simplifying your life

How Simplifying Your Life Improves Your Productivity

24 August 2020 | by Cindy Johns

In my experience, the simple act of simplifying your life will do more to boost your productivity than any app, tool or a new technique.

Sometimes all these new things do is add layers of complication that end up slowing you down and often even costing you money.

But when it comes to boosting our daily productivity, there seems to be a never-ending parade of new tricks and techniques, apps and programs to try.

Intelligent marketing leads us to believe that using more technology will help us to streamline our lives and become more productive. However, our days seem to become more convoluted and exhausting.

Think of the endless logins you perform each day to access your workflow apps. Add the increased threat of cyber attack, and the need for two-factor authentication on almost every web application and you’re left to wonder… 

How much does this new technology help my productivity?

You can call me old school, but I prefer an old fashioned approach to productivity. And in this post, I’m sharing how simplifying your life will improve your productivity more than any new tech or app.

Removing obstacles to your productivity

Look at your life objectively and analyse where your daily routine is slowing down your productivity.

Here are a few examples:

  • Do you spend too much time in the morning worrying about what to wear?
  • Is everything you need to perform your work within easy reach on your desk, or are you always scrambling to find files, documents and equipment?
  • Are you frustrated every morning by how long it took to get your partner/kids/self ready for the day?

Identifying the obstacles to your productivity will help you pinpoint where you need to simplify your life.

simplifying your life
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Simplifying your life with routines

Routines are the easiest way to simplify your life. If you’re struggling with what to wear every morning, create a routine that removes this obstacle to your productivity.

For example:

  • Every Sunday evening, hang your clothes in outfits for each workday.
  • Pair the right underwear for each outfit and hang it all together.
  • Put the shoes that you intend to wear under the outfit.
  • Add any accessories like jewellery or handbags.

Now every morning when you prepare for your day, your clothes are ready to go, eliminating wasted time and stress.

With a little thought, you can create a routine that will simplify any area of your life, freeing up time to be more productive.

A few guidelines for creating your routines:

  • Keep everything as simple as possible. The last thing you want is to add more complexity into your life.
  • Make your routine realistic and doable. It should be simple enough that you can commit to doing it every day.
  • Create a routine that works for you. Remember that you’re trying to boost your own productivity, so create routines that will work for you, not to please anyone else.

Decluttering to boost productivity

If you have to dig through a pile of stuff every time you need to locate a file, document or work tool, your productivity is going to suffer. Decluttering your workspace, and home will make everything in life much easier to navigate.

Imagine how productive you could be if everything you needed to perform your job were within easy reach. 

Think about how easy life would be if you knew where everything was.

To make this work for you, try these four things:

  • Clear your desk space.
  • Find places within easy reach for everything you use daily.
  • Find homes for the things you use occasionally nearby.
  • At the end of every day, clear your desk and put everything back into place, ready for the next day.

Now repeat this process for every area of your life that needs simplifying.

Don’t forget your:

  • Car
  • Bedroom
  • Closet
  • Kitchen
  • Phone

Set clear boundaries

Often our lives become complicated, and our productivity hampered because we don’t have clear boundaries for our colleagues, teams, friends or family.

Setting boundaries for the people around us will reduce stress for all involved because everyone knows what’s expected of them. And it helps your productivity because you won’t spend too long getting everyone ready in the morning, or being continuously interrupted while trying to work.

When setting boundaries for other people:

  • Communicate clearly, so people understand why you’re setting boundaries and what they are.
  • Give people time to adjust to your new expectations.
  • Make sure you’re clear on what you’re expecting and don’t waver, it’s hard to expect people to stick to things if you change the rules or aren’t consistent.

And don’t forget to set boundaries for yourself. Productivity is influenced by how well you take care of yourself, not just how much you get done. If you have no limits set around how long you work, your mental and physical health will suffer.

So make sure you have clear boundaries around your workday, ensuring you take breaks for food and exercise and finish work at a reasonable hour every evening.

The phrase ‘self-care’ is over-used and often misused, to me self-care means any action that will allow you to function at your best. So if you want to improve your daily productivity, make sure you set aside time to do things that will help you perform at your best.

Invest in simple things

So before you invest in the latest productivity app, have a go at simplifying your life. I’m sure you will be surprised by how your productivity increases.

How have you simplified your life to boost productivity? Leave a comment below and share your techniques with our readers.