“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.” – Albert Einstein
I know you reading this article because the title caught your interest or you genuinely want to find a way to stop stressing, simplify your life. Are things feeling off balance?
I am on this journey of simplifying my life. I have plenty of things. In fact lots of things. I am not a hoarder just have too many things. The old go out the new come in. It’s been like this for many many years. Reading up on how to simplify life I found a common thread in all the info. Discipline! Yup you reading correctly. Discipline!
That did not surprised me. At that moment I heard my mum’s voice in my head. (I told you). I am not a disciplined person. My mood dictates most of my action or non-action. I am allergic to routine. I find it totally boring. Although feeling this way intuitively I knew things were off balance in my life. Needed to put life into balance. This is how I did it
I came up with a game plan of tackling things daily and some weekly. This took a while to get into place. Once I got the flow of a routine. I felt so powerful and in control. I can tweak and control my routine to make place for those unexpected activities.
It may sound strange that we must simplify so that we can allow for flexibility. Yes, it’s actually true (It’s from personal experience). The daily routines can become overwhelming due to lack of preparation, and we aren’t able to appreciate the many delightful gifts of pleasurable experiences that come our way unexpectedly throughout the week.
Now let’s start with weekly routine:
1) Plan your meals to save time during the week. Also you have the perfect opportunity to plan wholesome healthy meals. Tasty delicious ones too.
2) Do a stock-take. Keep a notebook nearby to list all that is needed. This way you are not stressed to remember what is out of stock.
3) Shop for food stuff and essentials. Do this on a regular basis. This way you save money and time. You are less tempted to overbuy.
4) Laundry. Do the laundry at least 3 times a week if you a big family. If you single or just two people in the house, once a week is good enough. Start the laundry machine at night when you go to sleep. Hang the washing on the line in the morning. It will be dry when you come home from work. Plan to do the ironing of the cloths, linen, etc. 1-2 times a week. Press the cloths, linen, etc. while watching TV.
5) Exercise. Plan your exercise for the week. Exercise 3 times a week for 1 hour each. Exercise reduces stress, increases the happy feeling, and keeps you healthy and fit. Exercise can be fun. Choose Zumba, Kickboxing class, Yoga, Spinning, walking, etc. There is exercise suitable for all types of people. So there is no excuse not to include exercise in your life.
6) Clean your house. Clean your house 2-3 times a week. After a hard day at work it’s very comforting and refreshing to come to a tidy neat home. I have a date with my house every Saturday. It’s a special time. Got my favourite music on. I dance while I sweep, vacuum and mop my house.
7) Keep your yard & garden clean. If you have a yard and garden. Clean the yard once a week or hire someone to tend to your garden to remove weeds and prune & trim your flowers and bushes. Rake the leaves and sweep the yard of the all the dust and leaves as well. If this is done regularly it will not pile up. It can become an exhaustive task if done occasionally or if you having a function at your place. I have garden service to clean my yard on a weekly basis.
8) Time to plan for the week. Make time to plan for the week. I plan every Sunday evening. Its takes about 1 hour. In the starting it took a bit longer. Once I got it perfected to my needs it does not take that long. I feel empowered by planning for the week ahead. I feel on top of my game. This way I am more productive, know how much energy I need for the week.
Now let’s get to the daily routine:
1) Wake up and sleep at the similar time. This way you will have plenty of energy during the day. Your skin will glow, maintain a good weight and have a clear sharp mind. You will be prepared for unforeseen events during the day. You will be able to better cope these situations.
2) Make your bed when you wake up. Make it a habit to make your bed once you step out of the bed. It’s so exciting and comforting to come to a clean inviting bed after an exhausting day work. If you tired, can you imagine just flopping onto your clean comfy bed?
3) Eat Breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast helps maintain your energy levels throughout the day. It helps to keep one’s blood sugar levels balanced. Keep the breakfast simple and nutritional.
4) Plan your cloths the night before. Check the weather report and if you have any important meetings or social events to attend. Prepare your cloths the night before. Press them if needed. This way you do not spend time in the morning on what to wear. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed instead enjoying getting dressed in the morning.
5) Grooming & beauty routine. Keep the grooming and beauty regime simple for week. Enhance it for special occasions. Keep it simple but making you feel beautiful. Consult a makeup artist on how to apply your makeup for daily and special occasions. The consultant can assist with which colours will suit you.
6) Wash dishes after dinner. Wash dishes at night after dinner. Clean the basin and kitchen counters. Store the leftovers in containers. You leave no room for germs or insects to breed. Spick-and-Span! When you wake up it’s so pleasant to come into a spotless kitchen. If you have a dirty kitchen you can have this sinking feeling of still having to wash the dishes.
7) Wipe your bathroom. We underestimate the need to keep the bathroom clean on a daily basis. Whether you the only person using the bathroom or you sharing it, it’s imperative to keep it hygienic and sanitary. Germs and bacteria will be reduced considerably. Store your toothbrush and makeup in cabinet or drawers. Clean your hairbrush everytime you use it. It’s just so pleasant to have a clean bathroom.
8) Create a safe easy accessible place for post/papers. Place mail, important papers, statements, etc. in a safe easy accessible draw/file/unit. This way you can manage payments, investments and miscellaneous administration easily efficiently. You are more productive, have more time, resources and space for new activities in your life.
9) Tidy up every night before going to bed. Pickup shoes, glasses, jackets, newspaper, magazines, keys, bags, phones and etc. put them where they belong. In the morning you save time by knowing the keys, shoes, phone, bag, and wallet are.
10) Charge your electronic devices. Charge your electronic devices every night. You will be prepared for the next day.
11) Pack lunch and health snacks at night. Eating healthy is extremely important. Pack your lunch and healthy snacks for work. It’s also cost effective. Double benefit.
These are some of the ideas I have implemented in my life. To some the routine may seem rigid but once you get the hang of a routine, it’s just becomes second nature. You will have more space and time for new experiences, spontaneity, fun and joy.