Overwhelmed? It’s time to simplify your life…

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Do know that you could do more with your time, but don’t know how to do it?

Maybe it’s time to embrace the simple life – and, no, I don’t mean giving it all up to live in a cabin in the woods (although I have to admit it’s a tempting thought at times!).

I’m talking about cutting through the clutter in your life – whether that’s all the stuff that surrounds you or the things that drain your time and energy – and getting rid of the things that hold you back. In the next few blogs I’ll look at ways to streamline your life, from dealing with an overflowing in-box to embracing the power of “No”. Hopefully together we can enjoy the benefits of making life more simple – and less stressful!

Take a look at your life

Many of us feel we simply don’t have enough hours in the day, so a good place to start is by looking at your daily activities and working out what’s important and what can be left out – you know that the school run has to be done, but is rushing from work to go to a Zumba class that you don’t really enjoy any more the best use of your Wednesday evening?

It may sound obvious – and to some extent it is – but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, you need to make some changes. Yes, that sounds scary, and it may be at first, but cutting out the things you don’t need – whether it’s stuff that takes up too much time, or stuff that takes up too much space – can ultimately help make life a lot less stressful.

Look at every aspect of your life from physical to professional and make a note of all the things that take up space, time and/or energy, but which you could happily do without.

Cut it out…

Got a friend who’s a drain on your time and energy, but who is never there for you when you need them? Time to cut out the catch-ups and reduce the time you spend running around after them.

Got a desk somewhere under those piles of paperwork? Grab a bin bag, throw away the rubbish and file the stuff you need, literally give yourself some space to think.

Got a schedule that’s packed with activities that you feel obliged to keep up? Ask yourself (or the family members involved) if it’s something that brings happiness or is now just a habit – it’s OK to admit that something no longer works, and you can spend the time (and money) on something else, or even just have a night off! You don’t have to do everything just because everyone else seems to be – especially if you don’t enjoy the thing in question. Talk to your kids and see if they’re really enjoying all the activities they’re involved in, tell them it’s OK not to like something any more and that you won’t be cross if they want to ditch dancing or forgo football (do also explain to them that this doesn’t apply to school – one of my boys was very disappointed to find that out!).

It really is that simple to start simplifying your life – and we’ll be looking at more ideas about how to do it over the next few posts.

Start small and eventually you’ll see a big change…

Do you dread getting home in evening because the beds are unmade, the sink’s full of dishes, the sofa is buried under a mountain of coats and the bathroom floor can’t be seen due to all the towels that were dropped there earlier?

Guess what? If you’d done those simple things at the time you wouldn’t be dreading them now (yes, I DO sound like your mum, but guess what? She was right!).

OK, I know it sounds blooming obvious and you may well be muttering phrases that include the word “smug” right now, but believe me, dealing with stuff at the time saves time later on, plus you won’t have to resort to drinking that much needed cuppa out of an old sippy-cup because you’ve run out of clean mugs!

If you start with the small everyday tasks – like making your bed before you leave the house and keeping on top of the washing up, you’ll start to feel a little less stressed and more in control. It will help you maintain your new morning routine and inspire you to make more changes over the coming weeks.

Start today and you’ll start to see a change very soon…