Sometimes simplifying your life comes out of necessity and other times it’s just an evolution. To me, simplifying your life is more along the lines of work smarter, not harder. And these are some of the changes I’ve made to work smarter. And while some of these steps are quite small, when combined they can make quite an impact on your day to day life.
I really didn’t think I needed a robot vacuum. It would only take me about half an hour to vacuum the whole house. And its not like I needed to find more time in my days because I spent so much time vacuuming. But now that I have one, I vacuum a lot more often. And while it doesn’t replace my vacuum, because there are some spots it just can’t do,
Using a timer can make anything into a game. Race the clock to get a task done, or see how much you can get done in a certain time.
Spend a little bit of time tidying up. Tidying up just a little bit each day can make a big difference. At the end of each day spend about 15 minutes going around the house putting things back in their right place. Things like toys, shoes, and empty cups can end up all over the house.
I really didn’t think I’d use smart devices or voice assistants around the home, but they are quite handy. Our house is set up with Google, including some lights. And I love that I can use the app to turn on the lights when we aren’t home. It helps it look like there is someone home and we are able to see properly when we come home late.
Do two (or more) things at once
Now this only works for certain tasks. Things that take a few minutes to set up then are set and forget for about an hour work perfectly. Some of my favourites are:
- put on a load of washing
- dry a load of clothes in the dryer on on the clothes line
- run the dishwasher
- use the robot vacuum
And there are heaps of things you can do while those items are doing their thing. Exercise, read, clean other areas of the house, or sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
I also like to listen to a podcast or audiobook while driving, exercising or doing housework. And the effect is twofold if you are learning something new.
Now I hate the word declutter and there is already so resources when it comes to this topic. But having less stuff means you know where to find things and where to put them when you’re done. It means you will wear all of the clothes you have and use all of the products you own.
Automatic bill payments
I have now set up direct debit for almost all of my bills. And it is such a relief when I get an email for a bill. All I need to do know is check over it then file it away, knowing it will be paid on the due date. This works really well when companies offer a pay on time discount. And you will never pay late fees again!
Automate your savings
Set up a recurring bank transfer into your savings account each pay day. You might also benefit from making a small payment towards your credit card each pay too. That way when the final bill comes, you’ve already been chipping away at it all month.
Opening up your emails to several newsletters can be daunting. I know I go days without checking my emails because I don’t want to have to go through them all. And the easiest way for me to not have to go through them all is to unsubscribe. I used to just bulk delete them, but of course they keep coming until you unsubscribe. And because of this I am a lot more selective of what I signup for.
Create a filing system for your email
I was using folders to file my emails at work but it never really occurred to me to file the emails in my personal account. But I sat down one Christmas break and made folders for as much as possible. I chose broad topic type folders. Some of the folders I have:
- Property 1 (previous proerty)
- Property 2 (current property)
I’ve also created a few rules for things like payslips, so emails get marked as read and go straight to their folder. Once it was set up, it’s been an easy habit to stick to.
Stop sending thank you emails
I really don’t like getting emails that literally just say thanks. It’s such a waste of the other person’s time to send it, and it’s a waste of my time to read it then delete it.
Sign up for auto shipping
So many products can be purchased on a subscription basis now. Toilet paper, pet food, vitamins, sanitary products. You can basically take your pick!
There are a number of things that you can pay people to do that will save you time. Gardening is the first thing to come to mind here. I don’t mind a bit of gardening but I don’t have the time, the patience or the tools to do the job properly. So I hire someone to do it for me.
Reduce decision fatigue
Decision fatigue is a thing. You can get to a point where you’ve made so many decisions that your ability to make decisions can get worse. So by eliminating as many of the day to day decisions, it leaves your mind free to make harder decision as they arise. You can combat decision fatigue by simplifying your life. The easiest way is to limit your choices.
- Limit your wardrobe choices
- Limit your food choices
- Use the one minute rule
- Limit the number of ways you style your hair
- Wash your towels on the same day each week
- Rotating meal plan
When it comes to choosing things to buy like toothpaste, chocolate or haircare, minimise your decisions by buying the same brands.
Having routines can also limit decision fatigue. You know what you need to do, and you know what comes next. We all go through different rhythms and routines as we go about our day.
- A morning routine consists of everything you do form the moment you wake up until you leave the house in the morning.
- A cleaning routine outlines the tasks that need to be completed and which products or tools are required for each task.
- An exercise routine doesn’t just have to the be the exercises that you do, it could be all the things in the lead up to working out and include the post-workout snack and shower.
- You might have a shopping routine if you need to go to several different stores.
- A night time routine is everything you do when you start to get ready for bed.
If you are interested in simplifying your life, give some of these ago. And if none of them work for you, hopefully they give you some inspiration to try something else.