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How to simplify your life - Part 2

By Edited Jul 9, 2016 4 25

I received a comment on one of my older articles this morning and realised that since I wrote that article a lot of things in my life have changed. I was scanning through the article on how to simplify your life and thought that there are several things I can add in addition to the article where my life has become simpler.

Why I choose to simplify my life

For many people it is important to be able to do the things they want to do, but when you are swamped with work or have other stressors working in on your life, you rarely have time to focus on what is important in your life.

I choose to simplify my life to enable me to have the time and do the things I want to do. Even though I am not where I want to be I'm working on it, it is a learning process. I also think it is more a journey, than a destination. When you reach the one goal you realise that there are other things that you can also change or improve on.

Here are some more tips for simplifying your life:

1. Clean out your house

Go through your cupboards and your garage and clear out everything that is non-essential or anything that you haven't used in the past year. Clean it out and make space for new things.

Now, don't throw that stuff away. Sell it, to second-hand stores or car boot sales. You will be amazed at what people are willing to pay for your junk.

I did this a couple of months ago and made enough money to pay all my living expenses for a whole month. As a bonus I have more space and less clutter in my home.

Once you have cleared everything, do it again. You will be amazed at home many things you could have gotten rid off in the first place and didn’t.

2. Get rid of debt

Debt is something that only complicates your life. It is also something that forces you to work for someone.

Many people believe that they work for their boss, but they are actually working for their banks. Have you ever gone into your bank and begged for a loan or found that the staff made you feel as if you don't belong there. You’re not worthy. I know I have and I have put a stop to that.

Believe me, it doesn't matter who your boss is, if you have debt you are working for the person or company from whom you borrowed. You can rarely negotiate with them.

 Debt not only creates a lot of stress, but also forces you to do what everybody else is doing and that is to work for a boss. This takes you away from living your life the way you want to live it.

Draw up a financial plan and work to get out of debt. Even if you have to sell your car and buy something cheaper, go do it. Other people might have the perception that you are not as rich as they are, but you don’t need a lot of debt just to keep up appearances and compete with the neighbourhood attention seekers.

3. Have one email inbox

If you are anything like me, you will have several email accounts. I found it very tiring checking and responding to emails on all these accounts and sometimes even forgot to check some of my accounts. This created a lot of stress and caused me to not work as effectively as I could have.

My solution was simple. I use Microsoft's Outlook and all my email accounts use either Gmail or Google Apps.

I now download my emails from all my accounts into Outlook and spend a set time every day going through all of my emails. I decided immediately what I want to do with an email.

Delete, follow up or reply.

When I am done with it I delete it. Gmail allows me to download and then archive my emails for me with a simple setting.  Therefore I always have it backed up, just in case I need it.

This helps me work through my inbox on a daily basis and get to every email that needs action.

 4. Have an inbox

I used to have stacks of paper and stuff that required my attention in boxes on the floor or on my table, the type of things that I never get around to clearing up. We all have these stacks; sometimes they are stacked in an in tray or a box or simply on the floor next to your table.

I'm talking here about the stuff that is there for months on end and simply seems to be going nowhere.

Without us realising it this kind of clutter also creates stress. The kind of stress where you know you have to do something with it, but don't know what to do.

My solution to this problem was to create an inbox for my table. I designated a drawer as the inbox and every time I have something that I'm done with, I dump it into that drawer. At a set time during the day or week I clear it out by going through every item in the drawer and processing it.

When you start out with this it can look like a very daunting task. The best advice I can give is to dump everything in there and take some time to clear it out. Don't pressure yourself into doing it right now.

Schedule an hour or 15 minutes every day and sort it out, one by one. It’s out of sight and out of mind, but it still gets done.

5. Have a routine

This is something I'm currently working on more consistently. Human beings have the ability to do anything they're minds can conceive, but I have found people need some sort of routine in their lives.

Routine enables us to move forward with goals or just takes some decisions out of your hands, since you have already made those decisions in the past.

When we were younger we went to school five days a week. We awoke approximately the same time every morning and went to sleep the same time every night.

