17 ways to simplify your life right now

By far the biggest misconception about becoming organized is that it’s all about making a space look pristine, whether that’s a room, a closet, or even your car. In reality, getting organized is really all about eliminating the friction from your life.

When you simplify, you strip away those elements that stretch you thin and stress you out. With less, you ironically gain more time…peace…happiness.

Here are 17 ways to simplify things in the year ahead:

1. Turn off alerts.

I know it’s Pavlovian to look! So do yourself a favor and turn the darn things off. All those bleeps and pop-ups do is break your focus – 99.99% of the time they are not even relevant to the thing you were working on.

2. Eat sitting down.

It prevents overeating, aids digestion, reduces insulin resistance and heartburn…and is actually a lot more enjoyable.

3. Don’t let junk mail in the house.

Every household will receive at least 850 pieces of junk mail this year alone. Do yourself a favor and put junk mail (catalogs included) immediately in the recycle bin.

4. Automate your bill payments.

Eliminate paper statements and late fees.

5. Develop a “NO” script.

When you say yes to too many things all you’re really doing is shortchanging the people you care about (and yourself) most because you don’t want to let down an acquaintance. Bad math. Protect your time by developing a script for requests you normally would knee-jerk a yes to, such as, “My heart says yes, but unfortunately my calendar says no.”

6. Turn off screens 30 minutes before hitting the sack.

You’ll go to sleep faster and be more likely to feel well rested in the am. Don’t just take my word for it, read more here.

7. Establish a nighttime routine that sets your up for a good morning.

Start your day with an “aaah,” not an “ugh.” Take the last 10 minutes before bed and declutter the last two rooms you were in, get the coffee pot ready, unload the dishwasher…

8. Practice delegating one thing a day.

It’s not a weakness or an imposition to ask for help. It enables those around you to participate more fully. The more you practice (starting with little things), the stronger your delegation muscle will become

9. Wait 48-hours before buying any non-essential items.

Chances are you really don’t need it.

10. Grocery shop with a list.

You’ll get it done faster…and spend less!

11. Count your blessings every morning.

At the start of the day, before you open your email, take 2 minutes to write down a list of things you’re grateful for. The subtle shift in focus will boost your energy, and remind you of what’s important.

12. Use hooks.

Hooks are of of the the best organizational shortcuts going. They’re perfect for busy people and look great in virtually any decor .

13. Wipe your bathroom sink with a sponge every day.

Keep a sponge under the sink. A wipe every day takes 2 seconds and will dramatically cut down on the number of “deep cleans” you have to do.

14. Develop one month of dinner menus & shopping lists.

Figuring out what’s for dinner at the 11th hour is a huge and totally unnecessary stressor. All you need are 4 weeks worth of menus to rotate through. If you shop digitally, you can set up the shopping lists online and shopping becomes a one-click “chore.”

15. Make a distinction between your laundry list & a to-do list.

A laundry list has everything on it. A to-do list is about what really needs to get done today. Read more about distinguishing the two in the secret to a more productive week.

16. Practice the “two hands in, two hands out” rule.

Wherever you are going, you should never have empty hands. As you walk through a room you can pick something up and put it in its place on your way.

17. Release 27 things.

Go through your house and collect 27 things to give away…and give them away!