Minimalism

5 Habits That Simplified My Life // Tiny Routines For Happiness And Productivity

In the journey to discover what self care is and what it means to me, I’ve discovered 5 habits that simplified my life.

I’m not a minimalist by any means. I love simple living, and minimalist ideals though. The biggest takeaways from me regarding minimalist living include becoming more mindful about what I bring into my life.

Before I learned about intentional living, I dealt with my feelings or boredom by shopping – both in person and online. The scary thing is the lack of awareness I had around it until I decided I would intentionally TRY not to buy things. That’s when I realized how often I have a reaction to shop.

At my core, I really do like to keep things simple. Learning simple living has felt like a homecoming in some ways.

And I’ve found that these 5 habits that simplified my life help me to feel happier, more content and more productive.

 

5 Habits That Simplified My Life

 

5 Habits That Simplified my Life

The tips below include five incredibly simple ways to simplify your life. Use these tips to gain more control over your time, money and feelings.

So with all that said…let’s jump in!

Habit #1: Pare Down Belongings

The first of 5 habits that simplified my life is to pare down my belongings.

I’m not talking about a spring cleaning or annual yard sale—I’m talking about habitually looking through things to see what you use and what you don’t.

I don’t schedule this or anything, but I’d say about once a month, I tidy up an area that collects things. Clothing is an obvious area in my life where there’s often room to pare down.

Additionally, I feel like a pretty organized person, but most of my drawers fill up with clutter. I consistently reach a point where I have no idea what’s in the drawer. I’m talking silverware, socks, underwear, towels, makeup, hair accessories, etc. Every now and then, I choose a drawer to dump out on the bed and sort through.

I also periodically pare down jewelry, our garage, what I keep on my desk by my computer and what I keep on top of my dresser.

The list goes on, but I digress…

Habit #2: Put Yourself First

Putting yourself first is really important, and if you don’t believe me, check out my post on self care and why you need it.

When you put yourself first, priorities become a little easier. Additionally, putting yourself first gives you more energy for other things. Neglecting your selfcare leaves you feeling depleted and overwhelmed.

Putting yourself first doesn’t mean that you’re selfish, it just means that your physical, emotional and mental well-being are important enough to you enough that you don’t want to neglect them.

And prioritizing your well-being definitely makes things more simple.

While self care doesn’t necessarily involve buying things, I’ve really enjoyed trying out different self care subscription boxes. I find that buying the items and being surprised is on only a nice way to treat myself, but because I spent money on the items in the box, I’m more inclined to prioritize using them.

This has been a GREAT way to make putting myself first (in a manageable non-time-suck’y way) more often.

Habit #3: Create Routines

This is one of my favorite habits!

I read a book a couple years ago called The Creative Habit, and it was a game changer.

It emphasized the idea that creating routines around things not only helps you be more productive, but also stimulates your creativity over time.

Stimulating creativity was definitely a selling point for me, despite also not loving the idea of more commitments.

 

5 habits that simplified my life - the creative habit by twyla tharp

 

Creating routines increases productivity because you have less to think about. It also stimulates creativity because you can’t be creative or innovate until you’re an expert in your “field”.

Additionally, creating morning and evening routines helps you dedicate space in your schedule for things you want to prioritize. Morning and evening routines could involve 5 minutes and one action, or they could take two hours and involve a series of actions and behaviors you do every morning and evening

To get started with your own evening or morning routine, I have a few tips:

  • Start small and make it easy for yourself to be consistent. If you over commit your time or expectations while developing a routine, it becomes harder to stick to. Set yourself up for success.
  • Self care is something many of us don’t make time for. If you’re starting out with routines, I recommend choosing one or two self care activities to plug in. Journaling for 5 minutes, sitting still for a mindfulness meditation, starting a short stretching routine. Again – set yourself up for success by choosing something you enjoy, that fits easily within your current schedule.

Habit #4: Write Sh*t Down

Okay, I said tip #3 was my favorite, but I might have lied. Writing sh*t down has to be one of the most significant ways I’ve simplified my life.

I used to be able to rely on my memory. While I still sometimes feel confident about my memory, I’ve found that as I get older its very…

Selective.

Writing things down helps my brain to feel clean, light and calm. I use Google calendar and a project management tool called Asana so that I don’t have to remember a single deadline. Then, I set the deadline for every project I have, and create due dates and tasks working backwards from there.

I also use writing things down to remember creative ideas, sketch things out and write lists and brainstorming.

Many of my tasks are in digital tools, but there’s no replacement for a handwritten list and checking things off by hand.

In my post about How to Create Tiny Happiness, I mentioned how writing small goals and checking them off can stimulate happiness. But…it also makes things simple.

Keep forgetting to practice self care? Write it down 🙂

If you want to try Therabox, I got some great journals in my last box. The items change monthly, so there may or may not be tiny journals in the next box. Click here to try Therabox.

Journal options are literally endless, but I found this totes adorbs set on Amazon if you want travel journals like I have:

use journals - 5 habits that simplify my life

Habit #5: Be Intentional

The last of 5 habits that simplified my life is to be intentional about everything you do. Don’t be busy for the sake of being busy. Think about what you want your life to look like in a year or 10 years…

Now make sure that what you’re doing now align with that vision.

On a smaller scale, think about what you need to accomplish in the next day, week or month—and make sure that what you’re doing today align with your vision, or what you need to do.

It’s easy to pick up a plate and spin it because it makes me feel accomplished and productive…

But ultimately, I can do a lot less and accomplish a lot more if I live intentionally.

Summary: Becoming More Minimal

I didn’t know it when I first wrote this post, but these 5 tips were the first steps to trying a minimalism challenge and simplifying even more.

Click here to read about the 30 days to minimalism challenge, and download the free guide.

minimalism challenge - download worksheets

 

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15 Comments

  • P. Ram Mohan Rao

    Very good read and easy to implement ideas.

  • alisonsnotebook

    Thanks for reading! Let me know if any of the ideas help you

  • alisonsnotebook

    Yes, totally. Every time I feel overwhelmed, it’s time to simplify again and create a routine for that part of my life. Thanks for reading!

  • Julia

    Many thanks, loved the post! Especially the being an expert and creativity and being intentional! Great stuff:)

  • Anonymous

    Great ideas. One cool thing I started last year is a daily journal. Nothing involved…just a few shorts sentences about my day, activities, ideas. I was really interesting to read through it each day on the same day this year. Helped my memory tremendously.

  • Mj

    I actually shed a couple of tears with this one! Happy of course 😊Going through a lot right now and this is very helpful and easy to implement. Thank you!!

  • Alice Claridge

    Wow, the part about shopping was so relatable for me- I’ve just started realising that I online shop to relax/escape my busy life as a Mama of 3 little. Thanks for this post, helpful stuff

  • Annie

    I loved your input. Simply said, very useful. It gave me great ideas how to get myself together, especially with being intentional! Thank you!

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