10 ways to simplify your life.

“Simplify”. To me that means “streamline, take out the unnecessary, nothing wasted”. For the purpose of having more time to spend on things I love and enjoy. I think most of us get plenty of practice doing things that contribute to that goal – me, as a wife and mother with a full-time corporate job for 27 years, I definitely had a lot of practice! most of these are now part of my life. habits I couldn’t break if I tried.

1. Have one datebook where you keep all of your appointments. I’ve tried to go electronic, but my tool of choice here is a russell+hazel mini binder with monthly tabs. I like being able to see the whole month at once. this book goes with me everywhere. and I don’t have to worry about checking another calendar someplace else before I make a commitment (or figure out what I’m doing today).

2. Have one to-do list where you write down everything you have to do. how much detail you put here depends on how bad your memory is. me, I tend to put it all down, just so I don’t forget. this means that if I agree to do something, and you don’t see me write it down, worry about it!

my datebook and to-do list

3. Learn to say “no” – and do it every so often.

4. Plan ahead.

5. Handle mail once. (for me, this means reading and either trashing or filing for follow-up – I am ruthless about the trash part, too).

6. Put things away. sometimes this is harder than I’d like, but the idea is that if everything is in its place, I don’t have to spend time looking for it, and I don’t have to allocate a chunk of time to “straighten up”.

7. Cultivate good friends and healthy relationships – and disassociate yourself from the poisonous ones.

8. Consolidate vendors. we had our cell phones, internet and TV with three separate companies and just consolidated them all with at&t. so far, very good. and now I only have one bill to pay each month.

9. Get an iphone. I love having one small device that does so much!

10. Drink your coffee black. My mom suggested this to me when I first started drinking coffee (wow, over 30 years ago!) – it is very good advice. But I haven’t been able to do it! I need a little bit of non-fat milk (or “the skimmest you have”) and I really love it to be hot before I add it to the coffee. oh well.

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10 thoughts on “10 ways to simplify your life.

  1. Great list and some of our things are very similar. I drink my coffee black and I've been trying for years to get Dale to drink it this way, too. He's like you, though, he has to have a bit of milk.

  2. I mentioned #3 on my list too and (as you know) it's something I need to work on! You and Steve both share #5. He's always telling me that!

  3. the one "to do list" and calendar is something i've done since high school-really really helpful. aside from the coffee (i take mine with fat free flavored creamer) i'm right on the same page with you for this list. i have found that they also help reduce stress levels too.

  4. These are some great suggestions. Although my dad used to tell me that drinking coffee black will put hair on your chest (as well as eating stuff with tabasco sauce) so that could turn out to be a frightful thing.

  5. Great list. Like you, I must have mypaper datebook; I use a Circa (Levenger)with monthly tabs. I have the journal that matches your *creating* title. Small world or is it the Scorpio connection? Cheers~

  6. i use the calendar in outlook, but i still do handwritten lists (helps me remember, too!). love #7.

  7. I love and share your handle the mail once tip. I open my mail by the shredder and I, too, am ruthless. Great list. I'm retired so I don't have so much to do, but I try to have all info in one place. It just makes life simpler.

  8. I cannot imagine drinking my coffee black. I'm a skim milk and sugar (splenda) gal. I also tend to get most of my coffee out as part of being at the office or walking the dog, which makes it a little less problematic.

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