Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

15 Practical Tips for Creating a Simpler, Happier Life

Beyond great architecture and multi-functional product design, LifeEdited is about living simple, happy lives. The architecture, products and behaviors we promote are in service of that goal.

We think this list from the Health Realizations newsletter provides a nice starting point for simplifying and happy-ifying your life. Not surprisingly, much of the list involves editing out things that don’t support our happiness.

Check it out and let us know what you think. Anything missing? Agree/disagree?

  1. Decide what’s most important to you, then center your life around those items (this probably means cutting out other activities to make room for those that count the most).
  2. Turn off all communication devices at a set time each night. This includes your cell phone, computer, pager, and fax. Better yet, try to reduce your daily use of these communication tools.
  3. Learn to say no. This is not selfish, it’s about survival … and living your life the way YOU want to.
  4. Resign from any and all organizations and commitments that don’t make you happy.
  5. Set up as much of your life as possible on autopilot. For instance, set up your bills to be paid automatically online, have your paycheck direct deposited, and hire a pet sitter to come and walk your dog everyday at lunchtime.
  6. Delegate. If you can’t figure out how to do it on autopilot, think about who might be able to complete certain tasks that you do now. Then delegate everything and anything you can.
  7. Get rid of clutter. Clutter will make your life feel more complicated than it needs to, while a clutter-free space is one where you can truly feel at peace.
  8. Stop buying more stuff. Not only will you have to figure out how to pay for the “stuff,” but you’ll have to figure out a place to put it (in your now clutter-free home). You’re likely better off not buying it to begin with most of the time.
  9. Do your grocery shopping once a week only, or better yet join a food coop that delivers once a week. You’ll get healthy foods for your family in one stop.
  10. When you do your cooking, cook more than you need for one meal. Freeze the leftovers for a quick meal when you’re short on time, or use them later in the week.
  11. Redesign your day. What takes up the most time in your day? The least? Carefully evaluate how you spend your daily time, then reorganize it so you have time for what’s most important to you.
  12. Take your time when you eat. Eating slowly helps you appreciate your food and take a break from a busy day (not to mention it’s a good way to help you lose weight).
  13. Live in the moment. Help your mind to slow down by appreciating every moment as it comes, even if you’re doing something you’d rather not be. By living in the moment, you only think about what’s going on right now, not what you’ll be doing in 10 minutes or what needs to get done by 5:00.
  14. Spend time alone and with family. Many people feel cheated in life in that they don’t have time to just read a book, enjoy a hobby or simply contemplate life. Likewise, many would enjoy more time to spend together with their family. Make time for both in your life, even if it means saying no to something else.
  15. Do one thing at a time. When you try to do too many things at once, you’ll find nothing gets done very quickly or well. By focusing on just one thing — one goal, one dream, one task at work, one child’s question, one conversation — the task will get done with more thoroughness and less stress on your part.

via Health Realizations newsletter

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  • Margie

    Buying less and minimizing design to free up our physical and mental spaces are great, but I disagree with the conceptualization of life on autopilot. To a point, automated services and delegation are useful, but what is the point in simplifying our lives and having so much more free time if we forget how to use our own hands, no longer choose our own food, or put our finances so far out of sight that we sink further into debt? I believe strongly that being mindful and intentional about those most basic activities that facilitate daily life should be kept in perspective, not out of sight. This is how we have forgotten that the technology is the tool, not the point. We mindlessly turn on our computers in our free time because we are use to using it for everything else. Its compulsory. We don’t break those habits by becoming less mindful of the business required in life, but by intentionally doing more of it ourselves and limiting what has to be maintained.

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    • Kalissa Reeder

      My thoughts exactly!

  • WithheldName

    The best advice is to turn off the advertising and regain your mind. Discontinue the cable television service. Don’t listen to commercial radio. Install an ad-blocker plugin on your Chrome or Firefox browsers. Throw out your junk mail – or get removed from junk mail lists. Advertising programs our brains to want, want, want, buy, buy, buy. And the same thing with mindless movies and television shows – many of them glorify and reinforce materialistic lifestyles – showcasing perfect-looking houses, shiny cars, nice clothes, etc. Most of us have spent a lifetime being bombarded by these mass media images. Disconnect and detox from the brainwashing and you’ll be much better able to prioritize and enjoy your life.

  • Truthful-Demise Satriellis

    I just cleared 4 luggages full of books from our small city apartment. FOUR luggages. I love books, but this has made me think really really hard about acquiring new ones. Most of these books I will sell off because some of the titles are desirable and the condition is almost mint. Any leftovers i shall donate to the library. After this experience i felt like such a slave to STUFF. Im so glad Im taking this Life Edited path now. You guys are awesome.

  • Practical, frugal meets yours needs so you have control on your spending. But let loose on things you enjoy and indulge on occasion because you can. Make lots of small joys add up to a rich life. Great points, reminders in this blog post!