Top 10 Tips For Hassle Free Serenity

Post written by Sherri Kruger. Follow me on Twitter.
This post was originally published in October last year. Please enjoy again or for the first time.

Ask anyone if they are busy, stressed or overworked and the answer will likely be an emphatic YES!

If you feel you are sinking, finding it tough to keep your head above water or make time for things that are really important to you, you are not alone. The good news? It’s largely your own doing. I hear you asking “But how is that good news?” It’s good news because it means you have the power to change it. You hold the key to making your life as serene as you want it to be. Simplifying and prioritizing. Eliminating and reducing. There is no need to wait, no need to call on someone else to do it for you. It’s all about YOU.

So here are my top 10 tips for simplifying and getting some serenity back in your life.

1. Get real. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by pretending you can do it all. There are many people who feel they need to say yes to everyone, every request, every favor, every time. There are only so many hours in a day, days in a week, and weeks in a year. Get real about what you can comfortably commit to. Do your current commitments fit effortlessly into your life? Do they add value and make you happy? If not, it is time to re-evaluate and stop doing those things that don’t fulfill you.

2. Tell the truth. Lying takes a lot of energy. Lying requires you to have a fantastic memory in order to keep your stories straight. While it’s not always easy to come clean and admit to our mistakes, misunderstandings or fabulous blunders, it is always the path to less stress and simplicity. Being honest, even when it’s not particularly easy, will gain you more respect in the long run and will never bring your integrity into question.

3. Eliminate non-essentials. Clutter equals complexity. Living in a cluttered space can really affect your mood. You may feel closed in, cramped, anxious, stressed or generally unhappy. When your space is clutter free (and I don’t mean minimalist, necessarily) you can relax, spaces flow and things just work. When you have fewer things there is automatically less to clean, less to push aside and tidy when you’re having company and less to keep track of.

4. Do less. If you’re anything like me you love your lists. Everything you can think of that needs to get done is on a list. While all of these items need to get done eventually, it’s very unlikely that they need to be completed today. Consider keeping two lists, a master list where you capture to dos as they come up and another for things that need to be done today. If nothing needs to be done, choose one or two things on your list and tackle those.

5. Mind your own business. Some people love drama. They thrive on it. Making things more complex than they need to be, getting caught up in gossip or competing for status and attention. I have found by indulging in drama, other people’s or my own, my life becomes a lot more complex and there is no value being added. It’s tough keeping up with what’s going on and keeping track of what everyone else is doing. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my own life.

6. Become low-maintenance. I used to envy people who could get up in the morning and be out the door in half an hour. Now I’m one of them. Look at your current routine and see if there is anything you can do to make it simpler. Try an new hairstyle that is easy to do, pare down your wardrobe to a few classic items that can be mixed and matched, and simplify meals. The less you require – time, energy and things – the simpler your life will be.

7. Delegate. Delegating isn’t a sign of weakness, in fact I see it as a sign of true genius. Getting someone else, someone who is perhaps better, more efficient or better equipped to do a task, frees you up to do other things that are a better fit for you in that moment. Delegating is an art and there is a fine line between doing it effectively and bossing people around.

8. Reduce the noise. There is chatter everywhere. TV and radio we are bombarded with advertising and news. On the computer we have email, Facebook and twitter all with their urgent messages and something that needs to be addressed. Try limiting the amount of time you spend tuned into these mediums or eliminate them all together. Set a timer or make a mental note of how long you’ve been plugged in. Then make a point of unplugging. Talk with real people get interested in what they have to say and what’s going on in their lives.

9. Have me time. Once you’ve unplugged take some time for yourself. Sit quietly with a book you’ve wanted to read, flip through a favorite magazine, take a warm bath, paint, do some yoga or meditate. Take time everyday to do whatever it is that makes you happy, calms you and that leaves you feeling recharged.

10. Let go. Let go of the need to be perfect, no one is. Let go of the need to be in control all of the time, no one is. Let go of the need to be efficient and organized all the time, no one is. Let go of the need to do it all, no one can. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself a break. It’s okay to let things slide from time to time. It’s okay to not always have it together. The more you’re able to let go and be accepting of the way things are the calmer and more serene your life will be.

There are no prizes for ticking off every item on your to do list everyday. No one is standing there waiting to give you a big gold star no matter how much of an over-achiever you may be. Slow down, take in the sights, sounds, and smells of where you are right now. Serenity is within your reach. It all starts with you.

