5 more of my favorite ways to eliminate unnecessary complexity and complication.
Last week’s show featured these 5 unique and awesome ways to simplify your life:
1. Stop Watching and Reading The News.
2. Hire a housekeeper.
3. Learn How To Say No
4. Take time to clear out the clutter.
5. Throw away all of your socks and buy ones that are all the same
If you haven’t listened to that episode, you can jump back anytime and listen to the whole thing. I not only shared the idea, but also gave some more info as to why each one really does work to simplify your life and where it’s appropriate I also gave some useful how-to tips as well.
Same thing goes for this week because I’ve got 5 MORE unique and awesome ways to simplify your life. If you’re wondering where these ideas came from, they came from our friends, fans, and connections on social media. A few months ago I did a quick survey on social media to ask for ideas on how people have simplified their lives. I compiled a list of 89 individual ideas — some tried and true, some really unusual — and wrote a blog post about it over at sparkspace.com.
So this episode and the one last week I’ve taken my top 10 favorite ideas from that list to share with you here on the podcast. And just to keep things as simple as possible, I’m only sharing 5 at a time. Let’s face it, even my momma doesn’t want to hear me talk more than that in one sitting, so it all works out.
So here you go: 5 MORE unique and awesome ways to simplify your life.
6. (remember #1-5 were last week). Put all the dishes you really don’t need into storage.
If you really want to take it all the way, keep only the dished you really need in your cabinets AND stop using your dishwasher. Get all Amish up your kitchen. Wash your dishes by hand.
I haven’t gone so far as to yank out the dishwasher, but I have taken at least half of the dishes out of our cabinets. We have a family of four and at one point we had 12 dinner dishes, 12 small dishes, 12 bowls, etc. With 2 teenagers in the house, guess where they always ended up? Either spread out throughout the house OR piled up dirty on the kitchen counter. When we cut down on the number of available dishes, everything stayed much cleaner. And you do end up washing more dished by hand, even if you use your dishwasher because if you only have a couple dirty dishes it is way faster to just wash them by hand and put them away.
7. Fix or get rid of broken stuff and stuff that doesn’t work well.
How long will you hobble along with a broken piece of equipment? How many hours of productivity will you lose with a computer that runs incredibly slowly. How frustrated do you get with an internet connection that never seems to run at full speed? All of this is absolutely unnecessary complication in your life. Take time to fix stuff that’s broken and get rid of stuff that doesn’t work.
One reason people don’t do this as much as they should is because fixing stuff often costs real money. Think about how much time and energy you waste using broken stuff or inadequate technology. Chances are you lose far more in productivity than it would cost to fix or replace what’s not working well.
Another reason people don’t fix things is because they don’t realize just how broken they are. One of my employees recently had a computer that had slowed way down. She used it for a long time without knowing just how bad it was. Then one day, she had to hop on someone else’s computer and realized she had been working on a severely crippled machine. It pays to look around and compare. Try out new equipment once in awhile. Technology changes a lot in a very short amount of time and can get out of date pretty quickly.
8. Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t wan’t to receive anymore.
In our digital, virtual world, there is so much great information at our fingertips. And you can subscribe to it and get it delivered right to your inbox. That’s great…until your inbox gets out of control. All those subscriptions pile up don’t they? They clutter up your email. And even if you file them into a separate file, you know they are piled up in that file, constantly begging you to read them. You hate to trash them because there might be something in there you really wanted to read.
Trash them anyway. Ruthlessly unsubscribe from newsletters. My rule is that if I don’t get excited enough to read a newsletter right away, I unsubscribe.
Same goes for printed magazines. Almost every household in America has a significant pile of unread magazines. You want to simplify your life? Dump them in the recycling bin and do not renew that subscription the next time it comes around. You’re better off buying magazines that really grab your attention one at a time at the newsstand or grocery checkout.
9. Ask for help. Sooner than later.
People are funny. Most people would help almost anybody who asks for help at any time. We’ll even help strangers. We’ll help people in the middle of the night if that’s what they need, especially our friends.
But those very same people who would offer help to anybody anywhere at anytime are HORRIBLE at ASKING for help when they need it.
I’m in this one with you for sure. Guilty as charged. It’s not even that I don’t like to ask for help. I don’t even think about it. I just try to do everything myself.
Here’s something you need to know: you can’t do everything yourself. Combine that with the fact that people actually DO want to help you. Give yourself permission to start asking for help more often. If you do, you’ll quickly find that your life will get exponentially more simple.
10. Take a day off once in awhile to get stuff done.
This is ESPECIALLY great advice if you have small kids. If your kids are in daycare, leave them in daycare while you use a day to finish projects, fix broken stuff, or even just to experience a little breathing room for yourself. If you have small kids and they’re NOT in daycare, find a babysitter for the day and allow yourself some guilt-free time to simplify your life.
This is important: use this time to SIMPLIFY your life, NOT to play catch-up. If you don’t make specific strides to simplify, you’ll never ever get on top of it. If you need a day to catch up first, that’s fine. Do that, then schedule time to improve the way you do things, fix things that are broken, get rid of stuff that’s not working, or set up a super organized filing system. Whatever is going to help you create more simplicity in your life and help you keep it that way.
It’s not a bad idea to look ahead on the calendar and schedule a day like this once per quarter. Sure, you might have to give up a vacation day or two, but you can also do this on a weekend or a holiday when you don’t have to burn a vacation day.
So, now that you’ve heard these 5 unique and awesome ways to simplify your life you feel more simplified…or have I completely overwhelmed you with great ideas?