The Top 10 Most Important Things To Simplify In Your Life
If you’re stressed, confused or burnt out, it’s highly likely that your life is complex. Finding new ways to simplify your existence helps to bring joy, freedom and a sense of balance. The key question you want to ask yourself is this: “How can I remove distractions in my life and simply focus on what’s essential?”
However, to get you started, here’s a list of the 10 most important things you should try to simplify right away…
1. Your Possessions
Having lots of material possessions can seem superficially attractive, as it’s associated with status and success. However, having too many actually complicates our lives to a huge degree, splitting our attention too many ways and draining our energy (as well as using up funds we could save for more important things!).
Think about how to remove nonessential material objects from your life—some can be given away, others sold, and yet more put in storage. Start by brainstorming a list of ten possessions you can do without, and go from there.
2. Your Time Commitments
If your calendar looks packed every day from sunrise to sunset, your time commitments definitely need simplified. Is everything in your organizer really essential to your goals—and, when looking at the things that are essential, do they really need to be done right now?
Start prioritizing the things that bring you happiness and move you closer to achieving your greatest aims, and try to release yourself from commitments that drain you or just don’t do anything for you.
3. Artificial And Harmful Ingredients
Simplifying your existence is partly about going back to healthy basics with food as well. Stay away from refined grains (e.g. white rice and white bread), excess amounts of salt, trans fats, and artificial sweeteners.
There’s plenty of evidence that these changes will leave you feeling more energetic, and boost your health in the long-term.
4. Your Words
It’s important to speak honestly and openly, sharing your emotions and really connecting with others. However, try simplifying the way you speak—use fewer words, keep your expressions clear and plain, and only say what you mean.
In addition, avoid trafficking in rumors and gossip—these don’t just complicate your life, but also the lives of others.
5. Your Goals
There’s a lot to be said for ambition—if you dream big, then you’re more likely to see big results. However, if you have dozens of goals at once, you’re complicating things needlessly, and reducing the amount of energy you have for any one of those goals (thereby cutting your chances of success).
Instead, make a list of all of your goals and simplify your current aims to the most important 1-3 on the list. When you finish one, you can add another from lower down in your ranking.
6. Your Negative Thought Processes
If you’re honest with yourself, you can probably see that the bulk of negative emotions are utterly useless. When has any person’s life been improved by harboring jealousy, resentment, rage or hate?
Do what you can to cut out these wasteful emotions by shifting your attention to positive, productive thought processes. Sometimes, this will require an active process of forgiveness (whether you’re forgiving yourself or someone else), but you’ll be thankful when you emerge on the other side with a simpler, happier state of mind.
7. Time Spent On Electronic Devices
It might seem ridiculous to be giving you this advice via the Internet, but your time spent on technology can reduce your well-being more than you may realize.
Computers, televisions, consoles and phones can all dominate your attention, and what you read and see can begin to shift your outlook and values without your explicit consent.
Set aside specific times when you’ll be totally unplugged, and save your technology-based time for movies you love and sites that edify you.
8. Your Financial Debt
Debt can feel like a prison, constraining your actions and your ability to enjoy life. If you feel like debt is holding you captive, start doing something today in order to reduce that debt.
Sure, you probably can’t solve the whole problem right now, but you can reduce the weight that’s holding you down.
In many cases, making regular but small sacrifices (e.g. lunch dates and certain memberships) can do a lot to improve your financial situation—and these sacrifices simplify your use of time and energy anyway.
9. Your Connections
Relationships are vital to happiness, but constant contact with huge numbers of people doesn’t provide relationships as much as it does distractions. For example, how much of your life do you spend reading social networking sites?
Swap these complex and shallow representations of other people’s lives for deep, in-person conversations.
The latest research shows that multitasking doesn’t actually boost productivity—it lowers it. Plus, it’s proven to increase stress levels too.
Handling one task at a time ensures you’ll do a better job with it, and calms you down. Methodically work your way through a list, and learn the lost art of single-tasking.