10 Ways to Simplify Your day-to-day Life
Between work, school, kids, friends, hobbies, side hustles and trying to just enjoy life, there's a lot of not-so-fun activities that pull us away from something more important. These are 10 ways to simplify your daily routine so that cleaning, cooking and getting ready doesn't take so much time.
01. Meal Plan for each month
Planning out our meals in advance not only saves us hundreds of dollars every month, but it's helping us eat better and really enjoy dinner. Too many people don't eat dinner with their families anymore. When my husband and I got married, we decided we might not make a four-course meal every night but even over pizza, dinner time would be a time to catch up with each other and spend quality time together.
We plan our meals one month in advanced. I have an entire blog post and video about it if you want to learn more.
02. Plan your outfit the night before
A couple years ago, if you had opened my closet, you would've been assaulted by clothes, hangers, and accessories. Last year I decided to cut my closet down to 100 items or less, and since then, I've realized how much stress and anxiety my clothes were actually producing in my life.
You don't have to have a minimalist wardrobe right now, but by simply choosing your outfit the night before, you'll be saving yourself some decision making before your brain is fully functioning. As you get into this habit, you'll realize there are some clothes you simply don't wear, get rid of them.
03. Perfect the 5-minute look
Find one go-to outfit, hairstyle and makeup look that only take you 10 minutes to pull together. For me, it's my favorite black tee shirt, high waisted jeans, vans, hair in a pony and some mascara. Find your favorite look and simplify it down as much as you can until it only takes you 5 minutes to put on.
I can't tell you how many times I was running late for work, jumping out of the shower before friends came over, or had to run some errands and didn't want to look like a monster - this look is perfect for those moments. Once you get it perfected, you'll never have to stress about it again.
04. Use a calendar app for everything
Google Calendar is my favorite calendar app, but you can use whatever you prefer. It doesn't really matter which app you choose, as long as you stick to it and use it religiously. Anytime I'm making plans with friends, getting a work schedule, saying yes to an invite or planning a weekend of work, my calendar app is open.
My husband and I both use Google Pixel phones, so the app syncs beautifully with our devices. We invite each other to events, set reminders for chores or errands and plan our meals on it. I love paper planners, and I use the Simplified Planner every day for planning out my daily schedule, but my google calendar is always my go-to.
I made a whole video about how I plan using multiple calendars if you're interested:
05. Clean up your inbox (and unsubscribe)
You might not know this, but I actually have a free ecourse all about getting you to Inbox zero! You can sign up RIGHT HERE. I've already had hundreds of people go through the course and clean up their inbox once and for all. Now it's your turn.
06. Create a cleaning routine
Cleaning is one of those things in life that just seems to be constant. Getting into a routine can make the chore feel less overwhelming and it'll help you enjoy your living space more. The first step to getting into a better cleaning routine is to KEEP things clean.
Start by simply getting in the habit of putting things away instead of putting things down. When you walk in from work, hang your coat, put your shoes away and unpack your food. Get it done the moment you walk in so you don't have to do it later.
Make a master task list of everything that needs to be done in the home every week, split it up if you live with others, otherwise break it up between days. Saturday is when I clean our shower & tub, Mondays I do laundry and change the sheets, Wednesdays I clean the mirrors and windows. Breaking the larger tasks into set days can help you work a little at a time.
Quick "tidy ups" in the morning and evening can be a great way to get those daily chores done quickly. At night I load my dishwasher & run it, and in the morning I empty it. Every morning I wipe down the bathroom counters and every night I wipe down the kitchen. All in all, my daily cleaning routine only takes about 30 minutes, but doing it every day allows me to keep my weekends open and not spend 3 hours cleaning every weekend.
07. Consider outsourcing
Don't have time for breakfast - Starbucks. Don't have time to clean - hire a maid. Don't have time to bake cookies for the school bake sale - grocery store. Outsourcing doesn't always mean hiring a full-time assistant to do your errands. You can outsource simple chores. We started ordering our groceries online to save us a trip each week. There are a ton of little things you can do like this to free up a couple minutes each day.
08. Get a Task App that you'll use
ToDoist is my favorite. (I talk about this more in the video above if you didn't watch it... scroll back up). ToDoist is home to all my tasks, projects, chores, and lists. It's a free app but I pay for the premium features because I use it that often.
You can use any app you want, but having a home for all your reminders and ideas can seriously help you declutter your brain and remember things by setting up notifications on your phone.
09. Track your time
If you feel like every single day is packed to the brim, tracking your time might help you get some insight on what your time wasters are. I tracked my time for a full month to see where I was wasting the most time and the results really helped me better understand my habits. I wrote a whole blog post about this, click below if you missed it.
10. Cut the junk
Your house will never be fully cleaned and your inbox will always have emails if you don't begin to clean out the clutter in all aspects of your life. Unsubscribe from newsletters you don't read. Stop the magazine subscriptions that you toss right away. Get rid of the unnecessary to make room for the things you want, like a clean home, less time spent online and more free time. Below is a list of things you can declutter right now:
- Unsubscribe from email newsletters as they come into your inbox (don't just delete them).
- Sign up for the national do not call registry to limit the spam phone calls.
- Limit the amount of junk mail you receive by adding your info here, here and here.
- Switch your bank to send online statements only.
- Delete old apps (and tempting or distracting ones) from your phone and tablet.
- Donate blankets, clothes and jackets that you no longer use or have double of.
- Donate everything in your kitchen that you have two of or no longer use.
- Take a weekend to scan old family photos to Google Photos. Either store or recycle the photos when your done.
- Unfollow everyone on social media that doesn't make you happy or inspired.
- Unfollow everyone on facebook so that you're not distracted by your news feed.