So the Internet says it is Simplify Your Life Week and I thought what an apt time to share some tips from my life to simplify your days and months to come. Well, you may ask what makes me eligible to dish out this gyaan? Simply the fact that simple is a word I have often been associated with and I do believe I live a pretty simple and sorted life. Another reason why I decided to write this post is when I searched the Internet for what I could find on simple living, I did find a good number of writeups but none with the actions one needs to take for simple living. Listed were concepts but actions were none on that list. Actions you had to figure out on your own. I also realised that I do put many of those concepts into use daily in my own devised actions. So here I am writing a post on 10 actions that when put into your life routine, can become a positive habit and simplify your life to a great extent:
Keep a Continuous Grocery List:
Wether you live alone or in a family home, groceries are imperative to every household. Instead of going to the supermarket and picking up things at random, keep a list. Random picking often leads to getting many things we don’t really need and missing many that are essential. At the same time writing a list in one go is boring as well stands a high chance of missing out some essentials. Keeping a continuous list is my solution to all these little complications. A small writing pad on the fridge or a page stuck to the fridge door with a magnet where you keep adding to the list as you remember or a storage box is emptying up is what you should do.
Use a To-Do-List:
We live multiple lives and it is a taken we multi task. We have to. We are a professional, a home maker, a hobbyist, and much more all rolled into one. There are times we will not be able to prioritize and miss out things in one of the roles. I keep to-do-lists about every thing I have to do. Something even as small as ordering a birthday gift online for a friend. Just following the list to the T keeps me up to date with everything that I need to do. And I know I haven’t missed out on anything.
Even if I have, I forgot is only an excuse not a reason.
It is an apps world we live in and there are many apps available in both iOS and Android for managing your to-do-lists. Choose any that you like. Or you can stick to our age old, dated notebook. I love the sense of achievement I get from that tick I am able to strike after completing each task, so I stick to my favorite notebook and pen method.
Don’t Invest Too Much In Clothes:
For two reasons. One it takes up a lot of your wardrobe space which in turn makes you believe that you need another wardrobe and that in turn takes up more space in your house. Secondly, when you have too many clothing options you take up more time to decide on what to wear. Investing in clothes too much takes away two major resources from you – space and time. Definitely not worth it.
If you are a man, a few pairs of shirts, tees, trousers, jeans and shorts would do but if you are a woman, yes I know things could get a bit complicated. What I do is I have a couple of dresses for each occasion. My wardrobe has ample space, my husband often expresses surprise that I pack lesser clothes than he does (and he himself is a minimal packer) and I get to shop often!
Learn To Say Less ‘Yes’:
You must have heard this often – learn to say NO. Easier said than done, I know. No one can suddenly start saying no. I could not. I started by saying lesser yeses and lesser maybes. Obviously the only other option left is saying No. You will make your life much more simpler and less stressful with less of the first two and more of the last one. No unwanted obligations will line up just because you said an unwanted, half hearted yes.
Keep Your Surfaces Clutter Free:
The surfaces in your house/ office need to be organised. Clutter attracts clutter. This is pure human psychology. When you eat at your favorite street food vendor, you possibly notice the disposable plates have piled up and are over flowing the waste bin. The plates are lying over and around the bin. What do your you do? Obviously finish your delicacy and add to the pile.
Now imagine, what if the bin wasn’t overflowing and plates weren’t littered around? You will not be the first one to throw your plate on the ground. No one wants to be the one to start the litter. Same psychology is at work in your home/ office too. You will not clutter an organised surface, be it a table, fridge or dressing table top. But one thing goes out of place and then it is the starting of a chain; the links will keep adding.
Get A Maid:
Now that is a an advise my better half gave me; and that is an advise to all those people out there who want to get the best out of their time. It is an advise to all the new brides out there, if you can afford a maid get one and avoid getting into all household work conflicts. It is an advise to all urbanites, to keep your house moving on autopilot.
Be it avoiding petty household conflicts or getting the most effective output out of your time or simply ironing mundane out of your life…if you can afford a maid, get one. This is possibly the single-most most powerful tip to simplify your life.
Automate Your Payments:
Missing out on your payment dates is a big no-no and not to mention a bad trend to follow, financially. That stress to remember the dates and the amount is complicated with all the multi tasking, multiple priorities and multiple bills, undoubtedly. So how to simplify this complication?
We are inhibutants of the tech age, right? Use technology. I have automated all my payouts – be it my PPF monthly installment or my annual insurance premiums or monthly mobile bills. Nearly all vendors give you the option of linking your bank account and selecting an auto pay. Of course paying all your outgoing payments is top of your list, so do that without the stress or complication.
So I am an order freak and this one comes from it but I assure you this is a very useful tip. Stastitics say that the maximun time employees waste on a single task is on looking for things. The same stats applies for homes too. We all look for things and keep looking. Sometimes we find what we look for, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we find it when we need it, and often we find it when we don’t need it. So it must be very difficult to find things once they are stored. Are they?
Not in my house. Everything has a box in my little abode. From chargers to medicines, from cosmetics to extra grocery everything has a place. So we look for it there and keep it back there. As someone wise once said, “when there is a place for everything, everything is in place.”
Tuck Your Credit Card Away:
I am not anti-credit card but they do give you that pseudo sense of having when you have not. Credit cards have turned out to be a major spending reason and that inevitable stress that comes with the credit card bills. It is easy to turn this into a strength. If you don’t have it, you will not use it. Of course in today’s automated age, the credit card number would be saved on your phone or laptop; all you need to do is remember the CVV number and the transaction is through.
Delete the card number from your phone and laptop. Tuck the card away in your locker. Credit card companies charge an extremely high interest if you ever default the bill payment. I do not say that you should not have one. You should. But make use of your credit card in emergencies; only if it is a financial situation where you have to shell out and there is no other option. No credit life is a simple life. You have got to believe this from someone who does not own a credit card after a decade of being at jobs.
The ultimate nirvana. Own less things and you will have lesser things to worry about. Lesser things to choose from. Lesser things to maintain. Lesser things to replace. Lesser things to take up your space. I do not say don’t have the ones that are essential but there is a difference between essential and necessary. And there is also a difference between necessary and luxury.
This is my mother’s tip. Whenever a thought to buy something comes to you, categorise it first. Is it essential or is it just a necessity but can be managed without or is it a luxury. I love to stick to the essential, though I also venture into the necessary at times. Minimalist you can call me, so is the better half. Possibly why we have lesser things to squabble over 😀 That’s another advantage of owing less apart from the fact that it simplifies your home and life to a great extent.
These are the 10 things that I follow to simplify my life. Let is know if I have missed any of the ones that you practise, in the comments. Would love to know and try them.