Work is crazy. Your kids are fighting. The bills keep coming. Your beloved toaster just blew up and some idiot almost ran you off the road on your way home from the shops. Arghhhhh! You come home and the house is a mess. You can’t find the bill that you’re sure is now overdue. And you’ve committed yourself to too many events this coming weekend. No chance for a rest then either!
Maybe it’s time you learnt how to simplify your life and be happier!
When You Know Change Is Needed
It’s all getting a bit too much. You are feeling run down and you know your wellbeing is suffering because life is far from simple right now.
There are moments in life when it feels like you are being hit with one hurdle after another. Sometimes you feel like you are at your breaking point because you can’t seem to get a break.
Feeling overwhelmed leads to feeling stressed and this is not a healthy state to be in long term.
You know something has got to give… but where to start? This is where simplifying your life will help!
How To Simplify Your Life Easily
Ready to learn how to simplify your life so you can avoid the dreaded burnout?
Here are some of my favourite ways on how to simplify your life and be happy in your day-to-day routines, and how I get back on track after a series of mishaps.
1. Get Organised
Think back to a time when you misplaced something at home. You spent far too long trying to find it, which was not only a major time-waster but also very stressful and frustrating. Not a great way to end an already busy, long day.
Make your life easier by getting organised at home and work, and by creating functional systems and processes to streamline your time.
There are so many ways you can get organised at home, from creating storage systems that make it easy to find the items you need or using a daily planner to keep track of everything you need to do.
Also, ensure you always put things where they belong and avoid creating clutter hot spots at home. This will save you stress later on.
Here are some of my best organisation tips to get you started:
- Life admin tasks to help you stay organised
- Getting started with using a planner
- How to simplify your before school routine
- How to reduce cleaning time at home
- How to create a cleaning schedule
- Cleaning hacks everyone should know
2. Reduce Clutter
Too much stuff looks messy but it can also make you feel icky. On the flip side, a clear space can help create a clear mind by eliminating unnecessary clutter from your home. It can also be very cleansing to declutter your home.
Having less means you need less time to keep your home organised. Plus you are less likely to feel a huge sense of stress and overwhelm every time you need to clean up.
You can start small since our goal is to reduce your stress right now!
Try these ideas for things you can declutter quickly in your home, straight away. You will also find these 10-minute decluttering tasks are manageable when you are short on time.
You don’t have to become a minimalist with just a few possessions to embrace clutter-free living. Freeing up more space in your home will make a huge difference, no matter how big or small you choose to go.
My 30-day declutter challenge is a great way to stay focused and you will be amazed at how much less stuff and empty space you might be able to achieve, even without the intention of minimalism. It can also help you to shift your mindset away from buying more stuff to fill the gaps.
If you want to go all-in, the Kon Mari Japanese method of how simplifying your life and home is a powerful one, keeping only the important things that spark joy in your life. And we could all do with more joy in life! Grab the book:
3. Learn To Say No
It’s fine to say no!
Don’t feel like you need to do everything that everyone asks of you. We are only capable of so much, and they will understand when sometimes you have to say no.
Consider your current commitments before saying yes to things so you know you are really up for it.
Set healthy boundaries around your time and avoid taking on too much, only choosing the important stuff or the things that bring true value to your life.
This means making room in your life for the important things you really enjoy too which is an instant way to find yourself feeling less stressed.
This is where having a planner is a really useful way to manage your time. Your time is precious so use it wisely.
Find your perfect planner with the best planners for women
4. Give Yourself Down Time
We can’t be on the go non-stop. A break is necessary in order to function at our full capacity. Schedule downtime as part of your everyday routine. Take some time to chill out in front of the TV, read a book or just do absolutely nothing.
Whatever makes you feel relaxed and calm.
This is also where having relaxing hobbies can be really great for your well-being too. Note that I said relaxing! I’m not talking about competitive sports unless that does help you relax.
Things like art and craft, jogging or listening to audiobooks are great ways to give yourself ‘me time’ while still enjoying things you love.
