When things get busy, we can often find ourselves juggling multiple responsibilities, trying to maintain a balance between our professional and personal lives. However, sometimes things seem to just not add up and everything can start to seam harder than it is.  

The stress of managing work, family, and personal life can become overwhelming, leaving us feeling drained and unable to be the best version of ourselves. In such situations, it can be time to start subtracting. By simplifying our mindset, calendar, to do list and our stuff, we can live and work within our own capacity.

Here are 5 ways to start subtracting, plus a bonus to help you recharge:  

1. Prioritize and Delegate

One of the first steps to simplify your life and work is to prioritize your tasks. Create a list, if you haven’t already. Then determine what is most important, what can be delegated to others, what can wait for later and what can be eliminated. As humans, we often take on too much, trying to do everything ourselves. However, by delegating tasks to our partners, children, or colleagues, we can free up time and energy to focus on what truly matters.

2. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Establish clear boundaries between your work and personal life, and communicate them to your colleagues, friends, and family. This may involve setting specific work hours, turning off work notifications during personal time, or designating a specific space for work. By setting boundaries, you can create a more balanced and less stressful life.

3. Declutter Your Space

A cluttered workspace or home can lead to a cluttered mind, making it difficult to focus and be productive. Take some time to declutter your space, getting rid of unnecessary items and organizing the rest. This will not only create a more peaceful environment but also make it easier to find what you need when you need it.

4. Limit Distractions

Distractions can significantly impact our productivity and ability to focus. Identify the distractions in your life and work, such as social media, excessive email checking, or unnecessary meetings, and limit or eliminate them. By reducing distractions, you can increase your focus and productivity, allowing you to live and work within your capacity.

5. Learn to Say No

Sometimes, we take on too many responsibilities, thinking that we can handle everything. However, this can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Learn to say no to additional tasks or commitments that don't align with your priorities or that exceed your capacity. This can help you maintain a more manageable workload and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

6. Embrace Self-Care

Self-care is essential for maintaining our physical and mental health, which in turn helps us be more present and more effective in our work and personal lives. We sometimes think of self-care as a day at the spa, but self-care can be as simple as making sure you get in your daily walk.  Make time for regular exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep. And if you can, set aside time for hobbies and activities that bring you joy and help you relax. When we take care of ourselves, we can better manage our work and personal lives and the thoughts and feelings that come with it. We can also show up better for those most important to us.  

Remember, simplifying your life and work is an ongoing process. It's important to regularly reassess your priorities and make adjustments as needed. By removing the clutter and focusing on what truly matters, you can live and work within your own capacity, leading to a more fulfilling and balanced life. So, when things aren't adding up, start subtracting. Your future self will thank you for it.