We all want to achieve our dreams, but it seems so hard to find the time during our everyday tasks and responsibilities. I have collected six things I try to do every day to simplify my life so I can chase my dreams.
1. Declutter your life and get organized.
A recent study found that car owners spend so much time looking for their keys that it adds up to over 16 days over their lifetime. I would venture that we spend even more time looking for our cell phones. That probably doesn’t even hold a candle to how much time we spend looking for documents in our desks.
Cluttered lives lead to complex lives. Take a few days and clean out your closet, desk drawers, kitchen, and garage. We are hoarders by nature, and if we are not careful things will start to pile up. It is hard to find the letter you are looking for if it is under a stack of junk.
Place your keys, wallet, purse, and phones in the exact same spot every time. Don’t waste any more time looking for something you use every single day. Get organized and know (not just guess) where all of your stuff belongs. Once you get organized, stay organized.
2. Perfect your daily routines.
Some of us lead very hectic and unpredictable lives, however most people follow roughly the same routine every day. We wake up, get dressed for the day, cook breakfast, get the kids ready, commute to work, work, come home, get dinner ready, eat, relax, get ready for bed, repeat.
If that sounds roughly familiar to you, I have great news. You can simplify your life by mastering this routine. Take some time to schedule out your day. Sit down with your spouse and kids and see what necessary steps you need to take to become more efficient. Assign roles to each family member, look into ways you are wasting time, and eliminate unnecessary tasks.
3. Plan ahead.
I don’t know if you are like me, but I eat several times a day pretty much every day of the year. I eat so often, in fact, that some people would assume I needed it to survive or something. Since I eat so regularly, I can save tons of time by planning out my meals at the beginning of the week.
Spend one evening of the week looking over your food inventory (a fancy way of saying “stuff in the fridge”) and decide what you:
- Are going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week.
- Need to buy when you go shopping.
- Are going to do about your really dirty fridge.
If you are really spunky, you can prepare/cook most of your meals for the week ahead of time. If you plan ahead with your meals you can spend your evenings doing things that matter instead of deciding what you eat.
4. Figure out what you like, and do that.
I read a recent blog post that suggested that to simplify your life, you should clean out your closet and leave only your favorite shirt, pants, and shoes. One of each. Now that you know what you like, buy several variations of those clothes so that you are always comfortable in what you are wearing.
I don’t know if you should go to this extreme, but I appreciate the sentiment. Successful people consistently know what they like and use only these things. They have their favorite pen, computer, clothes, phones, etc. Once you know what you like you can simplify your life by not having as many decisions to make every day.
5. Go to bed early, and wake up early.
This one is self-explanatory. If you want to achieve your dreams, you should get your rest and wake up before everyone else. You’d be amazed about the things you can accomplish from 5-7 am.
6. Become an expert.
It blows my mind that there are people who use a computer every single day and do not know how to efficiently use the technology. Same goes with phones, software programs, and internet browsers. Take some time to learn the tools you use on a daily basis. A mechanic would never use tools they didn’t know how to operate, and you shouldn’t either.
These are just tips that I have picked up along the way. They help me, but I know that these aren’t the only processes to save time. Do you have any tips for those of us who are trying to achieve our dreams? What processes do you use to simplify your life?