How To Make Life Simpler

I’ve minimized my life down to two backpacks and a box of memories that I’ve kept at home. It’s been over three years with this lifestyle and I love it. I’ve learned a lot on how to simplify my life along the way and I feel like I’m still learning. It’s not always easy and I’ve had to stay on track and be dedicated to this. Society doesn’t make it easy. I’d like to have all the electronics, fancy clothes, and first-class airplane rides but do I need them? Even when I can afford nice things, do I need it? Questioning what I need and what I want generally helps me stay organized.

Here’s how I’ve kept my life simpler and  how you can too:

  1. Get rid of stuff you don’t use. De-clutter your life. Sell, donate, or throw out. Read more.
  2. Stop buying new things, especially if you want to travel or move often.
  3. Pay off your debt. Do everything in your power to be debt free. Read more.
  4. Spend less time on Facebook and more time learning.
  5. Cut back on all your online profiles. Do you really need 5 Twitter accounts, forum accounts everywhere, and involved in 15 Facebook groups? Deactivate yourself from a few.
  6. Clean up your computer. Delete old files that are no longer needed. Organize your files by folder. Go through all your application and delete what you don’t use anymore.
  7. Get rid of tasks that are meaningless.
  8. Do one thing at a time. Simplify your tasks.
  9. Stop procrastinating. Probably one of the hardest things on this list. Examine of what takes up most of your time when you procrastinate. Delete the shortcuts that are easy for you to procrastinate with like deleting Facebook from your toolbar. Better yet, delete the entire task bar from your browser.
  10. Don’t have more than two tabs open in your browser. Difficult for me since I love opening new windows to not lose my place. I found that I never go back anyway.
  11. Don’t check your email every hour. I need to work on this one. It’s a bad habit and stops me from doing tasks that actually matter.
  12. Unsubscribe from all newsletters in your inbox. If you spend any of your time deleting spam or newsletters you don’t read, get rid of it. If you’re getting more than you can handle, it’s time for a new email address.
  13. If you own your own business like I do, do one project at a time. Don’t start another project until you finish your current one.
  14. Instead of only creating yearly goals, make monthly, weekly, or daily goals your priority. Have yearly goals as something general but target it more specifically with monthly or less goals.
  15. Spend time alone. Go to a coffee shop, library, or walk in a park by yourself.
  16. Sell your car. Take public transportation to get to work. This might be more possible in bigger cities. When I sold my car, I felt a lot better not having to worry about insurance, gas, payments, and all the other hassles that go along with having a car.
  17. If you’re planning to travel, don’t stress that you have a lot to do before you leave. Do what you can and give yourself more time if you need it. No one is forcing you to go anywhere.
  18. Learn to cook. There’s an unlimited supply of recipes online. Stephanie likes to watch a TV show while she cooks. I usually listen to an iTunes U course or jam out to music. It makes cooking fun.
  19. Keep a few brochures for delivery for those lazy days. Nothing wrong with having a lazy day.
  20. Be yourself.

What tips do you have for keeping life simpler?

 

17 Comments

  1. Sovesky on March 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Has this become a self-help website?

    • Michael on March 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      It has always been a website to motivate and inspire travelers. Keeping it simple is one of the things that makes backpacking possible.

      • Sovesky on March 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

        I understand the point of view and also share it. 

        I wrote that because there are some points in your list with which i don’t identify myself with, and think are more personal and do not completely adapt to the travel thing. 
        Probably it is the way it is written that sort of makes me twist my nose, because although kind of stupid, at the end of the article i kept the idea that for you, a “real” traveller should follow the simplicity road because… you identify yourself with it.

        I believe that wasn’t your intention and that you are just trying to show people that simplicity has helped you as a traveller, and want to share some ideas or suggestions to reach that goal but… as a reader i just felt sort of… imposed by some ideas?

        Anyway, interpret this as feedback from a reader that just wants to express his first impression after reading the post. I don’t mean to attack anyone by any means 🙂

  2. Sovesky on March 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Has this become a self-help website?

    • Michael on March 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      It has always been a website to motivate and inspire travelers. Keeping it simple is one of the things that makes backpacking possible.

      • Sovesky on March 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm

        I understand the point of view and also share it. 

        I wrote that because there are some points in your list with which i don’t identify myself with, and think are more personal and do not completely adapt to the travel thing. 
        Probably it is the way it is written that sort of makes me twist my nose, because although kind of stupid, at the end of the article i kept the idea that for you, a “real” traveller should follow the simplicity road because… you identify yourself with it.

        I believe that wasn’t your intention and that you are just trying to show people that simplicity has helped you as a traveller, and want to share some ideas or suggestions to reach that goal but… as a reader i just felt sort of… imposed by some ideas?

        Anyway, interpret this as feedback from a reader that just wants to express his first impression after reading the post. I don’t mean to attack anyone by any means 🙂

  3. Our Oyster on March 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Love it! I need to go through an organize my computer files. They are terrifying. Especially all the photo folders. After moving to Picassa from Iphoto for organizing my photos, I have only had chaos. Epp! One day!

  4. Our Oyster on March 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Love it! I need to go through an organize my computer files. They are terrifying. Especially all the photo folders. After moving to Picassa from Iphoto for organizing my photos, I have only had chaos. Epp! One day!

  5. Fernanda on March 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I like it! It resumes minimalistic way of life and unclutter.  This is the way I want to live and I’m improving every day 🙂

  6. Fernanda on March 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I like it! It resumes minimalistic way of life and unclutter.  This is the way I want to live and I’m improving every day 🙂

  7. Jared Loftus on March 19, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Haha I laughed at the one about only two tabs. I wish I could do that. I have 17 tabs currently on this one window and I usually have three or so windows with comprable number of tabs. It’s bad :-/

    • Michael on March 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      I have 10 open right now. I have to remind myself quite often to close them down.

  8. Jared Loftus on March 19, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Haha I laughed at the one about only two tabs. I wish I could do that. I have 17 tabs currently on this one window and I usually have three or so windows with comprable number of tabs. It’s bad :-/

    • Michael on March 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      I have 10 open right now. I have to remind myself quite often to close them down.

  9. laurarose on July 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    #15 has done so much for me it’s unreal. I find myself itching for more of it & when I am around others, I’m a more conscious listener which has deepened the bonds. 

  10. laurarose on July 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    #15 has done so much for me it’s unreal. I find myself itching for more of it & when I am around others, I’m a more conscious listener which has deepened the bonds. 

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