When it comes down to it, I think we all crave a more simple life but it is very difficult in this day and age. Unless of course you are living off the grid on a self sustainable farm somewhere, but most of us are running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything done from work to getting dinner on the table to picking up the kids. The chores and "doing" seem to take over much of our free time. I am always looking for creative ways to balance the many hats that I wear on a daily basis and it seems that it's the small yet very important things that create the most nuisance. Making some small changes in your daily routine can free up your time and energy so that you can focus more on the things you love and just be for once instead of always "doing".
Here are 11 ways that have helped me simplify my life.
1. Go Paperless and set up automatic bill pay- Going paperless is not only a step towards being environmentally conscious but it also helps to simplify your life. You have the option to put some bills on a reoccurring payment system or get an email notification when a bill is due and all it takes is a click of a button.
2. Sign up for local, organic, seasonal delivery of fruits and veggies- Not only will you be supporting your local farmers and eating healthier, but you will also limit the amount of times that you have to go to the store per week to get fresh foods. Shopping for healthy groceries can be very time-consuming. In order to eat fresh foods, it usually takes several visits to the store. Even better than supporting your local farmers, is starting a garden with your family and supplying some of your own foods.
3. Set up a carpool for yourself or your children- Reduce your carbon footprint, enjoy others company and give yourself a break from driving.
4. Delegate and share household/work chores- Don't think you can do everything yourself and not get burnt out or end up lacking enthusiasm in other areas of your life from taking on too much. Ask for help. If you have young children, start teaching them to help out and clean up after themselves. Make a day where you each take a section of the house and clean as much as you can in 20 minutes. The time limit makes it fun for kids and adults too! It becomes less stressful and you get a little cardio in too.
5. Meal Plan- Plan your meals for the week. Start traditions like taco Tuesdays or family dinners on sunday and have everyone bring a dish. Knowing what your meals will be ahead of time makes shopping and preparing a lot easier. Make large batches of healthy foods that last, like fermented veggies.
6. Dont procrastinate- Do things right away, as they come up, so that they don't build up and cause you to become overwhelmed with to do lists. Stay on top of things and do things as they pop into your head. Make the phone call now or reply to the email when you read it, don't wait.
7. Kill two birds with one stone- Bike to the farmers market, run to work. Find creative ways that you can get your work out in and get a chore done at the same time. Save your precious time by accomplishing two things at once.
8. Buy in bulk- One of the easiest eco-friendly things that you can do is to buy in bulk. Not only will you save money but you will also decrease the frequency of having to go to the store. There are several household items that buying in bulk becomes beneficial like, toilet paper,soaps,shampoos,and lotions to name a few.
9. Choose one thing a day that you want to accomplish- I know this doesn't sound like much but many of us, we are spreading ourselves so thin that nothing ends up getting done and if it does, it is half ass. Choose one important thing a day that you want to accomplish and give it 100% by the end of the week you will have accomplished 7!
10. Clean up your email accounts- Get rid of unwanted emails. Often times companies put you on an automatic email newsletter that can take over and overwhelm your inbox. Take a couple of minutes and remove yourself from unwanted email lists so that you can focus clearly on the emails you need to read. This also goes for junk mail in the snail mail department.
11. Reduce the need to buy more things- The more we have, the more complicated life becomes. Most of us are taught and raised in a culture that thrives on constantly buying "things". Stick to the essentials and save for travels and family time because in the end that is was really matters.
*“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.” -Victoria Moran