12 Tiny Ways to Simplify Your Life.
If I could go back in time and teach my younger self some life lessons, “keep things simple” would be the first one. That’s because I genuinely believe a simple life is a good life.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be a little extra or enjoy things or experiences that are special. It’s more about your everyday life.
Most people make their lives so much harder than needed. They often choose the difficult path because they’re so used to facing struggles and don’t even expect to live with ease.
I hate that feeling of exhaustion at the end of a busy day or week, so I constantly try to implement new habits and rules that allow me to keep things simple.
Here’s what has helped me most so far:
You might need more of this
When I started my first business, I was a 19- year-old student and had no idea what I was doing. I had to try many things to figure out what I really wanted to do and achieve. So I ended up working on most weekends, holidays, and late at night almost every day.
Today, I do the contrary. I love listening to my body and taking breaks.
I often see people rushing from one appointment to the other, closing one Zoom session and joining the next.
There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and hardworking, but the truth is, little breaks are essential to staying productive and sane.
If you’re a hardworking person, I even suggest putting “take a break” on your daily to-do list.
I love my daily coffee break in the afternoon, but in the past, I often skipped it because I had “work to do.” So I started to put it on my to-do list and calendar to ensure I don’t skip it.
The harsh truth is nobody ever tells us to take things slow. Most of the time, we want to do more and run faster to compete with others. But that eternal race often becomes toxic and exhausting.
Taking small breaks, however, helps you slow down and see things more clearly.
“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.”
— Doe Zantamata
Looking good doesn’t need to be hard
A simple life means you don’t have many decisions to make. And one of the easiest choices to eliminate from your daily life is what to wear.
In the past, I used to purchase all sorts of fancy clothes for “special days.” Now, I only buy clothes I truly like and can wear on “normal” days.
That way, it’s easier to have an outfit ready quickly. As a bonus, I know I’ll feel good wearing it.
Simple food is better for you too
Talking about fewer decisions…one of the most rewarding habits I ever implemented is meal prepping.
I don’t cook often, but when I do, I cook in bulk to save time and have food ready for at least two days.
I also have a curated list of simple and healthy meals that I prepare frequently. That way, I don’t need to think much about what to cook and can save time and brainpower.
On top of that, making healthy choices is way easier when you prepare meals and snacks in advance.
Rethink the way you work
In addition to batching meal prepping, I also love to batch other tasks in my life and business.
For instance, I only reply to emails once per day max.
If I have to shoot videos, I record one after the other without doing anything else in between. The same is true for any other tasks I repeatedly do.
At first, batching your work can seem hard because you need to figure out how exactly to do it and which tasks to combine. But once you’ve done that initial work, it’ll help you save so much time and brainpower.
Beat your biggest enemy
If used correctly, technology can make our lives better. Most of the time, however, our tiny devices make us feel exhausted and drained.
If you want to have a clear mind, spend less time scrolling through social media apps and admiring other people’s lives. Instead, use that time to take a few deep breaths, listen to your favorite music, or read an inspiring book.
Sometimes, improving your life can be as easy as that.
I hate carrying a heavy purse when leaving the house. It’s uncomfortable, causes back pain, and 99.9 % of the time, the additional items I carry with me are useless.
That’s why I empty my purse and wallet at least once per week.
I do the same for my desk and other places at home that tend to get messy quickly. At the end of each week, I make sure to remove all post-it notes, receipts, and other items that piled up during the week.
This activity takes me less than five minutes per week but helps me stay and feel organized.
Don’t even try to do this
The worst thing you can do to your brain is try to multitask. We often think of multitasking as doing multiple things simultaneously, but your brain is really just jumping from one task to the other.
That way, you end up feeling exhausted way quicker, plus you can’t really give your best at any of the things you do.
Radical focus is a massively underrated path to simplicity. If you want to get more done, worry less, and stay mindful, stick to a strict “no multitasking” policy.
“Multitasking is the ability to screw everything up simultaneously.”
— Jeremy Clarkson
Limit this enemy too
I hate notifications… so I just don’t use them.
On my laptop, all notifications are muted. I open my email program once per day tops, check the inbox and close it.
I’m part of multiple Slack spaces, but instead of keeping those tabs open all the time, I open them 2–3 times per week, check the notifications, and close them.
I do the same for all other applications.
On my phone, I only receive notifications for incoming calls and private text messages from a handful of people. All WhatsApp groups are muted too.
You can think of each push notification as a little distractor that disturbs your focus and clarity. The fewer you receive, the simpler your life will be.
Life is better when you own fewer things.
Constantly buying new stuff doesn’t only burden your purse; it’s also exhausting and overwhelming.
Instead of mindlessly wasting your money, focus on only purchasing items you truly need or love. Before each purchase, ask yourself:
Will I use it?
Do I love it?
If your answer is no, leave it at the store (or in your virtual shopping cart).
Also, make sure to keep an ongoing shopping list for groceries and products you use daily, such as soap, shampoo, or toilet paper.
I use an app, so I always have it handy when I want to add an item. That way, I never forget to buy something we need at home.
Whenever you decide to buy something because you need or love it, ask yourself if you can get rid of another item.
E.g., if you buy a new pair of shoes, get rid of an old pair you’re not wearing anymore. This helps you ensure you don’t end up with tons of things just because you can’t let go of them.
Digital reminders are your best friend
I keep my life simple by minimizing the things I have to think about.
My work as an entrepreneur and content creator mostly consists of thinking anyway, so I don’t want to think about too many unnecessary things in my daily life.
Instead, I use digital reminders.
Everything I ever need to do is either in my calendar or on my digital to-do list. My list even includes birthdays and reminders to catch up with friends. You may call it over-organized. I call it effective and simple.
Have a designated spot for almost everything
I hate losing things or wasting time looking for stuff I use frequently. That’s why I have a designated spot for pretty much everything I use in my daily life.
When I come home, I put my keys in the same place. When I’m done with work, I know exactly where to put my headphones, pens, and planners. And when I finish a workout, I automatically put my water bottle in the right place, so I don’t have to look for it the next day.
Sometimes, simplifying your life can be as simple as creating some basic rules for yourself.
There are thousands of ways to improve yourself and your life.
Every expert you meet will tell you a different story about why their area of expertise is the most relevant one.
But what I discovered in the last years is that the small things add up too.
Taking more breaks, purchasing less, and limiting your screen time are no magic pills.
You don’t need an “expert” to help you do these things. Yet, if you do them consistently, you might experience a simpler and better life.
Of course, big life changes can be nice. But sometimes, activities that take us less than five seconds to complete can lead to a better life too.
You don’t always need magic pills, costly tools, and expert advice. Just do the simple things consistently.
CONTRIBUTED BY Sinem Günel