Simplify Your Life
We live in a fast-paced world. The rising percentage of women in the workforce combined with long hours and growing families demands that you, as a woman, stay at the head of your game at all times. When you add extracurricular activities, family vacations and holidays to the mix, life can seem hectic and overwhelming. Oftentimes, the only way of solving this problem is by simplifying your life.
This doesn't mean you and your family have to deprive yourselves of the things you enjoy. Instead, it means focusing on the things that are most important to you. This includes prioritizing your needs, setting goals, and continuing to focus on those goals even when you're feeling overwhelmed. It is also about accepting that if you veer off track, you can, and will, eventually get back on. Here are a few ideas to help you simplify your life.
Consider your values
Sit down and think about the things that really matter to you. Consider the following things and ask yourself what is most important: Spending time with family? Accumulating wealth? Acquiring possessions? Expressing yourself? Learning new things? Traveling? Maintaining good health? Spending time with friends? Giving back to the community? Even Superwoman couldn't do them all. Cut out activities that aren't consistent with your core values.
Set realistic goals
Write out a list of goals you'd like to achieve. Focus on doing a few really well, rather than a lot in a mediocre way. You can't add hours to the day, but you can cut down on unnecessary activities that may be wasting your time and preventing you from achieving these goals.
Pare down your stuff
For every new top or new pair of jeans you bring home from the mall, get rid of two things in the closet that you never wear. Find some time over the weekend to purge your closet and plan a yard sale to get rid of it all. You'll make some money, and chances are you'll never miss what's been sold.
If possible, try to pay your bills as soon as they arrive in order to cut down on the paperwork that will eventually pile up on your desk or the dining room table. An even better option is to pay your bills online and cut down on all that paper. You can even set up automatic bill payments and avoid the worry altogether.
Cancel subscriptions to magazines you never get around to reading. If you're a newspaper buff, read only one newspaper per day, and recycle it when you're done.
Live well on less
Cut back on your debt. Consolidate different debts into one and make paying it off a top priority. Put your credit cards in a spot where you won't be able to use them until you're debt-free. Track your expenses for a month, then cut back your spending on items you don't need. For instance, pack a lunch rather than buying one at work, shop for groceries alone and with a very specific list, and don't keep a lot of cash on you. In addition, carry a smaller wallet or purse. Start by cleaning out the one you've got by getting rid of unnecessary credit cards and other clutter that you don't use regularly.
It may also be helpful to cut back on your children's after-school activities. If you have to use a planner to schedule their activities and you spend all of your time driving them to and from home, they're probably too busy.
Put yourself first
It's ok to say no every once in awhile. People agree to requests from others because they want to please them. Instead, recognize that you have a right to say no. Creating plans makes this easier. When someone asks you to give money to a charity, for example, already having a plan for giving to charities will make it easier to justify saying no.
Don't be a slave to communication tools. Do you really need a cell phone, an office phone, a home phone, a pager, a fax machine, e-mail and an internet chat program?
Make a plan for the weekend that doesn't involve work. Spend your free time with your family, friends, and other people who make positive contributions to your life. Stop spending time with people who are a drain on your energy or your liveliness. Quit clubs, groups or organizations that aren't contributing to your happiness or your advancement.
And most importantly, be sure to make time for yourself. Set aside a half an hour each day to sit quietly, go for a walk or meditate. Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure. Record your thoughts in a personal journal. Do whatever you can to ease your mind, make you happy, and simplify your life.