Attempting to organize your life, particularly with regards to financial affairs, can be hard in today’s busy world. What with settling bills, retirement planning and raising children, life is often a challenge. There’s no better time to start setting goals than the new year though, so make the effort now to increase your happiness and direct your precious time more productively. The following tips will help you to simplify your life over the coming months:
1. Embrace Frugal Living and Apply the Fourteen day Rule
You can make your life simpler straight away, by living within your means. Do not exceed your monthly budget, regardless of how desirable this may be. Assign significance to the things that matter and be happy with the way your life is.
A good method to implement this is to observe the fourteen day rule. If there is something you wish to buy, wait fourteen days before purchasing it. Once this period is over, you will likely think that you can manage without it. This will save you from buying on impulse.
2. Cut Down on Television
While television shows can be entertaining, they also waste a lot of your time. Most people spend too long staring at the TV. Although it is nice to unwind in front of the screen after a tiring day, the average person does this for more than thirty-five hours each week. In all likelihood, you would be shocked if you calculated the amount of time you spend watching television. If you took back just half of that time every week, you could spend extra time with your family, participate in outdoor activities, work on a side business and more.
Here’s a money saving idea: Forget cable and satellite. Matter of fact, forget Netflix and Hulu too an opt for a digital antenna to enjoy free TV.
3. Accentuate the Positive
A good day can quickly turn sour, when unforeseen events occur. Perhaps your vehicle stalled at a junction, a date stood you up, or you had a run in with a work colleague. Reacting to these things in a negative way is understandable, however it is important not to let them affect your life negatively.
If you spend your day fretting about how awful these events are, you are not using your time productively. It is natural to be annoyed initially, but rather than getting bogged down with negative events, by gossiping and/or feeling regretful, you could allocate this time to more important things. It is never easy to move on from difficult situations, however refocusing your energy in the right way will enable you to navigate through the day and your life smoothly.
4. Repay Your Debts
You might have debts from credit cards, student loans or bank overdrafts, but paying these off will help you to manage your finances, because reducing your debt makes everything less stressful. Debt often weighs heavily in many people’s subconscious minds, and it can ruin relationships. Repaying your debt will streamline your budget, and enable you to clarify your long term and short term financial objectives.
5. Set Aside Some ‘You Time’
It might seem difficult to take time off for yourself, when your schedule is hectic. Nonetheless, organising your week in advance will facilitate this. Allocating some ‘you time’ will keep you more physically and emotionally balanced.
Also, you can use this time to plan your future goals. A bit of solitude can help you to identify your desires and how to realize them. This is therapeutic as well, because it can prepare you to cope with days that are hectic.
If any of your ‘friends’ forever criticize you and never show you respect, tell them that you are unhappy. If they don’t alter their behavior, stop associating with them. Likewise, if you have been trying to make a negative relationship work, which constantly drags you down, it is time to move on.
6. Get Your Life Organized
Disorganization can result in you wasting lots of time and lead to stress, late fees, lost belongings and more. On average, people spend twelve days each year searching for items they lost. To organize yourself, you might wish to use a life or day planner that can set phone reminders, and use post its to highlight forthcoming tasks, etc.
7. Pay Your Expenses Yearly or Biyearly
Certain bills need to be paid each month, however rather than paying for bills such as car insurance and home insurance like this, you may wish to consider paying them once a year or every half year. In all likelihood, you will receive a price reduction by doing this, and you will have two less expenses to think about every month. It might be necessary to amend your yearly and monthly budget, however examining and tweaking your budget is never a bad thing anyway.
8. Reduce Your Social Media Activity
Lots of people spend considerable time online. However, rather than staring at a computer screen or smartphone for hours, you could spend time socializing with friends and relatives in real life. Many studies show that people who use social media for too long often suffer from anxiety. With all the depressing news stories and worrying about whether your posts are getting enough attention, it is hardly surprising that taking a break from this will benefit your health. Although it is difficult in the modern world to eliminate social media completely, it is possible to choose a couple of social media sites to limit your activity to.
9. Consider What Things in Life Mean the Most to you
The start of the year is the best time to consider what you desire from life, and identify ways of accomplishing these objectives. Write your priorities down in a list, so you can simplify your life and eliminate any obstacles that might be standing in your way. Doing this allows you to see what means most to you, so you can tell the difference between the important things and the things that are insignificant in the overall scheme.
