Our modern world is hectic, leaving us more often than not, feeling overwhelmed. As a life coach this is one of the greatest challenges our clients face. Just how to simplify your life.
We have every sort of technology that is supposed to help us be more efficienet and save us time. We have our laptops and smartphones all designed to make life more streamlined, leaving more time for relaxation. However, what do you do during your “down time”? Most can be found surfing the web, scanning Facebook, Instagram and other social media. Is this what we call relaxation anymore?
Children are glued to their iPads, you know, they aren’t allowed to watch to much TV. Family time consists of everyone curled up on the sofa watching the enormous flat screen TV, while texting, surfing the net or playing games, but not with each other.
There is opportunity to purchase just about anything you desire if you want, if you have the money, even if you don’t, you can still have it on credit.
And the kids, rushed from one activity to the next. Music lessons, soccer practice, the tutor, play time at the indoor gymboree, ballet, camp and…………
Mom faces the challenge of being all things to everyone. She is the nanny, the chauffeur, the nurse, the cook, the housekeeper. Someone has to keep the beautiful home and those kids looking awesome. She is the referee, the teacher, the home shopper and……
We have become a society obsessed with stuff. We have great rooms full of stuff. So much we even have storage spaces we fill with stuff. Most of it stuff that unless we were actually looking at it we would probably forget we even owned it. There are some great storage facilities where we can stuff our stuff! What are we chipmunks?
Electronics, within a year, your very expensive smartphone is now a relic. New clothes…everything changes with the season, colors and styles. Must by more.
Today some people purchase furniture like we used to purchase clothes. Get a new couch every year or two. Goodness knows the old “white” one looks dingy now. After having 3 kids sitting on it staring at the iPad or big screen with the juice boxes for the last 10 months…..what were you thinking?
We have somewhere along the line begun to equate happiness with stuff. We are a society that now looks for happiness in moments. The new car, new shoes, I’ll be happy then. Truth be told, this is not lasting happiness. We all know that. Kids come to expect it.
The clutter that surrounds us is a reflection of what is going on in our head
When our lives are this complicated our productivity is greatly compromised. In an effort to keep up with this pace we become anxious, stressed, overwhelmed and utterly exhausted.
As a child, I remember my parents each having a closet that was about 3 feet wide and a few drawers in a single dresser. Today, we have closets that you walk into. Sometimes the closet is bigger than the kids bedroom.
If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Give it to charity. This goes for the “stuff” too. If it is unused or no longer useful to you, let it go. It is really mind clearing to remove the clutter that surrounds us.
To simply your life is to remove distractions. The clutter that surrounds us is a reflection of what is going on in our head.
Reduce Screen Time
This is a tough one for most everyone. Screens are a major distraction in our lives and causes us to isolate ourselves. Be honest with yourself, it isn’t just the kids. Sometimes mom is the greatest offender.
Reduce screen time or take a break and stop altogether. Our smartphones are a serious distraction and time waster since they are with us at all times.
Go through your devices and delete all the games and apps that distract you. Consider actually talking to real humans or getting some work done instead. Clean up, put things into folders and keep just the important stuff on your home screen. Just a few things. Less clutter.
Give the kids some time off of their devices too. They are being set up for a life of chaos if we don’t help them while they are small.
Straighten Out You Finances
Nothing is more distracting and causes more stress then having our finances in disarray.
First, stop spending money you don’t have. Cut up the credit cards. Maybe keep one for emergencies. Pay with cash.
Automate your system, put bill paying on autopilot whenever possible. There are lots of recurring costs such as health insurance, mortgage, rent and homeowners insurance that happen every month.
Then work at paying off your debt. If you are overwhelmed with a mountain of bills, consider consolidating them. Reduce the number of accounts you have.
Pay off the car and keep it. It costs far less to fix an older car from time to time than to make a large monthly payment every month for years on end.
Start saving. As you work to straighten out your finances, what you can save at first might be quite small. That’s ok. Just do it every week, get in the habit, even if it is a small amount. Then when you free up cash as you pay your debt down, start putting that money into your savings every week.
Stop trying to multi task. Particularly moms tend do this. Research shows that multi tasking actually cuts down on productivity. Our minds really can only focus on 1 thing at time in order to do it well. Focus on one thing and the job will be done better and it will take less time.
Trying to juggle to many balls at once is…..well let’s face it, it’s stressful. It causes anxiety and mental clutter.
Clean Up Email Accounts
Do you have one of those email accounts that has 4672 emails in it? I’ve been there. Here is one of those clear the clutter moments. You can either clean up the account you have, or you can start over with a whole new on. I chose to fix my old one.
Sit down, give yourself 30 mins and start cleaning out your email. Delete, delete, delete. Make file folders and with what is left and you need to keep, put it into the folders.
If you have multiple email accounts, consolidate them and delete those that you don’t need. Extra accounts you need, forward them all to one place.
Promotional emails that you may or may not have signed up for that you don’t want coming, take the time to unsubscribe. It’s simple. When you have less stuff arriving in your email on a daily basis, it will be easier to keep a handle on it.
Once you have cleaned up your email, set a time once or maybe twice a day to check. No more than that. Don’t be a slave to your email either.
Plan meals ahead of time.
Make up your weekly menu. Keep an ongoing grocery list as you run out of items. This will help you not waste money on purchasing items you already have at home. More clutter, then you can’t even see what you have or don’t have. While your at it, consider cleaning out the pantry.
When you prepare a meal, consider doubling the recipe. Then simply freeze it. This is a far healthier option than a processed frozen pizza after a majorly hectic day.
Once you start organizing, managing and clearing out clutter you might find yourself addicted to it. It feels really good.
Now you have a little breathing room. You have cleared out mental clutter, financial clutter, email clutter and closet clutter. The goal is to keep it that way. Be conscious of what you purchase. You may want it, but do you need it? Some people have a rule, you bring in something new to your home, than something old must go it. Might make you think twice.
If you can get past the moment of impulse then you usually come to realize that you just don’t really need it. Be mindful of you goals to Simplify Your Life!
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