13 rules that keep my life simple
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In my blog here, I share a lot about how to live a simple life. In of the post of Leo Babauta from Zen habits he has shared some rules he follows to keep his life simple, so I thought why not I too share some of the rules I follow that keep my life simple since I too have been living a simple life since quite some time.
Simple living is mostly linked with minimalist living, but I personally don’t call myself a minimalist. I believe one should live in abundance, enjoy the bounty of life, be flexible, and not hold back on things that actually make you feel good.
It’s also not accumulating things endlessly, but also not being too rigid. I like to follow a middle path in terms of simplifying my life.
So with this here, let’s begin.
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1. Wake up early everyday
The first rule I follow that has kept my life simple is to avoid late nights and sleep early.
It has been many years now since I have become a morning person, and honestly I started to see true change in me only after I became one.
In one of my post, I have written about what I have gained by becoming a morning person, and I still feel the same.
It’s not to say that those who stay late nights can’t live a simple life, but for me, choosing to deliberately become a morning person and waking up early was the first step I took to make space for better habits and live intentionally and live a simple life.
And this is one rule I will always follow.
Here is how I became a morning person
2. Always follow a morning routine
I follow a morning routine because it helps me give ample me-time.
I make sure that I always give first priority to myself and to my lifestate. My morning routine ensures that I get it and I devote the first 2 hours every day purely to my self and towards my personal growth.
This is my morning routine before 8 am. Sometimes when I have less time, still I always try to follow each of my morning ritual for 10-15 minutes each.
If you want to create a morning routine, but finding it hard to stick to it, here is what you can do to make your morning routine stick. It helps!
3. Have a structure to your day
Life becomes messy and complicated when you don’t have anything to anchor you.
When time isn’t managed properly, entire life feels unmanaged and unnecessarily complicated.
I’m saying this from my own personal experience from before.
But I have found that having a simple life and an uncomplicated isn’t hard. It just requires you to be little intentional with your time.
When you’re intentional with your time and create a structure to your day, life easily becomes simple and the change you find in yourself in almost instant!
Now I have s structure to my day, in the sense that I break my day into mornings, afternoons, evenings and night. I don’t leave my days unintentional, but have a daily routine.
Having a simple daily routine to follow works wonders to simplify life, and sticking to one isn’t hard actually.
4. Follow Deep Work Habits
When ever I work, I follow deep work habits. This is a term I came across after reading the book, ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport. I loved the book and all the methods it has to work deeply and have better focus.
I follow the same and I have a couple of productivity methods I follow which helps me to stay focused, make time for the things that matter and be productive.
Some of the deep work habits I follow is:
- Doing my main important task early in the morning
- Setting up 25 minutes timer while I work
- Keeping a scoreboard of my deep work hours
- time batching
I have written in details about 10 top productivity methods from experts in one of my earlier post. You will find here 10 productivity techniques given by experts and find the one or ones that fit you the most to stay productive and simplify your work habits.
5. Always keep desk and surrounding tidy
I wish to have a home office someday, but for now its just my room and my small desk.
I make sure that my desk and my surrounding environment is always clean and tidy. I just can’t seem to function properly in an untidy setting.
Having a clean environment boosts my mood and my mind feels light. When I come home to a clean room, my life feels simple too.
Compared to that, if my room and my desk was messy and clothes all over the place, I am sure I would have felt that my whole life was messy and complicated.
Simple living all comes down to what makes you feel good and feel simple. And these are all little things and little rules I follow that keep my life simple.
6. No phone after waking up
Another rule I strictly follow is no phone right after waking up. Earlier it used to be scrolling through Facebook and Instagram first things after opening my eyes.
I can’t tell how toxic this habit is and I have given it up long time ago.
Cutting this small habit has been life changing for me and it helped me give time to actually start and keep new good habits.
If you want to simplify life, never ever use your phone first thing in the morning. Instead you could create a short morning routine and start your day intentionally.
Do this for your personal growth and self care and see the difference in how you feel.
I don’t even keep Instagram and Facebook app on my phone anymore. I just have it in my iPad and I use it only if I have nothing else to do.
7. Move body everyday
Doing things which you love and which makes you feel good automatically simplifies your life.
The only thing next is to actually do it and take the first step and experiment with it to see how it makes you feel.