10. Do Some Decluttering
Have a policy of always keeping your house organized and clean. You can do this by completing small chores during the week, or set aside Sundays to do it. Having a tidy house will calm you down and improve your productivity, because you do not have to devote any mental space to clearing up mess.
11. Scale Down Your Wardrobe
You are probably familiar with the fact that we wear just twenty percent of the garments we own. Most rich and successful people have a limited wardrobe. By purchasing clothes that match each other and being less fashion conscious, you will have extra time to devote to other areas of your life. Begin by deciding which clothes you wear most often, and throw away the ones you have not worn for months. Then, you can base your wardrobe on the garments you know you like and will use regularly.
12. Compile a List of Things to do
Undoubtedly, writing a list of things to do will reduce your stress levels. It will serve as a handy reminder of your priorities, so you do not fall behind. This list will identify everything that needs attention, and organize daily tasks by person, concern or subject.
13. Become More Confident This Year
This is one of the more challenging things to master, however there’s no doubt that becoming more confident will simplify your life and make everything you do more enjoyable. Acquiring confidence takes time, and it begins by identifying small reasons to have faith in yourself. Then, after the process gathers steam, your confident demeanor will enable you to enhance your life, instead of fretting about things that frighten you.
Being more confident will allow to you obtain what you deserve from life, pursue the career you want, earn a higher salary, achieve your ambitions, be a good public speaker, meet new friends, network effectively, manage staff or a business, and travel the world — to name just a few things. Needless to say, confidence can benefit you in a wide variety of ways, and it will help you to fulfill your true potential.
14. Use Automated Payments
Using automated payments will help to ensure that you pay everything on time, so you don’t need to worry about missing deadlines. Lots of people become stressed, even by the thought of being charged for a late payment. You can set up automated credit card payments, have your paycheck directly deposited into your bank account, and automate all your utility bill payments. This will save you cash, ease your mind and allow you to concentrate on other activities.
15. Take a Step Back
Quite often, there will be days where you feel like you are simply jumping from one task to another. Before you know it, you will be retiring to your bedroom wondering where the time went. Perhaps you are missing out on things due to mental distractions – spending your time at university obsessing about getting a job, starting a job and obsessing about getting married, until one day everything has happened, and you realize that you could have done much more with your time.
While having future plans is important, if you take a step back and consider your present situation, you may be amazed by the number of options at your disposal. This way, you can live a simple life ‘in the moment’ and enjoy yourself much more.
16. Use Reminders on Your Smartphone to jog Your Memory
If you have an appointment in the near future that you might overlook, set up a reminder about it on your phone. This will make managing your life simpler, because you will not need to fret about missing payments and forgetting things, etc. You can set up reminders for things like settling your quarterly tax bill, business tasks, paying biyearly bills such as motor insurance, and renewing car license plates. Amazingly, lots of people fail to do this. In addition, your phone can be used to remind you when to return books to the library, call friends and take medication, etc.
17. Simplify Things With Some Peace and Quiet
The world we live in is fast paced and noisy. Cast your mind back to when you last relaxed in total quiet, with no interruptions. If you are like most people, this was probably a long time ago.
Sitting in silence allows you to think about your life and consider what is happening in the wider world. Also, it can help to refresh your mind and destress you. This does not mean that you have to engage in lengthy meditation sessions, unless you wish to do this, however you could try something simple — such as waiting in the supermarket queue without looking at your phone, taking a stroll on your own, or switching the radio off when you are in your car. By removing all distractions, you will find that you can zone in on the important things.
18. Be Skeptical of Multitasking
Many people use multitasking to complete several jobs at once, if they are pushed for time. In some cases, this works fine, however other people struggle with this, due to the amount of time it takes to refocus on new tasks. Consequently, it can mean that each time you change tasks, you might end up taking longer than if you had completed each task individually.
Consider your weaknesses and strengths, to determine whether multitasking will actually save you time and help you. It might be that certain jobs are suitable for multitasking, but others require your undivided attention. Moreover, in the main, by single tasking and focusing on one job at a time – fully completing each job before moving onto the next – you will be better placed to simplify your life and avoid spreading yourself too thin.
Identifying the things that matter most to you is the best way to lead a simple life. Often, it is the small things that make the difference and allow you to feel happy and content. Hopefully, the above information will have inspired you to take the necessary steps to simplify your life this year.