Have you been running ragged from one activity to another finding yourself flopping into bed at night tired and wishing for a simpler life? 

Life is all about choices and living a simple life had never been on my list of to-do’s. I have always been an on-the-go person whether it was in high school activities, during college balancing a job and school work, or now as a wife and mom of 5 busy kids. 

About a year ago, we started having more than one child in activities and between all of the activities, helping Jason on the farm, running my blog, and being a homemaker life got crazy busy. And I liked it. I liked that my kids were developing new skills, that I felt purpose, and it all seemed to be great until we got so busy that when I was home I was too tired to do the dishes, the schedule was so full I couldn’t keep track of simple things like having a family dinner with my in-laws on Sunday evening, and the house was a disaster. I was getting crabby and snappy with my family. My kids were tired and my husband, who is far more of a homebody than I am, finally said enough is enough. 

It hasn’t been easy for me to try to slow down (and we still have a full schedule that needs to be simplified more) but it’s been a start. If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation or just feel unorganized or want to have more time to do things you love like reading in your hammock in the summer, taking nature walks, or spending time with friends and family, here are 8 easy ways to simplify your life this week!

ec life planner

  • Find a planner you love and use it!  This has been the best thing I’ve done to simplify my life in 2015! 

I don’t care whether you use Google Calendar or an app on your phone, as long as it works for you, it’s fantastic! I prefer a paper planner (and would probably be considered a planner addict).

 Here are what I think are the essentials of a good planner: plenty of space to write in appointments, events and meal plans, lined pages for notes, goals, and whatever else you want to list out in it, a monthly and a weekly calendar, travel friendly because a planner does you no good when it’s left at home, and durable. 

(Just in case you are wondering, this year I started using the Erin Condren planner. I love that it fits in my purse, keeps me organized, and is really pretty. It was not cheap but it has really helped get me organized. I enjoy using it and enjoy using a “tool” that helps me live the life I want to live. Right now using my affiliate link* you can get an extra $10 off as a new customer to Erin Condren along with their 40% off sale of Life Planners which makes them a great deal). 

To simplify your life this week spend some time filling in all of your appointments, meetings, kid’s extracurricular activities, and important events in your planner. Before you agree to any new time commitments, always check your planner to be sure it works for you!planner2

  • Make that appointment!  You know, the one that you’ve been putting off long enough that you feel guilty when you think about it! By taking action you will be able to quit stressing about it. It’s time to do yourself a favor (and then add it into your planner)!
  • Look at your calendar and try to find one activity to eliminate to create some free time.  Use that free time doing something you enjoy or that is relaxing! One of the reasons people want to simplify their life is to make time for those things they love most. 
  • Lay out your clothes the night before.  This is a great way to streamline your mornings, especially if you get everyone in your household to participate. (If you struggle in the morning, you can read my 8 Smart Mom Tips To Save Your Sanity In The Morning). When all of my kids lay out their clothes the night before school, it saves up to 20 minutes in the morning looking for shoes or their favorite t-shirt (as well as packing any clothes they need for practices or activities after school). If you go to the gym try doing this with your gym bag, too!
  • Plan your meals for the week.  The term “meal planning” can cause stress to some people just thinking about it. It doesn’t need to. If you are one who gets intimidated by meal planning, try only to do your evening meals. 

Look at your calendar for any meals you’ll be eating out? Write those down. How many meals do you have left to plan? 

Now check your calendar again for days that are really busy. Can you put something in your Crock-Pot on those days or plan a sandwich or taco night? Simple meals are best for those days!

Open your refrigerator! Do you have any food that needs used up? What can you make with that food? Add that into your planner. 

At this point you probably only have a few meals left to plan. What sounds good? Do you have food in your pantry you’d like to use up so you don’t need to go to the store? Add in your final meals and you are finished! Way to go! Now you have a plan and have simplified the decision-making on what you will be eating this week!

  • Spend 15 minutes going through your email and deleting or filing as many as you can.  You may not get your inbox completely cleaned out but that’s ok! It’s progress! If you are liking the result, try this again next week! Write it down in your planner and pick up where you left off! 
  • Start an emergency fund.  Even if you only put in a few dollars, it’s the beginning of having financial freedom. If you need help with budgeting, daveramsey.com is an excellent resource to get you started!
  • Be grateful.  Each night before bed, write down 3 things you are grateful for or that make you happy. Not only does this help with the comparison game, it also helps you become aware of the great things that you have in your life. (I do this in the bottom section of my planner. I started this because I always have my gratitude list with me and when I’m having a rough day it helps make life a little brighter!) 

How do you simplify life?

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Hi! I’m Jenny! I grew up on a farm in between the 2 small towns of North Loup and Scotia, Nebraska. I spent my childhood chasing cattle, laying out irrigation pipe, bottle feeding bucket calves and racing turtles at Popcorn Days. My husband, Jason and I live on a farm south of Kearney and I am blessed to be a stay at home mom to 5 energetic kids and wife to my favorite farmer! Our oldest daughter is 11, our boy/girl twins are 7, our son is 5 and youngest daughter is 3. I created my blog, Women With Intention (http://womenwithintention.com) where you will find tools for living your purpose, managing your home, saving money, simplifying, growing your faith, loving your family and relationships, and embracing the season of life you are in. I believe that each woman can have it all, but not necessarily have it all at the same time! I'd love to connect at my blog, Facebook (http://facebook.com/womenwithintention1), Pinterest (pinterest.com/womenwithintent) or Twitter (@womenwithintent).