If your life is hectic and you would like to a regain a little bit of calm, here are ten things you can start doing. No new purchases required.
1. Sort out your email system
Stop receiving catalogs and junk mail that add no value to your life. This is especially important if you check your mail first thing in the morning. Ask yourself if you really want to be sold stuff first thing in the morning. Take five minutes to unsubscribe from mailing lists every time you check your mail.
2. Edit your files and documents
Recycle any papers that you no longer need. Put away your important documents in one place, scan them just in case you lose them. You can put them in a flameproof box if you want. Also, set a reminder to backup your files on your computer. I backup my computer every Wednesday only because I have an automatic reminder.
Set a reminder to grab a bag and pick up everything that you no longer need. Then either trash, recycle, upcycle, sell or donate the appropriately.
4. Figure out what is important to you
Once you are clear with what is important to you, you’ll stop being pulled in different directions. A good way to get clear on these things is write down three to five things that are super important to you in life. Read them every day. If you have people, activities, or a career pulling you far away from your important things ask yourself if you can plan to shift away from them.
5. Do similar things together
Schedule to do similar tasks together. By doing this, you’ll be able to get things done quicker and leave time for more activities that you like. For example on Wednesdays I clean the house, do the washing, and then back up my computer. Once these things are done the rest of the week is almost chore free and I can work on more important things without feeling guilty.
6. Learn to say no more often
If you are already stressed out and busy stop saying yes to be nice. Learn to value your time. Respect the goals and commitments that you have already made to yourself. If you overload yourself you won't able to do things that you really want because you have overcommitted yourself. If you have the option to say no to things that aren't in line with what is important to you say no.
7. Clean out your wallet
Keep only what you need to in your wallet. Is it full of receipts? Why? If you have to keep the receipts have a system where you have a dedicated place to keep the receipts and keep them out of your wallet. Oh, and get rid of loyalty cards that only make you want to spend more.
8. Create a Most Important Things (MIT) list
Before you finish your working day (another option is to do this before bed) make a list of three most important things that you would like to accomplish the next. Be realistic with your goals and if you end up writing a long list choose only three from it. When you wake up the next morning you'll wake up knowing exactly what to work on whilst swiftly avoiding few hours of rationalisation that can happen when deciding what to do. After just a day, you'll notice how doing the important stuff first helps you feel less stressed and make time later on for less important tasks.
9. Have a “no noise” day regularly
On this day turn off the TV, put away the computers, silence your phones and instead listen to your friends, family, and nature. The noises from these machines affect our stress level, give yourself a day away from distractions.
You might just surprise your family and friends by actually paying attention to them without any interruptions. If you are alone surprise yourself by listening to your thoughts, you'll get to know yourself a little bit better.
10. Be grateful for what you already have and learn to do without certain extras in life
Do you have a roof over your head? Healthy food? Clean water? A warm shower and clothes that are comfortable? That’s wonderful. Practice gratitude for what you already have. Often we are always striving for more we forget that we have so much already. Plus remember that the more you want the more money you have to earn, the more you have to work, and more upkeep you have to do. Having a low maintenance life frees you from all the must-haves.
Now to you, what do you do when you notice your life becoming increasingly busy and stressful? Which one of these ways seems most appealing to you? Let me know.
With love and simplicity,