Purpose: Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.
Simple Living Manifesto
The Short List
For the cynics who say that the list below is too long, there are really only two steps to simplifying:
1. Identify what’s most important to you.
2. Eliminate everything else.
Of course, that’s not terribly useful unless you can see how to apply that to different areas of your life, so I present to you the Long List.
The Long List
There can be no step-by-step guide to simplifying your life, but I’ve compiled an incomplete list of ideas that should help anyone trying to find the simple life. Not every tip will work for you — choose the ones that appeal and apply to your life.
1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things.
2. Evaluate your commitments.
3. Evaluate your time.
4. Simplify work tasks.
5. Simplify home tasks.
6. Learn to say no.
7. Limit your communications.
8. Limit your media consumption.
9. Purge your stuff.
10. Get rid of the big items.
11. Edit your rooms.
12. Edit closets and drawers.
13. Simplify your wardrobe.
14. Simplify your computing life.
15. Declutter your digital packrattery.
16. Create a simplicity statement.
17. Limit your buying habits.
18. Free up time.
19. Do what you love.
20. Spend time with people you love.
21. Spend time alone.
22. Eat slowly.
23. Drive slowly.
24. Be present.
25. Streamline your life.
26. Create a simple mail & paperwork system.
27. Create a simple system for house work.
28. Clear your desk.
29. Establish routines.
30. Keep your email inbox empty.
31. Learn to live frugally.
32. Make your house minimalist.
33. Find other ways to be minimalist.
34. Consider a smaller home.
35. Consider a smaller car.
36. Learn what “enough” is.
37. Create a simple weekly dinner menu.
38. Eat healthy.
40. Declutter before organizing.
41. Have a place for everything.
42. Find inner simplicity.
43. Learn to decompress from stress.
44. Try living without a car.
45. Find a creative outlet for self-expression.
46. Simplify your goals.
48. Simplify your filing system.
49. Develop equanimity.
50. Reduce your consumption of advertising.
51. Live life more deliberately.
52. Make a Most Important Tasks (MITs) list each day.
53. Create morning and evening routines.
54. Create a morning writing ritual.
55. Learn to do nothing.
56. Read Walden, by Thoreau.
57. Go for quality, not quantity.
58. Read Simplify Your Life, by Elaine St. James.
59. Fill your day with simple pleasures.
60. Simplify your RSS feeds.
61. But subscribe to Unclutterer.
62. Create an easy-to-maintain yard.
63. Carry less stuff.
64. Simplify your online life.
65. Strive to automate your income.
66. Simplify your budget.
67. Simplify your financial life.
68. Learn to pack light.
69. Use a minimalist productivity system.
70. Leave space around things in your day.
71. Live closer to work.
72. Always ask: Will this simplify my life?