[success]Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify. ~ Thoreau [/success]

“I’m so overwhelmed that I can’t think straight.”

This is what someone said to me last week. And I recognized how this has been true for me…and some days still is my truth.

We all get pulled in so many different directions every day, stretching ourselves thin and doing a pretty rotten job at managing all our tasks. And then we’re surprised that we’re totally exhausted and stressed out.

Many of us are like hamsters on a wheel running furiously and getting nowhere fast. And it’s hurting us.

If you’d like to stay healthy and stress less then it’s time to start simplifying and this means dumping all the things that aren’t essential for a peaceful, happy life.

So what to do? So where to start?  It’s really not as hard as you think…

Stop doing things that aren’t fulfilling in any way. Eliminate the things that clutter life leaving you with time to spend with those you love and those things that bring value to you; the things that matter most.

In a nutshell.

What are the most important things in your life? Concentrate on those things and eliminate everything else…so says Cary Richards in The Joy of Less.  Then you’re done!

But we all could use a little more clarity than that I know, so here’s some of the things that might apply to different areas of your life to help you shake off exhaustion and stress.

1. List your top priorities

The things you hold most dear. The things that will still be important to you in five years. This is the starting point because these are the reasons you want to eliminate all the ‘extra stuff’ so you have more time for the things you value. Keep it simple, 3,4 or 5 priorities are enough for starters.

[tweetthis]Time is your most precious resource that once spent, you can never get back.[/tweetthis]

2. Focus on the work day essentials

I write them down because I’m easily distracted by the next new shiny object and I have an agreement with myself not to look at, engage in or otherwise connect with anything else until my essentials are done!  You don’t need an entire to do list. Keep it really small. Weed out the inessentials.

The goal isn’t perfection, just to be the person who has created the space to live the best life possible for them.

3. Declutter your home  

A seriously bursting at the seams closet is as stressful to your spirit as a seriously jam-packed ‘to do list’. Invest some time in deciding what you want to keep and clear out the rest. Give things away, don’t keep duplicates. Turn your closet into an oasis of delight.

It will please your heart and soul every time you enter and bring a moment of peace to you. Create an added blessing to your life and take the time to accept and appreciate.

4. Read life changing books

We must use some of the time we claw back from our hectic lives and invest it in studying those with great ideas. Gather information, wisdom and clarity and read the books!

If you’re one of those people who find tidying up an energy-sucking experience. Yep, that’s me…then a book filled with wisdom and support would be The life changing magic of tidying up. It reminds us to surround ourselves with things that spark joy.

I know I’ve added a task to your simplifying schedule. But…

Never, ever give up reading because all of the books that you will ever need to make you happy, rich, healthy and as successful as you want to be have been written.

5. Be teachable

Re-inventing the wheel is a waste of your precious energy. Reaching out to an expert can be the beginning of a wonderful journey of self-discovery and new knowledge. And it simplifies your life.

 I recently decided it was time to set some social networking goals on Facebook so I turned to an expert.  I discovered a programme designed by someone with over 1 million likes, and an income of over $100,000 per year from his Facebook page, just what the doctor ordered. So I signed up.

If you want to know more there’s a link right here… Your Digital Formula.

 The learning process plays a major part in our life, but you don’t have to go it alone.  Allow someone with more expertise than you to kindle the flame.

6. Manage your digital packrat habits

Be honest. Couldn’t you use a little computer clean up? Maybe you have too many files and a lot of disorganization.  A cluttered computer is slow, stressful to you because you can’t find what you want, and complicates life more than you need.

Begin with e-mails. Clear out your in-box. Be ruthless.

Unsubscribe from everyone who’s sending you e-mails and you can’t remember why. Not from mine of course!

For greater ease try this app https://www.unroll.me/

There are plenty of other ways you can clean up your digital clutter and make life easier all around.  Head over to http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Being-a-Digital-Packrat for some expert advice. (Read #5 again!)

There are lots of things that hold you back in life, but being a digital packrat doesn’t have to be one of them.

7. Spiritually speaking

Getting from exhausted to energized isn’t about seeing how little we can get by with…that’s not simplifying that’s choosing poverty. It IS about putting first things first. Those things we love and value, like family, friends, a trip we’ve always wanted to take, a book we never had time for, or just a simple walk in the woods.

We give our lives to the things that we spend our time on. It’s time to stop letting the things that matter most be a distant second to the things that matter least. When you’re clear on your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever isn’t in harmony with your values, whether it’s a cluttered closet, computer or commitments.

Over to you:

Do you have any tips on simplifying live and making room for your values?  I’d love to hear them.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle


 P.S. If you have a friend, client or colleague who struggles to the point of exhaustion and stress please share this post. It may be exactly what they need to take back control over their own time and energy.


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. I’m really keen on simplicity, Elle. I had to laugh though when you talked about digital packrat habits because that’s one of my challenges! Thanks for this great advice.

    • ElleSommer

      I’m not living as simply as I’d like Sandra, and being a digital packrat is one of my challenges too. I keep saying when I need a new computer I’m going to start from scratch and not transfer all my rubbish over…but that’s for another day. For this day, I’m taking 10 minutes a day to practice what I’m preaching! 🙂

  2. You wrote this for me today Elle. Today i am feeling tired and the todo list overwhelming and the digital packrat , oh my computer needs a total overhaul. i have thought of a double back up and starting again, so relate to the new computer story. The decluttering is a daily task for me as a friend has just fenshuied our home! Now i am going for a vauguely early night love Suzie
    Tomorrow will be good

    • ElleSommer

      It’s amazing how things like our computer can completely suck our energy Suzie isn’t it. Even just the thought can be too much. Love that your home has been feng shuied now with your new computer cleanup you are going to full of vital creative energy to keep bringing your bright light into the world. We need you. 🙂

  3. Joseph Appaloosa

    Great article, Elle !
    Three things really impacted me and will be/have become part of my 2016 strategies.
    – putting first things first , what really matters ? ! ! !
    – what is going to be important in 5 years , what really matters ? ! ! !
    – reach out to an expert, to enhance what really matters ! ! !
    You always deliver such wonderful food for thought and tips for improvement.
    Thank you !
    Write on, Elle !

    • ElleSommer

      Hello Joseph and a wonderful happy new year to you. As always, you brighten my day and I’m truly happy that I’m able to give you food for thought too. 🙂
      What really matters indeed!!!

  4. Elle, as usual this is very timely in my life as I am making it a priority to eliminate things that do not bring me joy. I am choosing instead to be fed by my experiences and to encourage others to do the same.

    • ElleSommer

      Hi Sandy…isn’t that great how life works to bring to us the very things that are on our mind. Reminds me to be careful of what’s on mine! May you enjoy your new found freedom. 🙂

  5. Hi Elle. It is the start of the new year and I am exhausted so reading this post was such an inspiration and well timed.

    You are so right. I know that I need to step back and refocus my mind on the things that are indeed most important and implement those first. All the other things are noise and distractions.

    Thanks again for being here when I need a little encouragement and motivation.

    • ElleSommer

      Hello Rose…I love your input, always so refreshingly honest. I’m so glad to be someone who supports you when you need that little bit of encouragement. 🙂

  6. wonderful thoughts and advice. less is more…cluttered..simplify..keys to and success with purpose..

    • ElleSommer

      Hi Lynne, funny how clutter around us gives a cluttered mind…well in my life it does! 🙂

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