3 Things to Downsize In Midlife And Get Time Back

Let’s face it. By midlife you’ve got a system for keeping track of your life and everyone else’s that you feel responsible for. You balance work, play, family, pets, home chores, kid activities and finances. If you’ve thought about downsizing, you’ve probably thought more about physical things. Downsizing applies to other aspects of your life as well. Recognize that enough is enough. It’s time to tackle the craziness. Here are 3 things to downsize in midlife and get some time back for yourself.

Habits

Do you do the same things every day or every week? Or do you go the same places every year for vacation or the holidays? Stop and ask yourself, do these things still add value? If they do, then keep doing them but if you’re on the fence, at least consider if it might be time to change things up.

When I went to an office every day, I saved all my house chores and errands for the weekend.  I kept doing this even after I began to work from home. Because that’s the way I’d always done it.  I just never thought to change.

I kept wondering where my weekends went. It certainly seemed like there should be more time available since I no longer had a commute and spent more time at home during the week. But it didn’t feel like there was. The reality was, I did have more free time during the week but I ended up using it for everything  but the house and errands.  Finally I realized how silly it was to save everything for Saturday and Sunday and downsized this habit by handling a few house-related things every day.

People

Of course you know people who whine and complain. You listen and they just dump more on you each time. Friends, acquaintances, or even family members are  fair game for downsizing when your conversations with them always drag you down.

Keep in mind, I’m suggesting that you downsize or limit your contact with these people. I’m not advocating that you never talk to them again. Just begin to cut down your interactions and lower your stress level as a result.

You may decide that even a small dose of toxic talkers is too much to deal with. If you’re comfortable eliminating them completely from your life, go for it. Recognize the need to change something and make a choice to listen less or not at all.  Downsize the conversational clutter and add quality time to your life.

Activities

Are you still part of a group that serves you no purpose? Maybe you joined a club, committee or religious group that you enjoyed immensely but now makes you just feel obligated.  Take a step back and ask yourself why you’re still part of it. Again, think of downsizing your involvement. Maybe it’s time to take on a smaller role or end your participation altogether.

I was never so happy as I was after ending my association with a book club that had turned into a one-woman show. In the end, it was a real relief to step away from the activity completely.   As a result, I successfully eliminated a de-energizing person AND an unpleasant activity with one decision.

Look back at all you’ve conquered in life. No doubt some things worked out better than others. You’ve had lots of life experience and it’s time to pay attention to what you’ve learned. If you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed, it may be time to find things to downsize in midlife and get some time back. When you think about downsizing, remember to look beyond the physical clutter in your life.


People of all ages struggle to live a more meaningful life, but the struggle to identify a meaningful retirement is very real. Working with a certified retirement coach can help you frame what’s important to you and how to work towards it in order to find a meaningful life in retirement. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your journey and how we can help.

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