Daily Simplicity: 10 Habits That Will Make Your Life Lighter

by Henrik Edberg

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
Confucius

I do love to keep things simple.

Why?

One simple reason and one the most important ones for me is that simplicity reduces the heaviness in life.

It makes it lighter, no to stressful or energy draining as it once might have been.

So today I would like to share 10 daily habits that make my life simpler and lighter. I hope you’ll find something useful for your own life among these habits.

  1. Use a minimalistic workspace. My work space is just a laptop on a small black desk made out of wood. I use a comfy chair and there is room for my glass of water beside the computer. That’s it. There are no distractions here. This makes it easier to write and to keep a clear mind.
  2. Cook more food than you’ll eat. We usually make 4-6 servings of what we are about to eat. This cuts down on time that you spend on cooking and you’ll have to do less washing up in general. Plus, you’ll have lunch for the day after. And sometimes a portion or two to put in the freezer. And that really comes in handy on those evenings when you don’t feel like cooking.
  3. Write shorter emails. I tend to write emails containing only a few sentences, usually between one and five. In some cases I write more of course. But keeping this guideline in mind cuts down on the time and energy is spend on processing emails.
  4. Be 10 or 5 minutes early for meetings and appointments. This will help you to make your time of travel into a sort of break and a time of relaxation. Instead of it being another thing that ramps up the stress. And you will not be late.
  5. Spend only 20% of your time on dwelling on a problem. And 80% of your time focusing on a solution. Instead of the other way around. It is not always easy to do but keeping this thought in mind makes it easier to not fall into the trap of feeling like a victim or going down a spiral of perceived powerlessness.
  6. Stop trying to do things perfectly. Go for good enough instead and when you are there you are done. Get things all the way to done this way and then move on to the next thing. Setting this more human bar for yourself not only leads to more things actually being finished but also helps with keeping your self-esteem on a healthy level. Perfectionism makes it pretty impossible to find or maintain high self-esteem.
  7. Eat slower. Make your lunch time a time of relaxation rather than a time to just add to the stress of your morning. One thing that works well to slow down when eating is to put down the fork between bites.
  8. Enjoy the simple pleasures. A pear. Fresh and clean bed sheets. A hug and kiss. Holding hands. A laugh with friends. The sun and blossoming nature after a long and cold winter.
  9. Write everything down. Pretty much everyone’s memory is leaky. So help yourself. Write down what you need to do or shop for today. Write down your ideas before they fly away. Write down the one habit or area you are focusing on right now in your life and put that note where you can see it every day. Like on your bedside table or bathroom mirror.
  10. Breathe. When you are stressed, lost in a problem or the past or future in your mind breathe with your belly for a minute or two and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment again. And it is actually sometimes enough to just do this for a 20-30 seconds to create remarkable effect inside of yourself.

Image by miyukiutada (license).



Print Friendly

Like what you've read? Then get email updates (it's free)

Join over 59,426 awesome subscribers who receive exclusive happiness and personal development tips every week!

{ 27 comments }

Joe Consterdine April 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Nice article. Some of the tasks you mentioned are useful for time management.

I also have certain tasks I do on a daily basis which you could add to your list.

1.Tidy my room everyday so I can work in an uncluttered environment.
2.Shower everyday. Not just to keep clean but I also feel very relaxed afterwards.
3.Journal. By writing about what you’ve done during the day you can identify areas you need to improve for the following day.
4.Plan the next day. Similar to what you said in terms of making notes. I like to spend time the night before writing everything that needs to be done (It’s also important to have this accessible with you on the day so you don’t forget anything).

Thanks!

Vincent Nguyen April 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm

All great ways to make for a lighter life!

The only one I disagree with is writing shorter emails. For me, it’s a matter of occasion. Some emails warrant only a short reply without having to write an essay, but I often get emails from people who are showing their appreciation for my work. When I talk to people personally like that, I like to expand on the conversation they started and match or exceed their length to return the appreciation.

Surabhi April 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Hi,

I loved the article just like your other posts. But I disagree on what you said about ‘cook more than you’ll eat’. I am generally against the idea of stocking up food and freezing it. Also, while I understand cooking twice is more time consuming and tiring than cooking once, eating stale food is also not healthy!

But other than this, I really liked what you said.

Lisa April 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Your entire list was great. Thank you! #5 and #6 spoke directly to me.

Stephanie April 10, 2013 at 1:42 am

I love this blog and I hope that you continue to post to it for a long time! I look here often for random pick-me-ups and good ideas on how to simplify and enjoy life more, so thank you. I also have implemented many of your suggestions in my life, and they have all proven useful. :)

Motivational Speaker | Craig Harper April 10, 2013 at 3:45 am

Great points.

#9 particularly resonates with me. I personally write everything down. Not only is it a great way to prioritize my to-do list, but as you say, it ensures that we don’t lose the ideas that we may have had through the day.

Craig

Lauren Taylor April 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

Life is simple, but most of us enjoy making it complicated!

