One of my goals this year is to simplify my life, and I'm slowly but surely getting through all the clutter and excess stuff. It feels good to focus on the important things, and get rid of all that unnecessary “stuff.” Here are some tips for how to simplify your life.

simplify your life

Just Say No
Stop volunteering for every fundraiser, PTA meeting and after school function.  If you don't really enjoy it, don't have time for it, or have other priorities to deal with right now, SAY NO! Cookies for that bake sale will still be made and the church will find somewhere else to host that bible study. Focus on your life and your family, adding in extra responsibilities when you truly have time for them.

Use it or Lose it
Get rid of stuff that you haven't used in over a year. You obviously won't be using it any time soon, and the clutter is just a distraction in your life.

Learn a Few Things Really Well
We all want to be a “Jack of All Trades,” but it's important to set realistic expectations. Focus on your strengths and fine-tune what you do well. Furthering your education in a few subjects is a great idea, but not if you go overboard and it starts to detract from your everyday responsibilities.

Outsource What You Can
The occasional meal delivery house cleaning service or babysitter might be worth it if it helps you focus on getting your life on track. Consider hiring help when you feel bogged down.

Create a simple timetable for your day and stick to it so you don't get off track. I've found that a 15-minute timer is a lifesaver for me. I set my iPhone to alert me when 15 minutes is up, and then I dig into one task. Knowing that I have a deadline and am under pressure really helps me to focus.

Use Technology
There's a reason that business executives were the first to pioneer the computer and the Blackberry: they see the value in these smart-thinking machines. Use technology to your advantage in every aspect of your life. Schedule emails to send at a convenient time for you. Automate photo-editing actions to cut down on tedious tasks. Schedule tweets or have news alerts delivered to your inbox. And technology doesn't have to end at the desk! We use a fancy coffee maker to start our coffee for us every morning and even have a baby food maker that steams and blends food automatically. Yes, these things are an investment, but the time saved is well worth it.