Don’t make things harder than they need to be. Here are 14 easy hacks that will make life simpler, so you can focus more on what matters and less on what doesn’t.
If you want to make life simpler, you don’t have to give up modern comforts and move to a cabin in the woods. Instead, it’s all about paying attention to the unnecessary stress and friction in our lives—and then ironing out the bumps best you can.
There are so many tiny things that we can do to make life easier, from creating new habits to simply choosing what deserves our time and energy. Here are 14 ideas that you can try today.
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How To Make Life Simpler
1. Write things down
Your brain is a powerful problem-solving machine, not a filing cabinet. It’s not meant to remember all of your appointments, shopping lists, tasks, ideas and more.
Instead, make things simpler for yourself by outsourcing. Try using apps, calendars, organisers and notebooks to keep tabs on things for you. This will allow you to use your brain for more important things, such as creative projects.
In the past, I was a huge fan of using paper journals and planners, but I’ve recently started committing to digital systems. Here are a few that I love:
In addition to the above systems, I follow the Getting Things Done method by David Allen. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get things out of their head and into a system that you’ll actually use.
2. Dress with a personal uniform
Fashion is a wonderful outlet for creativity… for some. But for others (like me), choosing something new to wear every single day can be exhausting.
Make getting dressed simpler by creating a personal uniform. A personal uniform is simply a proven outfit “formula” or combination, like skinny jeans with long tees or pencil skirts with button-down blouses.
Decide what works for you and then, stick with it! There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every morning.
3. Put ‘do nothing’ time on your calendar
My good friend Sam calls this clean rest—it’s time that we intentionally set aside for relaxation without feeling guilty about it.
It’s something that many of us struggle with because we’ve been programmed to believe that we either have to 1. earn our rest or 2. be productive all the time. Doing nothing feels like a waste, and it makes us feel lazy.
But honestly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Doing nothing is the simplest productivity hack out there. You need to take care of yourself to get anything done, so get out your calendar and schedule some downtime.
4. Unfollow and unsubscribe
If you constantly feel worse after visiting the same page on social media, unfollow that page. Or if it’s a person that you’d like to stay connected with, you can usually mute them instead.
The same goes for your inbox, blogs, TV and news. You don’t need to know everything, and you definitely don’t need to keep consuming content that doesn’t serve you.
Your newsfeeds should be filled with content that builds you up, enlightens and inspires you. If you come across anything that does otherwise, reconsider your need to see it.
Related Post: How to Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
5. Keep a shopping list
Marketers are a clever bunch. Everything from lighting to layout in a shop is designed to entice you into buying. Keep shopping simple by always writing a list before you leave home—and sticking to it.
Shopping should be less like browsing and more like a search and retrieval operation. Having a list to guide you in and out will help you stay on course and stop buying stuff you don’t need.
6. Always ask why
Over the years, I’ve realised that we blindly accept a lot of stress in our lives. There are so many things that we feel like we “have” to do … but why?
Elaborate birthday parties, three-course meals from scratch, a new car every three years … if these things make you happy, then go for it! But if not, ask why you’re putting so much pressure on yourself?
Get curious, and check-in with your values. You might realise that you can make life a whole lot simpler by simply deciding to stop doing a lot of the things you’ve always done. It’s a simple habit that can have a significant impact on your life and happiness.
Related Post: How to Define Your Priorities in Life + Why It Matters
7. Buy clothes in your size
Life is filled with messaging that can make you feel less-than. You don’t need this in your wardrobe too. This is why I’m pretty cutthroat about only buying and keeping clothes that fit now (and not in some imaginary future).
I make some minor exceptions—I’ll hang on to my expensive, pre-baby jeans a bit longer before I let go—but for the most part, I’m strict about this rule. It’s good for your soul—and your minimalist wardrobe!
8. Drink one more glass of water
Confession: I’m adding this one to the list because I know that I need to hear it myself. Drinking more water is one of those things that we know is good for our health, but it’s hard to do for some reason. (It’s not just me, right?)
Instead of striving for a number of glasses in one day, one thing I’m trying is having one more glass at key times in the day. Pour yourself another glass of water with every meal, have one more glass before you leave work and drink one more glass before your wind down for the day.
9. Know when to say “no comment”
Not everything in life deserves a response, so keep scrolling past the comment section or walk away from an unhelpful conversation. Of course, speak up when it matters—but don’t waste your breath on petty arguments or topics that don’t deserve your attention.
10. Automate savings
Saving isn’t glamorous, but it’s necessary. Simplify the process by setting an automatic deposit from your main account into a savings account when you get paid.
The faster it’s out of your account, the less time you have to accidentally spend it. It will also help you get used to how much disposable income you actually have instead of having to calculate your savings mentally.
Related Post: How Minimalism Helped Me Become Debt Free
11. Surface clean your home
Spots like your kitchen island and your dining room table—keep them clear, and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. It doesn’t take too long, but it gives the illusion of tidiness (even if the rest of the house needs a bit of work).
Another bonus hack? Declutter your home. The less you have, the less you have to clean. (And if you need help? You can get my free decluttering guide below.)
12. Plan your day and week
Take time to plan your daily and weekly tasks. This will help you prioritise with a clear mind—before you get caught up in the chaos of everyday life.
I know that you’ve probably got a lot on your plate, but trust me. Taking a few minutes to discern the important from the urgent is the secret to an intentional life. It’s how you take care of what matters most before the rest of life gets in the way.
13. Turn notifications off
You know this one, right? Apparently, the average person receives about 80 notifications a day, and as you can imagine, that’s a lot of distraction. Distractions equal wasted time and energy, and those resources are too precious to waste.
Do yourself a favour and turn the notifications off. Remember—you should control when you check your apps, they shouldn’t control you.
14. Make a list of things to stop caring about
This might sound a bit tongue in cheek, but I’m not kidding. Get out a pen and paper and write a list of things you’re no longer going to worry about.
A few things from my list:
- What other people think about my career choice
- My grey hair
- Exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day
You might not agree with everything on my list, and that’s fine. The key to making life simpler is self-awareness and knowing what matters most to you.
Have you got any hacks that help you live simply? Let me know in the comments below!