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Do you ever feel like life is getting too complicated? Does it seem like there are just too many things to keep track of and not enough time in the day? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone! But that doesn’t mean life has to stay this way. There are plenty of ways to make life simpler and reduce stress. If that sounds like something you could use, check out these 21 small but mighty adjustments you can implement today for a simpler life!
Why simple is better
Let’s face it…life can be overwhelming sometimes. From managing our finances to making sure everything on that darned to-do list gets finished to making time for friends and family, there are seemingly endless demands on our attention. But by simplifying what you can and being intentional about how you spend your time, you can limit that overwhelmed feeling and get back to feeling on top of things.
21 ways to make your life a little simpler
You don’t have to make “simplifying” into a big, scary process. You don’t even need to make big changes to cultivate a simpler life. Just a few adjustments here and there can make a world of difference.
Here are some ideas for you to try out – see what fits, what doesn’t, and what actually makes a difference for you!
Tip #1: Unsubscribe from those endless emails
How many unread emails are in your inbox right now? Does that number stress you out a little bit? Instead of that little zing of mild panic every time you open your email, start hitting that unsubscribe button!
For most of us, unsubscribing from the emails you just don’t need isn’t something to do all in one go, so I’d recommend making this a daily process until your email flow feels manageable again. Take five minutes in the morning (or afternoon, or evening – whenever you usually pop into your inbox) and hit the unsubscribe button on any new email that you know you won’t open or miss. After a week or so, you’ll find things have calmed down in there quite a bit!
Or you can try out something like Unroll.me, a free online service that will make unsubscribing from lists and managing your email subscriptions simpler than ever.
Yes, this even means unsubscribing from my emails…if you must. (Please don’t go!)
Tip #2: Rethink your notification settings
We all love to stay connected, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant notifications coming from our phones and computers. To simplify your life, take a few minutes to review which apps you’re getting notifications from and make sure they are actually important to you.
You can also break up your day into “notification blocks” – turn off the sounds and then set aside a certain time to check notifications. This way, you’ll make sure your notifications don’t dictate how you use your time or pull your attention away from more important things.
Tip #3: If it’s going to take less than five minutes, just go ahead and do it
This one is a real game-changer! Instead of letting little things pile up, make it a habit to do anything that will take you five minutes or less right away. Whether it’s grabbing that pair of socks that got left on the floor or wiping down that mystery spill on the coffee table, get into the habit of doing it right away.
It might not seem like much, but this small adjustment will make a huge difference in the long run. Instead of finding their way onto your to-do list, or rattling around in your brain, they will just be done – and that’s a huge relief!
Tip #4: Plan your meals for the week
Instead of the daily “What’s for dinner?” debate, make things simpler by taking an hour on the weekend to plan out meals for the week. This way, you can make sure that you have everything needed for those meals on hand without having to make a special trip to the store…again.
You can also make use of online meal-planning services like eMeals or Once a Month Meals. These make meal planning even simpler by suggesting meals based on your preferences and giving you a shopping list for the week.
Planning what you’ll eat ahead of time is a great way to simplify. It can help you save money and time, and you’ll probably even eat better!
Tip #5: Combine similar tasks during your day
We all have days when a million different tasks are vying for our attention. To make your day simpler, make it a habit to group similar tasks together and get them done in fewer steps. For example, instead of running errands at five different stores on three different days, make an effort to find one store that has everything you need.
Or streamline those household tasks. If you’re already walking to the kitchen, why not grab that plate that needs to be put away and make sure the dishwasher is loaded at the same time?
It may be more than you want or need to know about me, but I scrub the shower when I’m actually about to take a shower. Scrub, jump in, rinse everything off, and shower! Efficient, right?
Tip #6: Go to bed at the same time every night
This one isn’t easy, but it’s SO worth it! Make it a priority to make sure you’re hitting the hay at the same time each night (ideally, before midnight). Yes, even on weekends – or, at the very least, most weekends.
This way, your body will get into a regular sleep routine and make getting up in the morning a little simpler. If you have trouble sleeping, as I do, it’s one of the best changes you can make for yourself.
Tip #7: Create routines for yourself (aka: put it on autopilot!)
Ever find yourself in the shower, wondering if you’ve shampooed your hair yet or not? Yeah, me too. That’s why I make a point of creating routines for myself – it makes things simpler and helps make sure I don’t forget anything important.
Doing things the same way, in the same order, on a regular basis is the best way to make sure everything gets done without having to think about it. Once your routine is in place, it’s like putting things on autopilot – everything happens without you having to think about it!
Tip #8: Take shortcuts. I promise it’ll be okay.
Make life simpler by taking some shortcuts when they’re available! Things like buying pre-chopped veggies or using paper plates during a particularly busy week – just make sure that you’re using them as an occasional thing and not as a regular habit.
Have your groceries delivered, or use a curbside pickup service. Outsource tasks like laundry, cleaning, or yard work if you can.
Making small changes like this can make a big difference in your life – and make life simpler. Plus, it’s nice to give yourself a break from time to time!
Tip #9: Keep it together…your stuff, I mean
Keep similar items all in the same place. This could mean having a designated spot for your keys or keeping all of your make-up items together in one bag. No more wondering where the other pair of scissors is because you know exactly where they’ll be.
Having everything you need in the same place makes life simpler by reducing stress and time spent finding things. Plus, if you make it a habit to keep things organized on an ongoing basis, cleaning up will be much easier and quicker.
