23 small ways to make life easier

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Leonardo da Vinci

“The aspects of things that matter most to us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.”
Louis Wittgenstein

I like to simplify my life. It makes me more effective and life less stressful. It makes me calmer and happier. And it just makes life easier.

But where do you start? Or continue if you are already on your way?

In this week's article I would like to share 23 small habits that help me live a simpler life.

Choose one of these things to start with and keep doing it until it sticks and just becomes a normal part of your life.

1. Breathe.

If you are stressed, lost in a problem (or a mistake) or in the past or future on your mind, breathe with your stomach for two minutes and just focus on the air going in and out.

These deep breaths will calm your body and bring your mind back to the present moment.

2. Do one thing at a time.

You'll get better results and feel better and less stressed while doing those things.

3. Write it all down.

Use your mind for better things than remembering what to do. And the mind is often like a leaky bucket.

So write down all your great ideas, insights and thoughts before they get lost somewhere and add what you need to do to a to-do list.

4. Do all your shopping once a week.

You save time, energy and – in my experience – money.

5. Stop trying to do things perfectly.

It just makes you stuck and taking away your self-esteem.

Instead, go for good enough and when you get there, you're done. Make sure you finish things off this way and then move on to the next thing.

6. Stop doing what you no longer enjoy.

Life changes and so do you.

If you no longer like something, stop doing it (even though it may take some time before you can do it again, for example by changing jobs).

7. Pack your bag before going to bed.

Then you don't have to worry about it in the morning and you are less likely to forget something.

8. Throw away the things you haven't used in a year.

Go through what you have and ask yourself if you've used it in the past year. If not, give it away to charity or a friend or simply throw it away. Less stuff often makes life easier.

9. Ask yourself simplifying questions every day.

Questions like:

  • What is the most important thing I can do right now?
  • What is one small step I can take to simplify this situation?

10. Keep everything in its place.

When everything has its own place, it's a lot easier to keep your home reasonably organized and tidy from day to day.

This also helps you with your inner silence, because the outer environment influences how you feel inside.

11. Cook more food than you eat.

We usually make four or more servings of what we are going to eat. This means you spend less time cooking and less washing up in general.

In addition, it is good to take portions of food with you to work so that you can save some money.

12. Write shorter emails.

I tend to write emails that only contain a few sentences, usually between one and five. If you focus on keeping it short and focused, you will probably find that this is a good solution in most cases.

13. Ask instead of guessing.

Reading minds is difficult. So instead, ask questions and communicate.

This will help you minimize unnecessary conflict, misunderstandings, negativity and waste of time and energy.

14. Use a minimalist workspace.

My workspace has a large monitor and a small computer on an adjustable standing desk. I use a comfortable chair and there is room for my glass of water next to the computer.

That is it. There are no distractions here. Just me, the computer and the water.

15. Check everything only once a day.

I only check my email inbox, blog stats, my online earnings, Twitter and Facebook once a day.

I combine all that checking into one small daily ritual at the end of my workday so that I don't slip up and check more throughout the day and waste my energy and attention.

16. Choose small daily acts of kindness.

Instead of small judgments and criticism of the people around you (and yourself).

17. Stop trying to please everyone.

There will always be people you don't get along with, or who don't like you for one reason or another.

18. Don't make mountains out of molehills.

Before you think too much about something and make something big in your head, ask yourself the following questions:

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill here?

And if you get lost in victim thinking, ask yourself:

Does anyone on this planet have it worse than me right now?

19. Spend 10-15 minutes every Sunday or Monday morning planning the week.

Write down your plans for the week, organize your priority list, and prepare for the week before you're in the middle of it.

This will help you find more clarity, get more of the most important things done next week, and minimize stress.

20. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.

I'm sure you, like me, have subscriptions to newsletters, various social media accounts and streaming services that you rarely get around to watching or reading.

Cancel them to declutter your inbox and social media flows. Plus, maybe save some money.

21. Spend more time with the people who help you keep things simple.

And spend less time with – or move forward and away from – the people who drag you into overcomplicating everything and creating unnecessary drama. Healthy or unhealthy relationships will have a big effect on you, so choose carefully.

22. Say no more often.

If your life feels overwhelming, you may need to say no more often.

To other people. And also to yourself.

To free up more time and space for you to recharge and for your family life, your health and the hobbies that mean the most to you and your well-being.

23. Put a limit on those digital distractions.

Put your phone in another room when you hang out with family or friends, when you work, or when you watch TV.

Keeping the phone out of reach is the easiest and most effective habit I've found for reducing my screen time, my stress levels, negative thoughts, and freeing up more time in my week.

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