The first week of August is “Simplify Your Life” week. It also marks the start of a new year of school for our little ones. And maybe it makes sense that these two markedly different events fall in the same month. For families with children, the start of the school year feels more like New Years than January 1 does. Older children are starting at a new school, moving out, entering college and life as we know it is being reinvented. That being said, the fact that these events fall in the same month as a celebration of simplicity makes sense. We all need to take a moment to pare down our tasks, our clutter, and our calendars and start anew. This month we are going to take a look at some of the best ideas out there for how you can simplify your life (without adding more tasks to your to-do list).
Learning to say no
To “simplify” is defined as “to make less complicated” and we all suffer from a hectic schedule that leaves us juggling many balls in the air. Overcommitting is certainly an area we can tackle in an effort to simplify. Saying no is difficult, but with practice and a conscious effort, you can reduce your commitments and end up with time for you and your family. You can help develop this habit by committing to one “no” a week. It is actually pretty refreshing.
Taking a break from technology
With an ever-constant presence in our lives, technology takes us out of the present and sets us in a spiral of never-ending engagement with everyone except the ones right in front of us, the ones that really count. Commit to a 60-minute break once a day and take that time to engage with family, read a book or be present in the moment.
Clutter = stress, whether we realize it or not. And de-cluttering your space de-clutters your mind. Grab some empty boxes and label them for each room of the house, with an extra for “throw out” and one for “donate”. Go room to room and pick up all the clutter, placing it in the box for the room it belongs in (or in the trash box if you decide it is doing you no favors). Use your free 60 minutes a day to put the clutter away.
There are a ton of fun ideas to help you get your space back, from the whole house to something specific like your closet. Check out this blog for some more!
Most of us use our reminder app or our calendar app to keep on top of the tasks and appointments. However, sometimes it’s the niggling tasks we never quite seem to get to that cause us the most stress. There is something about writing it down and acknowledging it that sets us on the right path and gives us some peace. If your finances need help, find a friend to help you go through them and get them straight. If you are overwhelmed with to-do’s, take the time to write them all out and commit to completing one or two a week. Just taking them out of your head and putting them on paper can de-clutter your mind.
Re-invent your routine
Habits are hard to break and sometimes it is our routine that is actually making life more complicated than it has to be. Try something new this school year: make lunches the night before after you clean up from dinner, take a different route to school, create a chore list and get your kids involved in getting themselves out the door in the morning. Sometimes the fastest way to a simpler life is looking at it from a different perspective.
The key to simplifying is to simplify the process! Just make a start and commit to something simple. Once you begin, the feeling of accomplishment will spur you on. Clearing your mind and giving yourself the time to enjoy life is what simplifying is all about. Make sure it is bringing you joy and not another task
to overwhelm you. Here is to the beginning of another great new school year!