70 super practical ideas to simplify your life

Checking the list is the very first one

It’s not always simple…to simplify.

Having a “simple life” (often mistaken for a humble life) is actually quite complicated. It is an easy concept to understand but there’s always the practical aspect of it.

So I would like to be the first one to help you. All you need is to check item by item in this list of 70 practical ideas for a simpler life.

Important: yes, you will find simple advice like “learn to say no” or “drink more water”. And it will be easy to misjudge some of the tips. But don’t underestimate it, because it is precisely the most banal things that tend to be ignored because we have been indoctrinated to think that complicated stuff is what matters most. Nowadays, overcomplicating something that should be simple is a highly profitable business.

Don’t let your bias get in the way of your reading and give a simple thing a chance to show its power 😁

Hint – This is a long article. Take your time and read it when you have time. Or save this page and read it slowly. Ideally, go check your current situation on each of these points 😉

Come on, see how you do. And send the text to someone close to you so you can share insights and have a good conversation.

  1. Learn to say no — Saying no to commitments and projects not only saves you more time, but also increases your mental processing. The internet has made us forget what it’s like to do nothing, the “dolce farniente”, of creative leisure.
  2. Drink more water – This one is obvious, but a simple glass of water is much healthier and cheaper than most other liquids and is the biggest example of a ridiculous thing that no one takes too seriously, but which has a significant impact on health and at disposal. My tip within the tip: ALWAYS have 2 glasses, even if the first one has already quenched your thirst.
  3. Simplify your meals – many people spend a lot of time preparing, eating and cleaning the plates/plates/glasses. Plan your meals, prepare more and save. I learned a lot about this by doing intermittent and long-term fasts because it’s evident how much simpler life gets in this kitchen department. And I also learned from the bodybuilding people, who eat frequent meals and know how to optimize the time spent eating (chicken cubes in Tupperware, anyone?)
  4. People? Less and better – It’s not that I don’t like people, but people come and go in our lives and it’s important to edit our circle of friends regularly because they have great power of influence and have the power to put us up or down . There is no middle ground. Time is precious and should be spent with the best people possible. Tip within tip: pay attention to how you look AFTER spending a few minutes with a person. Do you have better or worse energy? What was the residual? This trick I use with absolutely EVERYTHING, whether people, events, projects, etc.
  5. Become a one-car family – Using a single car can be difficult for some families, but the idea is to keep it simple. It drastically reduces the associated costs and breaks serve as an excuse for that blessed forced confinement that encourages family coexistence. A car full of loved ones is a bubble of unforgettable exchanges, almost like group therapy.
  6. Turn off the TV – I managed to reduce a lot thanks to a decision I made two years ago, not to consume more news (I still consume news, but only proactively, never passively). As a result, the TV was on for less time, I reviewed my cable TV package and I have been using more streams, which are less impulsive because they eliminate the effect of zapping channels.
  7. Reduce mobile apps – RULELY throw away your phone apps. You can always download it again, if that’s the case. Fewer apps mean less distractions and notifications, one of the most important tips on this entire list and of high immediate impact on your routine. Take the test: throw away 80% of apps, turn off ALL notifications and see what happens to your life after a week.
  8. Clean your inbox – Practice “inbox zero” (actively zero emails in your inbox) every day. Is it something you can solve in two minutes? Do it right away. It does not give? From a forward (to-do list, forward, move to some folder, I don’t know, forward somehow, but take it out of your inbox)
  9. Unsubscribe — Take the time to unsubscribe from email lists where you no longer find value. This will help reduce inbox clutter and save you the trouble of deleting unwanted emails. As an editor, I get 800 to 1000 emails a day with pitches. Over time I built a sophisticated system of rules and filters that make it possible to prioritize the good sources and eliminate the not-so-good ones. Create a system.
  10. Check email once or twice a day — This is a difficult task for some, including me, but no one received mail through the Post Office 24/7. Try to reduce the number of times a day you check your email. Because when you enter… you stay. Total trap.
