Here are ten ways to reduce the surplus and live a simpler life
1) Limit time with people that drain you. We all have them, friends who take and give very little in return. Be ruthless about allowing them access to you and your valuable time.
2) Find time on a regular basis to clear out your home. Take it one room at a time and get rid of items that you no longer use and/or enjoy.
3) Don’t allow distractions.
Focus on what you need to accomplish and complete that task. How many times have you found that you have started doing one thing, then become sidetracked and started a second task without completing the first? Stay focused and do one task at a time. You will soon be tearing through that to-do list.
4) Set a certain amount of structure and routine in your life. Create a basic framework for your life. Work, gym, holidays, kids, housework, courses and classes set the basic platform and the rest should be as flexible as possible. This way you will feel that life isn’t all about chores and responsibility. Keep an amount of time free and flexible. if possible, aim for at least 35%. This will enable more spontaneity or time to rest and recharge.
5) Find at least one activity that you really enjoy. Something that helps you escape and switch off. One of my favourites is turning my phone off, making a cup of tea, popcorn and watching a good documentary.
6) Be disciplined about checking emails, Facebook and Twitter. Aim to check twice a day (once in the morning and once in the late afternoon, say about 4pm) at set times. If you don’t do this you will probably find that time gets sucked away extremely quickly whilst cruising through these online media sites.
7) Keep one day free per week to recharge, catch up and take stock for the next seven days. You will find that with a little preparation you will be much more prepared and efficient in planning your time.
8) Set clear goals to work towards. We all need a purpose and direction in our lives. If we don’t, each day merges into the next and we end up feeling in limbo. Goals keep us on track and provide an overall framework for our efforts.
9) Resist pressure from others. External pressures will always exist and if you keep firm boundaries these will encroach less upon your life. Avoid the word “should” and replace it with “could”. Be more selfish with your time. Be true to yourself and always ask yourself if it is something you want to do or whether you are doing it just to please others.
10) Prioritise. Know what they are and stick to them. If your priority is to be healthy and fit – make gym part of your basic routine and don’t compromise on it. Figure out your top 3-5 priorities and make sure you spend a good part of each day, or at least every second day, engaging in activities that support your priorities.
Be clear about what you want and how you want to get it. We are all under pressure and time is becoming more precious than ever. When you simplify your life you will get more done and feel more in control.