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We are always trading our time for something. Everything we do is a trade-off.

If you want to be happy, accomplish your goals and live a fulfilled life, you’ll have to stop focusing on what doesn’t matter and start focusing on what does.

How do you do that? You’ve got to take your time back. Start by spending less time on these 5 things:

1. Spend less time on “what to wear”

Create an easier method for getting dressed, like eliminating things in your wardrobe that don’t match. This way you’ll know you can wear any shirt, shoes and pants together and they will match. Or you could go even more minimal and use a method like President Obama’s idea to only wear blue and grey suits. Focus your time and energy on more important things. Some people are actually starting to wear the same thing everyday to avoid this daily decision and focus their time on what matters.

2. Spend less time on “what to eat”

Separate your meals into two categories: meals for fuel and meals for pleasure. Instead of using those valuable morning brain cells (some of us only have so many in the morning) to decide what you’ll have for breakfast, simply have the same thing everyday or plan your meals ahead of time. Figure out which meals are truly for pleasure, such as dinner with the family or eating out with friends and use those meals to carefully decide what you’ll eat; for the rest of your meals, don’t waste time on them.

3. Spend less time accommodating others

This goes back to learning how to say “no”. You only have about 25,000 days in your adult life, don’t spend them accommodating the needs of other people. Caring about others is important; however, being a people-pleaser can be a trap that steals your time. You can apply this in several ways, such as avoiding unknown phone calls and only checking email once or twice per day. Unknown calls steal your time and break your focus, and they are almost always unimportant (read: if they’re important, they’ll leave a message). Checking your email constantly can be extremely distracting and most of the items in your inbox are for someone else’s agenda. Put others on your time.

4. Spend less time complaining

We all know that complaining doesn’t help anything and we all do it at one point or another. Not only does complaining not help, but it actually shifts us into a negative mindset and kills our focus. Try a 30 day no-complaint challenge. Simply go 30 days without complaining about a single thing and then see the results. When you’re forced to practice optimism in every situation, you’ll be surprised at how much better things will go. You’ll have ideas that would have never happened if you were complaining – you’ll be forced to look for solutions and change situations instead of complaining about how bad they are. Try it and let me know the results.

5. Spend less time regretting

We’ve all missed opportunities. If we make a mistake and learn from it, it’s no longer a mistake, but more of a growing experience or a lesson. Look back on anything that you’re not happy with. Make up your mind to take a lesson away from whatever it is and then forget about it. It’s done. It’s over. It already happened and it can’t be changed. Now that you’re no longer complaining, it only makes sense to stop regretting. If you eliminate the time you spend regretting, you’ll force yourself to be future-minded instead of living in the past. You’ll reap some awesome benefits when you’re living in the present and looking to the future. The past is over so get over it.

Here’s the bottom line: Eliminate trivial choices so you can spend more time making decisions about things that matter.

Want even more time in your day? Figure out how much time you spend on everyday things and learn what’s stealing your time.

What are some everyday choices you can avoid making? What are some areas of your life you can automate? Share in the comments!

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