So many of us women give up a lot of our hobbies once we get older, replacing them with long work hours or putting all our focus on our families. It’s essential for our wellbeing that we keep our own hobbies and interests too to make sure we don’t lose our personal identity.
Find over 150 hobby ideas for women with something for every interest and lifestyle in case you need some new fun ideas for your own life.
Being so connected to so many people 24 hours a day can be great, but it can also be detrimental to your well-being if you aren’t taking some time away from your technology.
Set some time each day when you are not checking phones or computers and other tech devices.
Mealtimes are a great time to disconnect, and also set a certain time each night when putting your devices aside until morning – especially if it is work-related. Work should never be an all-night thing, even if you work at home.
Taking a break from screen time is a great chance to spend time with other family members and it can be extremely calming to focus on less. The social media accounts and email inbox overflowing can wait until tomorrow.
I will admit this is one of my biggest personal challenges and to help keep myself on track, I have set up a downtime period on my iPhone to remind me. If your phone does not have this ability, set a nightly reminder instead.
6. Ask For Help
When things become overwhelming, it is okay to ask for help. Help can come in many forms, whether it be getting support on a work project, or having someone look after your kids for 2 hours.
Or it can come from within your home, with your partner putting the kids to bed some nights, or the kids tidying their own mess for a change. Anything that eases your load is a step to simplify your life.
If it is in your budget, you can also consider paid help with jobs around the home to free up more time.
Some examples of paid help you can arrange at home are:
- Hiring a cleaner to come once a week
- Having someone mow your lawns
- Using a washing and ironing service
- Hiring someone to assist with simple admin tasks if you work from home (a teenager looking for extra pocket money maybe)
7. Cut Back On Your Commitments
Much like learning to say no, it is important to lighten your load. And certain seasons of life require this more than others.
If you’re already stretched thin, it’s okay to remove something from your plate for a while. That might look like one fewer of your usual kids activities commitments through the week. Or it might look like not volunteering to help at an event your friend is organising.
8. Learn To Delegate
Whether it’s asking your partner to take on more around the house or hiring a virtual assistant for your business, delegation can help you free up some much-needed time. There are many things you can outsource to make your own life much easier.
9. Let Go Of Perfectionism
Stop trying to do everything perfectly and learn to accept that good enough is sometimes just fine.
Putting expectations on yourself to always have the house absolutely perfect or to be the best at work can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. If you can learn to let go of some of your perfectionist tendencies, it will make a big difference to your stress levels.
This doesn’t mean doing only the minimum, but it does mean being less critical of yourself.
10. Practice Self-Care
Make sure you are taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. This means eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.
It also means taking some time out for yourself every day to do something you enjoy. Self-care for you might be reading, going for a walk, or taking a yoga class
Make sure you are putting yourself first sometimes and not always putting everyone else’s needs before your own.
This can even be as simple as taking the time to eat slowly and enjoy an incredibly peaceful moment alone each day. A self-care journal can be a great way to keep you accountable!
11. Create Routines
Take a close look at your daily and weekly routines and see where you can streamline or eliminate certain tasks altogether.
Creating a morning routine is a great way of starting the day on the right foot and it can be a productive ritual for any household. When you establish routines and plan ahead, it can help you to save time and avoid last-minute rushing around.
Setting up other routines in your life will also help save you time and keep life simple, such as a regular cleaning routine or key habits that need to be done each day, such as quick tidy up as part of your evening routine.
There is no need for complex routines. Somethings simple habit stacking is all you need – for example, emptying the dishwasher while waiting for your kettle to boil in the morning. Or having a laundry system where everyone brings their clothes to the laundry on a Wednesday morning.
12. Set Realistic Goals
Don’t try to accomplish too much at once or set unrealistic goals for yourself. Start small and steady with goals and you’ll be more likely to stick with them long-term.
Rather than putting the pressure on yourself to drop 2 dress sizes in 3 months, you might focus on eating healthy each day or moving your body for 15 minutes every morning before work.
