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15 Ways to Simplify Your Life

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

In terms of your to-do list: simple begets easy, easy begets accomplished, accomplished begets having time to do all of that other stuff you really wanted to do.  Here are some ideas to get you started saving that most precious commodity: time. 

1. Unsubscribe from junk emails.

It is easy to just hit the delete button, but that’s not solving the problem.  Just scroll to the bottom of the email and look for the tiny tiny unsubscribe button.  Save yourself the trouble of sifting through your junk box for an important email or switching addresses all together.

2. Set up automatic bill pay.

Living in small towns for the past 2 years has made me miss this one.  Pay your bills on time all the time?  Yes please.  If you like to know the exact moment your bill gets paid, many companies offer email notifications when the payment is drafted. 

3. Opt for electronic statements.

I feel like I’m getting more than just a bank statement nowadays.  I’m getting envelopes, return envelopes, fliers, advertisements, oh my!  Many banks are also starting to charge for paper statements.  Save your space and money.  Do it now. 

4. Adopt the 4+ Text Rule.

A friend suggested this one recently and it really does save you time.  If a text conversation requires more than 4 messages back and forth, just make the call.  Consider how much extra time is added to the conversation when you factor in typing and waiting for responses.   

5. Keep track of your budget automatically.

What’s the one thing that everyone’s worried about?  Money, duh.  Automate your budget and keep track of your spending using your computer.  Oh, off the top of my head, there’s Quicken ($35), Mint.com (free), and your bank may even offer some sort of expense tracking tool like the one at USAA (free). 

6. Get rid of the piles.

This is a bit hypocritical of me because I am sitting next to a pile right now.  It’s staring at me. Judging me.  Not to worry, at 12:00 that pile is going down while I eat my sandwich. 

7. Clean out that thing.

Your refrigerator, your purse, your closet, whatever.  Pick the thing that’s been weighing on your mind the most and tackle it.  Tackle it!  Oh, and don’t try and do everything at once; you’ll poop yourself out and quit altogether.  This chaos didn’t happen in a day (or maybe it did, I don’t know you), it’s going to take some time to achieve simplicity. 

8. Talk to your spouse.

I’m not talking about staying up until 2a.m. talking about your favorite foods like you did when you first started dating.  Coordinate, plan, plot; that way you can tackle the day to day tasks as a team; a super-organized, synced, efficient team.

9. STOP after dinner.

Lately Husband and I have found ourselves creeping back to work-type items after dinner.  We’ve resolved (I resolved, Husband has too but doesn’t know it yet) to turn off the computers, leave the iPhones in the chargers, just reduce the media and allow our bodies to actually relax and recharge.  I’m anticipating major productivity improvements.

10. Write it down.

Get that to-do list down on paper.  It will make prioritizing easier and things seem less overwhelming; not to mention the rush you’ll get when you cross something off. 

11. Contain your excitement. 

My friends will tell you that I love containers.  They might even tell you that I have a container problem.  My friends really need to mind their own business.  Let me just put this thought in your mind: pencil boxes.  They can keep clutter organized and together and they’re only 79 cents!  Also, the Container Store is a very magical place, but highly overpriced.  Wal-Mart and Target are your best bets for saving on storing. 

12. Edit your TiVo settings.

We have too many things being recorded and it’s freaking me out.  It’s another obligation on my to-do list.  Why re-watching episodes of Wipeout is on my to-do list, I have no idea.  Delete. 

13. Do your meal planning and grocery shopping all at once. 

Making multiple runs to the store during the week can really take a chunk out of your after-work hours.  Take the stress out of foraging for dinner on a weeknight. 

14. Back away from new projects.

Stressed?  That’s because you have too much on your plate.  Refrain from taking on anything new until you have your current obligations under control.

15. Buy a scanner and scan things. 

This may cause a little panic because paper is tangible and comfortable, but it’s only a suggestion.  Reduce your paper build-up by keeping electronic copies of things that don’t require an original or hard copy.  If you’re not sure, keep it of course; we don’t want anyone shredding the title to their car now do we?


Share your simple ideas.

Article publié pour la première fois le 27/07/2010