation Therapy. It’s Free!
Another tip to simplify your thoughts is to write them down on paper. Have a diary where you write your thoughts down. Writing can help you arrange your thoughts and ideas, and clear your head.
5. Simplify Your Relationships
The only way to simplify your relationships with other people is to be a genuine person and be polite yet transparent in communication
One of the biggest problems in any relationship is the lack of calm, honest, and proper communication. If you like something, communicate. Don’t be stingy in acknowledging and appreciating someone.
Similarly, if you have a problem with something, either let go of it completely from the depth of your heart or find a good time to discuss it in a calm and polite manner, instead of keeping it inside and letting it build up.
Avoid any politics, manipulative techniques, toxic language and insecurities in any of your relationships. And if you find other’s having a toxic behavior, distance yourself a bit from them.
Instead of having too many insincere and dishonest friends and connections, it’s better to have a few quality people in your life.
6. Simplify Your Work Life
Have you been stuck professionally and finding it difficult to progress? Do you feel a bit confused at times regarding what to do to grow your work?
Seek consultation from an expert who’ll simplify things for you and guide you in the right direction towards growth. Don’t hesitate in investing some money in your learning, guidance, and growth.
If you are an employee and you’re finding your job too draining, consider working on your own. Brainstorm some good ideas and do your research.
Initiate your own side project and keep working at it on the side while you do your regular job. After some time (probably a year or two) you’ll be able to work on your own and become your own boss.
7. Simplify Your Diet
If you are a picky eater or a “foodie” you might be spending a lot of your time, money, and mind-space on what you’re going to eat next.
Plus most of the delicious food that is available nowadays, is pretty much junk and slows down your mind and body.
If you feel lazy all the time, it will be difficult for you to keep on track with the important things in life. And if you are not on track, it will add subconscious stress and anxiety.
So if you’re looking to simplify your diet, start being more mindful of what you are eating.
Eat simple and nourishing food that will keep you light and energize you mentally and physically, instead of making your sleepy.
8. Don’t Waste Your “Decision Making Ability” On Small Things
According to some experts, we have a certain daily capacity for making decisions on any given day.
Even the smallest of actions such as deciding to click on a video, deciding which clothes to wear or what to eat uses up our decision making energy.
This is of the reasons to include diet, clothing, and social media (coming up ahead) in this list.
If you have a busy schedule, consider simplifying your smaller routine tasks and actions so you have enough mental energy and decision-making capacity left for the more important stuff.
9. Aim For Quality Rather Than Quantity
Develop the mindset of preferring quality over quantity in almost any area of your life and you’ll notice how drastically it makes your life simpler and easier.
When you shop for something that you intend to use for a longer period of time, go for the better quality option that will last you longer and will be trouble-free for you. If you have to save up for it, then be patient and save up a little bit.
This mindset applies in your daily routine as well.
Instead of trying to accomplish too many things and do too many tasks with compromised quality, do the few most important ones with utmost quality and focus. You’ll be able to enjoy what you do and avoid getting frazzled.
Instead of merely showering your loved ones with tons of material gifts but not being able to give them your best self, aim for spending more quality time with them and give them your best behavior.
Listen to them empathetically with full attention. Assist them in routine tasks. They’ll appreciate this more than your money and your personal life will be a bliss, free from complexities.
10. Don’t Allow “Lack Of Knowledge” To Make Your Life Difficult
A lot of things in our personal and professional life become complicated because we don’t know how to deal with them or what to do to get unstuck and make progress.
Remember, Knowledge (with Action) is POWER.
So many people choose to stay ignorant due to mere laziness to learn and seek solutions. They don’t want to read good books or attend courses or workshops on personal and professional development and just because of that they keep tolerating a lower quality of life.
I believe every single one of us has been given the power to turn our lives around in a better direction and enjoy a better quality of existence mentally, spiritually, and physically.
The only barrier between us and a great life is our lack of knowledge and lack of action.
Knowledge enlightens you and takes you out of the dark. If you want to live your best life, begin to focus on gaining knowledge and life wisdom. Then ACT on that knowledge and wisdom.
11. Stop Putting Things Off – STOP PRASTINATING
The more you put things off, the more they stack and pile up becoming more difficult to do later on. I’m sure you’ve had such experiences when even the simplest of things became a big issue just because you procrastinated and kept putting it off for some other day.
If you delay fitness and exercise today, you might have to face health complications later on.
If you delay learning and seeking knowledge/wisdom today, you’ll have to face a lot of personal and professional problems later on.
If you ignore your relationships today, they will eventually weaken and wither away down the road.
I’m sure you don’t want to face any of these problematic things in your life ever, so don’t let mere laziness ruin your future life.
Whatever you’ve been delaying till now, make a list and arrange them according to priority. Then JUST DO IT. It’s that simple.
12. Give Away Stuff That You Don’t Use Anymore
Most of us have things in our homes that we rarely use anymore. We think they’re important, but practically they barely ever add any value to our lives. We haven’t even seen them in years.
