The Guide to Simplifying Your Life
1. Learn to say no
It can be difficult, but will ensure you have enough time and energy for the stuff that really matters.
If you don’t feel like you have enough time on your hands, it means you need to cut back on your unimportant, unnecessary, or unfulfilling activities.
Your real goal is to enjoy life, not cram activities into the daylights out of it.
So if you don’t say no, you will never be able to get on with your life.
2. Don’t do it all by yourself
Give up control.
Get your partner, family, friends and colleagues to help you.
I’m sure they’d be more than happy to dispense help or advice, and it can save you lots of time if you can get to the answer quicker than floundering around on your own.
It is painful, but it is necessary. You cannot do it all.
3. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Along with the above, don’t be so hard on yourself or people around you.
Forget about being perfect, because good enough is usually good enough.
If you start expecting too much from yourself and from your colleagues, you will create a cycle of frustration and disappointment.
If anyone has ever watched Jeff Lewis from “Flipping Out” on BravoTV, you will know exactly what I mean. (See him above)
Jeff is the type of guy who is a perfectionist.
He is an obsessive compulsive perfectionist who demands a lot of out himself and out of his employees.
While I think in some cases you do have to be very careful (with finances, agreements, contracts and anything important), stuff like someone forgetting the sauce for his burrito, or not facing the water bottles the right way up, are all things you have to let go.
4. Think before you speak
Not everything is worth fighting over, so choose your battles.
The technique I use (because I am very assertive at times), is I ask myself:
Will this matter in the future?
If it is a BIG issue that will cause residual problems in the future, such as fighting over finances or which religion your kids will follow, then by all means, talk it out.
If it is a SMALL issue that is just you two arguing in the heat of the moment, then sometimes you have to be the bigger person to let it go.
Don’t control everything around you, and let the chips fall where they may.
If you try to control everything, you will end up losing control of everything. So be flexible, and try to play well with others around you.
You catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.
5. A stitch in time, saves nine
My best example for a small problem that can become out of control over night, is if you have a problem with a tooth and you put off going to the dentist because of work/kids/commitments/whatever.
One month turns into a year, which turns into 2 years, and before you know it, you’re on the ground in pain because you just can’t take it any more.
Go to the dentist and fix the problem before you lose all of your teeth.
6. Consolidate tasks and errands
If you need to balance your budget, pay your bills, answer your emails and stitch a button back on a shirt, then you should try and get it all done in one sitting.
Don’t pay your bills, get out of that mindset, then start cooking a meal, only to have to go back to your desk and try to get back into the mindset of arranging your bills to balance your budget.
Group tasks that make sense together and get it all done at once while you are still in the mood.
Another good example is to consolidate your errands and get everything done at once: the grocery store, post office, picking up a pair of underwear, dropping off things at the donation center, and so on.
Do it all in one trip, plan your day out before you start
Consolidate your errands.
Plan your visits to the grocery store, dry cleaners, post office, etc., so you can take care of all of it in one trip, and in a well-planned route (with Google Maps or going to a mall that has everything in one shot).