10 Ways I've Simplified My Life

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Since discovering and embracing the power of minimalism I have come to appreciate all the ways my life has become simpler. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted all the time, I feel in control of my life and am enjoying the extra time I have created. 

Many of the ways I have created more balance in my life are simple habits that have the power to create significant changes for the better. Here are 10 things I have done to simplify my life that you too can use to escape the overwhelm we so often experience in our day to day lives.

1. Turning off notifications for ALL social media apps.

If you only choose one item from this list to implement in your life, this would be the one. 

Turning off notifications for social media has been a total game changer for me and has brought a level of simplicity into my life that I hadn't even realized was possible. 

I used to live in a reactive state on a daily basis and allow these notifications to pull me away from what I was doing in the moment and check my phone. 

It was exhausting trying to keep up with every single Facebook comment, Snapchat, and Instagram like that showed up on in my notifications centre and the number in the corner of the app would always draw me in as soon as I opened my phone.

Now I check my social media apps a few times a day, tops. Usually once in the morning, afternoon, and evening, which allows me to be in control of when I am using the apps and how much time I spend on them. 

Give this a try for at least a week and I promise you will notice a huge difference in how you feel and how present you are in your daily life. 

2. Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

If you are anything like me you have spent much of your life standing in front of your closet, looking at rows and rows of clothing and saying to yourself, "I have nothing to wear."

I used to think the more clothes I owned, the easier it would be to put together stylish + beautiful outfits everyday. I thought the reason I couldn't find anything to wear was because I was just missing the one perfect piece that would make each outfit work. 

What I have come to realize since discovering minimalism is that the complete opposite is true. 

I could never find anything to wear because I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices I had to make just to complete the simple task of getting dressed in the morning. 

Now that I have fewer articles of clothing to choose from I find it extremely easy to get dressed each day. Every article of clothing I own works with at least three other pieces so I am never struggling to find the "perfect match."

This has saved me so much time, stress, and even money, as I now only purchase clothing when I need to replace an article that has become damaged or too worn. 

3. Everything has a place + everything in it's place.

This little life hack has been wonderful in helping to reduce the amount of time I spend cleaning + running around looking for things that have been misplaced. 

When I walk in the door at the end of the day everything I bring in the door with me gets immediately sorted + put where it belongs. 

My keys have a hook, my purse has a designated home, junk mail goes straight into the recycling bin, + my jacket gets hung up as soon as I take it off. 

I used to be that person who draped their jacket on the back of a chair, threw my keys wherever, + then could never find anything if I needed to rush out the door. 

Once you embrace minimalism + begin to reduce the number of possessions you have in your home, this can be an amazing way to keep that home tidy + organized at all times. 

4. Having only ONE of each kind of item. 

As someone who used to have about ten partially filled journals, five half read books, and a dozen personal development worksheets on their bedside table at one time, this particular tool has been a life changer for me. 

I now only have one journal, one book, one personal development worksheet, etc on the go at any given time. 

I also only own one umbrella, one pair of running shoes, and one jacket for each season. 

For anyone who isn't living a minimalist lifestyle at the moment this may seem a bit extreme, but for me this has been extremely liberating. 

By reducing the number of decisions I have to make each day I have freed up so much time + brain power, as well as making it incredibly easy to pack for any kind of trip.

5. Choose one type of schedule + put everything in it.

Bonus points for this one if it's a digital calendar app + even more extra points if it can be shared with other members of your family. 

My tool of choice for this is an app on my phone called Fantastical. This app allows me to have multiple different categories of calendar, sync calendars to my husbands iPhone, and set reminders for important events. 

It's features are very similar to the standard iPhone calendar app, but I much prefer the visual layout and easy to use interface on Fantastical. 

You may prefer to go old school and keep a physical day planner where you write out all of your appointments + that's okay. As long as you use it every single day + write everything down in it this will help you so much in staying organized. 

Your brain can only remember so much information at one time so take a bit of stress of yourself and let your calendar be the one to remember dates, time, + appointments. 

6. Doing tasks that take 5 minutes or less as soon as I think of them. 

I am a pretty big fan of lists, and I keep them for pretty much everything. I have lists of things I need to get done, shopping lists, lists of places I want to go, + on and on. 

I used to write things down on my To-Do list with the best of intentions + then still have things sitting on them months down the road that really should have been done by then. 

A wonderful way that I have managed to tame my To-Do list is to not add anything to it that would take me less than 5 minutes, even if it's something I don't feel like doing. Chances are I still won't feel like doing it a week down the road + it will just be sitting on my list, nagging away at me. 

Some of these things include responding to an e-mail, cleaning my bathroom sink, + putting things back in their proper place when I am finished using them. Better to do it right away than let it sit in the back of my mind long term.

7. Get my inbox to zero at the end of every day.

This ties in well to the point above, as one of my examples of a less than 5 minute task is to respond to an e-mail. 

Hands up if you have ever let an e-mail sit in your inbox unanswered for a couple days? A week? A month? 

Yes indeed, me too! I used to be extremely guilty of this + it caused me so much stress every time I opened up my inbox. I would respond in my mind over + over again, yet somehow I wouldn't actually take a few minutes to write out my response + hit send. 

It was not an easy process getting my inbox to zero the first time around + I highly suggest taking your time to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the task, but once you do it's a magnificent + liberating feeling. 

8. Only run errands once per week. 

I have already mentioned my love of lists + two of my favourites are my Shopping List + my Errands list. In an effort to become proactive rather than reactive in most areas of my life I have started only shopping once per week. 

Rather than running out to pick things up as soon as I run out, I add it to the list + pick it up at the end of the week. This helps me save lots of time, as well as saving money spent on gas from making multiple trips. 

9. Saying no to things that don't light me up.

As a "yes-person" in recovery this has been a work in progress that has brought so much simplicity + value to my life. It's been difficult to get comfortable with saying no to invitations + requests, but it's such a liberating feeling to only be putting things on the calendar that bring me joy. 

This has included things from turning down invitations to events I wasn't excited to attend, declining requests for help on projects that don't appeal to me, + not filling up my schedule with tedious tasks that don't bring me joy. 

This is something that takes a bit of work to master, + I am still working on it, but it's brought a wonderful amount of simplicity into my life. 

10. Embracing the motto "Done is better than perfect."

I am also a recovering perfectionist + adopting this motto in my daily life has cut my stress levels in half. Where I used to end each day feeling drained + disappointed that I hadn't completed every task on my To-Do list, now I choose to just let that mindset go. 

When I feel the urge to try and perfect something I recite this mantra over + over until I remember that there are so many other things I would rather be doing with my time. 

Do I really need to scrub the bathroom from top to bottom every week when I could be spending quality time doing something really fun with my hubby?

Do I need to spend hours perfecting one graphic for my website when I could be practicing a bit of self care to feel refreshed + renewed?

There is no such thing as perfect, so it's quite fruitless to try + achieve it. Allow yourself to just let it go + accept that done is always better than perfect. 

Now it's your turn beauty!

Come on over to my free Facebook group Less Stuff, More Love, and drop me a line with your favourite tip or trick for simplifying your life!