Don’t let your heart get attached to material stuff that’s not even serving you. Just give them away.
You’ll feel a lot lighter, almost as if a burden is lifted off your shoulders.
Get rid of old things to make room for the new. Let go of what you have, to allow better things to come in your life.
13. Consume Less Media
If you want your mind to perform at its best capacity, reduce your consumption of media. Especially news and entertainment media.
Most of the news on TV is focused on what bad is happening in the world and emphasizes on problems rather than solutions. Watching too much news programs the mind for negativity.
On the other hand, binging too much on TV shows and other entertainment media on television or the internet takes us away from reality which harms our progress and quality of life in the long run.
You’ll be at much more peace, ease, and simplicity when you limit your media consumption.
14. Develop Clarity In Your Life Values
Know which things are more important in your life than others. Analyze what you must value more and what to value less.
Being clear in your life values and morals is the most important thing to simplify decision making.
Many of us are unable to make certain decisions or are living a confused, two-faced life, just because we are not clear in our values in that area.
When we have clarity in values, it is pretty simple and clear to confidently step on one side of the fence rather than constantly dabbling around everywhere.
15. Develop The Confidence To Say NO! (Prioritize)
When we develop clear values it is easier to know when to say YES and when to straightforwardly say NO.
Due to the lack of clarity in values, so many people are attracted and run behind by any shiny object they see, only to waste time and achieve nothing in the end.
Then there are times when we really want to say NO, but because we are too worried about what people will think, we don’t gather up the courage to refuse them.
Just remember that:
- You don’t have to please everyone.
- Not every opportunity is for you.
16. Turn Off Social Media Notifications
Go to your phone settings > Sounds & Notifications > App Notifications and turn off the notifications for all the social media apps you use. Whatsapp, facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc. everything.
Don’t let notifications of who liked your post, or who shared what, distract and interrupt you the entire day.
Instead, set a specific time when you’ll manually access the app and check your social media activity.
You’ll be surprised at how peaceful and in control you feel as you turn your notifications off.
17. Systematize & Organize Your Everyday Low-Value Tasks
Make a specific system and sequence for your everyday routine tasks and chores – the low-value tasks – so you don’t have to stress about them, and you can focus your mental energy more on the high value, growth-oriented tasks that require your creativity.
18. Use Technology To Make Your Life Simpler, Not Complex
Technology can be used either way. To make your life complex (as we discussed earlier) or to make it easier and simpler.
A lot of things can be automated nowadays through technology. Look into what things can you automate.
Plus there are a lot of apps to help you organize your routine, set reminders, track your goals and progress, automatically sync data across your other devices, and keep you in check.
Look into how you can utilize these resources for your benefit, growth, and learning.
19. Slow Down, Breathe And Stay Grounded
If you are feeling stressed and out of control, just pause for a moment, RELAX, slow down a bit. Draw your attention towards your breathing and take 3-5 deep deep breaths as you relax your chest and abdominal area.
Begin to feel your feet. Let go of any tension in your feet and relax. Then plant your feet firmly on the ground like the roots of a strong, powerful tree.
Notice the stress leaving your body and going into the ground while at the same time feel the calm and powerful energy being transferred from the earth into your body through your feet.
Let me know in the comments below how you felt doing this 🙂
20. Minimize Your Daily To-Do List
The reality is that our To-Do list will never end. We’ll always have so much to do.
It’s important to realize the most important tasks of the day and only include them in your daily To-Do list, and if you have time left or you get some spare time in between, you can give some time to those not-so-important tasks.
Simplify and minimize your daily To-Do list to around 5 most important tasks MAX!
Don’t include your routine chores in the list. You have to do them anyway, why stress about them.
21. Do One Thing At A Time Instead Of Multitasking
Our conscious mind can handle only a small amount of information at a time. Hence it is difficult to consciously pay attention to multiple things at one time.
You might be able to juggle between multiple tasks at a time, and sometimes it is actually required, especially the mindless routine tasks that do not require too much of our conscious attention.
But when it comes to the important, high-value things, such as spending quality time with loved ones, raising kids, learning something, practicing a skill, planning, and other things involving personal and professional development, it is important to un-occupy our mind from other things to be able to FOCUS solely on doing this ONE important thing with quality.
You feel a lot more relaxed and life is much simpler and easier.
22. Spend Some Time With Yourself, For Yourself
So much goes on in our lives yet we barely get a chance to mentally sort our life, analyze our matters, and think things through.
I cannot emphasize this enough that you must set a specific time to spend with yourself, FOR YOURSELF.
Utilize this “me-time” to ponder, analyze, and take care of your own self. Self-care is extremely important if you want to do well in life and have healthy relations with people.
One who does not have a good connection and a loving relation with their own self will find it quite difficult to have healthy, loving relations and connections with other people in their life.
Take some time out to sort the matters in your head and clear your mind completely. Spend a chunk of this “me-time” in prayers, meditation, and talking your matters and concerns out to God.
