Over the past few years, I’ve become consciously aware of steps I can take to simplify and make life easier. Life can become quite complicated if we let it. By strategically implementing routines, organization, and making thoughtful choices, we can replace the chaos with a sweet life.
Today I’d like to share 9 ways I’ve found to make life easier on a daily basis. Most of these are changes I resisted. When I read or heard about them, I thought they sounded too basic to make any significant improvement to the messy life I was surviving.
The magic in these steps to simple living is the simplicity. The cumulative effect of all the little changes you make will produce a life with room to breathe.
1. Create a Daily Routine
Start with a simple routine for morning and evening. Starting and ending your day with a sense of calmness is so beneficial to your well-being. There is beauty in having a simple routine that eliminates the need to stress over what you should be doing next or what you’ve forgotten to do.
When you create a thoughtful routine that embraces a slower pace, you can let go of the unrealistic expectations that you should cram a ton of things into those hours. You’ll climb into bed at the end of each day with a peaceful mind and grateful body.
And while we’re talking about climbing into bed, be sure you are getting enough sleep. Sleep is so important for your physical and mental well-being. Relax, breathe, and enjoy the moments.
2. Reality of Repetition
Sometimes people think of simple living as boring. They say ‘boring’ as if it’s a bad thing. I think boring can be beautiful. In a complicated life, I intentionally create moments when my mind can relax because there are no difficult decisions to make. On a daily basis, variety is the stress of life; not the spice of life.
Look at your daily routine and find ways you can create some predictability and simplify decision making. Reduce your closet to a capsule wardrobe so you can wear the same basic outfit each day. Personalize it with accessories and starting your day will be simple and fun.
3. Simplify Mealtime
Meals are a great part of your day to put on repeat. Keep it simple by creating a basic weekly menu. Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, and Fishy Fridays have become popular. Having a weekly menu allows you to create a capsule pantry with only the items your family will eat.
The repetition of a basic weekly grocery list will certainly make life easier. Other options for a simple mealtime include meal planning and prepping or using a meal delivery service.
4. Go with the Flow
Creating a routine allows you to find ways to improve the flow of your day. The obvious way to do this is to plan your errands to be efficiently navigated. Stopping on your way home from work for groceries and gas can eliminate the need to make a special trip out of the house to get them.
In addition to making multiple stops while you’re running errands, you should consider when it’s best for you to do that. Are you an early morning person and more likely to run errands before work? Do you work 2nd shift and like the low crowd level after work?
You should give some thought to the ebb and flow of your energy throughout the day. Plan exercise time for your high energy hours and reading email when you’re on a low energy level.
I create my daily routine in Google Calendar. This makes it simple to start with the basic morning and evening routine. Once those routines are established, you can add another piece to your routine.
Having your routine in black and white and easily available is key to successfully implementing in your life. You eliminate the stress of indecision about what to do next and the concern about forgetting to do something.
5. Declutter Your Space
Decluttering your home, car, and office will make life easier. There is less stuff to maintain and clean. Here are 5 decluttering tips that make the biggest impact with the least investment of time and energy. As you declutter, you’ll find it easier to organize your possessions so they’re easy to find. This saves you time and money because you won’t be running out to buy what you can’t find.
6. Get Organized
As you’re decluttering your home, find a place for everything. This will allow your home to be a more efficient and productive place. Create a drop zone at your entryway for keys and bags, a file system for paperwork, and a neatly categorized pantry so your home runs like a well-oiled machine.
7. Get a Handle on Your Finances
Money can create a lot of problems if not managed well. It’s important to know what your income and expenses are on a monthly basis. Using a program such as Every Dollar by money expert, Dave Ramsey, will make it simple to keep up with the money flow.
Another way to manage the monthly flow of money is to set up automated payments for the regular bills you pay each month. The set amount of a mortgage can be set to deduct directly from your account saving you time and mental energy. Automated payments reduce the chance of a late payment as well.
8. Establish Healthy Boundaries
Taking time to determine the people and activities that add value to your life allows you to set healthy boundaries. This makes it easier to say no to the other things without feeling guilty or stressed. You need to be intentional with how you spend your time and energy. Consider how invitations, purchases, and relationships align with your core values.
9. Get Tough to Make Life Easier
Life comes with some less pleasant moments. Everyone has that weekly task they avoid like the plague or the one thing that nags at the back of their mind. Perhaps you dread grocery shopping or folding laundry. Maybe you know you need to work on your health, but are having a difficult time starting. Is your job draining you, yet making a career change is an overwhelming thought?
These things are a drain on your energy. Pick one of the items on your list of things to avoid. First consider options that may resolve the issue. Could you order your groceries? Then look for ways to make the unpleasant task more appealing. Only allowing yourself to watch your favorite television show while folding laundry will make you look forward to that task. Talk to a friend about joining you for a walk each day. An accountability partner can do wonders for your success.
For those times when you know you will have to continue a stressful situation such as a difficult job, find positive aspects of it to focus on. Is it providing the opportunity to save money for a career move? Are you able to learn skills that will lead to your dream job? Are there mentors you can learn from? Perhaps you can find others to network with.
One by one take these difficult tasks and change them to opportunities.
That’s my list of 9 ways to make life easier for you. Find one that resonates with you and take the first step towards a simple life.