This was a list of physical, psychological, financial and emotional things that I created a couple of months ago to make life that little bit easier… and it really works. Of course, it’s impossible to do all of these in a day, but I have broken it down into smaller chunks – I’ve found that incorporating things into a daily routine, while occasionally adding in a few extra tasks makes day-to-day life easier and good for the soul.
1. Find a mantra. I have one that I refer to regularly during difficult times: Create a life that you don’t need to take a vacation from. This is what drives me in almost everything that I do.
2. Learn the power of no, and recognise what you do and don’t owe others.
3. Declutter. Be ruthless. Anything that you haven’t read, worn or listened to in a year serves no purpose and is simply taking up space. Sell, give away and/or upcycle. For that extra feel-good factor, take your unwanted items to a clothing bank or charity shop.
4. Create a meal plan and, where possible, prepare food in advance. To make it more exciting, research cheap and easy recipes that you have never tried before. Pinterest is a brilliant place to find these.
5. Exercise. Go for a walk. Swim. Cycle. Run. Anything to get those endorphins going.
6. Get more sleep. Of course, this is easier said than done, particularly for those who are parents or carers and those who work long hours, but the more sleep you have will result in more productive waking hours.
7. Start your day the night before. Pack your lunch, get your clothes ready, sort out your bag with everything that you are going to need. Put your keys, phone and purse/wallet in a safe place where you can easily find them the next day.
8. Give yourself half-an-hour of ‘me time’ to indulge in a guilty pleasure.
9. Get rid of toxic people. One of the best things I ever did.
10. Clean as you go. It’s one of my most hated tasks, and I often found myself stressed and overwhelmed by a large amount of jobs that I had allowed to build up over time. Now, cleaning as I go doesn’t make the process any more enjoyable, but it takes less time and makes my home environment much more pleasant on a daily basis.
11. Create a list of important birthdays in advance, and prepare cards ready to be posted.
12. Do something nice for someone else without expecting anything else in return. This could be a specific thing for a friend – I helped one of my closest friend’s pack for her house move the other week, and I’m visiting a friend that has just had a major operation on Thursday – or perform a random act of kindness for a complete stranger, just because.
13. Treat yourself. Make your favourite meal, read a book, indulge in a bubble bath.
14. Write. Keep a diary. Post a blog. Start a novel. Writing has always been therapautic for me, and I always feel better once I have written things down.
15. Create a labelled filing system for important papers.
16. Plan out various purchases in advance. Work out what you are going to need and write it down in a list.
17. Change your diet. Start small, just by cutting out one or two things rather than going on a diet – if you’re anything like me this instantly makes it easier to work towards rather than becoming resentful at a whole list of things you have suddenly banned from your cupboards.
18. Work out a budget. Stick to it by following it just one day at a time.
19. Give yourself a break. Accept that some things are out of your control, and allow things to be imperfect.
20. Stop nagging.
21. Make plans for things that you would like to do in the future. Work towards realising just one of the things on your list.
22. Drink more water.
23. Connect with others. Send a text, make a phone call, arrange a lunch date, invite a friend around to your house, go for a picnic. A few hours spent in good company always makes a day much better.
24. Get up and get ready, even if the majority of your day is going to be spent indoors.
25. Delete, delete, delete. Don’t hold onto old emails, unwanted or duplicate photographs and/or text messages. Delete people from your social media pages that you have no connection with.
26. Avoid excess. As the queen of ‘all or nothing,’ I find moderation very difficult. However, you’re more likely to appreciate something more if you only have a small amount of it, and it’s less likely that you’ll feel sick or have a hangover the next day!
27. Check out DIY Life Hack posts for fabulous hints and tips to help with tasks around the house.
28. Focus on yourself, rather than what everyone else is doing around you.
29. Find a place for everything.
30. Keep scrapbooks of items like tickets, cards and programmes instead of storing them in boxes.
31. Make a list of all the errands that need completing within the week, and try and do as many as possible in one go.
32. Put. The. Phone. Down. Designate a specific time in the evening where all phones are switched off (this will also help you to sleep better too!).
33. Ask for help. You can’t always do everything yourself.
34. Deal with emotional baggage. Talk, write, consult a therapist. Start to let it go.
35. Allow yourself to have an opinion, but avoid becoming involved in useless debates and arguments both in the real and online world. Similarly, before commenting on something, take the time to write it out in a notebook first and then ask yourself whether it is worth posting or not.
36. Take the time to tell someone important just how much they mean to you.
37. Try to avoid being judgmental.
38. Stop complaining.
39. Google promo codes in advance when online shopping. You’ll be surprised at the bargains you can get!
40. Buy things out of season to save money.
41. If you’ve been struggling to solve a problem for some time, walk away and go back to it later.
43. Buy a Christmas present every month, particularly during the sales.
44. Avoid multi-tasking. Make a list, and work your way through it. Start the task, finish the task and then move onto something else.
45. Don’t initially set the bar too high. Make small steps to avoid disappointment.
46. Collect memories, not things.
47. If you want something, ask for it!
48. Do the most difficult tasks first.
49. Create a playlist to help you accomplish different tasks. Music makes anything better.
50. Congratulate yourself on every achievement, no matter how small…
What about you guys? Have you got any hints or tips to make life a little easier on a daily basis?
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.