Don’t let the title fool you. These changes or additions to your life ARE crazy-simple. But, to simplify your life, it will initially take some effort. And, if you are a working mom, it is definitely worth the effort.
For working moms, life seems to get over-complicated somewhere along the way. There are so many things to keep up with, like keeping a clean house, creating the perfect spaces for your family, preparing the most delicious meals, and conquering your career goals. And you do this all so you can enjoy the smiles on the faces of the people you love and feel accomplished. You want to be a good mom, a good wife, and have a successful career. You know, the things every girl (okay, maybe not every girl) dreams of becoming when she gets older.
The problem is, we try to do it all at the same time and way too fast. In the process of working towards this dream lifestyle, we forget to set routines and create plans to accomplish these goals. So we end up scrambling to find time to clean the house, take the kids to practice and dental appointments, create a career for ourselves, and spend quality time with our spouse.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to be all things to all people. However, with a few simple and intentional changes, you can make things so much easier on yourself. These five tips I’m going to share with you will help you accomplish your goals and simplify your life as a mom, an employee or entrepreneur, a wife and a friend.
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5 CHANGES THAT WILL SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
Like I mentioned before, these tips are simple, not necessarily easy. The level of difficulty for getting organized will totally be determined by how much stuff you have to organize. But, if you really want to simplify your life, you need to get organized.
What do I mean by get organized? Well, there are many places and areas of life we can organize: home, office, and even our minds and daily schedules. You want to make sure each thing has its own place, somewhere you can store it with like items and easily access it when needed.
Another major part of organizing is to declutter. If you clean your house and it still feels dirty or distracting, it is most likely due to an excess of unneeded stuff, a.k.a. clutter. This is common among households with children.
I could show you photos of my house around the holidays. Let me just tell you…Way.Too.Much.Stuff. I always have to do a major decluttering overhaul after the first of the year.
Remember, whether it’s at home, at work or in the car, having a system in place can save you time and energy. By knowing exactly where to find the things you need, you will reduce frustration and increase productivity.
If you’re new to this, I suggest you conquer one area of life at a time. And when you start to organize your house, start with one room at a time. Bedrooms, closets, kitchen pantry, laundry…I can just imagine the look of overwhelm on your face. Seriously, take it one step at a time, but let it go. Stop holding on to the junk that is providing no real value to you.
Having kids, being married, and working with or for someone else means you either learn how to be open-minded or you stay frustrated most of the time.
With children, almost nothing goes to plan. Our children, while younger and more naive, are still human beings with their own perspectives about how to live life. Also, when they hit those terrible two’s and discover the word “no” and how to use it…well, let’s just say life get’s a little harder.
Our husbands…well, they’re men. While maybe not as important as ours (totally just kidding), they have different views, as well. If we want to have a healthy relationship, we have to be open-minded and willing to compromise.
And, if you do any kind of work, home based or traditional, you will have to interact with others. Trying to see things from another point of view before making final decisions is a good idea if you want to be successful.
Listen to others. Try to understand their perspective. Be mindful with your thoughts, and know that change is inevitable. If you’re willing to let go of the constraints a little, it will make your life so much simpler.
Start Taking Time for Yourself
This one seems like it should be the easiest task. We would love to paint our nails, get a pedicure, eat healthy meals, sit for an hour and read a book…alone. However, as moms we often neglect our own needs trying to take care of everyone else’s. We stay so busy and feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to tend to our own needs. We might even feel guilty about spending time and money on ourselves instead of our family.
When I catch myself feeling worn out, overwhelmed, and stressed from the constant pulling and tugging in my life, I quickly realize it’s because I haven’t taken any time for myself lately. I give myself lots of excuses for why I just don’t have the time. Then, (all over again) I have to remind myself why taking care of me is so important.
Practicing self-care can significantly reduce your stress levels. When we’re in a good mood, the trivial things we might normally blow up about seem so insignificant which allows us to focus on more important things in our lives. In essence, taking care of ourselves simplifies our lives by freeing our minds and allowing us to be more strategic with our focus.
If you’d like to know more about why self-care is so important, read this.
Meal Plan Weekly
If you have not been meal planning, you have been missing out on a great way to simplify your work week. Like all the other tips here, this one will take some initial effort, but it will save you a lot of headache during the week.
No more running to the grocery store after work and fighting the never-ending lines at check out. No more spending your lunch hour trying to decide which recipe you’ll make for dinner. And, no more opting for takeout and breaking your monthly budget because you are just too tired to manage the grocery store or even think about what recipe will satisfy the whole family.
Just sit down once a week and decide which meals you will have. Make your grocery list. Then, do your shopping for the whole week. You will be amazed at how much time and stress you save yourself during the week by using meal planning to simplify your life.
A FEW OF MY TOP TIPS FOR MEAL PLANNING
- Choose one day a week to sit down and actually plan. My day is usually Sunday since my family is gearing up for the new school and work week. You want to have enough time to look for new recipes and make your list.
- Check with the family first to see if they have any suggestions. My bunch is pretty opinionated, so it saves me some time looking for new recipes.
- You can use meal planning to save money. Check your local sales paper, and choose recipes that are based on the items on sale.
If you’re not convinced that meal planning is for you, check out more amazing benefits of meal planning from Chrissy at OrganiseMyHouse.com.
Reduce Your Time on Social Media
Over the past decade and a half, social media has become a huge part of everyday life for most people. It has created a way for us to instantly connect with people in a way never thought possible. We can find old friends we lost touch with or stay connected to someone on the opposite side of the globe. However, the use of social media also has some negative effects.
An article posted on Forbes.com discusses 6 ways social media affects our mental health. Here are a couple main ideas from the article:
- Some users experience addiction-like behavior with the overuse of social media, such as neglecting their personal life and experiencing negative changes in mood.
- It creates an atmosphere of comparison which can lead to jealousy. And, people only post what they want you to see, so you end up making comparisons based on only part of the story.
Even if you don’t experience these issues, there are other things social media brings with it that can be distracting and time consuming. Things like notifications at all times of the day and endless scrolling with hours of wasted time.
Just by limiting your time on social media and turning those notifications off, you can reduce anxiety and increase productivity. It’s simple, reduce your time on social media and simplify your life by reducing distractions and freeing up time for your family.
Making the Changes
If you’re not doing these 5 things to simplify your life, you should start today. As with any lifestyle changes that I recommend, I suggest starting with one, mastering it, then moving on to the next. Making too many changes at once can be a challenge and leave you feeling overwhelmed, which will cause you to lose motivation and give up.
Utilizing these tips to simplify your life will increase your time management skills, make time with your family more enjoyable and make your household easier to manage.
How do you encourage simplicity in your life? Drop me a comment below with any tips you use to simplify your life.