Wondering how some people live without many worries while you are deeply burdened with worries and stress of carrying out even routine activities?
Well, we all experience occasional levels of high stress once in a while but for the sake of our own health, we should find ways to minimize our stress levels as much as possible.
Here are 10 effective ways to simply your life and keep your stress levels to a minimum:
1. Follow a simplified approach in everything you do:
The key to simplifying your life lies in prioritizing things well (according to urgency and importance) – identify the most important tasks to do first and allocate enough time to complete it.
Prioritize everything that comes to you: emails, phone calls, meetings, and dozens of little fires that we need to attend to every single day.
The key is to differentiate between value added activities and activities that are not important but needs to be done.
Make sure you do your value added activities first: these activities are the ones that brings you money, career promotion or that will propel you towards your goals.
2. Don’t judge yourself harshly
When it comes to simplifying your life, it is important that you don’t start judging your actions right away. This is especially important if you have perfectionist tendencies and you tend to set high standards for yourself.
Keep learning and acquiring knowledge as you proceed and breathe easy at every step, knowing that you are doing what you value the most. Don’t judge yourself too much along the way of learning.
Put your best efforts in everything you do but don’t beat yourself up if the results doesn’t meet your expectations.
3. Focus on one task at a time
Don’t indulge in multi-tasking. I have found that when I multi-task, my focus keeps shifting from one task to another and I am never really into one task at a time, which spoils my concentration.
I have realized how crucial it is to focus all your energies on a single task at a time.
After all, our brain also gets tired from all that much focus and concentration and needs rest!
4. De-clutter and organize
Clutter creates confusion and a sense of frustration, which we don’t often recognize on the surface. However, one of the best ways to simplify your life is to get rid of the stuff you don’t really need.
Why pack and mess up your space with something that does you no good?
Why not donate it to somebody who is actually in need of this stuff?
Cleaning the clutter and unnecessary things will create empty space, which will bring a feeling of freshness and a sense of creativity to the work space.
Organize your wardrobe and your dressing table, doing away with discarded and unnecessary stuff, for a less stressful life.
Try it and compare the feel and productivity of a disorganized work space/office/house to a clean, well organized and pretty looking environment. You will feel the difference!
5. Simplify your expectations
Don’t burden yourself under the load of unrealistic expectations. Running after perfection only sets up frustration ahead of time.
Failure in achieving perfection sets a spiral of frustrating emotions and anger, which are difficult to subside.
So why run after unrealistic goals or follow the expectations of others and ruin our present?
You don’t have to worry about having to please everyone. Life is too short to be spent on someone else’s goals. Instead figure out what you really want in life and go after them!
Once you know what you want, set realistic goals for yourself.
Do your best but don’t be too disappointed when you don’t achieve it. Instead, learn from the failure and improve upon it.
6. Learn to Say No:
Sometimes it is okay to say no if you aren’t comfortable doing something for a loved one or a friend, instead of indulging in delaying tactics and ending up getting nothing but frustration for yourself.
Learn to value your time and if a request is made to you and you are not in a position to do it, or it isn’t something you want to do, be polite and tactful and communicate your points to them.
Or you can say: Let me get back to you, I am busy and you can then give them the answer. But don’t always say yes if doing things for others works in your own detriment: cannot finish your own assignments/tasks on time, lack of sleep, stress etc.
You need to set clear boundaries for yourself and ensure that they are honored. When you show self respect, others will respect you in return.
7. Don’t indulge in unnecessary conflict/arguments
Learn to be more tolerant; rather than arguing with others over minor conflicts or issues.
I try to avoid conflict as much as I can, for I have realized over the years at work that fighting over trivial issues won’t do me any good; rather, it will only set a trail of frustration and disagreement with others.
To make life more peaceful, it is important to stay cool and avoid conflicts and arguments. Use reasoning to convince others, not emotions.
8. Allow yourself to relax
Remember, relaxing isn’t the equivalent of being lazy. Give yourself permission and time to doing nothing or to do something you like to do.
Spare at least 15-30 minutes every single day to relax, rest, and revive yourself such as doing meditation, yoga, listening to music, dancing or reading a good book.
Such brief spells of rest can have a calming and positive effect on our minds.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself amidst the busyness and stress of career and family life.
9. Have fun:
One of the best ways to simplify your life is to take time out for doing something that you really enjoy doing – something you are passionate about. Allocate fun and play time into your schedule and let it be part of your daily or weekly routine (if you are too busy).
If you love cooking, experiment with new recipes. Play with a splash of colors if you love painting. Spare time for fun tasks every day or every week.
Don’t think about work while you are having fun. When we are busy with our career and family, we tend to overlook our old hobbies and interests and want to work whenever possible.
But having fun time is very important both from a physical and mental perspective.
Life is not all about work and no play. Remember the proverb: ” all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
10. Choose health over wealth
No doubt wealth and financial stability is very important, but it can only be earned and sustained if you are healthy and fit enough to take up the hardest of tasks in your job.
Remember, your health is wealth and a healthy body and mind alone can help you realize and sustain your goals.
If you are healthy, you will be happy and physically and mentally strong enough to turn the tide in your favor.
I understand that it is not easy to simplify our life as we are busy people but as long as you are clear about your values, priorities and goals, you will be able to simplify a lot of things in life.
Don’t be too focused on only one area in life, rather find a balance point in your relationships both with yourself and others, wealth, career, with your spouse and kids, family and with your friends. They all deserve at least some quality time from you on a weekly basis.