Are you feeling overwhelmed and like you can’t keep up with life, or you are struggling to find time for yourself amidst the endless responsibilities.
If it seems like every day the workload gets bigger and the to-do list keeps growing, it might be time to take a step back and declutter your life.
And while the process may seem daunting, I’ve created a simple 7 step checklist that will help get you started. Keep reading, and at the end you can grab a guide to more efficient to-do lists so you can tame your time.
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What does it mean to declutter your life?
Having an endless list of responsibilities is overwhelming! You are running between children’s activities, family obligations, and work tasks. Genuine balance seems impossible. These are the signs you are handling too much and are in need of a life decluttering reset.
To declutter your life is all about paring down to the most important things in your life. We all have clutter, and most of us only consider the physical clutter. But our minds and our schedules can also hold a large amount of baggage that keeps us busy, exhausted and overwhelmed!
Distractions are one of the major contributors of the clutter and letting go of those are the most impactful way that most of us are able to get out of the struggle and hamster wheel of busyness to live a life that follows a rhythm or working and resting.
The truest benefit of decluttering your life.
Our simple declutter your life checklist
So how do we go from overwhelmed and overworked to calm and slower living? It really boils down to reshaping your to-do list and only maintaining tasks that are important. This allows you to use the simplest time management strategies that work for your productivity personality.
The question then becomes, where do you start? The following steps can help you manage your time and declutter your life so you can truly begin living your most fulfilled life.
1. Let go of the excess in your life. Every one of us has more physical possessions that we need (that is unless you are a true minimalist or a monk). As a professed maximalist, this one step was the biggest hinderance to me getting more done and decluttering my whole life.
Decluttering your life, is about getting serious about what is truly important and the truth is, most of our possessions hold very little value. That take up our resources with little return. Eliminating this physical clutter, is a great first step to letting go of the clutter in your mind and embracing more peace.
2. Eliminate unnecessary tasks. Trivial tasks and obligations take up energy, and life decluttering is about conserving time and energy. Consider making a list of all of the tasks that you feel like you need to do daily.
Then, cut that list in half! My recommendation is most of us are obligating ourselves to a list that should only be 25% of its current list. So, if possible, cut it again! There are so many tasks that can be outsources, automated, and delegated. We do not have to do it all!
Looking for more tips on time management? Check out all of our productivity resources
3. Set current goals. Maybe when you were younger, your goal was to read 100 pages a day. And that may have been completely possible with less responsibilities. But we have to be cautious of trying to hold on to goals that served us better in previous stages of our lives.
When we review and evaluate our goals, and even set new ones, we give ourselves clear direction on what is important, which makes eliminating the clutter easier.
4. Recognize and Prioritize the essential. Once you are clear on your goals, you can easily determine which activities, tasks, and possessions align with your goals and which are not.
This step makes it easy to shuffle through your to do list and only focus on what is important. It also helps you to set healthy boundaries around your time and energy. Allowing you to make the most of this one life we are given and spend it on what’s most important.
5. Re-evaluate your commitments. Will your children still be well rounded if they only participate in one afterschool activity. Do you have to volunteer for every school function? Should you be the lead on every social club committee?
Each of these activities take time and while individually they are great tasks that make for a more well-rounded life. Building a daily routine that is sustainable and realistic requires us to take account on the toll that these tasks collectively take on us.
Your time and energy are valuable and finite. Your ability to steward your health is important. If you are so over-burdened with tasks that you neglect your needs, you need a reset.
6. Decrease the information input. In today’s society we have almost immediate access to information. Which can be a good thing, but all too often it leads to distraction and procrastination. Decluttering your life includes decreasing the information and media input into your life.
This not only helps you in decluttering your life, but also in decluttering your mind. Cutting back on the news and social media impact on your life can make you feel immediate relief from the overwhelm and exhaustion that these sources can lead to.
7. Reassess your To-do list regularly. One of the most underrated ways of decluttering your life is the reassessing and maintenance piece of decluttering.
Often we think of decluttering and simplifying our life as a one and done type thing, when in actuality, it is a lifestyle. Because society is drawn towards a space of more, it is important to consistently check for the tendency to recollect the clutter that you left behind.
Periodically recommitting to the elimination process can help you ensure you are prioritizing your life with what is important. And don’t worry about over decluttering. If a task is important, it will come back.
Not sure how to reassess? Consider the following thoughts:
- Remember to focus on what’s important. Which isn’t always the easiest. Be wary of easy distractions that make you feel productive but leave you feeling tired. Remember, it is more important to do a few critical tasks than to do many distractions.
- When considering to keep an activity or obligation, consider the advantages of completing that task. Additionally think about what disadvantages exist for not completing the task. Completing this simple exercise can help you quickly recognize the important items.
- Always prioritize your time and energy needs. When you struggle to keep or trash tasks, obligations and activities, consider the amount of time and energy you actually have in this moment. Do not work off of a “would be nice” or “what ifs” Be honest about the time you have in this moment.
- Keep your to do list simple always. A simple list of the 3-5 most important things is all that nearly anyone needs to be very effective and successful.
Declutter your life, be more fulfilled
We hope that by now you have a good understanding of the concept of decluttering your life. It’s all about systematically decreasing what you manage so that what you manage matters.
Learn God’s intention for Time Stewardship
Embrace a rhythm of working and resting and get more done! Take our Purposeful Productivity Challenge and find more time for the daily tasks that matter and quickly begin creating routines that prioritize rest.
And, it’s not as hard as it sounds! With a bit of effort and some practice, you can start to see major changes in your productivity (and sanity).
If you need more encouragement, we invite you to download our FREE Productivity Journal. This journal is designed to help you create routines and stick to them. The best part? You get access to weekly challenges, tips from experts, and community support! So what are you waiting for? Start decluttering your life today!