I just love how exercise makes me feel. Normally, I exercise at home for 25-30 minutes. When I have less time, I make sure I move my body everyday even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes.
Currently I am working out using Pamela Reif’s fitness app named ‘Pam’.
I love all of her workouts, especially her dance workouts which are so fun!
I exercise early morning because I like to start my day feeling good. Moving my body boosts my mind and mood immediately and I feel I can start my day with better focus and intention.
In the evening I go out for evening walks. Walk is another thing which I love. These small routines and daily habits keep my life simple and I feel my life is on track.
8. Pray everyday
Prayer has kept my life simple. It lets me be in touch with my true self and in tune with my intentions and desires.
I pray every morning and evening. My prayer consists of both sitting in silence, sharing my deepest intentions and visualising, as well as chanting the Buddhist mantra ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo’ as a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism.
I see a stark difference in my life and how I go about my day when I make time for prayer and when I don’t.
When I pray, I find that I am more aligned with who I am and how I actually want to be. My energy levels are high and my life state is on a high frequency.
Whereas when I don’t pray, I tend to forget about my goals, my dreams and about keeping others and myself in my mind.
Here is why I pray and how to pray.
9. Don’t engage in gossips and complains
I try my best to not engage in gossips and complains. In order to do this, I bring awareness to the channels that bring about gossip and complains.
I am not a part of any WhatsApp group which engages in such talks about what others did or what others are doing.
Complaining is something I have given up as I try to bring awareness to what I talk and how I talk about certain things.
I try to not complain even if things go wrong, and even if sometimes things does go wrong, I try to take it as an amusing happening instead of being frustrated about it.
When other people come up to me sharing their frustrations or complains, I give them an ear, but I try not to add on to it by giving them more sets of complain.
I don’t want to attract more things to complain about, but instead show my gratitude for the things that I have in my life.
10. Do small things with love
When you fill yourself with joy, the more joyful life becomes. And a joyful life cannot be a messy life. A joyful life cannot be a stressful life. A joyful life will always be simple and significant.
We most often feel that joy is something we only experience occasionally, only when we get something new or do something new.
But I’ve come to find, as so many others have already, that joy can come in small things. I am not an expert in this, but I am trying to fill joy as much as possible.
I have come to find that it just requires a simple switch to get into the ‘Joyful mode’. And that switch is simply mindfulness.
When I do even little things with mindfulness and loving Awareness- being aware of water while I am washing dishes, thanking the water and thanking my hands, I seem to instantly switch the mundane into something joyful. And we can turn on this switch at anytime while we do anything.
Here I’ve written my thoughts on why thankfulness is mindfulness
Of course its a hard task, and 90% I suck at bringing awareness, but when I do, I always seem to go back to joyfulness and love.
And this is my new intention- to do small things with love. This is what Mother Tesera said, and now I know what she meant.
11. Follow the practice of making list
Making lists is another small habit which simplifies my life because it helps me organize my life better.
I make lists for everything and I have sticky notes and my diary always close to me.
Here are the 12 lists to make to get your life organized.
12. Clear inbox regularly
I feel everything is a reflection of our life and life state. People say, only your inner life matters. People only say focus on the inside, but I don’t agree with it quite right.
If you want to make change on the inside, start with your outer physical environment too. Of course you cannot change people and circumstances, but you can change what other things that are under your control- like your phone, your messy room, your cluttered bedside etc.
I follow the practice of clearing my emails regularly and decluttering my phone from time to time. I can’t operate properly in a messy phone.
Believe me, these small things do have a significant impact on our life state.
13. Make Space for Silence
There are many things that help me make my life simple, but I don’t want to go on and on. Lastly, I would just want to say that silence is another thing that has helped me simplify my life.
It is only in silence that we get to meet our truest self. Only in silence, we get to connect with our innermost self. That is why meditation is so important and it is my daily practice even if just for 10 minutes. It is included in my morning rituals.
Silence simplifies and helps me slow down. Noise and distractions rushes and stresses.
Sometimes its hard to find time, but its as if my heart itself calls for some silent time and I have to just sit down and close my eyes. I love listening to peaceful music, actually listening to every note of the music. This too becomes like meditation itself.
My favourite go to playlist on Spotify for listening to calming music is Buddha’s Flute music
So these are some of the rules I follow for a simple life. For me, living a simple life is more about habits that help you simplify and about doing things that make you feel good from the inside.
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