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What I love about today is that we have so many choices, but sometimes too many choices can be burdensome.
From picking a show on TV, with options across multiple channels and platforms: Free channels, cable channels, paid subscriptions like HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
The task of opening up your closet and picking an outfit to wear, whether it be for work, an outing, or simply to the local cafe.
Even buying Tea is filled with too much choice, Target almost has an aisle filled with different Teas! It’s endless! I’m all about the Tea revolution, but our minds need a break from choice.
The 2006 Ted Talk: Paradox of Choice, focused on this issue
That’s why I like to save my choices for special occasions like Vacations to far away lands, on empty beaches, with a refreshing beverage or two.
Simplifying my day gave me more:
- "Me" time
- Time for personal hobbies
- Time for my loved ones
- Time to lay in bed five minutes longer just because I can
Not to mention it brings calm! Since there's theoretically less choice in the house, then there's more doing! If there's more doing then you have more time!
Below are some suggestions to simplify, give them a try and see if you can get some time back into your day for the important stuff.
1) Your Bed
Look at your bed. How many sheets and warm blankets do you have. How many pillows do you have and how many do you use?
I love the idea of a designer bed that you might see on HGTV, but I do not know why anyone needs so many pillows.
The 2017 HGTV Dream home has seven pillows. If you’re an avid bed maker like me, removing and adding seven pillows two times a day is absolutely unnecessary. Unless of course, you are doing a photoshoot of your bedroom or something!
Reduce your pillows. Trust me, it will make you feel better when you only see the pillows you actually use.
ACTION: Reduce pillows and sheets to make it faster and easier to make and enjoy your bed.
When I moved from Australia, my boyfriend and I had to leave on separate dates and go to separate places.
In preparation for our move, I started to donate and sell as much as I possibly could. I probably got rid of at least 50 pounds of clothing and shoes.
Then when my boyfriend left, he had one large suitcase, his medium travel backpack, plus two large carry-ons.
I had one large suitcase, a medium suitcase, my travel backpack, and two maximum sized carry-ons. At the airport, it weighed about 220 pounds. Needless to say, I hated that day.
When we arrived in the US, we had a long, hard look at everything we brought back and immediately got rid of 75% of it. I only wear about 15% of the clothes and I am still trying to sell the remaining 10%.
No longer am I wasting time and energy to figure out what I need to wear. Embracing my comfort for jeans and a t-shirt is all I needed to do.
I don’t even remember the clothes I used to have.
ACTION: Take a look at what you actually wear. Put all other clothes away where you can’t see them. If you don’t use them in three months, lose them!
When my boyfriend and I had our apartment, we had a dish set of four: big plates, bowls, and saucers. Two coffee mugs, and lots of cups. And the sink was constantly filling up. We are only two people for goodness sake! I wished we only had two of everything.
Then we got all the extras and put them away, but they were still easily accessible. Because we only had one set for each of us, our dishes were no longer accumulating int he sink. If my dish was dirty, I had to wash it in order to use it again.
Problem solved. No more accumulating dirty dishes. Hurray!
When we had guests, we got the extra plates out and put them away when they left.
ACTION: Keep one of everything for the people in your household. Put everything else away and see how that works. Bring back only the necessary items.
Every electronic item I own comes with an excess of wires.
We had so many wires and multiple of the same type of wire. When we needed the microphone wire, I spent forever trying to find it in the pile.
We got rid of duplicates or wires we just didn't need.
Now when it comes time to get rid of an old computer, I know which wires can go with it.
Less wires = less headaches!
ACTION: Take stock of your current wires. If you don’t know what it goes to, consider donating to goodwill. If you know what your wires are for, label them and stash them together.
5) Cleaning Products
However, look under your sinks, the closet, garage, and laundry room. Put these cleaning products out in the open and take a look at which ones you actually use.
It’s probably just a few.
I get it, Costco bulk deals are awesome. But who really needs 10 toilet bowl cleaners? Are you a cleaning service? No. Get rid of the stuff you don’t use. Donate them to a local school.
