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Ever feel like life is spiraling out of control? Check out these 5 ways to simplify your life right now and stop stressing out for good!

I’m actually really good at hectic.

I can DO frenetic. I do it well, and I do it often. And if I’m being totally honest, I’d say that most of the time I’m happiest and most comfortable–and possibly even at my best–when surrounded by a little bit of chaos.  I like being busy, and most of the time, I thrive on having a lot to do.

And yet, sometimes it starts to feel like it’s all too much.

Sometimes I cross that line from controlled chaos to complete craziness.

I start dropping balls and feeling overwhelmed.  I start waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety attacks, feeling like I can’t breathe, and like I’ll never get caught up.  And honestly, that’s always when I know I need to pare down the craziness and start simplifying. (Not sure whether you’re on the verge of burnout?  Get our list of warning signs!)

But luckily, I’ve been there before, and I know I’ll be there again, and I also know exactly what steps I need to take when life starts to feel like it’s spinning out of control.

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Printable Goal Setting WorkbookWant to take back control of your time? Our life-changing goal setting workbook will walk you through 5 simple but powerful steps to help you create a straightforward action plan for achieving your biggest goals and reaching your dreams this year. Simply opt-in below to have the Goal Setting Workbook sent straight to your inbox!

And I guarantee that if your life is feeling overly hectic and crazy right now, or if you’re just feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s on your plate, that taking the time to do these five things might just change everything.

And the best part?  You can start right now.

1. Decide what you want your life to look like.

What are your biggest goals? And what are your most important priorities?  What things are weighing you down or holding you back?  Do you actually know, and have you taken the time to get clear on what you actually want your life to look like, and where you want to go?

Too often, especially when we’re busy just trying to keep up on all those day-to-day tornadoes, we allow ourselves to drift through life, without any real sense of purpose and direction.  And when you think about it, it’s not really that surprising that we feel like we’re spinning, because the reality is that we actually ARE spinning in circles.  There’s no target, no destination, and so we just stay stuck.

And that’s why your first step needs to be clarity!  Write it all down–what you want most, and what’s most important to you, then refer back to that list daily. Let it guide your decisions so that you can live your life proactively, not reactively.

Not sure where to start with goal setting? Get our free Goal Setting Workbook to walk you through the process!  Or, if you’re ready to get a permanent grasp on managing your time, get our Tame Your Time Productivity System.

2. Start saying no

This is hard, but oh-so necessary, and if you’re serious about wanting to simplify your life, you’re going to have to start practicing one of the hardest words to say….NO.

The good news is that once you’ve actually taken the time to get clear about your goals and priorities and have a clearer picture of what’s most important to you, NO actually becomes a whole lot easier to say

Start by putting some limits on the number of activities you will participate in. There is no rule that says you MUST do something, just because you were asked. Set aside time in your calendar that is just family time–perhaps start with an afternoon, then a day, then a weekend–and then protect that time at all costs. If something comes up, simply say, “I’m sorry, we already have plans.” Likewise, if you are already feeling like your plate is full, don’t add more.

Of course knowing we should say no and actually saying it are two different things! These 5 effective ways to say no can help give you the courage to start guarding your time.

3. Start each morning well

One of the best ways to simplify your life is to adopt a morning routine. Take 15-30 minutes each morning to just be quiet, get centered, collect your thoughts, focus your priorities, make a to-do list, and to pray or meditate. If your mornings are normally rushed, try getting up 15 minutes earlier, but don’t miss the opportunity to start the day with purpose.  It literally will change everything, and the impact is instantaneous.

For more in-depth guidance on how to create an effective morning routine, be sure to listen to Episode 59 of the Do It Scared Podcast–How to Supercharge Your Morning Routine.  And if you struggle getting the rest of the family moving in the morning, creating a morning routine that works for all of you may make all the difference.

4. Cancel your cable and delete social media from your phone

Yes, I’m serious!

The reality is that most of us lose a LOT of time every day watching TV, not to mention all that time spent scrolling through social media!  And when we’re not really keeping track, that 15 minutes here and 30 minutes there adds up to a lot of time that could be better spent elsewhere.

That said, if actually cancelling your cable or deleting all those social media apps from your phone still feels a little too severe, perhaps just make a conscious effort to not watch television or participate in social media for the next few weeks. You’d be surprised how little you miss it! Likewise, make a choice to limit the other mindless distractions in your life-texting, video games, reading the news, etc.

5. Get a better handle on your finances

Want to know one of the biggest sources of stress and overwhelm?  Feeling like your budget is out of control, and not really knowing where your money is going.  And believe me, this happens whether you are making $30,000 a year or $300,000 a year.

The truth is that money affects everything else we do in life, which means that if your finances are in a disarray, there is a very good chance that other parts of your life are too.

But the good news is that getting your budget under control doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds.  Our easy-to-use Cash Flow Budget Worksheets are a great place to start, but if you’re really ready to get serious about getting your finances in order, I definitely recommend checking out our LWSL Financial Rescue Pack Money Management System, which is designed to help you get your finances in check FAST by showing you how to make immediate changes (most of which are actually pretty painless) that will save you a lot of money right away. One of the most effective ways to simplify your life is to get your finances in order!

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In the end, simplifying is a choice that can only start by getting clear about what you want, and what’s most important.  Because the truth is that for most of us there will always be more to do than we actually have time to do.  We are always choosing.  These five steps will help you make sure that you’re choosing well.

If you want to take back control of your time, download our  GOAL SETTING WORKBOOK  to help you create a straightforward action plan for achieving your biggest goals and reaching your dreams this year!

 

 

Ruth Soukup
Ruth Soukup is dedicated to helping people everywhere create a life they love by follwing their dreams and achieving their biggest goals. She is the host of the wildly popular Do It Scared podcast, as well as the founder of Living Well Spending Less® and Elite Blog Academy®. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of six books, including Do It Scared®: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears, Overcome Obstacles, and Create a Life You Love, which was the inspiration for this book. She lives in Florida with her husband Chuck, and 2 daughters Maggie & Annie.
Ruth Soukup