Read more from Sherri at Serene Journey.

20 Responses to “Top 10 Tips For Hassle Free Serenity”

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  1. Kitty says:

    Yes! I love this. I always try to be like this but so many people don’t understand! I hate that people associate these characteristics with laziness, we should all just let go and be happy!

  2. This is a fantastic post! I have room for improvement in many of these areas. However, I have made a concerted effort to be proactive with #9 (me time). I like to call it “sitting for ideas” which basically just refers to time to be alone in a quiet state of relaxation. In addition to clearing the mind and relaxing, I have found that these are also the times when I am most creative.

    I wrote a post on my site about it called “Go Sit in a Tree (and Improve Your Marriage)!” and, based on the responses I’ve received, it sounds like many share this experience when they set aside time to get away from the busyness of life.

  3. 11. Make sure your family is on board.

  4. Mummy Zen says:

    Good advice in this post! I particularly relate to #6 since becoming a mother. You are somewhat forced to simplify your routine with a newborn baby and then that new simpler routine actually becomes enjoyable and something I know I wouldn’t want to change.

    #9 is important for us all too and a way to take stock of everything that’s been going on in your day and re-charge.

  5. This is a great list, and perfect for me. I’ve gotten so much better, but I forget to say no when it makes complete sense for me to do so. My husband has to remind of that all the time. We really can only do so much. I love the “low maintenance” one too. I am pretty low maintenance as it is, but I too envy those that can get ready so quickly. I will work on these areas…thanks for the tips!

  6. Zengirl says:

    Since I have put my money, billing and other few things on automated, life and things to do list is lot easier. We have stopped going to un-necessary (to us) social gatherings and finding time for us, family. Ofcourse, we can always improved but it is lot better now.

    I also like Leo’s new blog mnlist.com, where I can not post comments so here it is. Great content on each sites.

  7. Definitely agree with you on avoiding drama queens (or kings) they can be real energy and time suckers. Also having me time is key. It tends to come with guilt if you’re a parent but when you do it and realise how much calmer and happier you are because of it you learn that it’s really not that selfish after all. It’s an essential part of family life.

  8. Lory says:

    Very interesting post.
    But I don’t understand what MYOB stand for (I’m Italian and I’m not so good in english). Could someone explain it to me?
    Thank in advance.
    Lory

  9. Carolina says:

    I have realized that doing more doesn’t mean your better. It means you are less focused and can’t really improving on anything. It is so much better to focus your efforts on less and excel than to multi-task and find yourself overwhelmed by having too much to do.

  10. Thank you for all of your comments so far. It is particularly tough to take “me time” as some of you point out. I don’t do it as often as I maybe should but when I do I know I feel recharged and I’m a better mom and wife when I’m charged.

    @ Lory – I’m sorry for the acronym. MYOB is Mind Your Own Business. I’ve changed it in the post for others who don’t know what it means.

  11. Great post, Sherri! I am reminded by something I read from David Allen, which may give some of your readers heart palpatations. He said, “Everybody will die with stuff on their to-do list.”

    We often rush around like the game is to check as many things off our to-do list as possible. As you deftly pointed out, that’s the wrong game.

  12. This is a very good article. 10 great points to truly live by. Thanks and God bless you Sherri.

  13. Thanks for an excellent post, Sherri. I have the hardest time with the very first one. I constantly put too much on my plate and usually end up feeling unhappy and guilty because I can never accomplish it all. I’m getting better about saying no more, though.

    And being low-maintenance is wonderful! I’ve never really understood the women in the world who could spend an hour getting ready in the morning every day.

  14. @Jason – That’s a good point and one worth repeating. Thank you.

    @Andre – I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    @Laura – Good for you! Saying no gets easier the more you do it. You see that the world doesn’t fall apart.

  15. kelleyz says:

    couldn’t have read this at a more perfect time. Now, if only I could implement.

  16. Lain Ehmann says:

    Great stuff. I would add:
    Make a decision to be content. So much of our happiness lies in our perspective — if we simply make a decision we are going to be content, we can choose to interpret what happens in a more positive manner. Making the choice to opt for happiness can make all the difference.

  17. Joseph Nally says:

    11. Help Someone Else Enjoy Serenity: I find that when I focus on increasing the peace in someone else’s life (my spouse especially), then it has a reciprocating effect in my life. Then everybody’s happy!

  18. liza says:

    this passage lightens me! i love it!

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