Tips for a Successful Career -- Loving Your Work and Life

Too much stuff. Too much to do. Too little time and money. The demands on you can become overwhelming. Improve your life with these quick simplifying tips.

What does it say about us as a society that we never seem to have enough time to accomplish everything -- and never enough space to store all the stuff we have?

We struggle and juggle all the many things, people, and events in our lives, trying to keep pace with a clock that shows time moving much too rapidly. We have too little time and money and too much stuff -- and too much stuff to do. Every time we cross one thing off our calendar we add one or two other items.

How can you take back the clock and your calendar? Take back control over your spending and the amount of stuff you buy? Take back your life so that you can actually live it -- and appreciate all the many gifts already in it?

You already know the answer.

You need to simplify your life. Simplifying doesn't mean giving up all your possessions or obligations, but it is about prioritizing, cutting back, and eliminating.

Want your life back? Start simplifying -- which you can do by following some of the straightforward tips in this article.

1. Create a to-do list of the activities you most enjoy. Instead of the usual to-do lists of all your deadlines and obligations, make a list of the things you enjoy -- or want to try. Once you've made the list, focus on integrating these fun activities into your daily or weekly life.

2. Clean out attics, garages, basements, closets, and storage units. Pretend you are moving -- because that's the only time a lot of us ever really get rid of stuff. If you haven't touched something in months, how likely is it that you need it? Make four piles -- stuff to keep, stuff to sell (yard sale, Craig's List, eBay, etc.), stuff to give away (to friends, family, or non-profits), and stuff to recycle or throw away.

3. Cut back on your (time) obligations. Take a hard look at how you spend your time away from working and parenting and consider some tough choices on the clubs, sports leagues, people, or other obligations that keep you from having some time just for yourself. Make your time a priority.

4. Buy based on need, not want. We've become a society that buys more on want than need. An easy way to simplify your life -- and save a lot of money and debt -- is to drastically cut back on your spending and put more emphasis on savings (whether for education, travel, or retirement).

5. Learn to say no (and mean it). Of all the tips on this list, saying no has the greatest potential to simplify your life -- but for many of us, it's also the hardest one to implement. Most of us like to accommodate and help people -- and feel wanted -- but that can quickly lead to being overextended and overstressed. Start slowly by saying no to the people who ask you the most and see how much simpler your life becomes.

6. Cut back on your television viewing and Internet surfing. If you collapse in front of the television or computer (or both) after you get home, never to be seen again until it's time to go to bed, it's time to seriously cut back on your viewing/surfing. Try limiting yourself to an hour (or two) a night and see how much time you have for other things.

7. Begin eliminating debt. The great thing about simplifying your life is that once you get into the habit of focusing on the basics, you'll have less stuff and less clutter -- and because you're buying less stuff, you should by default be lowering your debt. Your goal, though, should be eliminating your debt -- within a reasonable period of time, of course. Paying off credit cards, especially, is both rewarding and simplifying -- and can actually improve your credit score so when you really do need credit, you'll be approved for it.

8. Leave work at the office. We live in a 24/7 world these days, but that doesn't mean you need to bring work home with you -- or on vacation with you -- or never stop, if you work from home. You have to keep boundaries or you will always feel stressed and overworked and like you have no time for yourself. Does work rule your life? 

9. Create a space just for you. Unless you live alone, you share a home with other people and most likely don't have any spot that's just for you. It does not need to be a room -- just a nook -- a place where you can keep your Zen garden or waterfall or whatever else helps you get centered and relaxed. (It's also a place to help you keep things organized, making your life a little simpler.)

10. Simplify your wardrobe, diet, and/or communications. Do you get tired of trying to make decisions about what you're going to wear or eat? Struggling with having too many ways for people to reach you? Most of us have way too many clothes that we rarely wear (not including the different-sized clothes we keep for "fat" times and "thin" times) -- so attack that closet and donate your extras to a local thrift shop. Same holds for your pantry. In fact, while you are simplifying your pantry, also get rid of all the bad stuff in it! Determine what you really need and free yourself of the rest -- or, at the very least, set limits on their use.

Final Thoughts on Simplifying Your Life

If you have younger children and are spending your days or evenings taxiing them from one event to the next, guess what? You need to simplify your life by simplifying theirs. It's time for the kids to choose the clubs, sports, or other activities that matter most to them.

One of the greatest benefits from simplifying your life is that you'll have more time for what's most important to you -- including time for yourself. By making time for yourself every day -- and yes, it is selfish but who cares -- you are allowing your body and mind time to be reinvigorated. Take a walk, ride your bike, have a bath, do some yoga, or meditate -- anything that you want to do.

Finally, remember that there are times when it is impossible to do things alone -- and you should ask for help -- and no simplifying is going to help you when your hot water heater dies, or your power gets knocked out or a tree crashes down on your house.

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.