By Maxime Lagacé
Maxime is the founder and chief editor of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm, powerful, and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.
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So you want to simplify your life?
Good news! You’re at the right place.
I’ve compiled a list of 30 simple living tips to help you live a simpler, better, and more meaningful life.
Who am I to give you advice?
- I’m a father of 2
- A husband
- A runner
- An SEO consultant
- A software engineer
- The founder of WisdomQuotes
But most importantly I’m a minimalist at heart.
I’ve been simplifying my life since 2004.
I’ve tried all kinds of tricks to eliminate complexity and ultimately live a better life.
This took me 10 years to learn, but I’ll show you in 5 minutes.
Why does life get complicated?
Life gets complicated when you try to do too many things simultaneously.
Or when you say yes too often.
It also gets complicated when you try to be perfect in every aspect of your life.
So you get overwhelmed and cant’s see anymore.
What’s the secret to simple living?
The secret to simple living is to eliminate tasks and things that are useless or draining.
The problem is society tells you you should do more and buy more to be happy.
And if a message gets repeated enough you tend to believe it.
However, adding more stuff mostly complicates things even further. (1, 2)
So how can you simplify your life?
The general rule is this:
Decide what’s useless in your life.
And decide what’s vital.
Or in other words,
- Make a list of all the things that drain your time and energy. Then, try to remove those things from your life. One by one.
- Make a second list of what’s vital in your life. Try to have 4-5 items maximum. A good example could be your health, your family and friends, and your mission.
- Then readjust your daily schedule to include more items on the second list and fewer on the first.
Now, let’s move on to more specific things you can do to simplify your life.
Hope you’ll enjoy!
30 Ways To Simplify Your Life
High-Level Ways To Simplify Your Life
- Get to know yourself. What do you truly care about? What do you stand for? What’s your ideal day? Meditate. Journal. Ask yourself questions. The more you’ll know yourself, the more you’ll put your energy into the right things. You’ll be calm and confident instead of trying to be everything to everyone.
- Understand your desires. Then reduce them. Think about all the things you “want” in your life. The new smartphone. The new TV. The new car. The new pair of shoes. The trip to Thailand. Think about “why” you want them. Is it a “want” or a “need”? Is it to look good? Is it to follow the crowd? Will it truly improve your life?
- Try to accomplish LESS each day. Modern life demands we do many things, all at once, fast. And it must be of quality. This translates to being exhausted, fast. Avoid that. This leads us to…
- Focus on ONE important thing. Learn to be satisfied with accomplishing one thing. Each morning when you wake up or the day before, identify THE task that would make you satisfied. Then work on that first thing in the morning until it’s done. Start again the next day. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you only focus on important tasks instead of trivial ones. You can also learn about the 80/20 rule to be more efficient in your life.
- Say no, a lot. This is a huge one. Oftentimes you say yes because you don’t want to disappoint people. It’s fine. It’s human nature. But on the other hand, it’s also making you feel overwhelmed. Say no often without explaining yourself, and thank me later.
- Let go of overthinking, over-planning, and over-controlling. Yes, order reduces stress. But too much planning, scheduling, and thinking cause stress too. Learn to trust more and be more spontaneous. Lower your expectations. Live more freely.
- Let go of tasks that drain you. Lots of things you do daily take your mental and physical energy. Ask yourself if you can delegate or eliminate those tasks.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop trying to keep up with your neighbors, friends, and family. Do your things. Human beings are social animals. We like to know what our place in society is. We feel good when we are “above” others and bad when we are “below”. Stop playing the status game. It’s a never-ending game.
- Stop trying to be perfect. Your focus should be on doing your best, not being the best. Stop seeing life as a competition. Simple living means you accept your humanity and your imperfections.
Your possessions, Your house
- Buy fewer things. The more stuff you have, the more cluttered your house will be, and the more stress you’ll have. You’ll have less time for what truly matters to you. Keep in mind materialism will never make you happy. Humans have tried for years and nobody was ever successful. (1)
- Repair things yourself when you can. You don’t need to buy another cheap thing that will break in 2 months. Watch videos to learn how to repair things yourself. Avoid being dependent on others.
- If you buy, think quality and small. Cheap things should not excite you. On the contrary, you should avoid them. They break easily and are less pleasurable to use. Think small, portable, useful, and durable.
