The things we do on a regular basis obviously impact how we live our lives. Some of those habits have been with us so long they seem almost impossible to change, but I promise just a few habit tweaks can really simplify things.
If some don’t seem like they’ll work for you, that’s okay. You know yourself and know how you operate. Take the ones that sound like something you can do and ignore the rest.
The Put it Back Habit
When you have designated places for things to go and you ALWAYS put them back after you use them then you NEVER have to frantically look for them when you’re running late in the morning. Start with just one thing (like your keys) and build up from there. It’s a great habit to teach other members of the family too … so they don’t run screaming to you when they can’t find things.
Have a designated spot (and use it) for …
Your purse or wallet or tote bag
All of the remotes
If you’re wondering … Yes, I do have designated spots for each of these things in my home and I make the effort every day to put them back where they belong. It’s another way to help my future self.
The Think it Over Habit
If you’re dealing with clutter and/or use shopping as a form of therapy then buying more stuff is only going to make those issues worse in the long run. I’ve dealt with people who try to buy happiness (and was even that way during my manic antidepressant days) and it’s always a short term feeling that only leads to more problems later on, like clutter and financial issues.
Starting to develop the habit of thinking it over when making purchases that are wants and not needs can simplify your home (less stuff) and your finances (more money to pay on bills and debt).
Thinking it over can also simplify things if you’re needing to make a big decision.
Not jumping into making decisions might require you to let other people in your life know that you need time to think it over. Be honest with them. It’s much better to think it over and make the decision that’s ultimately right for you than it is to be miserable and resent the person asking.
The Clean it Out Habit
Once a week, usually on a Sunday afternoon, I clean out my purse. Since I do it on a regular basis there isn’t much to clean out.
Once a week, usually on a Friday evening, I clean out my car. Since I do it on a regular basis there isn’t much to clean out. Plus I keep a small trash can in my car so there isn’t trash all over the floorboards that has to be picked up later.
Whenever I’m sitting somewhere waiting, I clean a few things out of my phone: e-mails, text conversations, pictures, etc. I just do it a few things at a time so I’m not constantly staring at my phone and totally unaware of what’s going on around me, but just five minutes can make a dent in the digital clutter.
I’ve been doing all of the things for so long they’ve become automatic.
If you have other people in your family then cleaning out their backpacks and bags on Sunday afternoons or evenings can become a habit for everyone. It seriously only takes a few minutes if you do it on a regular basis.
The Row Your Own Boat Habit
This was a hard habit for me to change, because when I was in my manic phases on antidepressants I thought I had to be everyone’s best friend and was the only one who could solve their problems. I wasn’t either one of those things and getting myself involved in other people’s problems, whether they wanted me to or not, didn’t help them or me.
If you are often the person who people (who don’t work on their own issues) come to for help then you might be actually enabling them instead of helping them. Sometimes it’s hard to see the difference, but if you’re doing most of the work in trying to solve their problems then you’re probably an enabler … which means all you’re teaching them is that you’ll do it for them. They never learn how to help themselves, because they don’t have to. They can just call or text you and you’ll figure it out for them.
At first it’s going to feel almost cruel telling people you can’t be the one to solve their problem for them, especially if they usually use guilt to get you to go along with it. But if you really want to live a simplified life you have to learn how to row your own boat and let other people row theirs.
Simplifying is an ongoing process, but changing just a few habits can make a big difference.
Follow me on Twitter … Now! @slappyintheface
If you are new to this funky place Start Here