By Alan Chatfield
Simplifying may be a fad, but it’s a darn effective one. And here’s the best part for us career-minded 20-somethings: whether you just get rid of all the physical things you don’t need or change your life in a more radical way, simplifying your personal life will benefit your work life, too.
Here are 10 ways to simplify that will leave you with a smile on your face at work:
1. Make home your safe space
At work, you may have pressing deadlines to meet, you may feel you have to rush and multi-task to get things done, or you may feel that slowing down is not an option. This doesn’t mean you have to operate at the same speed at home. Give yourself a break when you’re off the clock and focus on your wellness.
The contrast in pace between your home life and work life will do you a lot of good, allowing you to fully appreciate and enjoy both more, as well as energizing your work life.
2. Shrink your problems
Is your house too big? Move to a smaller one. Big car? Trade it in for a smaller one. In other words, remove the things – especially the BIG things – you don’t need from your life.
In other words, occupy only the space you need and many of your problems and expenses will become much smaller.
By having fewer things, you will use, care for and appreciate the things you have that much more. Here are some extreme examples of minimalism that may inspire you: The 100 Thing Challenge and Living with 72 Things.
3. Be mindful of the green
You can take “living green” as far as you want. Buy Less. Use Less. Waste Less. Eat organic local produce.
If you’re really serious about this aspect of simplifying, check out the No Impact Project’s one-week challenge that will help you to reduce your carbon footprint.
4. Make more time for the people you (really) care about
Are you so busy focusing on your career that you tend to neglect the people you care about?
You’re not the only one. Most of us lead busy lives, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the things we have to do. Yet when we simplify life, we have more time for the people who really matter.
Which is better: a modest life of freedom spending time with your loved ones, or a rich life of excess but at the price of neglecting those relationships that really count? Your answer will make this decision easy.
5. Appreciate the little things
Stop for a moment and take a look around. You are well on your way to a happy life when you find appreciation in simple things.
Enjoy the things that are right in front of you every day. Enjoy experiencing life. Enjoy sharing, learning, giving and receiving. Enjoy nature. Go for long walks. Breathe fresh air.
Again, the balance between being able to do this, then being able to shift gears when you need to in the workplace, can be really powerful – so powerful that it will ultimately lead you to more success in both your personal and business life.
6. Eat healthy – even when you don’t want to
Eat simple, nutritious food. Eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful. Exercise moderately and often. Drink plenty of water and live in the moment. BY focusing on these simple principles, you will be much healthier, both mentally and physically.
It’s nearly impossible to improve your health without having a healthier mind, becoming more alert, seeing an increase in your energy, and ultimately finding that you are more enthusiastic about the challenges ahead.
7. Make reducing stress a priority
Not all stress is bad, but a surplus can be detrimental to everything from your personal life to your work life. Busy people with a lot on their mind often get stressed when they surpass a limit. And too often, we think of “being stressed” as something we can’t control.
Try to identify your limits and take control of your time and your life by taking small steps when dealing with big challenges. Remove the word failure from your vocabulary. Replace it with experience and you will shift your view of stress.
8. Save money by not buying things you don’t really need
Live within your means, and keep those means modest. This will enable you to enjoy life more by giving you more resources (not just money but also time and energy) to invest in the things that really matter. You are effortlessly being more efficient.
And here’s another perk: being more efficient about how you view and spend money will increase the relative success of your career.
9. Make new connections
If you really commit to simplifying your life, you are going to make new connections. Believe it or not, by slowing down, you will meet more people – because you will notice more people – and you will have more time for them.
Not only will you connect with new people, you’ll also connect with new thoughts and with your surroundings. Being open to these connections could lead to career advancement you hadn’t expected before.
10. Let life become easier
Be true to yourself and take only what you need. Give what you can. Don’t hold on to things. Make time for the experiences and people that are really important to you and let go of anything that really isn’t. In time, you’ll find your biggest difficulties will fade away. Life will literally become less cluttered, and in turn, easier.
The result will be amazing – and your life, both personal and business will benefit tremendously. This concept is both simple and practical, and it’s up to you how far you take it.
You can find Alan Chatfield at Life’s Too Good, a blog about helping you gain more out of life and enjoy it to its fullest.