Tip #10: Get rid of the clothes you don’t wear
This one sounds simple, but it’s a big one. Get rid of the clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn for months (or longer!).
Cleaning out your closet also simplifies your life because there are fewer things to choose from…and that means fewer decisions to make. Plus, it’s so freeing to get rid of stuff we don’t use anymore.
Tip #11: Create a capsule wardrobe
Bonus points for this one because it takes a little time, but it’s totally worth it. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes that are all versatile and mix-and-match well with each other. This way, you can make multiple outfits out of fewer items – which makes getting dressed in the morning SO much simpler. (Not to mention packing for trips, as I found out a few years ago.)
Plus, when everything goes together, you don’t have to worry about whether something looks good with the rest of your outfit. It’s like having a personal stylist in your closet!
Tip #12: Plan out your week in advance
Take a few minutes each Sunday to plan out your week. Write down what you need to do, make a list of errands, and create an approximate timeline for when things should be done. This way, you won’t forget anything important – or end up spending too much time on something that wasn’t necessary in the first place.
Having a plan for your week makes life simpler because it prevents you from having to make decisions all the time. Plus, it helps make sure that you make the most of your time – and make it to all your commitments on time.
Tip #13: Give your stuff a home
My husband teases me about my low-key obsession with things having a “home,” but it really does make life simpler. Make sure that every item in your house has a place where it belongs – and make sure that you put things back there when you’re done using them.
This prevents clutter from piling up, makes cleaning easier, and gives you peace of mind knowing where everything is. And if you make this part of your regular routine, you’ll be amazed at how much time and energy it saves in the long run!
Tip #14: Automate your bills
This one is a no-brainer. Automate your bills so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting payments or late fees. It’s an easy way to make life simpler and make sure all your obligations are taken care of.
If making sure there is money in the account when those bills come out is a concern, I’d also suggest setting up a quick calendar, so you can keep an eye on what comes out when and for how much. That way, you can see at a glance when you have money coming in and when it’s all going out.
Tip #15: Make SMALL changes
How often have you made big, potentially life-changing New Year’s resolutions only to have them all fall apart by January 10th?
If you want to make changes in your life, start with the small things and build on them. This is for two reasons:
- It will give you a chance to see if this change works for your lifestyle
- It’s SO much easier to make a small change and stick to it.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to make too many changes at once. Start with one thing, make it a habit, and then add in another – and so on. This way, you’re giving yourself time to adjust and make sure the change is something you can stick with for the long haul.
Tip #16: Do the thing you’re dreading first
Don’t let yourself procrastinate! If there’s something you’ve been putting off, make it a priority and do it first. This way, you don’t have to worry about it all day – or worse, forget about it completely.
Plus, tackling something we’re dreading can make us feel more in control of our lives – and make us more productive. And that, in turn, can make life simpler and a lot less stressful. You’ll feel so much better when it’s done and out of your way!
Tip #17: Set up an event calendar
How many times have you seen something you wanted to do, only to remember it three days after it happened? Or worse, make plans with someone and realize it’s the same day as something else you already have planned?
Having an event calendar can make life simpler by giving you a place to store all your events – from doctor’s appointments to dinner dates to that cool thing happening six months from now. This way, you make sure that nothing important slips through the cracks.
Pro-tip: As soon as you see an event you’re interested in, discuss something with a friend, or book an appointment, drop it on the calendar! Don’t wait and do it later, because you’ll forget. (I have learned this hard lesson many, MANY times over.)
Tip #18: Write things down
I used to giggle at my grandma’s abundance of post-it notes… But the truth is, writing things down can make life simpler and make sure that nothing slips through the cracks. If something comes up – whether it’s for work or for home or just a thought you don’t want to forget – make a note of it.
Whether it’s making grocery lists, jotting down ideas, or creating to-do lists – writing things down helps keep you organized and on top of your tasks. Plus, getting everything out of your head and onto paper (or digital notes) helps free up space in your brain for other things!
Tip #19: Pick up before bed
No matter how tired you are at the end of the day, make sure to take a few minutes before bed to pick up. Whether it’s putting away laundry or moving dishes from the sink to the dishwasher, getting things tidied and organized before you get into bed can make life simpler – and make for an easier start in the morning. It’s one less thing to worry about when you’re starting your day. And it’s so nice to start the day fresh instead of feeling like you have to make up for yesterday’s mess!
Tip #20: Block, snooze, or unfriend on social media
Controversial tip? Maybe. Sanity-saver anyway? Definitely.
Social media can make life simpler – or make it way more complicated. If you’re getting overwhelmed by notifications or by posts that bring down your energy (or send you into an internal rage), take a few moments to block, snooze, or unfollow people. This will help make sure your social media feeds are filled with positive things that make you happy and not the negative things that leave you feeling drained.
Tip #21: Automate anything you can!
We live in a world where there are actual, legit robots that can make our lives simpler – just like the Jetsons! And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of them. Just make sure to double-check that everything is set up properly and security settings are locked in.
Automating payments, bills, household tasks, the thermostat, and even things like your grocery list can make life simpler and reduce stress. From making sure the lights get turned off at night to having your coffee ready as soon as you wake up – automate anything that will make life easier. Who doesn’t love a robot helping them make the most of their time?
Making life simpler can make a huge impact on your stress levels – and make it so that you actually have time to enjoy yourself and make the most of every day. Try out some of these tips, or come up with some ideas of your own! Everyone’s lives are different, so find what works for you. And make sure to take a few moments every day to just enjoy life – it’s the best thing you can do!