This helped us get the required rest and also helped us form a routine where we did not have to worry about when we are going to bed or when we were getting up.

Because of this routine other routines were also prevalent and that helped us get through school and onto other things in our lives.

Being self employed you make your own hours and although this is a good thing it can also be a bad thing. The hours you work can easily become out of control and going to bed at 4am and getting up at 8am does not necessarily work well with your body.

I have found over the last couple of weeks that when I give my life some sort of routine, even as simple as just going to bed and reading for an hour, I have more energy and direction to focus on other important things.

Look for things in your life you can turn into a routine, it doesn't mean it has to become dull just because it is a routine. Routines will help you learn a new language or skill. Routines will also help you take control of your life and help you get things done on a daily basis.



Jul 28, 2011 8:38am
Wonderful article. Human beings are creatures of structure and routine, and as you say, introducing order into your life doesn't need to be tedious or dreadful. As Henry David Thoreau and spiritual greats throughout the ages have said, "simplify, simplify" is the key to happiness.
Aug 11, 2011 6:30pm
Simplify have become my motto. Thanks for the comment.
Jul 29, 2011 7:55am
Great article! Very well done. It is something everyone of us can do and that is to KISS ( keep it simple stupid! ) Thank you for the tips how to simplify. Are there more tips to come?
Aug 11, 2011 6:31pm
Thank you. Yes, there are more tips to come. I will have to write up another article soon.
Aug 2, 2011 6:40am
Nice article. Definitely striving to make my life simplier.
Aug 11, 2011 6:31pm
Thanks. Keep it up. Constant and never ending improvement!
Aug 3, 2011 9:41pm
I love this article. It is so true that introducing order into our lives is indeed a lifesaver! Great job.
Aug 11, 2011 6:33pm
Thank you.

I have to agree. The routines I have set in my life and the rules I create on a daily basis to keep things simple help me tackle the bigger more important things, like my dreams. It helps me stay focused on what is really important in my life.
Aug 7, 2011 9:47am
It very essential for make simple our life. If we can make our life simple, it will be comfortable.
Aug 11, 2011 6:35pm
Comfortable is good, but the simplicity in your life gives you the opportunity to focus your energy on pursuing your dreams.
Aug 8, 2011 4:16pm
Yes, having a routine most of the time does help to live a less stressful life. Having a routine keeps me organized and being organized helps me not feel so stressed. Of course being out of debt completely is a goal of mine but paying off that debt each month. Not having the huge debt I use to has helped the stress disappear too. Good article and enjoyed the read. Get yourself on a routine because it does help. Simplify.
Aug 11, 2011 6:40pm
I used to have several bank accounts and just working through my budget every month took me at least 2 hours in planning and another 2 hours in executing.

Doing small things every day have a massive impact in the future because every improvement builds on the improvements of the day before.

Aug 10, 2011 10:15am
All good advice. Thanks!
Aug 11, 2011 6:36pm
Thank you!
Aug 10, 2011 9:48pm
Thank you for your share,it's really a wonderful post.
Aug 11, 2011 6:36pm
Aug 11, 2011 3:07am
so all i have to do is write a whole bunch of articles like this and i MIGHT get paid
Aug 11, 2011 6:43pm
The best advice I can give you is to read what other Infobarrel writers have done. Some are successful others are not, and develop your own way to approach the site to make money and serve others with your knowledge.
Aug 11, 2011 12:17pm
Really helpful, thanks sawriter.
Aug 11, 2011 6:36pm
My pleasure. Thank you.
Aug 12, 2011 10:13am
Thanks for the helpful advice!!
Aug 12, 2011 11:48am
Thanks for commenting!!
Aug 12, 2011 6:17pm
Very good tips. apart from keeping my house clean I am very bad with all your other points, i have 4 different emails and not a clear daily routine.
Aug 12, 2011 6:17pm
Very good tips. apart from keeping my house clean I am very bad with all your other points, i have 4 different emails and not a clear daily routine.
Sep 10, 2011 1:17am
Great article, sawriter! I am constantly trying to simplify my life and you have given me a couple new ways to do that. Thanks.
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