It is quite remarkable how quickly and easily our lives can get overly complicated, especially in these transition years into adulthood. So with that in mind, here are seven ways that you can help to simplify your life.
Focus on simplifying your mindset, your commitments, expectations, consumption, budget, spending, and health practices. These are the main areas of our lives and therefore offer a great return on simplification (yes I just made that phrase up).
Nevertheless, keep reading to see just what I am talking about.
Simplify Your Mindset
Set clear intentions in your mind on what you are working towards. Clarity brings confidence and confidence brings action which will ultimately be the only way to reach where you want to be.
So how can you start setting clear intentions?
Start with contemplating what you want to achieve and why. One way to do this is through vision boarding.
Create a visual representation of what you want then detail why you want it and then conclude with developing a plan to achieve it. All that’s left to do after that is stick to the plan and adjust it as necessary.
The key here is sticking to the plan. Oftentimes, when we aren’t achieving something as fast as we want we determine that the plan isn’t good enough. I definitely fall victim to this.
However, it is not always that the plan isn’t good enough. Some things just take more time than we realize and that’s okay.
Simplify Your Commitment
Better prioritize your commitments each day. Don’t fill your calendar back to back or add a ton of things to your to-do list when you know you won’t be able to complete them all today. Simplify your life by properly prioritizing and leaving the rest for another time.
Now, this is something that I continue to struggle with especially when it comes to managing graduate school, work, my hobbies, and nurturing personal connections.
I actually used to be the type of person that would fill my calendar back to back and have a massive to-do list each day. I very rarely felt like I was making any progress. Something had to change and with some research and reflection, I started focusing on developing block schedules.
If you are an avid reader of the blog, you have definitely heard me talk about the benefits of block scheduling before. But for those of you that are not familiar with the topic here’s a quick overview of block scheduling.
Block Scheduling, either on old-fashioned pen and paper or with an app, is when you intentionally block out time in your day to focus on tasks. It is important to note that the blocking is not specific to a singular task itself like washing the dishes. It instead refers to the overarching idea of cleaning the apartment. For that blocked-out duration, you would do whatever specific tasks fall under the umbrella of cleaning the apartment.
Block scheduling is actually extremely compatible with the life of a young or new adult. It keeps you on task and gives you a framework in which to focus your mental capacity for a given period. It also allows you to create an overview of your day so you can take better control of how you spend your time and what you give your energy to.
Check out the example block schedule below to get a visual representation.
|6 AM – 9 AM
|Wake Up, Workout, Eat Breakfast, Meditate
|10 AM – Noon
|3 PM – 5 PM
|7 PM – 9 PM
|Go To Class
Note that not every hour is accounted for because life happens and things come up that need to be immediately handled. Plus the gaps can be used as times to rest or do whatever else.
Simplify Your Expectations
Too many and too high of expectations are a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. We have to stop putting so much stress on ourselves. The world will do enough of that. It doesn’t need our help. Simplify your life by managing your expectations of yourself. That’s all I have.
Simplify Your Consumption
Watch how much and the type of information you consume each day. There is a lot of negative influence out there.
Have you ever just opened up Instagram, YouTube, or any other type of social media app, and then before you know it 30 minutes have passed?
It happens to me anytime I am on Reddit.
It is remarkable how we can just get sucked into something sometimes. And it can be really dangerous if what we are watching is filled with negative influences.
So always consider asking yourself ‘is this making me feel better about myself?’
If the answer is no, then you should probably stop and move on to something else.
Simplify Your Budget
Put simply live on less than you earn. I talk about budgeting a lot on this blog and that is for a reason. As a new adult, mastering the art of budgeting is a must. Those of us who can develop and follow a budget are increasing our chances of evading debt and having a more financially fulfilled life.
Of course, there is no one right way to go about your budget. So, with that in mind, I will suggest checking out the budgeting software that I use called YNAB or You Need A Budget. I actually wrote a detailed article on YNAB and how it’s especially helpful to new adults. You can check out the link below in the read more section. Be sure to check it out once you finish reading this post.
Regardless, always remember that the best budget is the one that you will actually stick to. Simple as that. Create a budget where you detail your needs and responsibilities and stick to them. But the numbers in the budget are not set in stone. They will change as you re-evaluate your finances periodically and understand how you truly spend your money which transitions us into the next simplification area.
Simplify Your Spending
Mitigate unnecessary spending and maximize the benefits or rewards whenever you do so. This means controlling that impulse buying and sticking to a budget when you do spend. In my experience impulse buying seems to be the thing that would really hurt me the most. I would go a long time without spending unnecessary money and then I would make multiple large purchases back to back that would just mess up my finances.
For impulse buying, it is important to shop with a plan. Otherwise, it will be impossible to simplify your life while having out of control spending. Go to the store with a list and do your best to stick to that list. There are a number of ways to try and curb your impulse buying which I discuss in greater detail in another post. Be sure to check that out if you are interested!
Additionally, try and be smart about how you spend your money and maximize the value you get from every dollar spent.
One reason I almost always use a credit card to make a purchase is because I will gain some type of benefit with my spending. Usually, that comes in the form of cashback or rewards points. For a few months, I was able to solely use my credit card rewards points to pay for my groceries. And this was from spending I was having to do regardless. It gave my money an extra life and helped me enjoy more benefits from spending it.
Simplify Your Health
It is so important to get enough of what your body needs. Get enough sleep, exercise, nutrition, and whatever else you might need to support a healthy body.
There’s no one right way to go about figuring out what your specific needs are. The most important thing is to start that journey of discovery and build upon what you learn as you progress.
What are thoughts? Do you have any tips that you use to simplify your life? Share them in the comments below!
Best of luck adulting!
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About The Author
Donald Williams, Jr.
Donald is an avid believer in helping young people prepare for adulthood. He spends his time working on Adulting Starts Here and helping new adults plan for the future. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and going to the beach.