Lifestyle Makeover: How to Simplify Your life in 5 Easy Steps


Photo by visualpanic

Do you sometimes yearn for a simple life? A life where time seems to flow slower. A life that is spacious where you have time to think, or even to dream?

I did. Until I realized that my life is how I create it. And that I can change my life if I want to.

I can live a simple life. Or I can live a busy life that includes spacious times. Here are five changes that worked for me. I now enjoy life more, am less stressed, and sleep better. I’m a more relaxed companion and friend and more fun to be with.

1.    De-clutter your home

Clutter produces stress. Look around you for a moment. Can you spot things that sit around doing nothing for months and even years. Things that you could give away without even noticing a lack?

  • Clear up cluttered rooms.

If you find things that you haven’t used in the last two years, consider giving them away. If you find that impossible because the things still have meaning for you, box them up and put them into storage.

  • Give away what you don’t need

Go through your wardrobe and toss out what you haven’t worn for years. Chances are that if you didn’t wear it in the last two years, you never will.

  • Keep the rooms you live in tidy. Clutter creates stress.


2.    De-clutter your mind
.

  • Refresh your mind daily through meditation

Even just ten minutes of meditation a day helps you to find a more calm and collected peace of mind. There are some very simple ways to meditate. Sit upright, either upon a firm cushion on the floor, or on a chair. Focus on your breath and let your thoughts go.

  • Use a journal to note down all your pending tasks

Tasks clutter up our mind. We tend to get anxious if we have a lot of things we have to do and want to keep track of what needs to be done. Let your notebook or scheduling software hold the thoughts for you!

3.    Give up energy drains
.

  • Stop watching TV indiscriminately

Check out how much time you are spending in front of the TV. Passive entertainment drains your energy. Plan what you want to watch for the coming week and stick to the schedule you have set. If you find it difficult to stop watching after a program has finished, set a timer at the other end of the room. Getting up to stop it will break the spell and you’ll be able to switch the TV off.

  • Stop spending time with people who drain your energy

Are there people in your life who are energy drainers? Maybe they are chronic complainers, or you find it difficult to communicate with them. If so, limit the time you spend with them. You will find that your life runs more smoothly and is less cluttered with emotional junk.

4.    Slow down
.

  • Do one thing at a time

Stop multitasking. Do you watch TV and work on your laptop at the same time? Do you chop carrots and listen to the radio? Do you carry on with household tasks while listening to your partner? If you said ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, you might like to try slowing down. Just do one thing at a time.

  • Take up a activities that slows you down. Surfing, yoga, Tai Chi, etc

Intense physical hobbies blow all the cobwebs out of your mind. When you’ve just caught that wave or are about to launch your snowboard down a steep slope, your mind naturally empties. Yoga does something similar. You don’t believe it? Just try holding a post until your legs start wobbling and you’ll find your mind becomes clear.

Quiet activities, such as painting or book-binding, can also be engrossing and help to slow you down.

5.    Take time out
.

Take time each week to refocus on what is important to you.

  • Spend time with people you love
  • Take time out to be in touch with nature
  • Take time out to enjoy yourself

These five steps allow you to reduce clutter in your mind. We need space in our lives to think and dream. Nobody can be creative when they are locked into a cluttered life.


What about your life? Is it cluttered or simple?
What works for you?

{ 2 trackbacks }

Link Medley - Zen and more
December 8, 2008 at 7:41 am
» Blog Archive » Simplify
March 22, 2009 at 8:01 am

{ 27 comments }

1 Evelyn Lim October 20, 2008 at 8:40 am

I welcome the idea of giving up on energy drains. It’s important to be mindful of things that can suck up our energy. We need to do our best to avoid them!

Evelyn Lims last blog post..Should The Poor Mexican Fisherman Give Up Contentment For Cash?

2 Carole Fogarty October 21, 2008 at 12:14 am

I am always looking at ways to simplify my life. At the beginning of the year I pretended I was moving overseas. It worked wonders in simplifying the energy in my home, my bills and heaps more.

Thoroughly enjoyed your article, Mary.

Peace, love and chocolate

Carole

Carole Fogartys last blog post..Ten Tension Busting Tips To Grab On The Run:

3 Jayne October 21, 2008 at 12:40 am

I am fairly well down the road to leading a happy, simple life. I can check off most of the stuff you mention here – in fact, I had a big declutter at home just last week and it felt GREAT!

But the laptop/TV multitasking is one habit I know I have to stop because it means I am not getting much out of either activity. (And, I should add that my TV is mostly tuned to news, current affairs and docos on the public broadcast network, so I’m cheating myself of quality information, not trash TV!)

Jaynes last blog post..Hand claps, furry buds and friends

4 maya@thinkmaya October 21, 2008 at 4:12 am

Decluttering my mind works wonders for me.It is so much easier to live a simple life when the mind can think …
Moving to a smaller home has been great for our family … so much time to live our lives simply the way we like to, rather than playing catch up with house chores all the time.

maya@thinkmayas last blog post..Born Into Poverty : Blog Action Day 2008

5 sema October 21, 2008 at 6:59 am

physical and mental clutter drains all. following these easy steps will help us focus on the moment ,the only time that is ours.

semas last blog post..N-O-W TO SUCCESS

6 Mary Jaksch October 21, 2008 at 8:18 am

Hi Evelyn!
Energy drains… hmmm …it’s hard when a person you love is actually an energy drain. How do you manage that?

