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How to Simplify Your Life

desk with a laptop and computer

     At totallee, we believe simplicity is key. So we’ve made an effort to focus on the essentials. Things that get the job done. Here are some tips that worked for us and may help you live more simply:



A list icon

Make Lists

No, not the BuzzFeed kind (even though we enjoyed “21 Forgotten ‘90s Hip-Hop One-Hit Wonders”). The kind of list we are referring to will help you effectively prioritize and accomplish your tasks.

First step: Make a long list of things required for your next project, and then narrow that list down to the essentials.
App for that? Any.Do. It has a clean interface and allows you to collaborate with friends to get things done together.
Who’s doing it right? Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group. In the evening, Meyer receives an email from his assistant containing questions that came up throughout the day. This helps him remain focused during office hours by avoiding repeated interruption. 


A broom icon

Tidying Up

Taking a five-minute break to tidy up the desk at work or clean around the house can help you clear your head and break up a monotonous routine. And you’ll have an organized desk, so there’s that, too.

First step: Put everything down and focus on tidying up a specific area for five minutes. Doing laundry or the dishes count, too.
App for that? Tody. It lets you schedule what needs to be cleaned and track how much time you have until the next cleaning is due.
Who’s doing it right? Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post. She’s known to have an extensive collection of books and papers, but manages to keep her office orderly and functional.


A basketball icon

Physical Exercise

I can hear your groans through the keyboard already. But give it the old college try. You’ll be shocked how energetic and focused you’ll feel after you get a few gym sessions under your belt. We promise your health is worth it

First step: I’m going to channel my inner Shia LaBeouf on this one: JUST DO IT. Today, tomorrow, whenever you can. Aim for a 20-minute workout, whether it’s on the treadmill or playing a game of pickup basketball.
App for that? One of the best is GymGoal. It lets you track your measurements and log your workout routine.
Who’s doing it right? Barack Obama. That’s right, the former POTUS knocks out a 45-minute workout six days a week. If he can find time...


An icon representing breathing

Take a Minute, Breathe

All right, let’s pump the brakes for a sec and take a breath… Still with me? Learning how to take a step back and breathe from the diaphragm (your belly) instead of your chest will do wonders for calming your mental processes.

First step: Try stepping away from your next high-stress activity to decompress and recharge by focusing on taking a few deep, patient breaths.
App for that? Take a Break! A relaxing app that lets you time your mental breaks and provides a variety of calming background sounds.
Who’s doing it right? Legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson. Known in basketball circles as the “Zen Master”, Jackson is regarded for his calm demeanor, which he maintains through regular mental health breaks and proper breathing technique.


An icon of two shaking hands

Nurture Healthy Relationships

You’ll ultimately be happier, less stressed, and more engaged when you dedicate more time to the relationships in your life that mean the most to you. These aren’t always the “most fun” relationships on the surface, but they are the ones that you’ll look back on with fondness in three or four decades.

First step: This might be a good time to use the “Make Lists” suggestion from above. Compile a list of your most important relationships and make an effort to set aside time for them.
App for that? There probably is an app for that, but this is the time to put down the iPhone and engage in face-to-face human connection.
Who’s doing it right? Michael Carl, Fashion Market Director at Vanity Fair. Carl has helped popularize the game “phone stack.” When he goes out with close friends, everyone puts their phone in a stack in the middle of the table; first one to peek at theirs picks up the tab.