With so much time, money and general life stress in the modern world, many people across the globe are looking for ways to simplify their lives in a bid to live a happier, more stress-free existence. So what are some ways to achieve this ideal goal?
We’ll take a look at some key ways to live a more simple life in this post. This list is in no particular order of importance.
#1 – Downsizing Your Home
There are many good reasons to downsize your home, and one of the most popular ones is finances. Bigger homes simply cost more all round. Big mortgages, higher utility and living experiences, upkeep, cleaning and so on.
Moving into an apartment or a smaller house will definitely save you money and cut back on expenses. If you can massively reduce your mortgage debt, then that’s a huge burden lifted off your shoulders.
Living smaller also means there are less household chores to do. Sure, you still need to clean and tend to lawns and gardens (although not if you live in an apartment), but having a smaller house and land means it takes nowhere near as long.
This all adds up to you having more disposable time and income to get out there and truly enjoy life rather than simply spending all your time and money on your home.
And that’s a major deal.
Downsizing is in full swing just about everywhere these days, and it’s a trend that’s not likely to abate.
#2 – Focus On Experiences and Not Possessions
So many of us are caught up in the seemingly endless loop of material gain. We’re bombarded through our senses with what’s the latest gadget, what to buy, sales and so on. TV and the internet are constantly putting offers in front of our noses.
We feel compelled to buy this and pursue that, thinking the more material possessions we can acquire, the happier our lives will be.
We’re even willing to get into debt for even small things by using credit cards and store credit.
Where does it all end and does it really make us more happy?
There’s nothing wrong with owning stuff, but life is primarily about living, having experiences and adventures. If we tie up all our time and money in the pursuit of material gain, we often lose sight of how to just break free and get out there and enjoy what’s around us already.
You are far more likely to have fond memories of an experience you enjoyed rather than something you might have owned years ago.
It’s all a matter of achieving a healthy life balance, and the best way to do that is to train your thoughts on things you can do rather than what you can own next. Then you can weigh up which is more important at the time.
#3 – Declutter Your Life
This is something you will definitely want to do if you plan to downsize your home and move into something smaller, but even if you aren’t planning a move, getting rid of clutter and junk is a fantastic way of simplifying your life and doing a bit of spring cleaning in the process.
Go from room to room and certainly get rid of anything that’s obvious junk. Other stuff could be sold or given away. You could hold a weekend garage sale or yard sale to make some extra cash from items you no longer want or need.
Maybe stuff that’s still useable, but feel you don’t want to sell, you could give to people you know or donate to a charity store.
“Out with the old and in with the new” is the motto here. This doesn’t mean replace all your old, unwanted stuff with new versions, although you might with some of it. It’s really about reducing your possessions and whittling them down to what you really do want and need.
You’ll find there’s something really positive and refreshing about this decluttering process too. In a small way it helps to declutter your mind and thinking as well, which is always a good thing.
#4 – Take Time Out To Enjoy What’s Around You
This follows the “take time to smell the roses” principle.
We can get so caught up with doing task after task, working and achieving that we forget to take some time out for ourselves, firstly so we can physically and psychologically recharge, but also so we can actually have the presence of mind to truly appreciate all the wonderful things around us.
Make it a point to take regular walks, even if it’s just around your neighborhood. Drink in any sights and smells that are pleasing. Appreciate the simple beauty of a sunrise or sunset. Get out and about.
While humans in the modern world naturally like to go after goals and get things done, we aren’t machines.
#5 – Prioritize What’s Most Important To You
There’s nothing more stressful than putting all your time and energy into stuff that really doesn’t matter that much. You might even think it matters, but maybe it really doesn’t if you take the time to analyse it.
That’s what this section is about – Taking time out to prioritise the things in your life and work out what’s really important to you. and what is worth your valuable time and energy and what’s not.
You’ll need to deliberately set aside some quiet time specifically for this purpose. Maybe start out by making a list of the common day to day things you do that consume your time and energy. Once you’ve written the list, write a number next to each entry from 1-10. 1 being the lowest priority with 10 being the highest.
Now write out another list of things you don’t do (or don’t do very often) but would like to be doing.
If you can devalue or even cross off the low importance stuff on your first list, you’ll then have the space (the time) to add in some of the things from your second list.
We all have to spend time doing stuff and taking care of things that we might not particularly find enjoyable, but often we’ll also waste a lot of time on stuff that’s just not important, time that we could devote to those things that truly are.
#6 – Don’t Try and Fill Every Minute of Your Day
This really relates back to point #4 about taking time out. However, if you schedule each day to be completely full of tasks, work and chores, you actually won’t have a few spare minutes to take time out.
It’s great to be productive, but learn to be flexible with your time, understand that not everything has to get done right now and that your “inbox” will never be empty.
In reality, filling up all of your time with tasks is counterproductive, as you end up suffering burnout and sometimes forget how to just kick back and enjoy life.
Even practice just doing nothing occasionally. This will help you learn how to relax. Maybe even learn some meditation techniques to clear the mind and soul.
#7 – Learn To Say “NO”
Saying yes to everything and everyone leads to a very busy, complicated, hectic and stressful existence.
There is true power in saying no, and it gives you power over your life and how you want to live it.
Every time someone asks something of you, like a favour or to go somewhere and so on, consider what’s being asked and only say yes to the things that you want to say yes to, or feel that you can take care of without it consuming every minute of your time.
But don’t be afraid to say no.
#8 – Disassociate Yourself From Technology
The technological age is fantastic in many respects, but it can certainly be very addictive too. All this looking at screens day and night can do your head in without you even realising it.
We all need to have some time where we “switch off” from the world and all the technology at our fingertips.
To live a more simple and stress-free life, we need to know when it’s time to shut down, and that includes our minds and our thinking. It’s virtually impossible to do this staring at a computer or phone screen for hours.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this post, it might be time to shut down the computer, tablet or smartphone you are using and take a well earned break.