Life can be incredibly busy. We’re all juggling jobs, family, bills, goals, dreams for a better future. Sometimes we get so caught up in the little things, we have no time for the big things.
Taking the time to simplify your life can free you to pursue the important stuff, like getting your side hustle started.
2017 has already kicked off but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to set some intentions for the year. The best time to focus on ways to simplify your life is; right now.
Start today and build new habits that will be with you forever.
Simple living is about taking back control of your life, cutting through the non-essential to discover what really makes you happy and content. It’s different for everyone.
When you choose to simplify your life, you choose to spend time and energy on those things that add value to your life: time with family; creative pursuits; business ideas. You also choose not to waste your precious time on stuff that doesn’t matter, like reality TV shows.
The following list will give you some ideas for ways to simplify your life so you can free up the time and energy to create a successful side hustle.
Pick and choose the ones that will have the most positive impact and start today.
Here are my 17 tips on how to simplify your life.
1. Find your why
Take the time to define your priorities.
It’s easy to say, “cut out the non-essential” but what’s essential and important to you might not be to me, and vice versa.
You really can’t go forward with a plan to simplify your life until you’ve established your priorities.
If you’re not sure what I mean by ‘Find your why’, check out this TED talk by Simon Sinek.
2. Stop and smell the roses
Is your life whizzing by, a blur of scenery glimpsed through the side window as your car hurtles down the freeway?
You need to slow down.
Don’t skip from one activity to another. Stop and enjoy each one.
Living simply begins with being mindful of what you’re doing, in that moment.
3. Automate as much as you can
If the activity, like paying bills, doesn’t need your personal touch, automate it.
There are many aspects of your life you can automate, especially those related to personal finance.
Start with your salary. Think about where your money needs to go and send it straight there. For example, split your pay between your everyday account, bill account, savings and investments and debt repayments before it reaches your hands.
Regularly check your payslip and statements to make sure everything is going to plan and make adjustments as necessary.
4. Be organised
Being unorganised or worse still, disorganised, can and does cost you time and money.
Take the time to create some habits around being organised. For example, keep files for important papers, create a permanent home for things like your car keys, don’t hang onto stuff you don’t need.
Being organised reduces stress and saves time that would be wasted looking for things – like your car keys.
5. Use a calendar
Mark important dates in your calendar. You can use the calendar on your smart phone or the old fashioned, low tech variety that hangs on a wall.
There’s no way you can remember everything so record it somewhere, preferably somewhere that will either send you a reminder or is visible on a daily basis.
Birthdays, anniversaries, special events are the usual calendar entries we think about but you also need to set reminders for getting your tax organised and irregular bills.
Using a calendar and creating reminders will add another layer to your level of organisation and can be the difference between meeting a deadline, missing a payment or not.
6. Spend less time on social media
How much time do you spend on social media each week? Have you ever even thought about the time you spend scrolling through endless Facebook updates or Twitter chats, or pin after pin of cakes you’ll never bake?
You might be surprised at the hours you’re wasting.
If you find that Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook become black holes for your time, try allocating 25 minute blocks of time once or twice a day to catch up with social media news. When your time is limited, you’ll spend it more wisely. Grab a kitchen timer if you don’t trust yourself.
7. Simplify your life by being debt-free
Debt will always complicate your life. Always.
If you’re serious about simplifying your life, you need to get your debt under control and then clear it as quickly as you can.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, debt will draw on your energy and your thoughts. And, if you believe that thoughts become things, you’ll see how thinking about debt can actually create more debt.
It might seem like a Catch 22 situation when you’re planning on building a side hustle to help you pay off your debt, but the simple act of creating a debt repayment plan can do amazing things for your mindset.
8. Optimal bill paying schedule
The optimal bill paying schedule can simplify your life and potentially save you money.
Paying bills like house or car insurance monthly usually costs more than paying annually. But, there are times when it’s best to pay them monthly so you’re not caught short by a big bill.
This is another reason having a side hustle can make a world of difference to your life – extra money to smooth out an unpredictable income.
9. Downsize your life
Clutter complicates everything. If you’ve been trying to get organised and are failing, it could be because you have too much stuff.
Downsize and simplify your life by getting rid of stuff you don’t need or use or love.
You’ll save money, spend less time finding what you need and have fewer things to maintain and insure.