  11. Don’t answer the phone — You don’t have to answer every incoming call. This is a habit we inherited from a pre-internet era where ringing phones always had to be answered. Today it is clear how intrusive phone calls are, not that they are not justified, but because they have to be answered immediately. Most links are unimportant and can be resolved by text. Telephone is to be used with very special people, when we want to chat without haste. So yeah, it’s great. But for everyday things, prefer text messages.
  12. Simplify your wardrobe – In 2019 I got rid of 70% of my clothes, I thought at the time it was almost insanity because I donated a lot of things that I liked a lot, but didn’t use. A year later, I threw 70% of that 70% away again. IT’S AWESOME how much we keep of things we don’t use. Everyone knows this is a fact, but I suspect not everyone knows how much we can give up without any harm. I wear more or less the same style of clothing every day. This eliminates decision time on what to wear and saves a lot of money. And it can still help people who don’t have anything to wear.
  13. Reduce digital clutter — It’s very easy to save 1254 photos to your computer and have a screen full of shortcuts. Reduce your digital clutter and tidy up your desktop.
  14. Minimize your belongings — Things and clutter take up space and require maintenance. Less stuff means less to clean, organize and reduce our footprint. Keeping the essentials and throwing out the rest can help you simplify and gain mental clarity.
  15. Reduce paper clutter — Use the email and PDF print feature on your computer.
  16. Eliminate paper bills — Receiving a bill in the mail is a thing of the past. Paperless invoicing puts most of your bills in one place, on your computer or in the cloud, right where you need them, without all the paper clutter.
  17. Minimize your financial processes — Reduce the number of bank accounts, credit cards and loans. The more centralized, the easier to administer.
  18. Get rid of guilt — Feeling guilty is something we manifest and is often unnecessary. Give yourself a much-needed break and stop feeling guilty.
  19. Judgment – There is a lot of judgment of others in this world. We often judge others without having the proper context of the situation. When we stop judging others, we become stronger and more open to new thoughts and ideas. A practical example: I used to get very angry when I got cut off by someone in a hurry in traffic. Today I think like this: “maybe he has a real reason to be in a hurry, maybe he’s going to a hospital”. Giving this simple benefit of the doubt takes all the stress out of the situation. And today I see how ridiculous it was to stress over things like that.
  20. Stop caring about what others think – Wow, this is important, huh? Grab a coffee and stop at this item to think about your life fondly. When we stop caring what others think of our actions or the way we live our lives, we become free. I stopped caring years ago and started living my best life. I became a much happier person. Tip inside the tip: do it in a light way, without that “they’ll have to swallow me” attitude. The idea is to take the weight off it, not just change the direction error. Simply live more by your rules and values, it’s an internal process. Release others.
  21. A smaller house – A big, expensive house means a big house to clean and maintain. It also means less free time and more work to take care of the financial responsibilities of that household. Consider downsizing for a smaller, more affordable home. Tip inside tip: a good house has a whole symbolism for us and for others. But I like to think that we actually occupy a square meter at a time. All others are, in theory, unnecessary at any given time. Less symbolism and more functionality are good things to think about.
  22. Work less — If you can, of course, consider reducing work hours during the week or moving to a less demanding job, if it’s abusive.
  23. Clean your car – Completely clean the inside and outside of your car. Clean up clutter inside for a more peaceful driving environment.
  24. Consider the weather — The weather we live in can have a big effect on our happiness and can also complicate our lives. Living in a temperate climate can save you time and money compared to a climate with more extremes. Fewer extremes mean less winter and summer clothing, heating and cooling bills, etc. Temperate climates are simpler and who doesn’t like hot sun?
  25. Flat, unoccupied surfaces – 3 things are certain: death, taxes, and the fact that a flat surface WILL BE USED as a support for your mess. Keep flat surfaces clean and/or reduce the number of flat surfaces you have. This is hard, I know.
  26. Exercise — You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym to exercise. There are many ways to exercise using your own body weight or getting your heart racing in some way. Forget that term “exercise” and change it to “life on the go”. It’s not a boring event you put on your calendar, it’s a lifestyle that brings bodily, mental and social benefits.
  27. Household Tasks — Create a weekly and daily schedule of what household tasks need to be done. Stick to the schedule for a clean, inviting home.
