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10 From GEM: 10 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Life

Creative Commons/joolsattat

Creative Commons/joolsattat

10 From GEM:
10 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Life

Too many of us have plates that are overflowing with “stuff” that not only makes life complicated, it also doesn’t make us happy and contributes to unhealthy physical and mental conditions. If you’ve been reading Good Enough Mother for even a short while, you know that we’re all about making life easy…or at least easier. Keep reading for 10 great ideas to help you get a simplified life. Hint: you’ll have to clear off your plate.

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1. PRIORITIZE WHAT’S IMPORTANT

Creative Commons/puuikibeach

Creative Commons/puuikibeach

Sit down and make a list of all the things you do or all the things you are responsible for. You’ll probably have a long list. Then circle 5-7 things that are very important to you. These should be the things that you most want in your life and are willing to prioritize. Limit or eliminate everything else. This may take time as you might not be able to eliminate some things immediately, but at least you have a starting point to making real changes in your life.

Read more: ASK RENE: OVERWHELMED BY LIFE!

2. GIVE YOUR KIDS MORE RESPONSIBILITIES

Creative Commons/Xangelle

Creative Commons/Xangelle

Notice the use of the plural form of responsibility. With the exception of babies, every child at your house is capable of being responsible for multiple tasks. That’s the price you pay for being in a functional family. Toddlers can pick up their own toys and teenagers can wash dishes. Relieve your stress by making it a requirement that everybody contribute to the household. You may have to show your kids a few times how things get done, but let them do their jobs after that.

Read more: Our Story Begins: Why Failure IS An Option For My Kids

3. PREPARE IN ADVANCE

Creative Commons/J'Roo

Creative Commons/J’Roov

Whether you’re planning tomorrow’s dinner or next month’s birthday party, getting things done ahead of time is always a sanity-saver. You avoid the stress of doing things at the last minute and it’s easier to recover from any problems that pop up along the way.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: 3 Ways To Make The Most Out Of The Life You DIDN’T Plan!

4. LEARN TO SAY “NO”

Single Mom Slice Of Life: Finding My "No"

There are times in our lives when it’s desirable, even appropriate, to say yes no matter how you feel. Like when your beloved grandma asks you to help her clean her house on a Saturday morning. But many times, it’s best to say no—even if it makes us, or the asker, a little uncomfortable. Our quality of life depends on it. As much as you’d love to contribute to the school bake sale, do you really have time to bake 100 cupcakes? Do you even want to? Pick a few things you really want to do and do them well. Give yourself the gift of not feeling guilty when you can’t or don’t want to take on even one more thing.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: A Look Back To Say Thanks!

5. SIMPLIFY YOUR MEALS

Creative Commons/Sandy Pell

Creative Commons/Sandy Pell

When figuring out my family’s dinner became an unwelcome chore, I switched gears and created a menu for the week. My meals are simple, requiring only a few ingredients and taking anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of prep time. My husband does the grocery shopping (I’m a lucky girl!) and he says it’s easier to get in and out the store because he knows exactly what he’s going for based on my list for the week. It’s a win-win for everybody: my husband doesn’t mind shopping, the kids eat well, and I’m not stressed.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Meals You Can Prepare In 10 Minutes

6. STREAMLINE YOUR JOB

Creative Commons/Victor1558

Creative Commons/Victor1558

There are probably several big tasks at your job that can be crossed off your to-do list with focused attention. If that’s the case, focus on those few things that must get done and batch the small tasks together. Whether it’s doing paperwork or sending an email, setting time aside for later to do the little things will leave you time to place emphasis on the big things. It’s better to leave small things on your desk at the end of the day than big ones.  Don’t forget to delegate when you can.

Read more: Can You Rebalance An Off-Kilter Work-Life Balance?

7. QUESTION YOURSELF

Creative Commons/Bilal Kamoon

Creative Commons/Bilal Kamoon

Whenever something new pops up in your life, whether it’s a person, a product, a task, etc., ask yourself will this make my life easier? If the answer is no, you may want to rethink whether it’s something you can feasibly take on. Refer to number 4.

Read more: Are Women Too Afraid To “Lean In”?

8. SLEEP AND EXERCISE

Creative Commons/Itani stock photos

Creative Commons/Itani stock photos

I know, I know, it’s not easy to do with your hectic life. But if you’re not already getting a full night’s rest and some kind of exercise every day, you must add these to the lineup  the best way you can. Both will simplify your life by contributing to your health and relieving stress. Both will sharpen your mind and enable you to deal with life’s inevitable complications. You will not regret rest and exercise.

Read more: Should You Get Paid To Sleep On The Job?

9. GO ON A MEDIA DIET

Creative Commons/EU Social Media Dude

Creative Commons/EU Social Media Dude

This will be tough for many people because we have become so dependent on TVs, cell phones, computers, social media, and the Internet that we wonder how we ever lived without it. Well, if you were born before, oh, say, 1985, you actually did function without all that stuff. If elimination isn’t possible, have time limits on when and for how long you will consume media products. A friend of mine never uses Facebook or Twitter at night because she finds it too depressing to end her day that way. Figure out ways that work for you to limit your time with media.

Read more: Of Teens, Tests And Texts: Mom And Modern Communication | Good Enough is Perfect

10. SPEND TIME WITH LOVED ONES

Creative Commons/Riccardo_89

Creative Commons/Riccardo_89

Why spend time with people you don’t care about or people who don’t care about you? The easiest way to simplify your life is spending time with loved ones. Whether your favorite people are family or friends, find a way to give them the precious commodity of your time. It’s worth the effort.

Read more: The GEM Debate: Should Hugging Be Allowed In Schools?

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Is your life filled with “stuff”?  What are you doing to simplify it?  Share your tips below.

 

More From GEM:

10 From GEM: 10 Ways To MAKE Your Own Luck

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picmonkey alexis

Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. Read more about Alexis on her blog lilliebelle.org, follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5, or email her at alexistrasswalker@gmail.com.

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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