Last updated on January 5th, 2020 at 08:38 am
The other day I took 10 minutes to choose batteries at the store.
10 minutes of my day.
To be clear: I have no idea what good batteries are like. Don’t know what I’m actually looking for besides their size. I have no idea how much they cost on average.
So that decision should have taken me no more than 30 seconds. It cost me 20x more.
I have the tendency to overthink.
To overcomplicate things, so I can make them seem worth it.
After all there’s no point in doing something that’s easy, right?
Good things are difficult.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the choices we have and by looking around at what others have or are doing. Always makes me feel like I’m not doing enough. Like I don’t have enough and never will.
Even though I do get into this trap more often than I’d like, now I know how to deal with these things and to get it over with quicker. Those 10 minutes with the batteries would’ve been 20 min a year ago. And I would probably go back to return them the day after.
But now, once I catch myself overthinking a simple thing I make a decision and that’s it. Look at me letting go, next year: 5 min thinking about batteries.
I learned how to keep my life simple. Or to make it simpler. This is what I believe.
Good life’s about knowing what you want, what you need and keeping it this way. Not overloading your life with things, people and dreams you don’t actually need or want.
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Okay, now here are a bunch of things that help me simplify my life and save me time, money and energy! I’m pretty sure most (if not all) of them will work for you too!
20 Ways To Simplify Your Life And Be Happier
Have go to’s.
Usually we do have them anyways, but feel the need to explore EVERYTHING. Like what we know is not enough. While I’m not saying don’t explore (see below) – there’s nothing wrong with going to the same bar or restaurant more often than not. I have go to workouts, go to salads and favorite go to places. But I also like to try something new every day.
Spend 10 minutes every day tidying up
Make your bed, clean up your desk, clean the kitchen counter, keep your rooms tidy. Doesn’t need to be Monica-clean, just tidy. You’ll find things (and you won’t buy them again) and you’ll take better care of the things you have.
Related Article: 52 healthy 5-minute habits that will make your life so much better
Put things in their original place after using.
Again you’ll find things faster! That reminds me – have place for everything. For example, I always leave my keys at the door. I save a lot of time not looking for them.
Make quick decisions.
Remember the batteries? Well, after those 10 min I spent 10 minutes deciding which roses I should get for my sister and mom, because I wanted to surprise them (Like who buys batteries + roses?). They all looked the same. Those decisions shouldn’t take much time. If it isn’t something that’s gonna matter in a month from now, I try not to spend too much time thinking whether it’s worth it.
Go out for walks.
If you look around at what everyone else is doing you can go crazy. You suddenly might feel the need to go to a spa, get a massage, go hiking somewhere exotic or jump out of an airplane. Well, today what’s gonna make you feel good is taking a walk and taking time for yourself.
Related Article: How to make walking fun
Forget about what others are doing
Speaking of, stop looking at what everyone else is doing. When you stop looking at others and focus on you, you’ll understand you have more than enough and you’ll decide what you REALLY want to do. What’s making others happy might bore you to death when you actually try it, TRUST ME.
Have just a few goals.
Yesterday I met a very positive and nice woman who retired a few years ago. She said after she retired she said she’d go wherever she always wanted. And she did! But she didn’t have goals like – see the whole world. She had a few specific destinations where she wanted to go. And she knew where she didn’t want to go for sure. So decide what you want to do and what you definitely don’t want to do!
Related Article: 25 goals that will transform your health
Accept the situation as it is (if you can’t change it).
Don’t try to fix things that are unbelievably broken! Sometimes it’s easier to build something from the ground up than build on a broken foundation that falls apart all the time. (Undercover poet?) All I’m saying is – if it takes more time fixing and seems impossible – let go and start brand new.
Which clothes do you actually wear?
Why buy more clothes? Keep what you actually like and NEED. Things that are timeless. You don’t need to go with every trend out there. I still have clothes from high school. And I buy clothes only when I really like something. Same with apps, furniture and decoration.
Cut out non-essential things that don’t bring you much joy anyway
How often do you go to the gym, watch TV or use other subscriptions you have? Last moth I joined a gym thinking I’d work out more often if I had a gym membership. That whole month I went 5 times. And I hated it. When I do my workouts at home, I do them every day. Even if it’s 10 minutes. So now, I will do my workouts at home and if I ever feel like it, will visit a class for a one time fee.
Have one planner for EVERYTHING.
Work, personal, grocery list, workouts – have all that in one planner. I learned this the hard way – at one point I had about 15 planners and there was a little bit of everything in each one. It was an overwhelming mess. When you use one – you’ve got everything there!
Make sure to do the things that make you happy daily.
To me that’s go out for a walk, exercise, spend time with people I love and do something daily for this blog. I try to do these things every day, not because I’m motivated to do them, not because it’s a part of my morning routine, but because I know they make me happier. So take note of what makes you happy and make it a part of your daily routine.
Spend some time on your own.
Make time to reflect on what has happened in the past and what you want to do in the near future. Maybe even keep a journal to track your progress.
Finish things that are worth it and let go of things that aren’t.
Look at your to do’s and see what you really need & WANT to do and what’s old news. If you feel you’ve outgrown something – don’t keep it on that list. It’s okay to delete it. On the other hand, finish the things that you really need to do, so you can move on and clear some mental space.
Don’t follow diets/diet plans.
There’s ton of information out there on how to lose weight. There are also tons of workouts and recipes out there – both things you need to actually lose weight. In my experience trying to follow a diet can make you insane. Too many restrictions and you gain all the weight back when you stop following the diet (I’ve seen this multiple times with my mom). Go with common sense and make it a priority to eat your fruits and vegetables and to move your body every day for 20-30 minutes. You can always change things up by trying out new recipes or workouts.
Try new things and accept disappointment
Don’t beat yourself up for trying new things and not liking them more than your go to’s. A lot of the overcomplicating happens like this: Why did I do this, I could’ve done that instead…Accept that it didn’t work out and move on. The quicker you do this, the further you’ll go and the better you’ll feel.
Related Article: How to eat out and still lose weight
Let the other person be right.
You know what? We fight way too often about things that are even less important than batteries. To me in most cases: better happy than right. I let that person be right for a second. If it’s a person I don’t like – it’s mostly not worth fighting with. And if that’s a person I love – it’s never worth fighting with. If you want to do something for yourself, but people disagree with you, there’s no need to explain yourself. Do it.
SET TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Have a set time for looking at social media/ your phone. I did this with Facebook a few years ago and all I can say is: this has saved me so much time and frustration. I used to check facebook multiple times a day. Even though I wasn’t very active there. One day I decided I will start to check Facebook once a day. Over time that once a day became once a week and now I’m on Facebook probably once a month. And I know, if I’m on Facebook more often, I’m probably not doing enough for myself.
Related Article: 3 morning habits for more happiness
Be grateful for the things you have. When you’re grateful for what you have, you will look less for other things to make you grateful (or happy). It makes you want & need less things.
Related Article: 11 Ways To Reduce Stress Naturally
Automate or set a reminder for paying bills/ other boring tasks. Finally, as boring as they are, you probably have to pay bills, taxes and do boring things that no person in the universe wants to do. You cannot let these things go, you can’t ignore them, because they would make your life more complicated later. Solution: make it less painful and get it over with! Set a reminder and finish it.
Well, those are the things I do to keep my life simpler and they all need maintenance! It’s not like you do it once and it’s done. Good things in life need maintenance and reminders.