Easy ways to simplfy your life :: Guest Post, Sam Davidson


The world is hectic. Schedules become our taskmasters, forcing us to run around town, prioritize what we have to do over what we want to, and can leave us feeling drained at the end of another long and busy day.

Sometimes, we want the merry-go-round to stop for just a minute. "If I could just have five minutes of quiet peace!" we think, hoping that other people's expectations can wait until we've had some downtime.

In other words, life is anything but simple. And, it doesn't look like things are going to get easier anytime soon. And, since running away and living in a cave or a monastery isn't quite in the cards for most of us, we have to find realistic and meaningful ways to keep things simple. Here's a list of 20 to get you started:
  1. Take three deep breaths. It sounds small, but those cleansing breaths can help you refocus when you feel stressed.
  2. Leave your cell phone in the car when you run in the store. Not checking it constantly will feel like a burden has been lifted.
  3. Pray or meditate or get in touch with your inner self each day, even if it's only for five minutes.
  4. Find one activity a week - no matter how trivial or silly - that completely relaxes you and takes your mind off of everything else. Read a book, watch reality TV, take a long bath - the choice is yours.
  5. Get a candle you love. Light it. Say a prayer. Take a deep breath. Repeat.
  6. Schedule all your meetings out of the office on the same day. Sure, you'll have a whirlwind of face-to-face encounters, but fighting daytime traffic only one day a week (as opposed to five) will calm you down.
  7. Sweat. Walk, run, life weights - just do something that pushes your physical limits. You'll release toxins and endorphins, both of which are great at fighting stress.
  8. Give and receive one hug each day.
  9. Sing. Out loud. To a song you know.
  10. Look at old pictures. Either frame them where you can see them often, or keep a box handy to rifle through. Look at them and remember who you were, how much you had to learn, and what life was like.
  11. Laugh. Loudly and well, at whatever you think is funny.
  12. Practice saying "no." Decline opportunities that aren't right for you. Voluntarily taking on responsibilities you don't enjoy will make you feel out-of-balance.
  13. Give something away each week. Maybe it's a dollar to someone on the street, a meal to a friend, or a box of clutter to Goodwill. The act of giving can be refreshing.
  14. Set limits. Don't answer the phone after dinner; no snacks after 10 PM; no Internet until you've had coffee - find meaningful boundaries that work for you and your family.
  15. Celebrate. Cheer on the success of those you love, root for the home team, or congratulate a co-worker on a job well done.
  16. Make something. The creative process - whether you're scrapbooking or baking - can do wonders for your attention and concentration.
  17. When you go on vacation, be on vacation. No emails. No work discussions. No spreadsheets.
  18. Reconnect with friends. Refuse to have "old" friends. Keep your relationships up-to-date with phone calls, emails, or texts. When possible, always meet in person to catch up.
  19. Clean out your wallet (or your purse or your coffee table). Keeping places that we use often free from trash and clutter can reduce your stress.
  20. Say thank you. And smile. Simplicity is easy to pass on.
What would you add to this list? One lucky winner will receive a copy of my newest book, Simplify Your Life: How to de-clutter and de-stress your way to happiness (paperback or Kindle version). Leave a comment below with how you simplify your busy life and a random entry will be selected next week to win the book!

About Sam Davidson:

Sam Davidson is a speaker, author, and entrepreneur who tells stories that need telling in order to motivate others to change the things that need changing, whether it's their community or their own lives. He is the author of three books, the co-founder of Cool People Care, and the father of a fantastic 18-month-old daughter. You can follow him on Twitter or keep up with him on Facebook or at his blog.


  1. I simplify by setting aside one day each week to clean my apartment. It's amazing how much better I feel (less flustered) in a tidy space.

  2. I have a crazy busy life, I co-own 2 businesses and work another 40 hour a week job, and try to have time for my hubby and family. So there isn't alot of "me" time. One thing I do to insure my sanity is take time to read a book or magazine before bed each night. Even if its just for 15 minutes I try to get lost in a book so I can forget about all the daily stresses!

  3. I can't begin to tell you how much these tips mean to me! I go from 6am to 7pm everyday and sometimes I get so overwhelmed by everything, it's nice to remember to relax and enjoy life at the same time. One way that I simplify my life is to make lists, to do lists, grocery lists, packing lists, wedding music lists. My mind tends to go a million different directions and being able to look at something and remind myself of what needs to be done is super helpful!

  4. Great tips! I simplify by letting go of something when I bring something new in. For example, if I buy a new shirt, I look through my clothes to see if there are things I'm not wearing. It keeps a constant flow of coming in and going out in motion.

  5. These are all great tips - thanks for sharing, everyone! Keep 'em coming!

  6. I simplify by getting alone with Jesus...going on a date with Him always brings me back to what's most important, declutters my life, and helps me to keep it simple!

  7. These are good tips. I like leaving the phone in the car.

    I make sure I have my coffee and quiet time before I get online and do my best to turn off the computer after 10pm.

  8. Love it!! We like to leave our phones at home when we go out on a date night - feels like a mini-vacation!

    Another thing I would add to the "simplify your life list" is to clean out your refrigerator...often!! It makes a world of difference :)

  9. I clean my bathroom EVERY Thursday no matter what. That way I never have to think about that chore or worry that I've gone too long without scrubbing my shower or my toilet. *Also, Thursday is a great day because we are most likely to have visitors over the weekend when the bathroom is in its freshest state.

  10. I work really hard to stick by my "no computer in bed" rule. I also never leave the ringer on my mobile device on at night-and when possible, I leave it in another room completely. Restful sleep is something that is really important in my simplification process.

  11. Taking a walk at least once a day - preferably away from traffic, again leaving the cell phone and iPod/MP3 player at home enjoy being in the moment instead of tuning out what is going on around you.


  12. I simplify my life by spending 15 minutes a day decluttering. It keeps my house so much cleaner and allows me to be a little more stress-free!

  13. Very well said. I will try my best to follow!

  14. i stop an enjoy the outside whenever i can, on the way to the office from the parking lot, or even on a run. I look (really look) at the plants around me, the people going by, or the plane passing overhead. every time there are colours, sounds or sights, i pause to take them in and remember them. So during the crazy times, one can float back into that days thought and remind me that life is simple.

  15. I love all these tips!

    I de-clutter/de-stress by picking up the house/tidying/cleaning a room each morning! I work from home so it is nice to do a little work on the house before sitting down and working for 8 hours!


  16. In the morning while I get dressed I listen to NPR's Fresh Air podcast. This way, as I do a rote activity, I get to hear an interesting story or interview and learn about things that may not otherwise have crossed my path or have anything to do with my day-to-day life.


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