03/19/2014 08:16 am ET Updated May 19, 2014

12 Ideas for a Simpler and Better Today

Let's face it, 21st-century living can be hectic. Lots of commitments, lots of things we want to do and lots to keep up with. It's no wonder more and more of us are becoming overwhelmed.

For a simpler (and better) today and tomorrow try a combination of or all of the following.

1) Slow Down
If you're feeling constantly rushed and in a state of motion all the time then slowing down occasionally is a must. You can't, despite your best efforts, be in constant motion and be at your best. You need to know when to take your foot off the gas and just rest a little.

Ironically slowing down can also mean we get more (not less) done!

2) Forget the Small Stuff (Go 80/20)
You can't do it all so why try?

Vilfredo Pareto's 80/20 rule states that in any particular pursuit that we undertake approximately 80 percent of the results may come from just 20 percent of our efforts.

What this means is that there are a fair few of us that are spinning our wheels most of the time. Or put another way, we are majoring in the minors.

If instead we identify and focus on the 20 percent that really matters (the big result producing stuff) we are more likely to achieve more and live a life more on our own terms.

Stop sweating the small stuff and choose the 80/20 route instead.

3) Embrace Simpler Living
Living simpler offers many advantages. It means we need less and want for less. It means we are focused on the important and let someone else sweat the less important. It means we streamline and hack away the things that are not essential.

Living a simpler life in, what can be, a complex world at times takes some guile but is worth the effort. It gives back much.

4) Leave Multitasking to Someone Else
Multitasking is a great way to spin plates and do lots of things sub-optimally. It often means we start but don't finish. It also means we're not fully engaged with what we're doing but rather thinking about what's to do next. None of these scenarios are ideal.

Another way is to forget multitasking and instead focus simply on one thing at a time until completion and then move onto the next task.

5) Free Up Your Diary and Learn the Power of No
Your diary doesn't have to be full to the brim with appointments and commitments. In fact, if you've performed some 80/20 analysis on your time and tasks (as discussed in number two), your diary should start to have more space in it.

Make sure you're saying yes to the right invites. The invites that mean you get to spend time with those you care about, or on things you care about or that get you closer to your goals.

Learn to say a polite "No, thank you" to invitations that don't fit this bill. The ones that don't add to your life in some way.

Learn to love and protect a little space in your diary.

6) Make Time
"I don't have time" is becoming one of the most overused phrases in our culture. What it often means is we don't see something as a priority or perhaps we have our priorities slightly skewed.

We need to make time for those things and people that are truly important to us in our lives.

7) Spend Time Disconnected
We are spending more and more of our time plugged in. This can lead to obsessively checking smartphone messages, blogs, emails, tweets, etc. We're in danger of letting life pass us by while we click away.

As fantastic and powerful as technology is, we need to make regular time to disconnect as well.

8) Spend Time With Those You Care About
Try to spend the majority of your time with people that matter to you and people that inspire you and/or share your world view and aspirations.

Make positivity and fun a permanent fixture in your life by surrounding yourself with people you care about and enjoy spending time with.

9) Make Sure You Are Chasing the Right Prize
I've written about this, here. Make sure you are clear on what you chasing and why.

10) Limit Negativity
Don't even entertain it. Reduce external negative voices by surrounding yourself with the right people as much as possible. Also, ensure your own self-talk is positive and you don't get in your own way.

11) Eat Well and Move
You wouldn't expect your car to run very well if you filled it with low-grade petrol and only switched the engine on once a month. Your body is no different. It's made for regular movement and it thrives on healthy foods.

Eat well and make exercise a regular part of your life. A healthy body can also often mean a healthy mind.

12) Give Back
The things that give us the rosiest feelings or that we're most proud of often involve giving or providing a service to someone else. Make giving back a constant goal.This could be something big or small but just make giving a part of your life.

Life is short so why not try to make it the best life you can? Living intentionally and living simpler often means we live better. Embrace the power of simpler living.

Carl is the proud owner of which is focused on helping readers live a simpler and more personally satisfying life. He is also the author of 22 Ways to Simpler Living. To read more and/or contact him go to his site.