Start with the easy stuff, like your closet and move up to downsizing your accommodations if and/or when you’re ready.
10. Turn off the TV
I try to be discerning when it comes to my TV viewing habits. I watch what I plan to watch rather than turn on the TV and watch whatever is available at the time. This means I probably watch much less than the average person (35 hours per week) but, I still probably spend more time watching TV than I ought to.
Just think about that for a moment. The average American spends the equivalent of a full-time work week watching TV. Imagine what kind of side hustle you could build in that time?
11. Remove temptation
Too much good stuff begging to be watched? Cancel your cable or subscription service.
Yes, that’s right, go cold turkey. You can still watch stuff on free-to-air TV if you must or borrow DVDs from the library but the overwhelming temptation will no longer be there.
And, it’ll put some dollars back in your bank account, too.
12. Learn to meditate
Meditating isn’t all chanting, incense and candles. It’s as simple as taking a few minutes to quiet your mind, quiet your breathing.
You can use a guided meditation or you can simply sit, close your eyes and count your breaths. Taking a few moments during the day to enjoy some quiet time will help you focus better, work more efficiently and lower your stress levels.
13. Maintain a minimalist wardrobe
If it’s OK for Mark Zuckerberg, it’s OK for us, too.
A minimalist wardrobe has a number of things going for it. For starters, it takes up less space, you buy less so you can afford better quality, and fewer what-will-I-wear dilemmas.
You don’t need to throw everything out and start again. A minimalist wardrobe can be created easily by narrowing the range of colours and patterns and making sure each item can be worn with multiple other items.
You can learn more about why a minimalist wardrobe works, here.
14. Stay positive
Maintaining a positive mindset can make a huge difference to your energy levels, which in turn can make a huge difference to what you achieve each day. The opposite is also true. You are wasting both your time and your energy when you are being negative. Simple but true.
Instead of allowing the negatives to take over your life, you can choose not to let disappointment, jealousy, gossip or regret get the better of you.
Create the mindset to enable you to simplify your life by being more positive every day.
15. Believe in a better life
It’s not always a simple matter of saying you’re going to simplify your life and it coming true. You also need to believe it’s possible. Having commitment and confidence in the success of your new approach to life is just as important as applying these steps. Without a strong belief in the outcome, you won’t stick to the plan.
When you believe in the process, you’ll keep going until you get it right. Whether that’s about simplifying your life, getting a new job or starting a business, you need to have self-confidence and believe you’ll succeed.
16. Learn to say no
Oftentimes, saying yes to the life you want requires you to say no to a whole heap of other things that won’t move you closer to your goals.
If you’re in the habit of saying yes to everyone but then feeling bad about it, or worse, angry; you need to practice saying no.
Your priority has to be your own life, your own goals.
17. Forget about multi-tasking
Multi-tasking is not the magic bullet it’s made out to be. Unless you’re one of a the very few individuals who can actually make it work, multi-tasking results in mistakes and lower quality output.
If you’re interested in getting the most from your available time, then employ a laser-like focus. Try the Pomodoro Technique and work through your to do list in a series of sprints, instead.
Simplify your life to find time for your side hustle
If you’re serious about building a successful side hustle you now have one less excuse – no time. You can make time if you simplify your life and use the time you liberate for more profitable endeavours.
So, what will you choose for your first (or next) side hustle?
Are you new to my blog? Your Side Hustle Success aims to help you find ways to make extra money through building a business in your spare time. Are you planning to build a blog or a website for your side hustle or business? Here are some of my favourite sites and products that may help you out:
- Start a blog. Blogging is a great way create additional income. I make semi-passive income each and every month from my blogs and you can, too. Use my guide to create your own blog and you can start your blog for as low as $3.95 per month. Plus, sign up through my link and you get a free domain.
- Pinterest. Pinterest is my favourite way to promote my blogs and boost traffic. You can make pinning even easier if you use BoardBooster to schedule your pins. Use this link to sign-up for their free trial. If you want a simple graphics program to create your pinnable images, I highly recommend PicMonkey. It’s easy to use – even for novice designers.
- You can find more recommended resources here: Blogging Resources.
Are you in the process of learning to simplify your life? What other techniques have you used?
Create images and videos for your blog or YouTube channel.