ACTION: Remove all of your old cleaning products and keep only what you use. Time searching for your products and space saved!
Meals can be draining to think about. I don’t even like thinking what I want to eat because that means
- Grocery Shopping (okay this is fun sometimes)
- Make food that everyone wants to eat
- Washing Dishes
Especially when I want to eat healthy and eat good delicious food, meal prep is time consuming.
Sometimes I am in the mood to plan my meals and when I do, I use Amazon Fresh for groceries delivered to my door. This was an awesome alternative to avoid holiday shopping craziness during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Other times I didn't mind the shopping, I just didn't want to pan. That's when I used RealPlans. It's a website and an app that creates a meal plan plus a grocery list for you. This means no more time thinking about what to eat. They also tailor meals based on diet and what’s currently in season. I used this in Australia and it even tailored it to local produce available there!
I’ve used all of these options and I love them! It can save you money by only buying what you need and not being persuaded by other things in the store, and also it saves you time. Taking time to meal plan or go to the grocery store can take hours.
ACTION: Think about what will give you the most time back into your day. And leverage whatever service you need to eat healthier without all of the hassle.
The pantry can turn into the Bermuda Triangle.
For some reason when I look into the pantry to find whatever pantry item I need, I can't see it. Sometimes I can’t even see the rice that’s right in front of my face, but my boyfriend can, and it's
It’s because the pantry accumulates every dry food you ever bought, since you were born. There's so much choice, my brain cannot process that what I need is behind the sugar.
I resisted throwing items away because I used my hard earned cash to buy it. But is it really worth that frustration of not being able to find something you need in a timely manner?
ACTION: Get the sharpie out! Write the dates you’ve purchased any of your pantry items to chuck or to keep the item. Remove all the old and keep the important stuff accessible!
8) Work Out Routine
I used to give myself a mental beating because I didn’t have time for an hour work out.
Doctors have said we only need 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day*. So why was I Torturing myself? (*Mayo Clinic says it’s 150 minutes a week. Divide that by seven days, and that’s 20 minutes a day!)
That’s why I love the Kayla Itsines workout program. In 28 Minutes, (not including warm up and cool down) I'm done!
ACTION: Choose something that fits within your day and stop scrutinizing what your workout looks like.
9) What you listen to or Read
I am a podcast hoarder. I Love NPR! (NPR You are My Boo!)
But sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the podcast that are accumulating on my phone, and then I think about the books I have yet to read.
I had to give myself freedom to delete whatever I didn’t listen to and start fresh when I could.
ACTION: Go through podcasts and books that you haven’t listened to or read and let them go!
10) Phone Apps
I have my apps organized by type. I know people who have them organized by color. But how many apps is too many? How much time are you spending on these apps?
Just as I was writing this, I was playing a game via text with my sister (GamePigeon). This went on about an hour. Although I love playing with my sister, I would have been much more productive working.
People say less is more, so if you get rid of some apps - maybe even Facebook!
ACTION 1: Go through your apps and delete anything you haven’t used in the last six months
ACTION 2: Check which app is taking up majority of your time.
Here is a picture of my battery usage in the last 24 hours. Facebook takes up 33%. If an iPhone 7 battery is meant to last 12 hours a day, that means I’ve spent four hours on Facebook in the last 24 hours.
Time that would have been better used writing this post!
iPhone & Android users go to your settings>battery>each app will have a percentage next to it based on battery usage.
Time for what you love
Now that you have read this list, I hope you have found more time in your day for something else.
- Like finally planning that perfect dream vacation?
- Or maybe even creating a path toward working and doing something you’re passionate about!
- Start Living that #SimpleGoldLife!
If 'too much choice’ is cluttering your day, let it go, and spend your time doing what’s really important in your life.
If you try anything from the list, let me know in the comments below or on social media, but don’t forget to share what you did with that extra time. I hope it’s something that you love to do!