7 tips on how to simplify your life and find happiness in less

In 2014, Graham Hill, a successful entrepreneur, decided to downsize his life by selling his 2,000-square-foot apartment and moving into a 420-square-foot studio apartment. He wanted to simplify his life and live with less. Living in a small space forced Hill to be more intentional about his life choices. He even reduced his work hours and made time for the things he loved and his passion projects.

This is just one example of how living with less can actually lead to a richer, more meaningful life. Here is how you, too, can create more space for happiness and fulfillment.

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Declutter your physical space

Decluttering can be a truly transformative experience. As you clear out your space, take a moment to appreciate the things that bring you joy and serve a purpose in your life. Perhaps you can learn a lesson or two from Marie Kondo. 

It’s normal to feel a sense of attachment or nostalgia for certain items, even if they no longer serve a purpose in your life. You don’t have to get rid of everything that’s non-practical. But there are definitely things without which you’ll find that you have more time, more energy, and more room to breathe.

Streamline your schedule

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If you don’t take the time to identify your true priorities, you will be wasting your life on distractions and time-wasters. What are the things that matter most to you? What do you actually want to do with your life? Use this as a guide to help you make intentional choices about how you spend your time. 

Eliminate or delegate the tasks that don’t serve a purpose and make a to-do list for tasks that matter. 

Practice saying no

Here are some tips for saying no:

  • Be honest and direct about why you’re declining an opportunity, don’t make excuses or apologize for your decision
  • Be respectful and kind, express gratitude for the opportunity
  • Consider offering an alternative solution and offer an alternative, for example, if someone asks you to have a meeting, suggest a phone call or video chat instead
  • Set boundaries that will help you avoid over-committing and feeling overwhelmed
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Simplify your finances

Managing your finances can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Well, that’s true if you don’t have a good system. When you know exactly how much money you have coming in and going out each month, have automatic transfers for your bills and savings, and go paperless, financial management becomes much simpler. 

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As a bonus, you’ll improve your financial health and save money. For instance, you won’t lose track of important details, such as fees or interest rates.

Monitor your media consumption

You probably already know that excessive media consumption can have adverse effects on your mental health, productivity, and overall well-being. Naturally, one way to have a simpler life is to limit how much you consume. 

No one can say how much is too much for you. Strike a personalized balance between staying informed and protecting yourself from the negative impact of media overload. You’ll still be consuming media in today’s digital age, but at least you’ll be more mindful of the effects.

Connect with nature

Nature is all about finding contentment in the present moment. You become more aware of your surroundings and the sensations they evoke within you. As you learn to appreciate the beauty of the moment and find joy in the present, you transfer this skill into other areas of life.

Learn to let go

The struggle of letting go of your physical possessions has already been discussed. Now, you can turn to another area where you can learn to let go – your expectations and attachments to specific outcomes. 

People tend to hold onto rigid ideas of how their lives should look or what they need to achieve in order to be happy. However, this may not work for their benefit. Having a goal or an objective is one thing, but in addition to that, it’s important to have a flexible, open-minded approach to life. Unexpected opportunities and experiences may bring you even greater happiness.

So, take the first step towards simplifying your life today! Start small, and focus on one area at a time. 


How your living space affects your mental health, Mind Cafe on Medium

The power of saying no,  Psychology Today

Association of social media use with social well-being, positive mental health, and self-rated health: disentangling routine use from emotional connection to use, SAGE Journals

How nature benefits mental health, Mind

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