  28. Rent – ​​Consider renting or subscribing to things rather than owning. In some cases it can be considerably cheaper than owning it. But also be sure to create a heritage, with acquisitions that can add value. Study, research and judge wisely.
  29. Borrowing — Items that are not needed or are single-use items can be borrowed. Borrowing books from friends instead of buying them, for example. Or that drill. Borrow games, tools, or anything else you don’t need in the long run.
  30. Learn to pack a suitcase lightly — Take only what you need, packed in a smart way. Travel lighter and more fluidly. Tip within tip: take advantage of your travels to donate clothes and shoes and replace them with new ones. So you replace items instead of adding.
  31. “Just in case” items — 99% of the things we think might happen never happen. Scarcity mentality, old. If something does happen, you will likely have a plan of action readily available.
  32. Keep fewer pets – it won’t be the most popular item on this list, but the point here is excess. Do you really need 2 dogs, 4 cats, the fish tank and that parakeet? Pets are lifelong friends, however excess comes at the price of complication.
  33. Think Dual Purpose — Dual purpose items save space and time. Whenever we eliminate 2 items by 1, we simplify.
  34. Re-Purpose – Improvise solutions with the things you have. A little book at the foot of the wobbly table may not be very fancy, but it works. And many of these quick fixes are not even visible, learn the art of the good gambiarra (not to be confused with the evil one, which can even bring bad consequences)
  35. Fix things — When something breaks, our instant reaction is to throw the item away and buy a new one. However, many items can be repaired or repaired to live a longer life. Get creative and fix some things instead of going out and buying new ones. In other cases, like that cell phone charger that stopped working, don’t even think about it: throw it away without mercy because if you keep it you’ll forget it doesn’t work.
  36. Reduce decorative belongings — A thousand pillows, knick-knacks, photos, car keys with 15 hanging keychains, etc, complicate our lives. Less is more.
  37. Alcohol and Tobacco – This is another unpopular item, but smoking and drinking are not the healthiest things and can be expensive. Stop inhaling cancer and cut down on drinking. Yes, the tone is a bit dramatic, but tell me if it’s not true?
  38. Be still – Be still in your mind and be self-aware. Think deeply and take the time to figure out what you want out of life. There is a huge lack of self-awareness in today’s society. It is important to discover what we value and what makes us happy.
  39. Ignore the “me too” – Peer pressure, judgmental people, the media, advertisers, your parents. Ignore everything and do what you think you should do.
  40. Simplify your routine — Whatever your routine, think about the steps involved. Is everything you’re doing to get out of the house in the morning or when you come home at night really essential? Examine your daily routine and cut out the nonessentials.
  41. Establish routines if you don’t have them – we spoil the word “routine” when we make it synonymous with something boring and repetitive. Repetitive it can be, but boring… not necessarily. A simple, thoughtful routine is important for us to function better and bring peace of mind. Are you going through a bad time? Keep moving forward through a routine. Routine is what can get you back on track, in a practical way.
  42. Have children with conscience – This is a more sensitive item because it is a totally personal decision and dependent on a broad context. Having children is a high-impact decision in your life. I’ve always dreamed of being a father and I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have my son. Probably the biggest and best decision of my life. But for some people it may not be that relevant and there is nothing wrong with that. What may not be right is having children without a minimum of planning. It’s a brand new human being to raise and that’s a big responsibility.
  43. Leave some slack — Simplify your time leaving slack or space in your daily schedule. Get to your appointments 15 minutes early and plan for tasks that take longer than usual. Creating slack in our schedules greatly reduces stress.
  44. Do one thing at a time —Multitasking is doing several things poorly at the same time. To be more productive we must do/finish one thing at a time.
  45. Learn from one teacher at a time — The internet is full of information on any subject someone might be trying to learn about. The problem is that this information can be conflicting and confusing. Learn from one teacher at a time and implement what you’ve learned. Take what works for you and discard the rest. If you’ve learned all you can from one person, pass it on to another.
  46. Be frugal – want less, consume less and spend less.
  47. Live debt-free — Of course, it’s not always an option. Ms when it is, still avoid it. Debt is enslavement and should be avoided whenever possible. “Credit or debit?” debt.
