The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life

“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” —Thomas Kempis

Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. When we begin to live simply and experience these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, “Where else in my life can i remove distraction and simply focus on the essential?”

Based on our personal journey, our conversations, and our observations, here is a list of the 10 most important things to simplify in your life today to begin living a more balanced, joyful lifestyle:

1. Your Possessions – Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values. If you will invest the time to remove nonessential possessions from your life, you will never regret it. For more inspiration, consider Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life.

2. Your Time Commitments – Most of us have filled our days full from beginning to end with time commitments: work, home, kid’s activities, community events, religious endeavors, hobbies… the list goes on. When possible, release yourself from the time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.

3. Your Goals – Reduce the number of goals you are intentionally striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate. Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and choose the two most important. When you finish one, add another from your list.

4. Your Negative Thoughts – Most negative emotions are completely useless. Resentment, bitterness, hate, and jealousy have never improved the quality of life for a single human being. Take responsibility for your mind. Forgive past hurts and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

5. Your Debt – If debt is holding you captive, reduce it. Start today. Do what you’ve got to do to get out from under its weight. Find the help that you need. Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow.

6. Your Words – Use fewer words. Keep your speech plain and honest. Mean what you say. Avoid gossip.

7. Your Artificial Ingredients – Avoid trans fats, refined grain (white bread), high-fructose corn syrup, and too much sodium. Minimizing these ingredients will improve your energy level in the short-term and your health in the long-term. Also, as much as possible, reduce your consumption of over-the-counter medicine – allow your body to heal itself naturally as opposed to building a dependency on substances.

8. Your Screen Time – Focusing your attention on television, movies, video games, and technology affects your life more than you think. Media rearranges your values. It begins to dominate your life. And it has a profound impact on your attitude and outlook. Unfortunately, when you live in that world on a consistent basis, you don’t even notice how it is impacting you. The only way to fully appreciate its influence in your life is to turn them off.

9. Your Connections to the World – Relationships with others are good, but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn when to power off the blackberry, log off Facebook, or not read a text. Focus on the important, not the urgent. A steady flow of distractions from other people may make us feel important, needed, or wanted, but feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things.

10. Your Multi-Tasking – Research indicates that multi-tasking increases stress and lowers productivity. while single-tasking is becoming a lost art, learn it. Handle one task at a time. Do it well. And when it is complete, move to the next.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. ob says

    All but #10 are great!
    When reading #10 you know a man wrote this; because most men do one thing at a time by nature.
    I also know you are not a mother; the ability to multi-task keeps children alive!

  2. Irina says

    An author is a pastor and yet not one word about Our Creator and His Son? Our Messiah is certainly an example of living a simple life relying on basic necessities and never speaking about the importance of material possessions. A person that is a slave to his/her flesh is at enmity with God’s Word nor can that person please Him. How about mentioning Yeshua speaking to the rich guy who kept the commandments of God( Loved The Father and his neighbor), yet could not let go of his possessions for the sake of following the example of Our Messiah( Loving Heavenly Father with Whole his Might)? Somewhat disappointing for a person who consider himself a pastor, yet giving no credit to His Creator for being lead out of material Babylon, out of bondage to sin.

    Matthew 6:19-20;

    19″Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20″But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;…”

    Proverbs 3:5-7;

    …5″Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.…”

  3. Marta from Chicago says

    The 10 Most Simplest. …is my favorite article. It’s definitely awesome pillow talk with my partner. P.S. This article and 30+ episodes of Hoarders and Obsessed make a great pairing for someone like me that stop hoardeding papers and stuff as if December 31, 2014.

  4. T says

    Man oh man do I agree with number 8. I have said this very thing to people and kids before and they look at me like I am crazy. They just don’t get it.

  5. Manoj Krishnan says

    The article is really useful & reflective.
    When we are drowned to believe that “purity and simplicity doesnt really work in this world & is not practical in todays world” that shows the helpless condition where we stand now.
    We need to inculcate great faith in simple values and shake away these “bad habits” at whatever cost. More important, your kids are waiting there to follow you. So lets start believe in good and transmit values to next generation however hard it be so that the life has meaningful purpose. Thank you

  6. says

    I think that depends on your values and whether you feel powerful enough to change in your life. It won’t happen overnight but life can be simpler.-it’s a question of choice.

  7. John says

    Well it have to otherwise why do we live our lives for ourselfs or for others as well?!? Ofcourse for others life is not always about motivation speed sucess and goals but their are limits their is something called brake stop and fail in this life evil and good poor and rich dirty and clean etc etc god does not see our works only but our brakes and feared and fast stop that it happened in our lifes anyhow god can forgive the all also YOU SHOULD BE CLEAN PURE AND SMIPLIFIED AND EVERYBODY AS WELL SO THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE SUCESS IN THIS WORLD AND TO GO INSIDE THE HEAVEN Amen

  8. SHILOH says

    It is possible and realistic but very, very difficult. We live in a “if it feels good, do it” world. Anything that goes against the popular opinion or culture or anything that makes us “uncomfortable” is deemed as impossible or unrealistic. However, it has proven time and again…you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to. It all depends on what you truly want to do…

  9. Jeannie says

    Yes I agree…and you have to start somewhere and want to continue even thought there are obstacles that come in our way. Just start small~~one drawer at a time, an area in the Garage, whatever seems to make you feel stressed about. I know it is a long road but I am beginning and each time I accomplish another ‘bag of garbage or donations” I feel so much lighter and that encourages me to keep going. I know that it will take quite awhile… but things did not get way overnight so just keep pressing forward and ask God for Guidance along the way….you can do it!! :) What really helps me is if it is not “Beautiful” to me any more why keep it … that really helps me a lot!!

  10. ray howard says

    I can think of one great time in my life that made me appreciate the good things in my life . Big Hug Jeanne

  11. Amandita Johnson says

    I started actively shedding my stuff about 6 months after I started indoor rock climbing. If I were to understand myself, I had a phobia for heights, the same as my phobia for letting go of things. The 6 months of mental practice of letting go of the belay in order to come down to the floor has also mentally helped me let go of stuff I don’t need.

    The answers lie within us. We have to conquer our fears in order to be free. Nothing will happen to us if we give up our things, baggage and unwanted items. Nothing! But we become free and able to think clearly. This website has helped me in this journey of letting go. Thank you!

  12. Christopher Maguire says

    I just read this quote: “Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you think you are”

    I have adopted the Minimalist principles of living with less…

    As a result, I have reconnected with my True self…I am so much happier and “Alive” knowing and practicing this lifestyle.

    I share it with everyone :)

    Thank you, for sharing this blog with us!

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