Life is complicated…
…but that's what makes it fun.
I mean – do you prefer to live like animals?
Eating, sleeping, breeding… nothing else?
It's nice to have feelings, ideas, ambitions…
But that's also why we're overwhelmed with new features, add-ons, etc.
Life isn't simple…
But we can simplify it as much as possible.
You'll be surprised – it doesn't take much to change your days (and years) for the better!
Here are 5 fantastic ways to simplify your lifestyle.
Simplify Your Life: Tip #1 – Have A Daily Uniform
I happened to come across this one-liner joke:
Our school has a strict dress code. The only time we can dress the way we like is on Halloween.
Joke or not – I commend any school that’s able to implement such a dress code. Should our kids have to spend a good chunk of time and energy – at the start of each day – just to think about what to wear?
I’d rather they focus on an upcoming test or make sure their homework is ready. It's the same reason I like having my own predetermined wardrobe for work.
This so-called “uniform” is also something you'll see in influential people like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Karl Lagerfeld, and the late Steve Jobs.
Why do they have such singular styles? The idea is to maximize your mental energy on a given day – by minimizing decisions on less important matters. The more choices you constantly have to make, the more prone you are to what psychologists call “decision fatigue.”
Even former president Obama followed this kind of practice. He once told Vanity Fair that he'd purposely wear only blue or gray suits as he didn't “want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
Zuckerberg shares the same point of view by wearing his gray hoodies. He avoids wasting energy “on things that are silly or frivolous about my life” since his priorities are doing his job – figuring out “how to best serve this community.”
It's not that being well-dressed is unnecessary. The point is to simplify a decision that people have to make every day. With a go-to outfit based on what's appropriate for your job, your environment, and your personality – you'll end up with greater energy to do your work or even socialize more.
There's no second-guessing in the back of your mind about your wardrobe because it's what you always wear. It's proven to go perfectly with your image. But… what if you're not the type who wears the exact same outfit each day (or you're afraid others will find it strange)?
No problem – you can still save up some mental energy while having freedom and variety. Learn to build an interchangeable wardrobe where almost each item in your closet can be partnered with each other. Understand how to find matching clothes with the right fit and quality.
Simplify Your Life: Tip #2 – Simplify Your Grooming Routine
I also read this funny story about an old man who goes for a shave at the barbershop. He says upfront that it's hard to get rid of all the whiskers due to his wrinkled cheeks. So the barber takes this wooden ball from the shelf and lets the man put it in his mouth (to spread out the skin on his cheeks).
When he's done shaving, the old man is delighted – saying it's the cleanest shave he's had in a while. But then he asks what would've happened if he had swallowed the ball. The barber says: “Just bring it back in a couple of days like everyone else does.” Yikes!
It's safe to say you shouldn't worry about that kind of situation anytime soon. So while your cheeks are still “young”, choose an excellent razor if you want that barber quality shaving routine.
You need a razor that does a consistently clean job so you don't have to repeat strokes or finish up with scissors. Whether you want a clean-shaven look or just to trim your beard, the quality of your device matters.
Research shows that most people take into account speed, comfort, and convenience when it comes to picking their razor. And knowing how time flies these days – it's no surprise that many of us want something that's reliable and useful wherever we take it. Not all razor brands are complete in those categories.
You also want to use balms, creams, oils, and moisturizers made from quality ingredients, that are naturally sourced. In fact – a natural shaving kit is the easiest way to make sure that you have consistent quality in the products you use.
Simplify Your Life: Tip #3 – Automate Everything You Can
How about another joke I heard? It's one of those “fix a light bulb” versions – how many robots would it take to do it? The answer is 3 – 1 to hold the bulb, and 2 to turn the ladder!
We can look at that joke from different angles. Why couldn't that one robot screw in the light bulb on its own without being turned around by the others? Maybe it's more efficient?
But I think we can all agree that robots make a lot of things easier – computers included. That's why I'm a big fan of personal automated systems.
Coming back to tip #1, these systems also help you save mental energy. If you get swamped with emails at different hours of the day – is it necessary to reply within minutes? Why not use an auto-responder instead which goes out saying “I only check emails twice a day. Thank you for your patience.”
That system is better than dropping the current task at hand to reply to emails every now and then. So if those lower-priority tasks in your work life have similar systems – you'll realize it's easier to get MORE of the important stuff done in LESS time. You'll stay focused and avoid missing deadlines.
That's also why I suggest that you use an automated money saving app. It was revealed in the annual Retirement Readiness Survey (conducted in March 2016) by Personal Capital that 40% of millennials –those who are 18-34 years old – don't have their own retirement savings account.
It's pretty alarming that many young people aren't making an effort to save right now. But it might be because they're too busy to even think about it – or they always postpone it for later. So if you want to start securing your distant future now, find an app that will automate your finances in a way that aligns with your personal goals.
There are also some fantastic apps that help you make significant savings while traveling, shopping, buying groceries or dining with friends. Remember – there's always a little extra you can keep. Let your auto saving app handle it while you keep living your life.
Simplify Your Life: Tip #4 – Clean Up Any Clutter
This cartoon image depicts something the average guy can relate to.
Clutter – it's basically a close cousin of the garbage bin without the smell or the critters. So why are there people who find it okay, and some who even call it a good thing?
You might've heard of creatives or geniuses who claim that clutter shows progress. But science says otherwise – and the negative effects of clutter and mess include:
- Mental and physical stress
- Feelings of guilt or shame (especially when others come by your space unexpectedly)
- Lack of open spaces that encourage creativity and productivity
- Signals in the brain that your work is never done
If you really want to start every day with a fresh mind – your brain needs the inspiration of physical cleanliness. It's sort of like the feeling when you enter a newly made-up room in the hotel after a long flight. Everything is set in its proper place – no physical distractions. So you should learn to treat yourself like a special guest to your own home or office space.
Declutter your life by weeding out those old CDs, DVDs, memorabilia, sporting equipment, as well as any clothing that you haven't worn in over a year (which is better off donated). You don't have to throw all of those away. Just find a box to store them. If you ever feel nostalgic and want to replay your 90s music or remember your first baseball game – at least you'll know where to look.
As for your books, this is where you can embrace modern technology and get rid of them. Nope – I'm not saying you should stop reading! I'm talking about eBooks, which you can download now from almost anywhere on your mobile device.
Many of your old books have electronic versions on Amazon Kindle – so you can reread them without the physical copies taking up valuable space. You can sell those books in a garage sale or give them away. Why not? Anyway, it's easier to read 5 eBooks on a plane than to pack 5 books!
Simplify Your Life: Tip #5 – Utilize “To-Do List” Tools
Wouldn't we all love to have a personal assistant, who tells exactly what to do and what follows, every hour of the day? It's no secret that luxury is only available for the rich, famous and powerful. But that's fine – the rest of us have the old-fashioned to-do list to get us through the daily hustle and bustle.
Tools for making to-do lists are awesome because:
They break down everything that has to be done (no need to memorize)
They can organize tasks by date, priority, topic, person concerned – you name it!
It's easy to add/delete items or edit the list (no more scribbles all over your calendar!)
Once you mark a “complete” task – it automatically disappears (or gets transferred to the list of accomplished things)
Some tools you can try:
- The whiteboard in your office
- Sticky notes (either the Post-it® type or the feature on your PC)
- Priority Matrix software
- Evernote app
- Todoist app