Having personal goals is important but as soon as your goal list gets too long, you are setting yourself up for failure. Even more than half a dozen goals is overwhelming so focus in on one or two big goals and the action steps you can take to get there.
13. Create A Household Budget
Money is one of the leading sources of stress for the average person. If you’re not in control of your finances, it can be tough to relax and enjoy life.
One way to take back control is to create a budget for your household. This will help you to see where your money is going each month and make changes where necessary. People who skip budgeting are the ones who often end up in a bad situation with their finances.
There are many helpful budgeting tools and apps available online to make the process easier and awesome tips for reducing your household expenses and improving your financial life.
14. Plan Your Meals
Another way to save time and save money is to plan your meals in advance. This can help you to avoid last-minute trips to the grocery store and make it easier to eat healthy meals.
If the thought of meal planning for the first time is overwhelming, it shouldn’t be.
There are many ways to make this process really easy, such as creating a master recipe list of all your family’s favourite easy meals. This way instead of putting pressure on yourself to always be cooking something new and exciting, you’ve got your favourites to plan around.
You might want to try batch cooking or meal prep on the weekends so you have food ready for the week ahead. We often cook large amounts and freeze some of the meals for later so we have quick options for busy nights.
Find lots of yummy freezer recipes to make.
15. Consolidate Errands And Appointments
Wherever possible, try to group errands and appointments together so you can make fewer trips out of the house (and save yourself some time and gas money in the process). Errand systems will greatly simplify your time.
This is where automation can be great too. If there is anything you can automate to simplify home tasks such as paying bills or scheduling appointments, limit phone calls you need to make or anything else you can automate.
Consider what can be delivered to save you time. Grocery shopping is one of those areas that can be great to do online, unless you enjoy the alone time of strolling the aisles.
16. Cut Down On Decision Fatigue
Decision fatigue is real, and it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out if you’re constantly having to make decisions throughout the day.
To combat this, make some decisions in advance whenever possible (e.g., pre-planning your outfit for the day or meal prep for the week) so you don’t have to waste time making decisions when you are short on time.
Another way you can do this is to greatly simplify your physical clutter and choices such as having a minimal wardrobe. This doesn’t mean wearing the same 7 outfits each week, but if you simplify your wardrobe by getting rid of anything you don’t wear or don’t like, it will make this decision much easier.
17. Be Mindful Of Your Possessions
Do you really need that new gadget or those shoes you just saw online? Learning how to curb impulse buys will help keep your life from feeling cluttered and reduce stress caused by overspending.
A minimalist lifestyle isn’t needed but more money into your savings account is sure to bring a little extra inner calm when it’s time for paying bills. You likely don’t need more stuff right now.
18. Move Your Body
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall health, but it doesn’t have to mean going to the gym for hours each day
Just making a commitment to move your body for 30 minutes a day, or even 15 minutes a day, whether that’s going for a walk, run, bike ride or doing a workout at home, can make a big difference.
If you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise, try working out with a friend or signing up for a class. Having someone counting on you to show up can make a big difference and the social aspect is a great way to strengthen your support network.
The key is to find the form of exercise you actually love so it doesn’t feel like hard work!
19. Have Fun
Last but not least, make sure you allow some time for fun! Life is too short to be all work and no play. Find things that bring you joy and make them a priority in your life
Some people love to travel, others enjoy playing sports or to spend time with friends and family. Whatever brings you happiness, make sure you find time to do it on a regular basis.
A simplified life is one filled with moments that bring us happiness! Your loved ones are a key part of your wellbeing.
Take time to connect with your kids and plan dedicated time to spend with your partner too. Plan a weekly or monthly date night together. This can even be a date night at home if you don’t have a sitter.
20. Get Enough Sleep
Most average adults need approximately 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Getting enough quality sleep can help improve mood, energy levels, happiness, productivity & concentration.
If you have trouble sleeping, limit electronics use before bed, establish a regular sleep schedule, avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening, and create a relaxing bedtime routine.
Investing in a great quality pillow and bedding will also help you create an extremely peaceful bedroom environment.
Morning and evening routines will help you wind down at night easier and start the day smoothly in the morning.
21. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing can help reduce stress & promote feelings of calmness & wellbeing. In the same way, a morning writing ritual in a journal is a great way to practice mindfulness and calm your mind.
Try incorporating one or more of these habits into your daily routine & see how they help with your inner simplicity. Adding a few zen habits into your life can simplify things greatly by creating space in your day.
22. Give Yourself Grace
Things will go wrong from time to time—that’s just life! Don’t beat yourself up over every little mistake or mishap; instead, give yourself some grace and know that everyone makes mistakes from time to time or things don’t turn out as planned.
Get my Home Management Binder Printables
You can get my home management binder kit – The Simplify My Life Home Management Binder printables HERE!
With over 80 pages of printables to help you manage your home and your life, this is the perfect way to create your home management binder – without having to make all the pages yourself!
This printable kit is undated so you can use the pages year after year and you can print them as often as you need them or skip a page if it isn’t relevant to you!
It includes all the family budgeting, meal planning, cleaning checklists, life planner, calendars, home maintenance and health pages to help you stay more organised at home!
How To Simplify Your Work Day
In order to simplify your work day, it is essential to plan your time so you can stay focused and organised in the workplace.
Just like other areas of your life, you can simplify work tasks by creating effective routines and batching related work tasks together. This might mean having a list of phone calls you need to make or having a paperwork system that allows you to work faster.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this is the time to do a brain dump and get everything that needs to be done out of your head and onto paper.
Make a to do list of the most important tasks you need to complete that day and use this simple system to plan each of your work days. You can never deny the power of effective to do lists!
This simple process helps to calm the mental clutter that is causing you to be less productive at work.
But make sure your list is a priority list and not full of time wasters and busy work that doesn’t move you forward. Too much multi tasking results in mistakes and overwhelm.
When You Are Still Struggling To Feel Happy
If you have implemented many of these great tips for simplifying your life, and you find yourself still struggling from day to day, it may be time to seek help beyond your personal network. Stress, anxiety and depression are common experiences that should not be ignored.
As our lifestyle becomes busier and our ability to fit more into each day seems to grow each year, we are also burning ourselves out at a much faster pace than ever before.
Along with greater connectivity, we sometimes feel more isolated, since connecting online forfeits real human interaction. These things all play a role in our ability to be happy.
By taking steps to simplify your life, you are improving your wellbeing in many small ways, which is a huge goal of this website and my passion not only in sharing how to simplify your personal life, but also what lead me to a career in psychology previously.
If you feel that you would benefit from more support, your local doctor is a great starting point, or visit one of these fantastic online resources:
- Beyond Blue – Australia
- Anxiety and Depression Organisation of America – USA
- Mind – UK
What are some of your favourite ways to simplify life? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear them! And share this post to Pinterest via the image below! Be sure to follow me on Facebook or YouTube for more healthy lifestyle tips like these!
Wednesday 16th of September 2015
Thanks so much Lisa. Could not agree with you more. We are by far our own worse enemies sometimes when it comes to our wellbeing!
Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy
Tuesday 15th of September 2015
A really great reminder, thanks Holly. I wrote a post last week about the art of saying no and swear by it, it's the best way not to overcommit.
Wednesday 16th of September 2015
Absolutely. Although I'm on the opposite scale of things. I'm far too good at saying no & should probably say yes more often haha have been working on it ;)
Sunday 13th of September 2015
So much yes to all of this. The clutter and overcommitting are big ones, and they are the two I am most adept at. I am still shithouse at accepting help but I've been able to reduce the load in other ways. Great post!
Wednesday 16th of September 2015
Thanks lovely. It can often be the case of if you want it done right, do it yourself. I'm guilty of a bit of that... But also good at holding my ground until hubby steps up (or when I have a tantrum about his lack of effort hahah). It can take time to let go of the reigns though!
Thursday 10th of September 2015
A well written article, thanks for sharing! And a very worthy day! :) xx
Thursday 10th of September 2015
Thank you Anita. It's amazing what difference some small changes can make x