Over the past decade, I’ve been taking steps to simplify and make life easier—and this morning, as I scribbled a gratitude list in my journal, I realised just how far I’ve come.
Even when I have a lot on my plate, life runs pretty smoothly now. It’s like I’ve sanded down most of the rough edges and now I can flow through my days without too much resistance.
Of course, this isn’t to say that my life is perfect or that it’s always easy (I still deal with lots of big things like raising a toddler and running a business) but a lot of the everyday stuff is definitely easier than it was before.
Some of it is good fortune (a mix of luck and privilege) but a lot of it’s by design too. Looking back, there are definitely some specifics things that have helped me so I thought I’d sum them up for you in a blog post.
Here are 15 simple ways to make life easier—I hope you find something to inspire you!
TIPS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
As you read through this list of simple living tips, I encourage you to think creatively about how you can apply these ideas to your own life.
What works for me might not be appropriate in your life but I think most of the broader principles are universal tips to make life easier.
1. CREATE BOUNDARIES + WRITE YOUR OWN RULES
I’m probably not the first person to tell you that it’s important to create boundaries. We all need to know our limits and to ask others to respect them—but did you know that it’s also important to set boundaries with yourself.
If not, then you are missing out on a simple yet powerful way of making your life easier!
Setting personal boundaries involves writing your own life rules. You can decide ahead of time what you will or will not do. For example, I decided a long time ago that I don’t do housework while my daughter is napping. That time is too valuable so it’s reserved for other work (like writing) or self-care.
These types of personal rules make life easier because they take away the indecision that’s the cause of so much everyday stress. After all, have you ever sat down for a break— but then spent the entire time feeling guilty about not doing something else?
I used to feel this way all the time but I don’t anymore because of the rules I set for myself. I make the decision once and then I live by it.
This is just one example of something that works well for me but you need to define your own limits. Think about how you’re currently spending your time, money and energy—are there any boundaries you’d like to put in place? Feel free to experiment and write your own rules.
2. SIMPLIFY MEALTIME
Another way to make life easier is to simplify mealtime.
There are a ton of systems out there: everything from meal planning and prepping, to meal delivery services, or even the simple eating method I personally use (which involves a capsule pantry and food “uniforms”). I’m also really interested in learning more about the jar method and I’m planning on taking this workshop soon.
Everyone is different and there is no one right way to simplify mealtime. However, if feeding yourself and your family is a source of stress, then investing time and energy to find a system that works for YOU is essential.
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3. PRACTISE THE “PAUSE”
One quick and easy tip that has made my life SO much easier is learning to press pause. It helps me to slow down and make better decisions.
I press pause before I make a purchase, I press pause before I decide what to eat, and I press pause before saying yes to an invitation.
The few extra seconds I buy myself are often all I need to make intentional choices aligned with my values and priorities, instead of impulsive decisions.
I also press pause when I need to slow down a busy day. For example, when I park my car, I’ll often sit for a minute or so and take a few deep breaths. This creates a sense of ease and even joy; instead of feeling run off my feet, I feel in control of my day.
4. GO TO BED EARLY (AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK)
Do you know what makes life easier? Not being tired! ?
Getting enough sleep is so important for your health and wellbeing but I know that eight hours a night on a regular basis is just not possible for most people.
Having said that, I think getting eight hours of sleep at least once a week IS possible if you commit to making it happen*. Make it a priority in your life—get a pizza that night or give yourself permission to leave the dishes in the sink if you need to. Do whatever you can to get into bed early!
*I know this isn’t always possible—my daughter nursed every two hours ALL NIGHT for almost a year—but do the best you can. It really does make a huge difference.
5. DO A “PAIN POINT AUDIT”
OK, now let’s talk about something everyone should be doing: a pain point audit.
The first step is to pay careful attention to all the pain points in your everyday life. Where is there friction? What is causing you stress?
It could anything from the seemingly insignificant (you can never find your keys or your phone is always dead) to bigger hurdles (you really struggle with grocery shopping because you have three kids at home).
They all matter; get specific about your pain points (even the tiny ones) and write them down.
Next, get creative and look for the easiest possible way to remove the pain point. Buy a hook for your keys, put a phone charger in every room, or start ordering your groceries online.
This might sound obvious but I swear that when you intentionally do an audit like this, you see things—problems AND solutions—with new eyes.
6. FIND A HOME FOR EVERYTHING
I know you’ve probably heard this before but it’s true: life is so much easier when there’s a specific place for everything you own. It saves you time and perhaps more importantly, mental energy!
7. WHAT CAN YOU REPEAT?
For some reason, I think we overestimate how much variety we need in life, to our own detriment. We’re constantly looking for new recipes, new outfit ideas, and so much more—but why make things so difficult?
Instead of constantly reinventing the wheel, why not make things easier by looking for things you can repeat regularly:
- Dress with a capsule wardrobe and wear the same outfits on repeat
- Have regular theme nights for dinner, such as “Taco Tuesday”
- Use canned responses to answer questions you’re frequently asked
These are just a few ideas but think outside the box and stop making unnecessary work for yourself—you don’t always need new solutions to old problems.
8. DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
When you have less stuff in your home, there is less for you to clean and to care for. This frees up time, energy and even money—resources that are in short supply for most of us!
This undoubtedly makes life easier and it’s just the tip of the iceberg; there are so many ways that minimalism can change your life.
If you want to learn more, I invite you to subscribe to my free newsletter for tips and personal stories—and as an added bonus, you’ll get a free copy of Mindful Decluttering, my step-by-step decluttering guide and workbook.
9. QUESTION “WHY AM I DOING THIS?”
Create the habit of regularly asking yourself: “Why am I doing this?” and if you don’t have a good answer to the question … then maybe you need to reconsider what you’re doing!
I’ve learned that there are a LOT of things that we do every day, either out of habit or because it’s what we think we “should” be doing, that add absolutely no value to our lives.
Asking this simple question helps us to wake up to the purpose of our actions (or the lack thereof), which in turn helps us to clearly see what we need to let go of.
10. CREATE FLOW IN YOUR SCHEDULE
Another way to make your life easier is to look for opportunities to create flow in your schedule.
You’re probably already doing to this some extent. For example, my gym is next to a grocery store, so I do most of my shopping after my pilates class. This saves me time and keeps me from running all over town!
I’m sure there are errands you always pair up too—but this is just one example of how you can create flow in your schedule.
Another way is to look at aligning your energy levels with your to-do list.
One way I do this is by using special tags within my to-do list app, including “low energy” (things to do when I’m tired) and “Edie awake” (things that are easy to do when my daughter is around).
This means I do easy things (like folding towels) at 9 pm while I’m on the sofa watching TV and not at 9 am when I’m full of energy and could be doing something more challenging! This simple trick helps me get more done without more effort.
11. CREATE MORNING + EVENING ROUTINES
I was always very skeptical about creating routines (I thought they were too restrictive) until my daughter was born. Suddenly I had a daily routine for everything—naptime, playtime, bathtime, bedtime and more!
And you know what? I loved it (and my daughter did too!). It made life SO MUCH easier because I didn’t have to think about what needed to be done. Instead, I could just relax and enjoy the moment.
If you need some help creating a morning or evening routine, then be sure to check out this guide and workbook written by my friend Sam. It’s a fantastic resource and I can’t believe she gives it away for free!
12. TRANSFORM DIFFICULT TASKS
No matter how much you simplify your life, there will still be times when you have to do things that you don’t want to do.
Having said that, you can make life easier by looking for ways to transform difficult tasks—instead of complaining about them.
For example, no one likes a long commute but if it’s unavoidable, then at least look for opportunities to make it enjoyable. Listen to a podcast, catch up with friends, or play good music!
Be creative—dance while you’re washing dishes or put on a face mask while you’re cleaning the bathroom. After all, if you’re going to do something difficult anyway, you may as well do everything you can to make it a pleasant experience.
13. SET DAILY INTENTIONS
Every morning, try asking yourself “What do I need to have a good day today?” and then set your daily intentions.
This is a powerful question for several reasons.
First of all, it helps you identify the priorities on your to-do list. Instead of beating yourself up, trying to get everything done, you can focus on what will really make a difference. This is key to having a productive day.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, this question reminds you to think about your wellbeing.
I know, you’re busy and you need to do tough things, but you also need to make time for things that make you feel alive—even if it’s just something small. I know it feels counterintuitive but I promise that when you do, life will feel easier overall.
14. SIMPLIFY YOUR FINANCES
Here are a few ways to simplify your finances:
Create a budget—I’m definitely not an expert on budgeting but I do know that the best budget is one you can stick to!
Be realistic and create a plan that reflects your actual spending habits (not the ones you wish you had). Then with time, you can start making small changes to achieve your money goals.
I don’t currently use a budgeting tool but I used to love the Balance Forecasting app. I don’t need it anymore because my finances are very straightforward now but it was definitely one of the tools that helped me become debt-free.
Automate—With online banking, so much can be done automatically! I have systems set up so that I pay bills and save money without having to think about it.
Use your money—Finally, don’t be afraid to use your money to make your life easier: hire a cleaner, take a class, invest in a therapist or whatever else YOU need.
If you feel resistance to this idea, be sure to read this post about aligning your spending with your values and priorities.
15 MAKE PEACE WITH SLOW PROGRESS
Finally, a simple way to make life easier is to make peace with slow progress. Stop being so hard on yourself, let go of unrealistic expectations, and learn to enjoy the journey.
Never forget that you can only do so much on any given day. We all have limits, no matter how much we “hustle”—the only question is will you give yourself the gift of moving slowly or will you beat yourself up for not doing more?
In my experience, the net output is more or less the same. The only real difference is how you feel about yourself. I urge you to celebrate the small wins and to allow your life to be easy.
Sometimes giving yourself permission is the most challenging step.
I hope you enjoyed this list! Is there anything you’d like to add to the conversation? Let me know in the comments! x
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