Tuesday, January 2, 2018

18 More Ways I'm Simplifying My Life in 2018

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I feel like there's always room to simplify in my life.  I don't just mean minimalist and lack of clutter, but I'm really talking about the day to day tasks that can generally stress my out by being too complicated or totally unnecessary.  So at the beginning of each year, I think through some things that I can simplify to make my life better.

  1. Ignoring Twitter.  I already don't have Facebook, so Twitter was next on the list to get cut as my least favorite social media platform.  I'm not going to totally cut it though, it'll stay live and it automatically tweets out new blog posts of mine.  I used to go in and also schedule it to tweet all kinds of other updates - news, other people's blog posts, etc. - and I would check it throughout the day to respond to anything or just check out what other people were posting.  No more.  This year, it simply exists.  I won't be checking it more than once a week, and the app it already deleted off my phone.
  2. Shopping Ban.  This will probably be on tomorrow's list too, about how I'm complicating my life in 2018, but it really has elements of both sides of that coin.  At the end of the day, the shopping ban will absolutely simplify my finances.  There will be so much less to track and budget, I won't need to log on to online banking as often, I'll save time by not shopping.
  3. Minimalist Eating.  I actually prefer my meals to have less ingredients.  I don't need to load everything with tons of spices or 12 different vegetables.  And since I like eating the same things all the time, there's no reason I need to be making different meals (for myself) for every day of the week.  I'm definitely simplifying my meals this year, and I'll be making less of them each week/month.
  4. My Diet in General.  I already don't eat meat, and I haven't had dairy or added sugar in a few months (yeah, no sweets during Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  Truth!)  I mentioned yesterday that I'm also phasing out all things processed.  My diet is definitely simplified when there's a whole bunch of things on the 'I don't eat it' list.
  5. Phone Apps.  It's amazing how quickly these can get away from you!  Storage keeps increasing on phones so it's so easy to download and keep apps you're just not using anymore.  I already got rid of Twitter, but there's definitely more that can go.  I'll also be looking for apps that will combine the tasks I normally do with multiple apps.
  6. Automation.  I have and will continue to automate everything I can.  Any bills that I still pay are all automated, as well as all my social media.  I use Hootsuite and BoardBooster so I don't have to do any work on those fronts.
  7. Digital Declutter.  I think this is the area that can get away from me most easily.  I need to clean up both my work computer and my laptop, and I need to go through my online storage accounts and various e-mails, both to declutter them and then to close the extra accounts.  It's all too much!
  8. No Credit Card.  Yes, I get cash back, but it's really not a crazy amount, so what's the point?  I'd like to just have my debit card and use cash.  One less card to carry, and no need to then make any credit card payments.
  9. Acquire a Smaller Purse.  If I have the space, I tend to fill it, against my better judgment.    Life would be much simpler if I had a smaller purse and had to carry less.  Since I'm on a shopping ban, I've got my fingers crossed that it'll be an anniversary gift from John.
  10. Adjusting the Home Care Schedule.  I tend to save some stuff for the weekend, but my mom has been needing more help around their house on the weekend, so I let my Sundays get too full.  I'm going make a new schedule that has everything on a week day, even grocery shopping, leaving my weekends totally open.
  11. Unsubscribing John from Mail.  I really don't get anything anymore in our mailbox, because I blocked myself from all mailing lists.  John still gets tons of stuff though, so I'm going to spend this month making sure we're off every unnecessary paper mailing list.  It will definitely simplify the rest of the year.
  12. Travel.  This is not our year to be planning anything elaborate.  John ended up getting the first 3 furloughs of the year (17 paid days off in a row each), which they don't announce until December, so we didn't have time to make any travel plans.  I'm good with that!  The only things we have planned are to go to Iowa twice, once in June and once in September.  We'll plan a bigger vacation for 2019 maybe.
  13. My Makeup Routine.  I actually really like makeup, but I don't have the need to do a full face before work every single day.  Which is what I currently usually do, down to fake eyelashes most days.  I'm going to start phasing out products one at a time, from my week day routine, and just save those for weekends.
  14. Exercise.  You really don't need a lot of equipment or crazy classes to exercise.  We have a treadmill at home and John has a bunch of weights and weight machines.  I don't need anything else because no matter what it is, I'm going to hate it.  So why buy more programs or equipment or attend more classes?  People always tell me to keep trying stuff until you find what you love but I have tried, in no particular order and certainly not an exhaustive list: ballet, tap, jazz, cheerleading, soccer, basketball, softball, sailing, swimming, zumba, pole dance, spin, biking, hiking, ultimate frisbee, golf, flag football, badminton, kick boxing, lacrosse, volleyball, track, cross country, ice skating, tennis, and horseback riding (my dad desperately wanted me to be good at a sport like him, but it never happened.)  The only one I like is horseback riding and while, yes, your legs will get sore, anyone who tells you that the horse doesn't do most of the work is a liar.
  15. Buy in Bulk.  It really is simpler in the long run, because I save myself the hassle of more trips to the store (or more online orders.)  I'm not planning on buying a lot during the shopping ban, but we will need things like toilet paper.  Since we have room, that's not in the way, to store all the excess, why not just buy it once and be done for awhile?
  16. Quit More Shows.  I have too many that I follow out of habit.  I'm not even sure I like them anymore, and some I'm sure I don't.  I don't need to waste time hoping they'll get better again.  If could quit Grey's (before Derek died), I can quit anything.
  17. Unsubscribe and Unfollow.  Sometimes I feel like there's just too many things requiring my attention, and none of them are important.  I need to be more choosy with how I spend my time, even if it is technically my down time.  If I just don't love a blog or YouTube channel anymore, it's time to stop following them instead of always skipping posts or videos.  Clear out the feed, so to speak.  And honestly, this needs to apply to real life too.  I don't waste time any more on people who don't deserve it, but if you do, clear them out.
  18. Batching Tasks.  I do like to single task, where I concentrate on just one thing at a time, but I also want to do all similar tasks right in a row.  For example, blogging.  Writing one post a day from start to finish is a time waster.  I want to concentrate on writing a bunch of posts for a few hours once in awhile, then come back and edit another time, add photos another time, then schedule them all.  Spending time on similar tasks at the same time is a much more efficient process, because it doesn't require your brain to constantly switch gears.

Are you simplifying your life this year?  What's on your list?

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