We’ve found the best (and simplest!) can-do approaches that will take your lifestyle from overloaded to streamlined in six easy steps!
How often have you woken up, determined to have a stressfree day, only to fall into bed in the evening disappointed? While external, unpredictable forces can send us off track, sometimes we also get in our own way. Our intention to streamline our lives might be good and noble, but it’s easy to let small, negative behaviours become habit. And when it comes to habit, we all know just how hard those can be to break!
At one point, busy was all the rage. Tired, overworked, hectic – if you weren’t one (or all!) of these, then what exactly
were you doing with your time! Many of us live in a constant state of mental dispersion, and technological advances
enable us to be connected to the world 24/7. Unfortunately, this can result in stress, anxiety and exhaustion – both
mental and physical. When life becomes overwhelming we tend to lose focus and, more often than not, motivation.
As people desperately search for ways to slow down and cut back, streamlining has become more than simply the latest buzz word. It really is necessary and possible to achieve by decluttering your physical surroundings and your mind. While there are plenty of ways to remove distraction from your life, we think the streamlining rules listed here
have the most impact.
By streamlining your life you’ll create more breathing space for yourself, and more time to spend doing what’s most important to you.
Before you begin ask yourself…
What are my priorities?
What are the five most important things in your life? Think of the things and the people who truly add value to your life. Write your answers down, and refer to them when you’re feeling overwhelmed – this should motivate you to stay on track with your streamlining goals.
Your time is your most valuable resource, so ask yourself: do your current commitments align with the priorities you’ve listed above? Which of your current commitments do you keep up purely out of obligation?
Rule #1 Bust the clutter
- Physical clutter can have a negative impact on your stress levels. Give both your living space and work space a thorough clean out. While there are many ways to physically declutter, thousands of people are benefitting from the KonMari method. Plus there are loads of how-to infographics available on Pinterest.
- Make your bed! Sounds silly, right? But before you laugh, think about it. A tidy space has a calming effect on the mind and helps to reduce stress levels – a great reward when you’re about to walk out the front door and start a brand new day.
Rule #2 Practise daily gratitude
- Having gratitude and being grateful for the things and people you have in your life can really shift your perspective. It may sound simple, but in fact, daily gratitude takes practise. Make it a rule to start and
end your day taking note of what you’re grateful for. It can be as simple as being thankful for hot, running
water, or something more serious like having survived a cancer scare. Self-help author Melody Beattie sums up the idea of gratitude beautifully: ‘Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into
enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.’
Rule #3 Cleanse your mind
- Your mental space is just as important as your physical space. Having a clear and focused mind will help you to be mindful and present in your everyday interactions with others, and in the activities you do. That’s why we love the idea of a brain dump. Basically, it’s the act of transferring all your thoughts (about work, family, errands – anything really!) onto a piece of paper. It’s a good exercise to do at least once a week, preferably an hour or two before bed.
- Try daily meditation. Just 10 minutes a day can help to improve overall wellbeing of your mind, body and soul. Not only can it make you feel happier, it can actually contribute towards your health too! Some benefits include reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure, improved memory, and an improved immune system.
Rule #4 Unplug, unsubscribe and turn off unnecessary notifications
- When we’re exposed to information overload, it drains our energy and dilutes our attention. It’s incredibly important to find time in your day to simply unplug. Get away from your phone or the TV and focus on something real. Throw a ball around outside with your child while you both talk about your day. Go for a walk alone or simply lie on the grass and watch the clouds.
Rule #5 Don’t multitask!
- Yes, you read that right. Multitasking is a major energy sapper, which renders you inefficient. Instead, tackle one task at a time, and break everything down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Also, if you’re unable to do something yourself, delegate and outsource services – use willing hands at home (the kids and hubby can take on a chore or two!).
Rule #6 Automate wherever possible
- Be on the lookout for ways to automate your life – this can really be a timesaver. Bills to pay? Set up a
monthly debit order so you don’t have to waste time physically going into a store. Try online grocery shopping and see if it works for you, too.
11 better-living tips
Quick ways to declutter your digital life
- Unsubscribe from all unnecessary newsletters or emails.
- Archive all social media notification emails – better yet, go onto your Facebook settings and turn all notifications off.
- Create a second (free) email account to use when signing up to sites for freebies and newsletters
so that incoming mails don’t distract you from other, more important work mails.
- Use cloud storage, such as Google Photos, to store pictures off your phone and free up space.
- Clean up your computer/laptop/ desktop at least once a week. Place all your files and icons in the
The key to making the above rules work for you is consistency. As with any major life change, time, effort and dedication are necessary before you’ll start to reap the rewards. Starting with the above, you’ll be well on your way to living the streamlined, stress-free life you deserve.
FEATURE: LAUREN FISCHER PHOTO: STOCK.ADOBE.COM