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.