If you’re like many Americans today, you may feel pressed for time, money and space. You may find it difficult to make time or room for the things in life that really matter, such as family, friends and hobbies that you enjoy. If this is the case, it may be time to take a good hard look at your stuff, your habits and your social network and determine how you can simplify it all.
Simplifying your life is important for so many reasons, the most important of which is your happiness. Everything — whether a physical object, a habit or a person — takes up space, and you only have so much room. Every item you own, every activity in which you partake and every person you hang out with costs you something. When your life is full of stuff, you may find yourself in both monetary and emotional debt.
Simplifying your life may help you achieve the same feeling of relief as simplifying actual debt. When you pare down your material objects, activities and social circle, you will have more space, time and energy for those who truly matter and, just as important, yourself. So where do you begin the simplification process? Below are four ways to get started.
Declutter Your Living Space
The most obvious way to simplify your life is to declutter your living space. Your environment plays a huge role in your psychological well-being as well as in your physical health. Every time you cannot find your keys or you misplace your purse or you get frustrated by a mountain of clutter that spills out of your closet, you’re wasting your mental resources on stuff.
When you clear your space of items you no longer use or don’t need, you may discover that you’ll have more energy and be more productive because you’re no longer wasting precious energy on finding and cleaning and reorganizing. You will also have more time to care for and cherish the items that you keep.
Take Control of Your Finances
Regardless of how much money you have — a little, a moderate amount or a lot — you need to take control of your finances. If you don’t, they will consume too many of your thoughts and too much of your emotional health.
You can simplify your life by taking charge of your finances. Establish a budget, develop goals and spend within your means. Don’t charge purchases to credit and don’t impulse-buy. In fact, be intentional about how you spend your money. Give careful consideration to your wants and needs and only make a purchase (or don’t) after doing so. Once you take control of your money, you can spend less time and energy worrying about it and more time glorifying in the true meaning of financial freedom.
Nix Bad Mental Habits
Your mental habits can have a significant impact on your psychological well-being. Negative mental habits, such as dwelling on the past, feeling sorry for yourself and thinking deprecating self-thoughts are just a few ways you’re sabotaging your emotional health.
Going forward, whenever you find yourself engaging in toxic emotional behaviors, put a pause on your thinking, take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s not helpful. Then shift gears and engage in positive thinking habits, such as self-compassion, gratitude and realistic self-talk.
Take Charge of Your Time
Time is your most valuable asset, as unlike money, the time you spend you can never get back. Make the most of your days, hours, minutes and seconds by using your time in a way that brings you fulfillment. Spend less time complaining and more time reveling in the things you appreciate. Stop wasting precious hours scrolling through social media, and instead, use those hours to learn a new language, develop a new hobby or socialize with a friend.
Life can’t always be simple, but you can make it less complicated. Start doing that today by giving the above four tips a try.