It’s hard to believe we’re already more than half way through February. I feel like we were ringing in the New Year two seconds ago and I was setting my goals for 2019. Every year around this time, I check in with myself. Have I completely thrown away my resolutions already or am I still sticking to them? One resolution I’ve realized I really need to work on this year is simplifying my life. Once 2019 hit and I went back to work, I feel like I’ve been on autopilot. I’m constantly exhausted, I’m calm on the outside but overwhelmed on the inside and I never feel like there’s enough time in the day to get everything done on my to do list. If this sounds familiar to you too, today’s post is for you. I’m rounding up five ways to simplify your life no matter how overwhelmed you may be. For the next few months, I’m going to challenge myself to stick to all five and I’ll report back to share how it goes.
1) Learn To Say ‘No’
It’s no coincidence that learning to say ‘no’ is first on my list. I am absolutely horrible at doing this and I always have been. I’ve started to learn that saying no is one of the biggest ways you can simplify your life.
By saying no to things you don’t want to do, you immediately trim the extra fat you didn’t want to take on in the first place.
In turn, you’ll give yourself space for something else that is meaningful to you–something that brings you positive energy.
As an experiment, try this one time this week and you will undoubtedly feel lighter and a calming sense of relief.
2) Purge Away
We may not realize it all the time but all of the extra stuff in our lives adds extra baggage. If your home feels cluttered or your closet is full-to-the-brim, tidying up will help start to set you free.
You don’t have to do an entire home overhaul in one day. Instead, as not to overwhelm yourself, devote a few hours on a weekend to clearing out excess things you no longer need. Maybe choose an accessible space–like your closet. From there, follow the tidying up steps I’m completely obsessed with in Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life Altering Magic of Tidying Up.”
If that method feels too overwhelming for starters, you can always start by sorting your clothing and donating any pieces you know you haven’t worn in over 6-12 months. Put them in a bag and donate them as soon as you can. The minute they’re off your hands you’ll feel so much better.
I can’t remember a time I decluttered where I didn’t walk away completely refreshed and ready to take on the world. There really is a magic to it. Your mornings will feel more simple because you’ll know exactly where all of your outfits are. You’ll also be able to put away your laundry; everything will have its place. From there, pick another room or space to tackle. You’ve got this.
In purging, you will absolutely simplify your life. I can’t wait to hear how it works for you.
3) Complete One Task At A Time
I’m a serial multitasker. I don’t feel comfortable just sitting and focusing on one thing because my mind is constantly thinking about the ten other things on my plate. Whenever I’m watching TV, for instance, my husband always points out that I’m organically doing something else that I feel is productive.
I’m blogging or working, even drawing. It’s almost like I subliminally won’t give myself permission to just be and to veg out because I feel like it’s a waste of time. Crazy #TypeA. I’m such a work in progress.
All of this said, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to be more intentional about every task I set out to do. I’ve been focusing on that one task until I’m done and it’s made all the difference.
In doing so, I’ve realized just how exhausting multi-tasking has really been for me. By the end of the night, I’m no longer completely burnt out. I’m able to feel accomplished and I know exactly which task (instead of tasks) I need to start the next day.
My productivity has gone up and my life has become more simplified. #Winwin.
4) Create Morning & Evening Routines
Now that Naiya is almost a year and a half, I’ve really been able to back into some sort of routine. My routine has helped me to start and end my day calmly without as much anxiety. It’s also helped me to feel a great sense of purpose and structure.
In the morning, Naiya usually wakes us up around 7am. I go into her room, bring her into our bed and nurse her. Still trying to figure out when we’re going to wean completely! We’re doing morning and night feeds right now and are very close. My goal was always 1.5 so we’re just about there. I digress–anyway, I change Naiya’s diaper, we play and then Phil takes over.
From there, I go for a run. This run is the staple of my morning routine because it allows me to clear my mind, get out any extra anxiety and feel empowered to start my day. I come back, shower, dress and head out to work.
At night, I come home and immediately give Naiya a bath. We get her ready for bed, I read to her, nurse her and put her to bed. Phil and I eat dinner around 8:30pm (way too late–trying to work on that!). From there, we catch up, watch our favorite shows, and Phil usually goes to bed. From there, I usually get some work done–blogging away until all hours of the night. I wash my face, brush my teeth and we go to bed.
These routines–however crazy–really help me to get everything done and they also simplify my life. There’s a time and place for everything. Even though I’m going to bed way too late (trying to work on that), so far this routine is helping to keep everything in check.
5) Limit Your Social Media Consumption
This is a really tough one for me that I’m constantly working on. As someone who lives and breathes digital media, I am absolutely glued to my phone. Since becoming a parent, my hubby has pointed out how important it is for us to be fully present around Naiya; I couldn’t agree more. We both do our best to put our phones away when we’re with her. The last thing we need is to raise a new generation even more addicted to our devices than we are.
In order to help what I’m pretty sure is a low key social media addiction, I’ve decided to create windows for myself to look at social media. I try my best not to look at it whenever I’m with Naiya in the mornings. I try my best also not to look at social media at work until lunchtime as not to distract myself
I spend the most time on social media before Naiya wakes up and after she goes to sleep. In this way, I’m not taking extra time away from her but I’m still able to do what I need to do.
I’m not at all perfect at the above quite yet but I’m trying my hardest. I know doing so will simplify my life and also help me to be more present.
How Do YOU Simplify Your Life?
Have you been feeling overwhelmed this year with a crazier schedule than ever? I know I have! I went into this year with the best intentions and perhaps I already bit off more than I could chew. Thankfully, the year is young and there’s still so much time to get in a better rhythm.
Whether you’re a full-time working mom or a stay at home mom, balancing all the things is exhausting! Too bad there’s no manual to tell us how best to get it all done. So until then, I’m all about simplifying.
Are you taking active steps to simplify your life this year too? If not, are you open to starting? I’d love to learn all of the ways you’re planning on simplifying on your end. If you’re not simplifying yet, feel free to share your favorite ideas in the comment section below from today’s list. I’d love to learn what speaks to you! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Photography: Forrest Leo