10 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Be Happier at Work

Simplifying may be a fad, but it’s a darn effective one. And here’s the best part for us career-minded 20-somethings: whether you just get rid of all the physical things you don’t need or change your life in a more radical way, simplifying your personal life will benefit your work life, too.

Here are 10 ways to simplify that will leave you with a smile on your face at work:

1. Make home your safe space

At work, you may have pressing deadlines to meet, you may feel you have to rush and multi-task to get things done, or you may feel that slowing down is not an option. This doesn’t mean you have to operate at the same speed at home. Give yourself a break when you’re off the clock and focus on your wellness.

The contrast in pace between your home life and work life will do you a lot of good, allowing you to fully appreciate and enjoy both more, as well as energizing your work life.

2. Shrink your problems

Is your house too big? Move to a smaller one. Big car? Trade it in for a smaller one. In other words, remove the things – especially the BIG things – you don’t need from your life.

In other words, occupy only the space you need and many of your problems and expenses will become much smaller.

By having fewer things, you will use, care for and appreciate the things you have that much more. Here are some extreme examples of minimalism that may inspire you: The 100 Thing Challenge and Living with 72 Things.

3. Be mindful of the green

You can take “living green” as far as you want. Buy Less. Use Less. Waste Less. Eat organic local produce.

If you’re really serious about this aspect of simplifying, check out the No Impact Project’s one-week challenge that will help you to reduce your carbon footprint.

4. Make more time for the people you (really) care about

Are you so busy focusing on your career that you tend to neglect the people you care about?

You’re not the only one. Most of us lead busy lives, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the things we have to do. Yet when we simplify life, we have more time for the people who really matter.

Which is better: a modest life of freedom spending time with your loved ones, or a rich life of excess but at the price of neglecting those relationships that really count? Your answer will make this decision easy.

5. Appreciate the little things

Stop for a moment and take a look around. You are well on your way to a happy life when you find appreciation in simple things.

Enjoy the things that are right in front of you every day. Enjoy experiencing life. Enjoy sharing, learning, giving and receiving. Enjoy nature. Go for long walks. Breathe fresh air.

Again, the balance between being able to do this, then being able to shift gears when you need to in the workplace, can be really powerful – so powerful that it will ultimately lead you to more success in both your personal and business life.

6. Eat healthy – even when you don’t want to

Eat simple, nutritious food. Eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful. Exercise moderately and often. Drink plenty of water and live in the moment. BY focusing on these simple principles, you will be much healthier, both mentally and physically.

It’s nearly impossible to improve your health without having a healthier mind, becoming more alert, seeing an increase in your energy, and ultimately finding that you are more enthusiastic about the challenges ahead.

7. Make reducing stress a priority

Not all stress is bad, but a surplus can be detrimental to everything from your personal life to your work life. Busy people with a lot on their mind often get stressed when they surpass a limit. And too often, we think of “being stressed” as something we can’t control.

Try to identify your limits and take control of your time and your life by taking small steps when dealing with big challenges. Remove the word failure from your vocabulary. Replace it with experience and you will shift your view of stress.

8. Save money by not buying things you don’t really need

Live within your means, and keep those means modest. This will enable you to enjoy life more by giving you more resources (not just money but also time and energy) to invest in the things that really matter. You are effortlessly being more efficient.

And here’s another perk: being more efficient about how you view and spend money will increase the relative success of your career.

9. Make new connections

If you really commit to simplifying your life, you are going to make new connections. Believe it or not, by slowing down, you will meet more people – because you will notice more people – and you will have more time for them.

Not only will you connect with new people, you’ll also connect with new thoughts and with your surroundings. Being open to these connections could lead to career advancement you hadn’t expected before.

10. Let life become easier

Be true to yourself and take only what you need. Give what you can. Don’t hold on to things. Make time for the experiences and people that are really important to you and let go of anything that really isn’t. In time, you’ll find your biggest difficulties will fade away. Life will literally become less cluttered, and in turn, easier.

The result will be amazing – and your life, both personal and business will benefit tremendously. This concept is both simple and practical, and it’s up to you how far you take it.

You can find Alan Chatfield at Life’s Too Good, a blog about helping you gain more out of life and enjoy it to its fullest.


  1. Curtis Wallis

    I’m a big fan of eating healthy. As a photographer I have found my images getting better the better I feel and my diet has been a big part of this

    • Hey Curtis,

      that’s a really interesting point – so many people feel that they can ‘burn the candle at both ends’ and get away with it or simply don’t accept (or don’t realize) the effect that their health/mood/tiredness has on their work.

      great comment – much appreciated & thanks for sharing,


  2. Seems like the older I get the healthier my habits become. I recently turned 30 and completely gave up red meat and started introducing more fish into my diet which I never ate. Now I’m eating fish at least 3 times a week along with more vegetables. I think the biggest impact is the fact that I’m expecting my first child and want to make sure healthy habits are instilled. It really are the simple things that matter. My next goal is reducing to the essentials. Recently cleared out my closet of clothes I don’t either wear or don’t like. Typically I follow a 1 year rule that if I haven’t worn it in the past year, it has to go.

    • Hey Gregory,

      yup, it’s amazing how many clothes we keep hold of just in case…

      great move with the diet, and you make a good point – simplifying in small steps so that you are constantly refining and improving your lifestyle is a great, and rewarding way to go,

      take care & best wishes,

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  4. Vitra

    Great tips. I never used to be a stressed and once I got in the grind of working, I realized the stress/tension of work was affecting other parts of my life. Ultimately I disliked my job enough to quit and now I make a conscious effort to recognize when I’m starting to stress out abt useless or silly things.

    • Hi Vitra,

      start recognizing the signs and you’re more than halfway there!

      many don’t realize until it’s too late and they have already jeopardized something be it their lives, their relationships, their health, their sanity or their jobs…

      thanks for your comment,

      take care & best wishes,


  5. I’m really agree with the ‘Be mindful of the green’ coz the green will release a peace in your mind and the green also gives a lives to all living in this world.. peace…

  6. TC

    Nice article, I think No 8, with regards to saving money is incredibly important. If people could see all the useless things they have spent money on over the course of their life it would really shock them!

    • Absolutely right TC.

      I know I’ve certainly been guilty of wasting money on plenty of things in the past,

      getting into the habit of choosing NOT to buy things because we have been smart enough to stop for a second and think if we really want or need them – that can be really powerful and life changing in itself, so I completely agree with you,

      thanks for the comment & take care,


  7. I enjoyed most of these tips, especially #2, 5, 8.

    I think reducing stress is important in today’s fast paced world and paying attention to the here and now and living in the moment is very important too. Stuff like that are taken for granted far too much.

    cheers, great article

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