Last year I came across two books that got me thinking about how I approach my life and business. With them started the journey of simplifying every area of my life.
- The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, written by Gary W. Keller.
- Less Doing, More Living, written by Ari Meisel.
Little happened after reading these books, but it made me curious.
What challenged me the most was understanding what my most important tasks were.
It was a frustrating process, but after a couple of months of looking at everything I’m doing and how it’s impacting my business, I gained clarity.
In January 2023, I realized I was far from what I wanted my life to look like when I left my corporate job.
Here’s how I want my life to look this year:
- end up working by 3 pm
- focus on my most important tasks
- read, be, think, and get inspired
- time for family, friends, and traveling
- working on inspiring projects with people I share the same values
The book written by Ari Meisel is the one that inspired the system I’m adopting this year to simplify my life and business.
Here’s how I’m streamlining every area of my life.
- Have a cleaning schedule. I have a lady that’s helping me with cleaning my house. She comes once per week. I save 5 hours per week and extra conversations with my boyfriend about when he can help me. If you don’t have help, keep the cleaning for the weekend.
- Tidy up every morning and clean up after every meal. Tidying up before work and cleaning after each meal helps you avoid chaos and extra work when you’re not in the mood.
- Do laundry at the end of the week. If you’re working from home like me, I bet you understand how tempting it is to do laundry. But saying no also means saying no to you and your activities that are not important during working hours.
- Have a running to-do list of your errands and batch similar tasks. For example: pay all your invoices in one batch. If you go out to buy groceries, batch it with other tasks like taking clothes from the laundry, etc.
- Have a list of basic foods. We tend to eat the same 5–10 dishes every week. I use Freshful for groceries, and what’s great about it is that you can save in their app your favorite foods. When it’s time to order, you only have to go through that list, and in less than 10-min you place your order.
- Order groceries online once per week. Since the beginning of the year, I have bought 90% of the groceries I need every week online. I only go to the store to buy vegetables (because I couldn’t find a good provider yet).
- Always have your kitchen stocked with the basics. There’s no better way of eating healthy other than cooking at home. You control the quality of the ingredients and the quantities you eat.
- Meal prep in advance. If you’re struggling with what to eat, prep your favorite meals on Sundays.
- Plan your workouts ahead and add them to your calendar. Use your Sunday to plan your activities. You’ll save a lot of time. If you’re working out at home, add the link to the workout in the calendar. When the time comes, you change your clothes and click the link.
- Combine walking with other tasks. I’m using it in three ways, depending on my energy level. 1) I listen to podcasts. 2) Make phone calls. 3) I’m walking with no phone or headphones — taking the time to ground down and shift my energy.
- Block time for your most important work. I’m a morning person. I wake up around 6–7, go to the gym some mornings, have breakfast and coffee, and then engage in my most important task until noon. Everything else happens after these hours, like admin stuff, client management, planning new events and retreats, replying to Whatsapp and emails, etc..
- Batching tasks/dedicated days for the same type of activity. I have dedicated days to coaching and recording yoga classes. It helps me focus on one kind of activity rather than trying to do everything in one day. Of course, I’m tired at the end of the day, but I’m not mentally exhausted.
- Use the “do not disturb” feature.The best way to focus on deep work is to turn off notifications. It’s the only way you can control your environment and get things done.
- Automate tasks. I’ll go all in for optimization and automation of what means posting on social media. It makes life so much easier.
- Outsource tasks. It takes a lot of time to create content. Even though I create most of my content, I can’t do it all, so I outsource part of the tasks.
Commute or waiting in line
- Have a list of podcasts or books you want to listen to. Use this time to learn and get inspired by other people’s work. This year I traded listening to music in my car with podcasts. I listened to more podcasts this year than last in only four months.
- Reply to messages. Since you’re not doing much while commuting and waiting in line, use the time to catch up with unanswered messages.
- Have a list of articles to read. I have a list in my Notion account where I save articles that got my attention but didn’t have the time to read.
Before you go
We shouldn’t streamline every area of our lives, but some parts need structure to create effectiveness and more time for what matters to you.