How to Make Life Easier: 12 Top Tips!
Life is hard. Being an adult is hard. Why did we all want to grow up so fast when we were kids?? In all seriousness though, it can also be glorious! Yes, we have bills to pay and people to answer to, but there are little things we can do everyday to make life a little bit easier. I work hard at my job(s), try to maintain a clean and happy house, workout at least three times per week, eat healthy, maintain friendships, spend time with family, etc., etc. We have way too much that we need to do that we need to make some things easy! Here’s my ever-growing list of little (and some big) tips you can do daily or weekly that can make life a little easier.
1. Keep a Planner
To be honest, I keep two planners: one in my phone so I can get notifications of upcoming meetings and events, and a paper planner. Technology can fail, so I always recommend keeping a paper planner. I love my Erin Condren planner (shown in these pics). I separate my days into morning, afternoon, and evening, and also separate my full-time job events from my blog events. You can use different color pens to document different events, which helps during quick scans of your day. I draw a box around my full-time job events, and a circle around my blog events.
2. Write Everything Down
This falls along the same lines as keeping a planner, but when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. We are inundated with information all day, every day. Our brains just simply cannot remember everything! My biggest mistake is saying, “I’ll remember that.” I’m sure you can relate! Always carry around a notepad and pen, or use the Notes app on your phone, but WRITE IT DOWN! Sometimes I even send myself a text, or put a reminder in my phone calendar of something I need to do. I often walk around at work and talk to multiple people a day. I tell them I will email them something they have requested, or will follow up with an item of importance. If I don’t write it down, I will forget something as soon as I get back to my desk which may only be a few minutes later! If you wake up in the middle of the night with a “to-do” item for the next day, keep a notepad next to your bed and write it down right away. If not, there’s a very high chance you will forget!
3. Organize Your Closet
The best thing I ever did for my out of control closet was organize it by color! I hang all my tops, and they are organized first by color, and then by sleeve length. It goes black, gray, brown, purple, blue, red, pink, yellow, and white. Patterned tops are placed with their dominant color group. Within the colors, I start with long sleeves, then 3/4 sleeves, then short sleeves, and finally, sleeveless and camisoles. Everything is also on the same kind of hangers- I like these since they are thin and velvet.
4. Pick Out Your Clothes the Night Before
How much time do you spend in the morning figuring out what to wear? Or do you end up wearing the same things because they are easy to locate and put together? The easiest thing to do is to pick out your clothes the night before (mostly if you are headed to an office or a meeting the next day). There is no better feeling in the morning when you can take your time because you already have an outfit laid out. I even go so far as to pick out which shoes and jewelry I’ll wear as well. You could also pick out 5 outfits that you want to wear that week ahead of time, on Sunday, and then you can just pick which outfit fits your mood each morning.
5. Wake up Earlier
I leave for work around 8:30 am on a normal day. I get out of bed and start getting ready at 7:00 am. Some people balk at how much time it takes me to get ready, but trust me, it does not take me that long! I hate to feel rushed before going to work, so I take my time in the morning. I get in the shower first thing and then put on my makeup. After that, I drink a cup of coffee in my bed while I watch The Today Show. I relax for 20-30 minutes before I get up to finish getting dressed or do my hair. This downtime in the morning starts my day on the right foot and I am calm and ready to head into the office. If you have children, I highly recommend getting up and getting ready before they wake up so you do not have to rush your own routine. I do this when I babysit my nieces and nephew during the school year. I am all ready before they wake up so I can still drink coffee and watch a little TV while they are getting ready.
6. Food and Coffee Prep the Night Before
This one falls along the same lines as the last two. Some people prep all their lunches for the week every Sunday. I am not quite there yet! So I prep two days at a time. On Sunday, I’ll have my lunches for Monday and Tuesday ready, and will do the same on Tuesday night for the next two days. This breaks it down to be a little more manageable, but still helps with cutting down on things I need to do in the morning. I also prep my coffee the night before. This one is pretty easy because I have a Keurig, but even when I had a regular coffee maker with a pot, I would have it all prepared every night before bed so I could just push the start button in the morning.
7. GPS Your Route to Everything
I literally will use my GPS for every trip I make to see what the traffic is like and how long it will take to get there, even if it’s just a few miles away. This may be because I live in a metro area with a massive amount of construction, but I think it could be beneficial for everyone. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people are late, so I cannot handle it when I’m running late either! When I’m getting ready in the morning, I GPS my route to the office so I know exactly when I need to leave my house. This has helped me countless times from being late to meetings or appointments!
8. Review Next Week Every Friday
This one is essential! Every Friday, I look at my calendar for the next two weeks to see what I have coming up. Then I write out a to-do list for Monday morning, including any reminders for emails to send or follow-up. This prevents getting to work on Monday feeling frazzled because you forgot you had a 9:00 am meeting to prepare for!
9. Always Miss a Monday
I might get some push back from this one, but I stick by it! They always say to “Never miss a Monday workout,” but I disagree. Monday is Monday-ish already, who wants to add a workout to it?? Having to rush to the gym or a class after work on Mondays used to make me hate Mondays even more. Then I realized that Mondays may not be so bad if I allowed myself to take off Mondays. And all of a sudden, Mondays weren’t that bad anymore! I still workout 3 or 4 times a week, so I haven’t slacked on the other days just because I took Monday off the table. On the other hand, I fully support doing a restorative or yin yoga class on Mondays if you need some relaxation time. Just nothing that you have to force yourself to do!
10. Plan Something Fun During the Week
We always look so forward to the weekends to get to do the “fun” stuff, but you can make your life easier and more enjoyable if you schedule something fun to do during the week! My Wednesdays are always so enjoyable when I know I am heading out to happy hour with my girlfriends after work, or on a Tuesday when Chris and I go out for tacos after work.
11. Clean Out Your Inbox
Honestly, it makes me cringe when I see someone have hundreds of unread emails in their mailbox! I just can’t. If that’s you, carve out an hour every day to go through your emails, and do something with them. Either delete it, respond to it, or move it to a folder to follow up on. But if you touch it, you have to do something! Also, we get a ton of emails that we don’t need from stores or advertisers. If you don’t need these emails, unsubscribe from them. If you scroll down to the bottom of the email, there will be a link where you can unsubscribe so you no longer get emails from them. I do this all the time, and my inbox has definitely lessened!
12. Live Closer to Work
This may not be an easy task for some, but in the long run, it will make a world of difference. Live closer to work! How long do you spend commuting each day? If it’s over an hour each way, it’s time to start either reconsidering where you live or where you work. Several years ago, I took a job that was 62 miles from my house. I was filling up my gas tank every other day and spending over two hours driving each day. It was miserable! I dreaded that drive. I only lasted three months, and then I took a job closer to home. And my life changed for the better! Trust me on this one, you will be happier if you don’t have to rearrange your schedule, or your kid’s schedules, based on how long it takes you to drive to and from work.
Do you utilize any of these tips? What are some of your tips to make life a bit easier? I’ll add to this list as I come up with more ideas!