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Shortcuts to Simplify Your Life

Simplify Your Life? It's Easier Than You Think!

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Updated October 26, 2012

Shortcuts to Simplify Your Life

Simplify, and feel like this on the inside.

Photo from iStockPhoto.com
If you're looking to simplify your life, you're also taking a big step toward a less-stressed life. When you do the prep work to simplify your life, you reap the rewards for a long time to come, and these rewards can include avoiding the experience and the effects of stress that you'd encounter with a too-busy, overly hectic lifestyle. But the act of simplifying life should be simple, too. The following 'simplify your life' ideas provide you with simple changes you can make that will bring significant results in the future.

Cut According To Your Priorities

One of the most obvious 'simplify your life' strategies is to cut out superfluous activities from a too-packed schedule. However, this is often easier said than done. What should you cut? Everything seems important! I recommend that you cut out anything that isn't absolutely necessary for your survival (and that of your family), and anything that doesn't 'feed' you emotionally. This would include those things you said yes to when you really wanted to say no, just because you didn't want to disappoint people. Here's an article on setting priorities, making schedule cuts, and developing a life plan. And once you have your schedule pared down, here's how to say no so you don't end up taking on more than you can handle again.

Learn When To Multi-Task

First we saw multitasking as the holy grail of time: a great way to double up and add hours to your life! Then research suggested that there were some risks to multitasking, which included, among other things, poor cognitive performance. Then people suggested chunking instead of multi-tasking, which meant focusing on one thing at a time, but for short periods, which is a good solution for those who are interrupted often. I would also like to suggest targeted multi-tasking: pair one thought-intensive activity with one mostly-physical one so you can think about one thing while you're on automatic pilot with another activity. Examples include walking on a treadmill (for exercise, of course) while planning with your spouse on the phone; cleaning house while you mentally plan your next day's strategy; listening to an audiobook during your morning commute. It's a nice compromise to free up some time without sacrificing brain power where it counts.

Learn To Delegate

There are people out there who can help you live a more simple life; you just need to find them and let them help you out. I'm talking about delegating. If you're doing too many things, you can pare down all that you're doing by passing some of the responsibility off to someone else who can handle it. Here's more on how to delegate; try it where appropriate, and you'll be glad you did.

Find Creative Shortcuts

Everything doesn't always need to be done perfectly. Really. Sometimes you can cut corners or do the next-best thing, and nobody notices. Other times, you can find quick and creative shortcuts and do a great job in much less time. The trick is to start thinking creatively, and plan ahead. To get you started, here are a few 'shortcuts' I like to use: Shortcuts To Happiness, Shortcuts to Finding Balance, and Shortcut To Serenity.

Live In The Moment

One way to make all of the mental clutter and stress you're carrying with you seem to just disappear, is to cultivate mindfulness--the practice of living fully in the moment. If you aren't thinking about things to do in the future, or reliving stress you've experienced in the past, your present moment is much more simply, and much less stressful! Here's more about mindfulness, and some mindfulness meditation techniques to get you started.

Another nice way to simplify your life is to subscribe to the free weekly stress management newsletter, join the About Stress Management Facebook Group, or follow me on Twitter to get stress relief information delivered to you in a convenient format. Also, scroll down for more resources.

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