An easy way to simplify your life is to automate and systematize everything that you can. This automates the every day drudgery and maintenance and frees you up to focus on the things that really matter. Thus, when you simplify your life, you will easily make time to do things like take a long walk, read a good book, work on your novel or play with the kids.
In terms of the laws of attraction, it is about creating the space. The more blank space on your calendar, the more room for new opportunities to come your way. If you are too busy, then you’ll miss the opportunities around you.
A good system is one that works for your personal style. If you’ve tried someone else’s method and it doesn’t work, then it isn’t a good system for you. The key here is to try out different systems until you find the one that works for you. A good system is one that is easier to use than not.
Here are 3 easy systems to simplify your life and create more time and space:
- Online Grocery Shopping
One of the great benefits of living in England is that all the supermarkets have online shopping and deliver your groceries right to your door for a small fee or free. What could easily take 1-2 hours of time a week is now a 10 to 15 minute task.
I thought I’d miss shopping at the store and hand-picking my veggies, but find that I much prefer having my groceries land on my doorstep! This is the right move for a greener planet as well—fewer trips to the store means less fuel consumption.
Ask your own grocery store when they will make online shopping available to you. If it already exists in your neighborhood, set it up this week and enjoy the newfound time savings every week thereafter.
Like most systems, there is a bit of extra time involved the first time you set it up, but then you will reap the ongoing rewards of time saved for years and years to come.
- Automatic Savings and Bill Paying
Bill paying is another huge time saver you shouldn’t think twice about setting up. I rather enjoy writing out checks by hand, but after moving to England I realized the high cost of postage and the longer mailing times meant bill paying was essential.
Now that I have set it up, I can’t believe I didn’t do it years ago. If you are still paying bills by hand, get automatic bill paying from your bank and set up direct debits.
The same goes for automatic savings and investing.
You can get the investment house of your choice to debit your checking account every month. This technique is also called “dollar-cost averaging” and is a sensible way of eliminating the risks of trying to time the market.
You will be much more likely to reach your financial goals if you automate the process. Set it and forget it, with quarterly or annual reviews to make sure you are on track.
My assistant just taught me this simple technique for handling incoming email. It is pure genius and has dramatically reduced the “clutter” in my inbox.
My husband and I have two different styles when it comes to email. He has no trouble ruthlessly deleting his emails and keeping his inbox down to a trim 10-14 emails at any one time. His method is to delete immediately after replying.
Then there is my style. I’m a hoarder by nature and try as I might, find it very difficult to delete emails as I go. As a result, I’ve got hundreds (typically about 700) in my inbox on average. As I have different projects going on at once, I have a massive number of email file folders.
I found it was taking me too long to file emails as I had to scroll down my folders to find them. Anything that takes too long or becomes difficult, doesn’t get done so my email inbox quickly soared to over 1000.
Then it became impossible to find anything. At first I thought the solution was to spend some time filing and that I’d simply delete some file folders so I didn’t have so many. I reviewed my files only to find that I could delete a few, but most of them were active and I needed to keep them.
So my assistant proposed this brilliant solution: basically, profile my email before it gets into my inbox in the first place by creating a rule. Then the filing gets done for you. Brilliant!
This works on Gmail and Outlook. And now there is a new piece of software you can add on that makes this even more effective.
I hope this helps simplify your life!