How did life become so complicated? Somehow through a succession of decisions and little forethought towards your future self, you find life to be overwhelming and entirely too complicated. Perhaps you are trying to take on too much simultaneously, the pleaser in you has said “Yes” more than you care to admit and breaking point is imminent. Send help! Us over-committers are not the only ones to create our own imbalance, so too are those who over-analyze and critique every action, leading to a mind that cannot rest and eventually the dreaded decision fatigue. Those who feel they must keep up with social pressures to have, do and be a certain way also struggle tremendously with a complicated daily life.

In my life, one of the quickest ways to formulate a plan out of complications was to pare down to the essentials. Pen and paper were my tools as I created a list of the daily activities that brought me pleasure or positively benefited my future ambitions. Reading, writing, study, time with loved ones, time alone – et voilà! I have my list, my guiding star for how to fill my time. Comparatively, I found that my days were heavily stretched with several hours of screen time (thank you to the new feature on my iPhone, showing me exactly how much time I am giving to social media), and of course the accidental time I gave so freely to television series in which one episode would turn into five, oops! Don’t misunderstand me, downtime for my brain to unwind is always going to feature in my life, but the balance was so completely off that I felt overwhelmed by even my smallest personal goals. I can’t recommend enough how beneficial the inclusion of minimalism has been for creating a simpler existence.

So aside from encouraging you, my reader to create space for your valued activities as well as minimizing the ones that encroach on your peace, here is my big list for un-complicating your life:

More time, with fewer people. Cultivate and invest in those whom you truly love.

Don’t tell lies and be careful with secrets. I know this seems obvious, but when life is feeling heavy it is time, to be honest with yourself and those around. Also, secrets are stressful!

Remove one thing from your life that is creating too much stress for too little payoff. This could be a toxic relationship, a draining commitment or obligation.

Turn off your TV for a week and witness the joy that comes from replacing that time with other activities such as journaling or reading.

For that matter, switch your phone to airplane mode during certain points of the day, or for an entire day. Fewer distractions equals more presence.

When you’re with your family or friends, turn off your phone. I promise you won’t miss it.

Plan your weekly meals and prepare as many as possible – this tip saves me so much thinking and cooking time during the week.

Add no more than one new change or goal per month. It takes at least three weeks to make something a habit and if you have a lot of goals this is a way to create change without overwhelming your mind or schedule.

Engage in mindfulness practice before work and before sleep.

Create a plan for your days off. This doesn’t have to be strict or written out but if you have roughly three things for that day, you will know you’ve maximized your time. For me, this could look like: morning markets, meal prep, a movie with friends.

Create a budget and stick to it, be sure to include a savings plan (no matter how small) for your future endeavors!

Donate what you don’t need. Spend an afternoon bagging up the items in your home or heavily cluttered room that you no longer need or love. You will feel lighter for it.

Forgive those who have hurt you. You may never say it to their face, but for your own peace of mind try to understand why they felt their actions were necessary and find a way to forgive and let go.

Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.

Steve Jobs

Don’t try to please everyone. In business or in your personal life.

Focus on being someone who can proudly look themselves in the mirror. Be a good person in your own eyes.

Talk about it. There are no prizes for being a hero if you’re struggling reach out for help, whether that’s with a close friend or a professional.

Say “No”. Prioritize your needs more often. People will understand.

Do not partake in gossip, it will come back to haunt you later.

Clean as you cook.

Don’t buy anything new for three months, except for food and toiletries. You will learn to love and use what you already own, and you’ll become an exceptional saver.

Have Saturday night drinks in, instead of out. Your home or your friends’, either way, you’ll save a fortune and better yet, you’ll actually be able to hear the conversation.

Cook and eat at home (more than you eat out).

Create a schedule or a planner and factor in time for yourself.

Have no more than three items on your to-do list, and do the hardest first.

Be kind, always.

You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.

David Viscott

Make peace with your past. You can’t change how you were raised or the circumstances that got you to where you are today, but you can make peace with them and take responsibility from here on out for how your life does unfold.

Know thyself. Make time to know who you are – really understand yourself, your desires and what you want from life.

Know when to walk away.

Do you have any tips for creating a simpler life? Leave them in the comments below.

Posted by:Suzie Maddock

Hi I'm Suzie, and my life has been beautifully transformed since slowing down, embracing minimalism and living more sustainably. I am a huge nature lover and try to find pleasure in the simple things each day. You can find me drinking tea and sharing what I know here.

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