- Let go of things you don’t use anymore. They take mental energy, and physical space in your house and gather dust. Sell or donate them.
- Let go of old clothes, shoes, and coats you don’t truly love. Do you have old clothes you didn’t wear in the last 6 months? Ask yourself if they are truly giving you joy or comfort. Are you truly proud of wearing them? If not, say goodbye.
- Simplify your wardrobe. Do you need 50 t-shirts? 20 jeans? 15 shoes? No. It’s called consumerism. Instead, have 5-10 t-shirts, 3-4 pairs of jeans, and 1-2 pairs of shoes. You’ll have plenty and you’ll save time and energy dressing up each morning. You’ll also help to save the planet. (1, 2)
- Live in a smaller house. There are lots of downsides to having a big house. More maintenance, bigger payments, more rooms to clean, more stuff to buy to fill those rooms, etc. Remember: smaller = smarter.
- Put your room in order. And your house too if you can. When you see your room in complete disorder, it creates stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Discipline yourself to clean your room daily and you’ll feel lighter.
Your health (mental and physical)
- Prioritize your health. It’s the most important thing in your world. No health, no simple life. Focus on having a healthy mind and body. Go outside every day. Move. Listen to yourself. Take a break when you need one. Have a regular sleep routine. Keep your room dark, cool, and calm.
- Keep your diet simple. Eat the same quality food every day. Make vegetables your main food source. Stop trying to impress your guesses with fancy menus. Keep in mind you’re eating for health first, not taste. Simple living = simple diet.
- Let go of too much junk food. Simple living is all about doing what your future you would be proud of. (But remember that a pizza now and then is fine too!).
- Let go of toxic relationships. Sometimes you need to let things go. Sometimes it’s people too. Being surrounded by people who take more than they give is exhausting. Avoid them.
- Be fine being alone. It will also mean learning to love yourself fully. The good news is you’ll discover new hobbies and interests. You’ll discover how simple life can be when you like your own company.
Your tools and technologies
- Delete most apps on your phone. You. Will. Be. Fine. Without. Them. Trust me. Try it for 1 week and see how you feel. Also, consider removing most notifications. Our brains didn’t evolve to be connected 24/7.
- Let go of heavy screen time. This is a huge one. Sometimes you look around and it’s like the zombie apocalypse. Everyone is on their screen. Nobody is looking at each other. Remember: a smartphone is a tool. It means you should use your smartphone. Don’t let it use you. Consider using an app that limits your daily screen time.
- Let go of social media. Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok make you feel miserable and jealous. They make you think your life is not the way it should be. Numerous studies confirm this. (1, 2, 3)
- Let go of the news. They are making you a pessimist (1). They are making you believe you need more stuff in your life to be happy.
- Consider using Trello.com. It’s a tool I’ve been using since 2018. Trello helps me organize my life and work in one place. It’s my virtual TODO list. There’s also an app for your tablet or your smartphone. It’s one of the few I have. Try it today. Being organized simplifies your life.
- Spend more time in nature or outside. Do it daily to reap the full benefits. Time spent walking in nature is a better investment than watching a screen. Numerous studies confirm it’s good for your physical and mental health. (1, 2, 3)
- Meditate. Another way to take care of your mental health is by meditating regularly. Indeed, modern life brings daily doses of stress but meditation helps you retreat and recharge. There are numerous benefits to meditation besides calming your mind. I’ve found life to be smoother with only 10 minutes per day.
- Learn to be calm in the chaos. Sometimes, despite all your efforts to simplify your life, you’ll fail. Life will get complicated faster than you can simplify it. When it happens, keep in mind this mantra: “Relax. Nothing is under control.” -Adi Da. Let go of control. Let life be. You’ll feel calmer instantly.
As you probably noticed, simple living is mainly about letting go.
Letting go of what complicates your life.
Letting go of trying to keep up with others.
It’s about being indifferent to the noise of modern life.
It’s about doing less, but better.
It’s about finding happiness internally instead of seeking it externally.
When you truly want to live simply you stop caring about the big house, the new smartphone, being busy, and stuff.
You stop trying to impress other people and you stop playing the status game.
You start to care more about your people, being mindful, healthy, and peaceful.
You stop chasing happiness, and you just live your life, simply.
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