We all have those days (sometimes even those weeks!) when it feels like there simply aren't enough hours in the day and nothing ends up getting done. As a result, we end up getting stressed and wondering why on Earth life can’t just be a little simpler.
Good news! I’ve combined a bit of research along with my personal experience to come up with six genius little habits that will make your life way simpler.
#1 Plan Your Week Ahead of Time
Without my week to week diary I’d be lost. I write everything in it from articles I have due to lunches with friends and when my favourite TV show is on.
Writing everything down and planning your week ahead of time doesn’t mean you’ll get stuck in a repetitive boring routine, it just means you have a handle on your time and don’t end up forgetting all your commitments. You can still be spontaneous, keeping a planner just means you don’t forget to pay the bills or go to the dentist while doing so.
#2 Clean as You Go
As a child I never understood why my mum washed the dishes as soon as we were done with dinner and constantly went around picking up after us. To me, it was okay to leave it all for ‘later’ and clean up when I felt like it. After I moved out I became a tidier person but it still took me a while to grasp the clean as you go concept. Now however I see where my mum was coming from.
Cleaning as you go means you’re not landed with piles of washing and hours of cleaning come the end of the week. Doing little chores as you go along saves you loads of time and plenty of stress too. For me, this was a hard habit to get into but once you master it the results are worth the effort.
#3 Learn to Say ‘No’
I wish someone had taught me this as a child! For too many years I forced myself to try and please everyone. I said yes to everything that was asked of me, never realising that saying no was actually an option. Sure, it’s good to go out of your way to help others but you need to draw the line when it’s making you miserable. Don’t get yourself caught up in other people’s commitments when you know you either have no time to do so or simply hate the idea of what they’re asking. It’s okay to think of yourself once in a while. Be selfish, say no, I promise you’ll be happier for it.
#4 Forget Being Perfect
Far too many of us live by the notion that we have to be perfect and we bend over backwards to do just that. Well, what ever happened to just being good enough? Why does every job we do have to be a work of art and why do we have to look like glamour models every time we leave the house? In my opinion, perfect is overrated. Whether you’re writing an essay, cleaning the kitchen or choosing your outfit, ditch the idea that you need to do so flawlessly. Trust me, your life will be far less stressful when you learn this wonderful little habit.
#5 Learn to Single-task
I know, I know, you’ve spent all these years learning to multitask like a pro and now I’m telling you to stop – I must be crazy, right? Well, actually it makes a lot of sense. How much do you actually achieve when you’re multitasking? If you’re like me then not a lot and what you do achieve tends to be sloppy. Instead, take the time to focus on tasks one at a time. You’ll likely find the end result more pleasing and that you’re less stressed while single-tasking too.
#6 Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Make a conscious effort to step out of your comfort zone daily. Do something that makes you afraid, something that you wouldn’t normally do. I admit this tip may not make your life simpler but it will certainly make it more worthwhile. Plus, day by day you’ll be boosting your confidence, and in some ways having a little extra confidence makes life much simpler.
Simplifying your life doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to mean cutting out half your commitments or giving up having a little you time. Follow these six simple habits and you’ll find your life becoming simpler and more relaxing in no time.