10 Ways to Simplify Your Life

.  So, how many of you would say that you live simple lives?  You wake up in the morning to one alarm, stroll over to the bathroom for your nice, long, warm shower, and you still have 30 min to spare.  That must be when you decide to sit down and enjoy a nice cup of coffee while watching the morning news.  Psst...yeah right.  If that's what your morning looks like every day kudos to you because most mornings mine is a blur of a routine.  What does a "blur" of a routine mean?  I rush through the same routine every single day.  Mine goes a little something like this: After pressing snooze for the fourth time, I jump out of bed and speed walk to the bathroom.  I brush my teeth and take a super quick bath.  I've mastered hair and makeup to be under fifteen minutes and in between all of that I sip my coffee.  I'm a mess in the morning and that's just the beginning.  

It is a known fact that when you start your mornings off hectic, (most of the time) your days continue on that route.  Within the last couple of months, I have really been trying my best to make my life easier for myself.  Of course, I have had my days where I would fall into the same hectic routine.  It's just that now I know how great it feels to start my mornings off right so its easier to get back into the (new) swing of things.  Here are ten things I have been doing to make my mornings and my life much easier.  

  1. Start your day off right: I'm still not opposed to multiple alarms.  Right now I cut it down to two - ok, no, three.  But hear me out.  I put one for 5:50 am to wake up but I don't jump out of bed.  I lay there for about half hour to wake up, stretch, or just think.  I allow my mind and body to wake up the same way I would let it unwind at the end of the day before bed.  The next alarm goes off at 6:20 am and that's when I get up and begin my usual morning routine. You have no idea how much this has changed my mornings.  
  2. Simplify your routine:  Prep the night before.  Choose what you're going to wear, prepare your lunch, and keep everything in one place.  Before I go to bed, I make sure my outfit, purse, keys - whatever it is that I need that day is in one spot.  When it's time to go, I know where to find everything.  Not only does this save you time, but it keeps you sane.  
  3. Slow down: This is a big one for me.  I'm always rushing, even when I don't have to.  I blame it on all the years I worked in the city but I honestly think it's in my nature.  That doesn't mean you can't train yourself to do otherwise.  Leave earlier, take a deep breath.  Do whatever it is you have to do to just take things slow.  A lot of the time we don't realize that we ourselves are the biggest reason for our stress.  No joke, I power walk for absolutely no reason.  It's good exercise but why?  I knew I had a problem when I had 20 minutes to complete a task (that wasn't even that important) and I finished it in five.  End result: it got done but it made my brain hurt for absolutely no reason.  
  4. Exercise: This is another tough one for me.  I get very bored when it comes to exercise.  I do it because I have to.  I've gotten really good at sneaking in ways to do it, though.  I used to walk a lot, but now that I've started driving again that kind of got thrown out the window.  But now instead of driving my car to get coffee in the morning, I park it by the school and walk to the deli.  On the days that I do yoga, I leave my car parked by my job and I walk fifteen minutes to the yoga studio and fifteen minutes back.  Another good one: when you go to the supermarket, park all the way in the back.  It forces you to get some steps in.  
  5. Get rid of clutter: This one is really common.  Most people think about the need to declutter their home.  That's important.  But what about your car, your desk at work, your email.  Unsubscribe, people!  You do not need all those emails.  When you declutter the space around you, you declutter your mind.  When I'm surrounded by mess, I feel like I'm a mess. 
  6. Make cooking simple: One word: Pinterest.  Type in recipes in under thirty minutes and all of a sudden dinner is served and you have extra time to relax.  No one wants to slave away in the kitchen after a long day at work.  
  7. Debt: This is a scary subject that a lot of people don't want to talk about but it causes stress.  Get rid of it and take control of your finances.  I have developed different ways to keep myself in check.  I even downloaded apps on my phone like myFico, Credit Karma, and Credit Sesame to keep track of my credit score.  
  8. Have a "do nothing" day and have it often.  We sometimes choose to fill up our days because there's, not a minute to waste, right?  Wrong.  It's totally fine to stay at home and relax.  You deserve it.  
  9. Sleep: Ideally eight hours.  You have no idea all the repairing your body does while you sleep.  Your mind, body, skin...everything.  You literally have to do nothing but sleep and your body works its magic.  Don't deprive yourselves of such a simple task. 
  10. Learn to say no.  Aww man, this is one that I struggle with.  Sometimes its just got to get done.  Don't be a yes man.  If you can't take on another project at work, say no.  If you can't make it to brunch, say no.  If you can't help your friend move, say no.  I used to feel so guilty about saying no to people until I realized that I wasn't making myself happy by saying yes to everything, no matter how much I thought I was helping the person.  Don't spread yourself too thin.

I hope these ten ways to simplify your life help you as much as they have helped me.  You can tweak them to work for you or just come up with some of your own.  What do you do to make life simpler for yourself?