Nowadays, our calendars are filled with events, our phones are bombarded with notifications, and our determination to keep up with everything comes with (a lot of) stress. You know what we’re talking about — with goals to reach and tasks to finish, the only thing that seems to move faster than our lives is the ability to reach for our phones and scroll through everyone else’s.
In a world where we’re constantly on the go, it’s hard to admit that we’re to blame for the same overwhelming feeling we wish to escape. Whether it’s how you agreed to attend two birthday celebrations after a busy work week or how you’ve barely slept because you decided to add on some extra freelance projects, your to-do list is stretched thin — and so is your energy. Although we can’t run away from our responsibilities, here are five ways to simplify your life so that you can accomplish what you need without confusing it with what you want.
1. Work on achieving less goals (at one time)
Your dedication to chase your dream job, grow your side hustle, save money to travel, find a new apartment, meet your Bumble match (finally), eat healthy, and wear something other than pajamas on the weekends is exciting — but attempting to do this all at once is extreme.
We’re not saying you can’t handle a lot on your plate, but that it’s nice to take a step back and recognize you don’t have to. While there’s a sense of pride that comes with working towards multiple goals at once, there’s also a practicality in deciding which should be focused on in order to ensure they’re reached. Through adjusting the amount of goals you take on at one time, you’ll be able to move forward in them and maintain your stress level while doing so.
- Prioritize your goals
- Try an “I Want” list instead of a “To Do” list
- Decide a specific number of goals to focus on at once
2. Declutter your home
A messy home doesn’t necessarily mean a messy life, but it’s a lot more relaxing to sit on your couch than on the pile of laundry (from last week) that’s currently dumped on top of it. While some people thrive when they clean their home, there are others of us who would rather lay in the chaos than wake up earlier in order to tidy it up (we’re really trying here). Regardless of which category you fall under, the act of decluttering your space will give your home (and life) the clean start you’ve been looking for.
- Throw out what you actually don’t need or use
- Dedicate time at the end of the day to pick up
- Invest in home decor that doubles as storage
3. Eliminate daily stress
From the wi-fi being slow at your go-to coffee shop to the sale code not working at your favorite online store, your day is full of incidents that eventually add up to stressors. While you know you shouldn’t let the little things bother you, it’s difficult to overlook these moments when you have a million things to do — and random setbacks happening as you’re trying to do them. Even though you can’t completely predict your day, your ability to control your negative thoughts during it is what will help you get through any obstacles that come towards you.
- Create a gratitude journal
- Reduce your time commitments
4. Cut back your screen time
You probably knew this one, but it’s always a nice reminder. Even though having the power to check (or in this case, Instagram stalk) your peers can be fun, it’s also a culprit for why you can’t focus. Along with worrying about your own personal matters, you’re now dwelling on whether or not your high school crush is actually single and how the newest hair trend is what you were forced to wear in the 90s (oh nostalgia).
Of course you’re here to remain current and read Twitter commentary from Black Mirror, but there’s a fine line between gaining knowledge and getting buried by it. By taking a break from constantly staying connected, you’ll turn off the noise and tune in to yourself.
- Read a book instead
- Place your phone out of reach when you go to bed
- Designate time to shut off
5. Focus on the present
While planning for the future is a great way to ensure you’re prepared for it, it’s also another way to create scenarios that haven’t happened yet. We’ve all been there — one second you’re thinking about your life, and the next four hours go by and you’re wondering if you can afford a puppy, what the person you’re going to marry looks like, if you’re even going to get married, and how you’ll afford a home when you can barely do your taxes.
Yes, all these questions should be considered — but not to the extent where they overshadow everything else in your life that’s actually occurring. In the end, your future is unknown for a reason, and it’s the moments in between that explain why.
- Pay attention to the task at hand
- Make an effort to notice something different in everyday events
- Try not to multi-task (too much)