Some great tips, I’ll be using the 20%, 80% one for problems :-)

Lauren

Joe April 11, 2013 at 1:35 am

For years I practiced meditation every morning. it was so valuable to get up 2o minutes earlier, shower and then relax. It was like a second sleep. My meditation was as in manifestation, so it was not concerned with not thinking; just intending good during the coming day. During the day when a busy life became a challenge, I was able to – in a split second – put my mind back to that state of mind, imperceptably to anyone about me, and refocus on purpose.

'Dr Sniffle' April 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Hi Henrik, great list and I certainly agree with the shorter emails, cut to the chase and let your readers get on with their lives, leave the selling for the sales page.

The 2 important points are to preserve your me time, especially whilst eating and being aware of all the wonder around you. All too often these are the things that we cut when we get busy yet by taking the time to allow ourselves to embrace the wonders of the world and to resolve issues whilst we eat will allow us to sleep better. After all dreams are really just our brains doing the nightly housekeeping and if we can reduce this during the day then in the morning we will awake far more refreshed.

Monish April 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Thanks for writing this article!

#5 was one of the reasons I wrote an article recently on my website about Proactivity. When we keep focusing on problems a majority of time…well, we just start feeling like crap. A lot of people get overwhelmed in life and then it becomes too complex, and then one day they find themselves breaking down. It’s happened to me.

And that’s when people like you and me come along and can help them.
Keep up the good work mate. I just started following your site.

Stay Empowered,
Monish

Kael April 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

For those who arrive 5-10 minutes early for everything always keep in mind to review your time expectations. Just because you are early don’t assume your counterpart will be abiding by the same punctuality principles or else this causes you more stress! =)

decipheringsilence April 11, 2013 at 11:29 pm

very thought provoking! =) really useful points

Donna Hamilton April 12, 2013 at 2:26 am

Great list! [like Lisa] #5 and #6 are me to a T…maybe a personality trait!? and “life’s too short to sweat the small stuff” should be the header on your memo list.

The Lover April 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm

# 11. Reading this blog!
thanks for some tips- putting things in perspective sometimes helps to realize what we may think are HUGE deals… really aren’t.
I love lists- I make them for everything (shopping, presents I need to go, to-do lists, want-to-do lists) :)

Sherri April 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Yes, remembering to breathe, sounds strange to say it. A few deep breathing exercises can be a reset for the body…thanks!

karen April 14, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Very useful tips. I too have a short list that I “try” to hold myself to. Your #10 is my #1 it helps me to stop and think/feel before I leap.

http://www.fairiesmarket.blogspot.com

SMART Living 365 / Kathy Gottberg April 15, 2013 at 5:59 am

Thanks for these great reminders and excellent habits to employ every single day. Creating habits that lead to a more simple and minimal life are rewarding on many levels–certainly lighter! ~Kathy

Henrik Edberg April 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind and encouraging comments! And for sharing the tips that help you make your life simpler and lighter. :)

aila April 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

Grrrrreat
just
like
always!

Christine April 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I love this article Henrik. Sometimes we make our lives so unnecessarily complicated. I especially love number 5 Being solution focussed is so much more effective both in solving the problem and lowering stress levels!

Sue April 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I do 2, 4. and 8. I find it is great to cook and freeze things as like you say I only have to cook once and I eat 3/4 times for that. Also by using one pot that makes things even simpler. It is also great when you go out as when you get back (providing you’ve remembered to remove the item fro the freezer) the meal is waiting.

Jason Sells Oregon Homes April 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Good points, Im a realtor who works 70 hours a week currently, and Im always looking for ways to relax and produce harmony in my life. My biggest have been: Taking longer lunches in relaxed environments, focusing on one task at a time, taking 5 to 10min breaks between tasks and making sure Im never in a gray zone. When Im working, I bust it. When Im at home, Im focused on my family. Thanks for the post Henrik.

Rocky Guloy April 17, 2013 at 6:10 am

Simplicity is the key to everything !

Ed April 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm

The concept of KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) has always been my favorite model to live by. In most things I have observed in life simplicity allows for happier times, more efficiency, and less stress. However, sometimes us humans need to over complicate things. Great article!

Maria April 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Love it, this is just what I needed. I know I’m guilty of making life complicated, I constantly think to myself ‘surely it can’t be that simple’ when it often times is. Thanks for opening my eyes :)

Nick Goodall April 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Environment is such an important variable, in fact once a week (Sunday, today), I take time to clear everything up and get a clean, sleek and sharp workspace. It helps me so much with productivity.

While I think most of those are great (I practice them myself), writing shorter emails for me is subjective to the situation. If someone is showing appreciation for what I do, I’ll take the time and energy to submit a decent response. But on the other hand, if somebody has written me a one-liner, I won’t take the time to write them an essay…

Some really useful ideas here, Henrik!

Anonymous April 30, 2013 at 8:11 pm

One More Point , which i can suggest is Appreciate yourself if you have done something good.Forgive yourself, if you have unintentionally done something wrong and if you are bit spiritual pay gratitude towards your almighty .For watever he has given you , because belief and Trust can remarkably change your life.
You Friend
http://nascentsoul.blogspot.in/

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: