Figuring out ways to simplify your life starts with recognizing things you’re doing everyday (or very frequently) that just suck up time and energy. Nothing bothers me more than feeling like I’m wasting even a minute of my day.
Like decisions, for example…
How much time do you spend daily just making a decision? Life is filled with so.many.choices. Like do I want to do a boxing class or go for a run? Do I want an iced coffee or a latte? What milk do I want to use?
By the time we get to an actual BIG life decision, we’re all decision-ed out. Which isn’t productive and doesn’t help in making the best choice.
SO – here are my 12 ways to simplify your life so you can take the thought out of things, be more productive, and focus on the bigger picture:
1: Wear The Same Clothes
Okay, I don’t mean LITERALLY wear the same item of clothing everyday. But I have about 7 tops + pairs of Lululemon leggings that I wear/wash every week since I work from home. I keep them in the same drawer so I can just grab and throw on right after the shower. For work travel, I have ten base outfits that I recycle + then switch out something like the blazer or shoes. I keep these outfits in the same section of my closet to make packing quicker.
2: Prep The Same Meals
My workdays usually consist of me squeezing in breakfast + lunch whenever I have 2 minutes in between meetings. I hate the added stress of spending time deciding what to eat and then more time preparing it. So I started eating the same type of thing everyday. Breakfast is always my Green Smoothie. For lunch/snacks, I’ll pick something to prep at the beginning of the week and have it everyday. Bonus: I also keep all the items I’m using in the same areas so I don’t have to spend time scouring my fridge or pantry.
3: Label + Use The Same Alarm Clocks
This one is pretty simple. I usually try to wake up everyday at the same time, but there are sometimes events that don’t allow that. For example, every month I have an early morning Friday call. Every Thursday night I would sit and try to figure out the time I had to go to wake up on time to complete my morning routine + make my meeting. I did the same thing when I would take the first flight out on Monday morning. I’ve started saving alarms and labeling them accordingly so all I have to do is switch it “on” the night before.
4: Automate Your Finances
This was the best thing I’ve ever done in terms of managing my finances. I used to stress out way too much about paying my bills on time or worry about spending all my paycheck before a bill was due. So, I wrote out a list of all my monthly bills and set up automatic payments. More specifically, I set up automatic payments on the 15th and the last day of the month (which are paydays). That way, the funds are taken out of my account automatically + I’m not tempted to spend anything that should be going to bills. I also set up automatic transfer to my savings account each paycheck.
5: Plan Work Outs
I used to waste so much time trying to figure out what work out I wanted to do each morning. Now, I spend 10 minutes on Sunday and map out the workouts I want to do in a spreadsheet (yes, spreadsheet). Every morning, I open my computer and click on my “Workout” spreadsheet that I’ve book marked and click the link to my workout. This also helps to make sure you’re not doing too much of one workout in a week.
6: Make A “Go-To” Packing Bag
When I started traveling for work more frequently, I realized I was spending WAY too much time packing and unpacking. It would always stress me out when I couldn’t fully pack the night before a trip because I needed to use some of my products the next AM. The best thing I did was keep my suitcase semi-packed at all times. That way, when it comes time to fill it up, all I’m packing are my clothes/shoes that I grab from the same spot in my closet. Unpacking is less dreadful because all I’m unpacking are my clothes (most of which I throw in the hamper anyways).
7: Set Weekly Routines
Setting weekly routines will train your brain so you don’t have to think about the last time you did something or when you can squeeze a task in next. For example, Monday’s are always my laundry day. Wednesday’s and Sunday’s are always my exfoliating days.
8: Keep A Weekly Pill Organizer
I fill up my weekly pill organizer once a week so I can easily grab it from the counter and quickly take my vitamins without having to go into each individual bottle.
9: Invest In A Good Water Bottle
Once I started using a larger size Hydro Flask, I was able to drink a lot more without filling up my bottle as much. Obviously since the bottle is insulated, I don’t have to worry about drinking warm water over time. Also, since this bottle has a straw-lid, I find myself mindlessly sipping on water throughout the day.
10: Set Recurring Reminders
For the things you can’t automate in your life (like automatic bill payments or moving your car every Tuesday for street sweeping), set up recurring reminders on your calendar or phone.
11: Structure Your Goals Efficiently (And Effectively)
Nothing is more inefficient than a bunch of random goals thrown together with no action plan. Start with thinking about your annual (or long term) goals. From there, figure out small monthly goals that will help you achieve the long term goal. Finally, think of even smaller weekly goals that allow you to see more immediate progress on your bigger goal.
VERY simple example:
- Annual Goal = Focus on healthy and cook 12 new seasonal/healthy meals in 2020.
- Monthly Goal = Identify and cook 1 seasonal/healthy meal.
- Weekly Goal 1 = Research foods “in season” during Fall and pick one relevant recipe to try.
- Weekly Goal 2 = Cook 1 new seasonal/healthy meal.
12: If You Can Do It In A Minute…Do It
There are so many times where I ignore completing a task because it seems like a burden at the time. But then what happens is all those little tasks pile up and end up creating more work. If something will take me a minute or less, like making the bed or washing my plate after lunch, I’ll do it. Taking a minute here and there will reduce the amount of little/outstanding tasks in your mind.