5 ways to simplify your life.
I was reading this article on LinkedIn and I got a little inspired. It is all about how you can simplify your work life five minutes at a time. The article suggest setting meeting agendas and cancelling the unnecessary status update calls. Well, I wanted to extend the thoughts a little further to include your non-work life as well.
- Understand switching costs. Honestly, multitasking is completely over glorified. Many studies have demonstrated that us humans are actually really bad at multitasking, as we can’t use the same part of the brain for two activities and it takes some time for our brain to cool down from one activity and warm up to another. Save yourself time, and your brain energy, by completing tasks individually.
- Put it on auto. Two words: automatic payments. The days of logging onto utility, credit card, and insurance accounts are over. Set up automatic payments and save yourself time, worry that you forgot to pay, and interest expenses. Also, you often pay less if you opt in for an annual or semi-annual payment plan over a monthly one. Try this with your insurance company if you can afford the lump sum.
- Clean as you go. OK, so honestly, I kind of enjoy spending a whole morning really deep cleaning my apartment. But as life gets busier and my responsibilities increase, it can be hard to find the time. Now I clean as I go. This means that I spend five or ten minutes each night tidying up my apartment (dishes washed, throw blanket folded) and I never leave a room empty handed (whether to hang my shower towel, put away my jacket and shoes, or put a dirty dish in the sink). The 60-second rule (if you can complete the task in under one minute, do it now) is a good suggesting for this one too.
- Make your ask clear. People are limited on time and our listening skills are lacking. To combat this, I like to make myself clear and get to the point. In emails, meetings, and even Facebook status updates you will often find me stating, “My ask is ___.” It simplifies the back and forth of skirting around the issue and I find that I can get things accomplish much faster.
- Less options. Back when I “read“ the Paradox of Choice, I truly realized how difficult making decisions can be (I am decisive to a fault, so this was a glimpse into how the other half lives). What I found was that often less choices make for easier decision making. Where I implement this most is in my closet. Less clothing = less time spent deciding what to wear. The same goes for my desk. Less clutter = less distractions. If you don’t believe me, take it up with Bill Gates.
I talk a lot about minimizing things, but, honestly, I’m really talking about maximizing. These are some simple ways to maximize your time, your decision making ability, and happiness. I hope you implement these ideas and make your life simple to the max.
How do you simplify your life? Let us know below.