Life can get pretty hectic and sometimes your world feels like it’s out of control. Do you feel it? Most of us do. We long for simplicity, but it can seem all too hard with our packed schedules, jobs, families and never ending to do lists. How do you actually bring more simplicity, clarity and spaciousness into your days and not have the wheels fall off your life in the process?
One way to simplify is to remove things that really aren’t required from your life and daily flow (or grind as the case may be). Think about your day tomorrow. If you were to take out all of the superfluous activities, from your morning makeup routine to your schedule, what would your day look like?
You can breathe into this and relax a little, because you don’t need to overhaul your entire life to bring in some ease. You can start with your every day routines and habits. For the next week, try these three challenges and see how much unneeded clutter you can remove from your day.
Your mantra, should you choose to accept it, is ‘how simple can I make it?’
1.Streamline your morning routine.
Ideas that may help: lay out your clothes the night before, or at least mentally choose them; make the lunches; pack the school bags and your own bag; get your gym clothes ready if you work out first thing; have the items at the front door that you need as you leave the house so you aren’t rushing around like a crazy person at the last minute; make breakfast really simple and easy to make.
How much chaos is in your day before you even leave the house? For many people getting organized and out the door each morning is one of the most stressful parts of the day. Try and minimize the amount of things you need to do in the morning before you start work or get the kids to childcare/school. Write down what your most simple routine would look like – include anyone else who lives with you that impacts your flow as well.
Two other tips that work – Simplify your morning make up routine; do you really need those ten things, or could you limit it to a quick base, a sweep of blush over your eyes and cheeks, some mascara and lip gloss? Also try and reduce the number of items you need to take as you leave the house to the bare minimum. Less stuff equals less stress!
2. Simplify your diet
Next, have a look at your diet. I don’t mean how many calories you’re consuming. I mean look at bringing some simplicity and routine in how you shop, prepare, and consume your food. Do you plan out your meals each week so you know what you need to shop for, can do it in one or two trips, and can prepare with ease for the week? Or are you constantly scratching around for what’s next to eat?
Getting in a routine will help you feel more spacious in your day. Go a step further and actually simplify your diet to less items so you have less to think about, shop for and prepare. Having a just a few things in your day like a green smoothie for breakfast, salad for lunch and soup or a stir fry for dinner can revolutionize the way you feel about food and meal times, which lets be honest, can be really stressful and exhausting. Try it out for a week and see what a difference it makes.
3. Streamline your calendar and daily flow
How much superfluous activity is in your day? Look at your calendar for the next month. Where can you remove things and simplify? See if you can limit the number of meetings you run and attend. Does it even need to be a meeting? Would a five minute phone be just as effective? Reduce the number of times you check your emails to two or three times a day instead of every time you see an alert. Take people off the cc field in email replies where you can to reduce the noise in other peoples in boxes. Turn off your notifications. Reduce the number of items on your to do list to only those that are essential and must be there. Car pool so there are less trips to school and all those activities (and while we’re here, how many after school activities does your kid actually need to do doing? Less may be better). There are a thousand ways to simplify and streamline your daily flow. Start with these and build from there.
There you have it. Try these strategies for a week and see what an impact they can make. While you’re at it, stay off social media for the week, don’t watch the news, and screen your phone calls so you can reply when it’s convenient for you. Consciously reducing the amount of inputs coming in and distractions circling your brain will help you simplify your life, lessen your stress and bring more calm and ease into your every day. Life can be as simple as we make it. Try it and see.