Let your emotions out in front of God and you’ll find that your mind feels lighter, clearer, and more relaxed.
23. Make A Planner
Take a journal and make it your planner. Set monthly and yearly goals.
Instead of carrying your goals around in your head, write them down. This will help you gain clarity as well as increasing your chances of actually accomplishing those goals.
Set 5 major yearly goals and 3 most important monthly goals. Then write the details down regarding those goals and how do you intend to achieve them.
24. Get Rid Of Things That Require High Maintenance
Look for things in your life that requires too much of your time to maintain.
If you feel like you have to spend too much of your mental/physical energy and have to go through unnecessary stress to be able to maintain those things, consider replacing them or getting rid of them entirely.
25. Declutter And Simplify Your Computer & Mobile Devices
Is your smartphone or computer overflowing with data and tons of apps that you don’t even use anymore? If so, take some time out to sort your digital devices out.
Most of us spend a significant chunk of our time either on our smartphones or computers. If they are all cluttered and overflowing with tons of data and apps, it will influence the state of our mind.
Close unused tabs, delete unused apps and organize your device storage.
26. Only Shop For Things You Really NEED (Control Your Consumerism)
Nowadays, with so many things out there to spend money on, we are tempted to buy things that we don’t actually need. In the ever-increasing culture of consumerism, we must learn to control our urges and temptations.
Consumeristic/Materialistic mindset can quickly lead to hoarding stuff, further cluttering our homes and workplaces, and increasing subconscious-stress of maintaining all those things that we are accumulating in our lives.
Be more mindful of where you are spending your money and consciously process your thoughts before buying anything that is outside of your need.
27. Simplify Your Commuting
If you live in a crowded city where there’s a lot of traffic and you find your daily drive to work too draining, consider using public transport or uber.
It will lessen maintenance cost and hassle for your vehicle and you will have some free time during your commute which you can utilize by reading a good book, listening to an intellectual podcast, planning out your day ahead, or just simply use that time to reflect, ponder, analyze and meditate.
28. Fix Your Sleep Schedule To Get The Most Out Of Your Day
One of the keys to having a productive day and having enough time for your targeted tasks is to fix your sleep schedule.
If you want to simplify and get your life back on track, make it a priority to get your sleep timings on track first. Check out my other article where I have discussed 7 important tips that will help you bring your sleep schedule to a natural pattern of rising and going to bed early:
29. Simplify Your Wants & Desires
Worldly desires and wants if left uncontrolled can make our lives infinitely complex.
The more worldly and materialistic desires you have, the more you feel a sense of scarcity, of not having enough.
If we don’t have those worldly things we desire, we tend to have inner insecurities and an inferiority complex. Then when we finally have them, it often tends to get us into a sense of superiority.
The pleasure we get from fulfilling our material/worldly desires is very short-lived. When that sense of pleasure is over, we begin to chase something else.
It is an endless loop that consumes the entire lives of so many people. Keeping them hypnotized in this constant race-rat driven by desires and trends.
When you simplify your wants and desires, strangely you get to enjoy life more and be at more peace and harmony.
30. Learn To Let-Go
You can’t live a life of freedom if you are unconsciously carrying the baggage of the past in your mind.
A clear, simple, and peaceful mind is free from the burdens of the past. It enjoys the present and looks forward towards the good that is about to come up ahead in life.
Learn more on how to move on and let go of the past in my in-depth guide:
31. Learn To Accept And Move Forward
Some things in life are in our control and some things aren’t. Sometimes life goes according to our plans and expectations, sometimes it doesn’t.
Often times when things don’t go our way, we tend to resist them on an unconscious level, almost in a state of denial. This creates further disharmony and gets us in a stuck state.
A proactive way to deal with such phases is to first fully accept and acknowledge whatever is happening and then simply focus your attention towards the solution and whatever can be done to make things better.
32. What’s Your ONE Most Important Task For Today?
Once you have set your yearly and monthly goals and minimized your daily To-Do list (as we discussed above), what is that ONE thing that you need to do TODAY to move towards the accomplishment of your bigger visions and goals?
When we get too consumed by smaller routine tasks, we tend to neglect the more important tasks that really push our lives forward towards growth and fulfillment in the long run.
Every day, bring your focus on the ONE most important task of the day that must work on TODAY!
33. Have Lots Of Empty Space
As you are organizing and decluttering your surroundings, aim towards having more clear empty space. More empty space on your desk, on the floor, and on any other surfaces in your surroundings.
Create a minimalistic environment around you, with lesser things in your sight. It will soothe your eyes and have a great influence on your thoughts.
34. Be a minimalist
Minimalism is not something you do, it’s an attitude, a way of thinking, a lifestyle.
This entire article is focused on guiding you towards simplicity and minimalism.
Use these ideas and become a true minimalist in every area of your life, and your life will transform to become simpler and flow freely like a breeze.
With this simplistic/minimalistic attitude, you’ll be able to handle life challenges calmly and proactively. It will be much easier to come to solutions and grow out of the problems.