  48. Carry Less – Carry fewer personal items with you daily. Empty your pockets and purses and you’ll feel lighter.
  49. Spend time alone — Spending time alone has many benefits and can simplify your routine. Talk to you.
  50. Get rid of ridiculous electronics — I’m not talking about your smartphone or computer, but completely unnecessary things like that electric can opener. Hand-held items generally take up less space, break less, and save electricity.
  51. Reduce Engagements — Reduce the number of social engagements you have. Don’t go all out and attend fewer events. Take on fewer projects.
  52. Reduce Social Media — Try to reduce the number of social media accounts you have. Keep one or two and get rid of the rest.
  53. Stay at home – went out, spent. Time is money. Of course, you should go out a lot, but you should also view time at home as part of an event.
  54. Stop eating out — Avoid the restaurant or delivery and have a simple, healthy meal at home.
  55. Ambition Less — Simplify your ambitions and dreams. Pick one or two achievable goals and go after them. We are often caught fighting for more than we could ever achieve. Choose something that is really important and forget about the rest.
  56. Breathe – Take the time to breathe. Stop and really enjoy the breathing process. Meditation is not really my thing, but simply breathing reduces a lot of stress.
  57. Scan — Scan anything that can be scanned, currently taking up physical space. Think of books, CDs, movies, photos, etc.
  58. Toxic People — We’ve already talked about fewer people, but it’s important to highlight the fact that some people are simply energy vampires. People full of drama, judgment, baseless and imposing opinions, who are toxic to our mood and well-being must be removed from our lives.
  59. Medications – It seems that every pain we have today requires some medication. It doesn’t seem to matter what affliction we have at any given time and “there’s a great remedy for that.” Try to understand and work with the origins of these manifestations (usually they are notifications that your body is sending you).
  60. Vanity items — Vanity is the great locomotive of consumption. Maybe we could skip some of those things.
  61. Health Products – Health is big business these days and if you’re not taking the right supplements and eating avocados, damn you could die. Well, I don’t know if you’re aware, but you will die. One day. Up ahead. Keep it simple, beware of trendy health products and get in shape the old fashioned way. Eat healthy and get some exercise. It’s that simple.
  62. Weekends and Vacations — We as human beings have this weird problem of filling our free time with as much activity as possible. Weekends are full of things we need to do and holidays are full of endless activities.
  63. Stress — A while ago I faked a heart attack. Now I didn’t really fake it because I thought I was having a real heart attack. Fake is just a term I use to joke about it now. I refer to it as “that day I faked a heart attack to get out of work”. Anyway, in the ER, after the hospital staff finished the protocol, the cardiologist came in and told me something. She said, “I don’t think you’ve had a heart attack, though, if you keep living the way you’re living next time.” My friends who are reading this, let the stress go . Don’t take it. Delete it and ignore it. I’m a much happier person since faking my heart attack.
  64. Be basic — It’s okay to be basic. Not everyone was born to be an entrepreneur, a sports legend, or an Instagram model. Just be yourself and be happy. That’s how you keep things simple.
  65. Take it slow – Patience is something we all need to develop more. Take things slowly like Martinho da Vila and believe that you will get there. Enjoy the process of being and doing.
  66. Negative thoughts – Stop negative thoughts and stop judging yourself. Recognize when ‘the judge’ enters the picture in your mind or the ‘poor me’ monster. If we can recognize the behavior, we can force it out of our minds.
  67. Scarcity Thinking – Is the market saturated? Are there many people doing what you do or want to do? Calm down, there are a lot of people in this blue ball we live in. Think in abundance mode and find your niche and your audience.
  68. Bath  – Are you in the shower to wash or relax? It doesn’t matter, both reasons are great. Pay attention to the purpose of a beautiful shower or bathtub and optimize both scenarios.
  69. Follow the rules — This one is hard, especially for me, but follow the rules. Fasten your seat belt and drive slowly. Do not drink and drive. Park only where permitted. Do not betray your spouse, &c. Just follow the rules and eliminate the headache of getting caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing. Life is so much easier when we don’t make waves.
  70. Delete – I saved this one for last as it is the most important. Eliminate waste. Lost time, lost words, lost tasks. Continually eliminate anything considered waste and be aware of what is essential and what is not.

Wagner Brenner

Fundador e editor do Update or Die.

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