7 susan October 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I understand how hard this is. Take time out for yourself daily so that you can still enjoy the constant energy drainer or your time and energy. This way you can still love and care for this person that is a part of your life.

8 Mary Jaksch October 21, 2008 at 8:20 am

Hi Jayne!
I must admit that I took sometimes do the laptop multi-tasking thing. It’s when I’m desperate to finish an article but want to pretend that I”m willing to spend ‘family time’.

9 Mary Jaksch October 21, 2008 at 8:23 am

Hi Maya!
Your point about moving to a smaller house if interesting. When I’m away form home, I’m often in very small living spaces. I’m always amazed how little space I really need!

10 PJ_Normz October 21, 2008 at 9:35 am

I think #2 is so key to life. By clearing out your mind, and simplifying what life can make seem complex, can we really begin to live our life. At least that’s how it went for me :)

Great post.

PJ_Normzs last blog post..How to Properly Plan For Success Today

11 John October 21, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Nice post. Reminds me how badly I need to declutter my desk!

Johns last blog post..35 Thought Provoking Education Quotes

12 Tom Volkar / Delightful Work October 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Nature works like a charm – every time for me. I think it resynchronizes my body clock or something primal because it always works.

Tom Volkar / Delightful Works last blog post..Leveraging Community

13 Mary Jaksch October 21, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Hi PJ_Normz!
I agree that when we let go of all the loud mind-clutter – life seems to flow much more easily.

14 Mary Jaksch October 21, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Hi John!
So, your desk is cluttered? If you’re an accountant that may be a bad thing. But if you’re a writer, you might need a certain amount of chaos for your creativity to fire. I do :-)

15 Lola Fayemi / Nourishment for your spiritual awakening October 22, 2008 at 10:01 am

I just decluttered my desk last week (been meaning to for a while) and it felt GREAT!

The best thing about decluttering is that the more regularly you do it, the more fun it becomes and the less time it takes.

Doing one thing at a time is a great tip also. More challenging for me to put into practise!

In peace, love and success

Lola

Lola Fayemi / Nourishment for your spiritual awakenings last blog post..Does more money always mean more choices?

16 Marianne October 23, 2008 at 5:21 am

My son has always said surfing made everything fine for him. He’s only 17- I hope it gives him something to use in “coping” well into adulthood.

Mariannes last blog post..Avoiding Forclosure

17 Azhagiya Tamilmagan October 24, 2008 at 5:13 am

A simple life really brings happiness ang joy. Thanks for sharing those steps, your blog are unique and provides content that makes people’s life better. Keep it up. By the way, check out my blog too. Thanks.

Azhagiya Tamilmagans last blog post..Change If You Want Different Result

18 Success Professor October 24, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Great list Mary.

I would add golf and fishing to the list of activities that help slow you down – as long as you are not an angry golfer.

Success Professors last blog post..Do the Extraordinary

19 Mary Jaksch October 24, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Hi Success Professor!
If you’re an anxious angler it may not help either. The one and only time I fished was on a Scottish loch. They sent me out in a kayak to get some trout for breakfast.

I pulled in a trout and felt so agitated about hitting the poor fish on the head that I fell out of the kayak, lost the dazed trout, and floundered around until someone finally pulled me out.

20 axel g November 8, 2008 at 6:10 pm

A simple life to me means less money, smaller bills, less stress, more free time and fewer toys.

Taking time out is most helpful +_+

21 jade November 27, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Hi Mary,
I come from China. Firstly, thanks for your good advice.Secondly for the Internet because it is the Internet with which I can enjoy your good articles. It is time for me to declutter my home so as to provide my families a clean and tide condition, I think. thanks again!

22 Cailen January 14, 2009 at 9:41 am

Great Article! I, too, wrote recently about de-cluttering your life for the new year. It’s essential to get rid of excess, unnecessary things in order to feel better! Physical clutter leads to mental clutter for sure. On my blog, I offer a lot of information and tips about living your best life and re-designing your environment to better suit your needs. It’s http://www.cailenascher.blogspot.com.

23 Dan Rosenfield August 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I have found that maintaining a lack of clutter in my living space is more stressful and time consuming than it is worth. In my office, however, I find good organization and lack of clutter a key to productivity.

Friends of mine, however, primarily academics, thrive in cluttered offices.

24 Lam | The Peonies August 8, 2009 at 6:01 am

I agree with Evelyn Lim. Spending time on energy draining people is really useless. Spend more time on developing self is more valueable.

Thanks for the post!
The Peonies
My Lifestyle Blog
.-= Lam | The Peonies´s last blog ..Akanoya =-.

25 Ronald Pettigrew September 19, 2009 at 8:29 am

Great work! It’s impossible to deal with someone who isn’t willing to change or at least keep an open mind.

26 Candi July 27, 2010 at 5:03 am

I continually read/see advice for people wishing to simplify that they should toss out unused clothing and often other items as well. Why? So they can end up in a landfill and contribute to this problem as well. My advice would be to donate to a battered women’s shelter or a thrift store if selling on e-bay or a yard sale isn’t something you wouldn’t want to do. Recycle items whenever possible. Use your imagination. There are countless ways that items that are cluttering your life can be of use to someone else. Let’s not add to the landfill problem.

27 Denton @ Military Education December 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

You always need to keep things simple KISS. Great post.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: