Life is great, but it sure as hell isn’t simple. In fact, sometimes the most difficult task is something that requires the simplest approach, but as humans we tend to overcomplicate and add unnecessary elements. Although I am young, my well of experience is deep. I’ve been growing my business since the day I walked into my freshman year of classes and realized all it took was some hard work to make my dreams come true. At 18 I was focused, driven, and inspired, but my life was chaotic, messy, and as uninspiring as it could be. At 19 I realized it was time to make a change if I wanted my dreams to work, and it did. Now, I’m here to share my knowledge, so you, too, can have a simple, and incredible life.
1. Stay Organized
I know this one seems like common sense, but it’s really not. Every young person I meet trying to make it is practically living in papers and documents waist high, dishes to the ceiling, and their most important things are usually in a particular pile and thats as organized as it gets. I’m telling you, keeping organized saves time, saving money, and often times earns you respect. Instructors, clients, and even friends awe in wonder of how I keep my finances in order, my apartment, and my work in perfect harmony. It’s because I get organized and stay that way. I’m not wasting time looking for the notes I wrote down about our project, or scurrying around to get supplies in order before I begin, it’s all ready for me, and waiting because I stayed organized.
2. Keep Clean
This one sounds like common sense as well, but people often forget that your space reflects on the way you think. Don’t believe me? Princeton did a study that claims the more clutter you see, the more easily distracted you are. You can read about the study here. A clean space lets you get things done in a shorter amount of time, which in turn lends simplicity to your life. Even a dirty space with dirty dishes, or a un-swept floor distracts you from what you need to get done because there is another task you’ve created in your mind to do and your probably wondering when you’re going to get that done, if ever. Keeping clean keeps that pesky task off your to-do list so you can focus on more important things, like getting your taxes done.
3. Plan It Out
My boyfriend often gets mad at me for planning too much, which can certainly be a problem if you don’t allow life to run it’s course, but believe it or not, planning makes everything about your life much more simple. By planning things out, you can actually save time, which allows you to have way more free time where you can really keep it simple with just you and some Netflix! I have a giant to-do list that I bring everywhere with me. In one day I usually pick about 7 or 8 things on my to-do list and make a daily schedule telling me in which order and at what times I will accomplish these tasks. This way I can save time by picking things that are near each other so I’m not running around like a mad woman trying to get everything done, everything just gets done easily and conveniently.
4. Throw It Away
You heard me, throw it out. All of it. If you don’t use it, you don’t need it. I’m the kind of person that has tons of what my sisters call “junk” but in reality are objects that inspire me on a daily basis, but often times I cross a threshold where I really do start to collect junk, especially when it comes to jewelry or clothing. This for me is the kind of thing that piles up, goes out of fashion, and remains to clutter up my life. Just throw it out! Give it to Buffalo Exchange or Goodwill, but I’m telling you, you don’t need it. Those handouts from a class you took in 2009… for the love of Pete, just throw it out.
5. Assess and Edit Everything
Yes, take a look at your life and edit out all the stuff you don’t need. Like a term paper, proofread and delete extra spaces, bad punctuation, poor use of words and anything else. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg simplify by wearing the same outfit every day, and Corinne from the Bachelor simplifies her life by not having to do any housework and leaving it for Raquel, her housekeeper. If you really want to simplify, you must first assess where your life is at this moment, figure out your biggest contributor to your stress in life and just get rid of it. I said in the beginning that I took a look at my life and realized I had to make a change, you need to do this too. You might sit down and think that nothing could be altered, but you’re wrong and your not looking hard enough, every aspect of your life has room for improvement.
I know a lot of this seems like common sense, but I assure you the only thing you really need to simplify your life is a good hard look at what you’re doing and finding areas that you can improve upon. Do you think that Bill Gates looks in the mirror and is completely satisfied with his life to date? Probably not! I’m sure every day he’s wondering how he can improve himself, his business, his family life, and his products. Every professional knows that in order to be the best at something, to live a fulfilling, simple, and good life that it all starts from looking at what areas of your life need some touching up. So take a deep breath, make a big ole’ cup of joe and keep it simple!
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