Post Updated on April 26, 2021
By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out that life is pretty complicated. Things like staying on top of work responsibilities, keeping up with friends and family, paying your rent on time, and making your apartment seem like it’s clean (all while trying to trick people into believing that you’ve got your life together) just aren’t easy.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement and wondering whether you’ll ever get a break from this balancing act, you’re in luck, my friend! I’ve got a few tips up my sleeve that are going to make your life a whole lot simpler.
Before we get to the good stuff, I want to point something out that I’ve realized lately. Simple doesn’t always mean easy, does it? You can come up with a solution that simplifies a problem, but following through with that solution isn’t necessarily going to be easy. It still takes some willpower and whole lot of effort. That’s why I tried to include tips that are easy enough to implement relatively quickly, and they don’t require a massive amount of effort from you (aren’t I so thoughtful? You’re welcome!)
So, without further ado, here are 25 tips that will save you time, money, and energy all while you become healthier and more productive! Let’s do this!
25 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Life
1. Set monthly goals.
Instead of New Year’s resolutions, set yourself 1-3 goals each month. I’ve been setting three goals each month since January, and it’s allowed me to start new habits, break down larger goals into manageable chunks, and achieve things I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.
2. Carry a water bottle everywhere.
We all know staying hydrated is, like, super important, but it’s so much easier to do it if you keep a water bottle with you at all times.
3. Declutter your closet.
You know that feeling when you have too many clothes and nothing to wear? Yeah, it’s time to get real honest with yourself and get rid of the skirt you’ve had for a year that STILL has the label attached (we’ve all been there, I know). Free up some precious space with this Simple Guide to Decluttering Your Closet!
4. Write email tasks on paper.
If you’re overwhelmed by all of the emails in your inbox, start at the top and write down any requests you’ve received or action items that need to get done. Seeing these tasks on paper helps you prioritize and can help you be more efficient with your time (instead of flicking back and forth between emails deciding which one to tackle next).
5. Follow a quick morning routine.
Not everyone has time for an elaborate morning routine! Make things a little simpler and incorporate these 5 healthy habits into your mornings instead.
6. Pack an on-the-go kit.
You know when you have to make an unexpected overnight trip and need to pack in a hurry? Instead of worrying about whether you’re going to forget something, keep a pre-packed kit of products under your bathroom sink so you can grab it in a hurry. Those sample sachets of shampoo and that mini-cleanser you got in last month’s Birchbox are perfect for putting into your kit.
7. Use the 50/30/20 rule.
When it comes to budgeting money, most of us are pretty clueless. I was never taught this sort of stuff in school! But I’ve learned that a good rule of thumb is to spend 50% of your monthly income on living expenses, 30% on lifestyle, and 20% should go to savings. Here’s a free budgeting spreadsheet to make it easier for you, friend!
8. Invest in a crockpot.
Okay, it’s not even really an investment, is it? They’re like $30. But crockpots can make even the worst of chefs into Jamie Oliver, and you get to come home to a meal that’s ready to eat immediately. BAM!
9. Start a capsule wardrobe.
A simplified wardrobe comprised of clothes you absolutely love means less money spent shopping AND less time getting ready in the morning. Want to to start your own? Here’s a step-by-step guide!
10. Unsubscribe from emails.
You know what takes up unnecessary time? Emails you don’t care about. See how many lists you’re subscribed to with Unroll.me (you’ll be SHOCKED at the number). Get that nonsense out of your life!
Update as of 4.26.21: I’ve since found out that Unroll.me unfortunately isn’t a safe option as they’ve been known to sell data. Here are some alternatives for cleaning your email subscriptions.
11. Make your lunch the night before work.
If you make your lunches ahead of time, you’ll a) make healthier choices by avoiding the cafeteria food, b) save money, and c) have the option to pack yourself some dark chocolate-covered raisins as a snack and what could be better than THAT?
12. Get a purse organizer.
I don’t mean one of those cringe-worthy As Seen On TV purse organizers, people. I’m talking about a little bag that you can keep easily-lost necessities like chapstick, hand lotion, bobby pins, and pens. No more wasted time emptying out your bag just to find a hair tie.
13. Switch to the cloud.
Instead of having to drag around a flashdrive with you (that you keep forgetting in your work computer – ugh), start saving your documents to OneDrive or Google Drive (here’s how to do this). You’ll be able to access your files anywhere, plus you avoid those duplicate files that drive you crazy because you don’t know which one is the current version.
14. Plan your workouts.
If you go to the gym without a plan in mind, you’re either a) not even going to make it out the door or b) get frustrated because you don’t know where to start. Scheduling workouts into your calendar really helps with accountability and making sure you feel prepared.
15. Always have vinegar in your pantry.
Do you know how many things you can do with vinegar? A MILLION. You can clean your house with it, clean your jewelry, prevent running colors in your laundry, remove stains, remove candle wax, unclog drains, remove bumper stickers…the list goes on! Talk about a product that makes life easier.
16. Listen to podcasts & audiobooks.
You get to learn ALL THE THINGS while doing stuff that might otherwise be wasting your time (i.e. commuting). Sometimes I find that I’m able to process information a lot quicker through audio rather than reading. Also, never underestimate the usefulness of the library. I always download audiobooks and e-books from my library, rather than buying them.
17. Quit opening so many tabs.
Want to be more productive? Close some tabs. I went a whole month with only one tab open, and it massively increased my productivity. Is one tab a realistic goal for everyone? Maybe not. But you can see how I did it here.
18. Fold your clothes so they stand up.
Here’s a little tip from Marie Kondo: Instead of folding your clothes and laying them flat on top of each other, fold them and store them standing up. This way, you can instantly find what you’re looking for, and you don’t make a huge mess trying to pull something out from the bottom of the pile.
19. Create a follow-up email folder.
Instead of letting read emails pile up in your inbox because you don’t know what to do with them, move them to a follow-up folder. Pick a day of the week and check your follow-up folder to make sure you don’t forget about things.
20. Keep healthy snacks at your desk.
Most offices have an unlimited supply of chips and m&ms that you probably tend to gravitate towards during the afternoon, but they’re not really doing your body or brain any good. Instead, keep a stash of healthy snacks at your desk to perk yourself up and feel less defeated during the workday.
21. Buy multi-tasking beauty products.
Why buy a makeup brush cleanser AND soap when Castile Soap can do BOTH for you?
22. Use IFTTT.
Otherwise known as If This Then That. This genius creation allows you to automate processes that you would usually do anyway. For example, I use a recipe that automatically tweets my Instagram pics as soon as I post them. You can also program recipes like ‘keep your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures in sync’, or ‘backup your phone contacts to a Google document.’ AH-MAZING.
23. Have these 10 items in your closet.
Want to know how you can put together an outfit in 0.2 seconds? Get these 10 basic pieces in your wardrobe, pronto. You’ll have a ton of outfit options, but not so many that your choices become overwhelming.
24. Write your to-do list before bed.
Instead of taking 10 minutes to prepare your to-do list in the morning (when you could already be gettin’ down to business), write your list before bed. This way, those pesky to-dos will be outta your head, and you’ll have much a more peaceful sleep.
25. Slow down.
So many of us are rushing through life, trying to get a million things done at once while attempting to absorb as much information as we can at the same time. Take a few minutes to think about the areas of your life where you’ve been rushing, and come up with a plan to slow down and be a little more deliberate. P.S Here’s a free wallpaper if you need a reminder to slow down!