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24 Simple Daily Habits to Make Life Easier

24 Simple Daily Habits to Make Life Easier

Many people struggle with getting everything done during the day and still finding time for themselves. If this sounds familiar, check out these 24 simple daily habits to make life easier this year. Little tips to create more ease, time and freedom in your everyday life.

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WHY IT HELPS TO SIMPLIFY LIFE

In the words of Annie Dillard… “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”

It’s a powerful thought when you realise that, for many of us, our days are spent largely doing what we HAVE to do, not necessarily what we WANT to do.

With bills to pay, work and family to juggle, not to mention an increasingly complex and fast life, we don’t often get the luxury of choice.

Our time, energy, minds and hearts are often filled with a mix of things to remember, people to see and tasks to do.

Our days run away with us and we run on autopilot…

I hope the ideas I’m sharing below will help you put in place some simple daily habits to make life easier. They’re little tips that help to keep things running smoothly and free up our time and energy for the rest of life. I hope they help!

We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.

John Dryden

WHAT ARE HABITS AND HOW ARE THEY FORMED?

According to the Collins English Dictionary, a habit is “an acquired behaviour pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.” As we grow up, we’re taught to do things often. Over time, we repeat these actions so many times that we do them almost without thinking.

Habits can be good and bad, but some examples of good habits you might already be familiar with are brushing your teeth after breakfast, switching off the lights when you’ve finished in a room or taking your shoes off when you come in through the front door.

Habits are learned behaviours that become reflex actions over time. The more often you do them, the more they become ingrained into what you do.

To learn more about how we form habits, read this interesting article from healthline.com on the Science of Habit.

HOW DO DAILY HABITS HELP TO SIMPLIFY AND MAKE LIFE EASIER?

Daily life can be full of things to do and remember, places to be and people to see. Our time, mind and home become dumping grounds and storage areas for the clutter of everyday life.

Creating some healthy, positive habits can counteract and help us find calm, space, freedom and time.

These habits don’t have to be big to be effective but they help us stay on top of our home and life and keep things ticking along as we’d like them. And, as we mentioned earlier, as they become reflexive actions that we do pretty much automatically, we don’t have to think about them or remind ourselves to do them.

These daily habits become part and parcel of the ebb and flow of our day. Just like brushing your teeth after breakfast is a habit you don’t have to write on your To Do list because you just know to do it!

Creating daily habits to simplify your home and make life easier helps you take positive action in small, impactful and meaningful ways – without being something you have to remember or put great effort into thinking about. In this article I’d like to share some examples of daily habits to make life easier.

“Little things make big things happen.”

John Wooden

START SMALL

As I mentioned above, one of the great things about habits is that they don’t have to be big to be effective. Even small habits and tiny changes can bring about big results. James Clear’s book Atomic Habits is a fantastic read. It explains how we can all change our life by making small little changes to what we do each day.

This book is amongst my favourites because its encouraging message makes me feel that anything is possible. Not only what we can do to change our physical environment but also our inner environment and mindset too. When big change seems overwhelming or unrealistic, knowing that tiny habits can help us improve our life is comforting and motivating!

Simple habits to make life easier

24 SIMPLE DAILY HABITS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER

Try these suggestions out for size, perhaps one at a time so you can feel how they work for you. If one idea isn’t relevant to you, can you swap it for something else that might help you more?

1. Make your bed

Make your bed first thing in the morning as soon as you get out of it. Not only will your bedroom look neat and tidy but the physical act of making your bed also signals your brain to get mentally prepared for the next part of your day ahead.

2. Get up as early as you need

Get up as early as you need so you can make a head-start on your day before your day has a head-start on you! If you’ve got things you need or want to do today, don’t hit the snooze button or eek out every last minute in bed. Count to 5 and get out of bed right away or move your alarm clock or phone to the other side of your bedroom so you have to get out of bed to turn it off! Read more on creating a simple minimalist morning routine or these tips on how to get up earlier if you need help with this.

3. Make time for yourself

Make a pact with yourself to do something just for you each day. Find a window of time in your schedule and plan how you’re going to use it. Put it in your diary and set an alert to remind you when it’s time to put everything away and have some you-time. It doesn’t need to be long, even 10-15 minutes can make a difference. Do something you WANT to do, rather than what you HAVE to do. Read more on how to make time for yourself.

4. Deal with the laundry

A mundane but essential task that’s easier when done regularly to avoid the dreaded laundry mountain!

Put a laundry load on so dirty clothes don’t build up and you’ve always got clean, fresh clothes in the wardrobe. Fold/put away laundry before you go to bed so you’re not left with piles of clean but crushed clothes adding to the clutter.

Use smaller, individual baskets to separate laundry for each family member and get your kids to help by putting away their own laundry as much as possible.

5. Learn something new

Your personal growth is important and so too is being curious about the world and what’s in it, learning new things, exploring opportunities and getting out of your comfort zone every now and then. Listen to a podcast, watch a YouTube tutorial, sign up to an online class, read a book, watch the news, chat with a friend, try out a new recipe, workout or coffee shop, take a different route to work or school. There are many different ways to learn something new and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time! Try this free 30-day Personal Growth Challenge to get started.

6. Create first instead of consume

Avoid checking emails or social media first thing in the morning. Depending on what you read or look at, what you’re ‘consuming’ can set the tone for the rest of your day including making you feel sad, unmotivated or unhappy. You might not even be able to deal with anything that needs actioning until you’ve got more time or you’re at work. Spend your morning time creating and nurturing your own life instead.

7. Prepare in the evening for school and work

Prepare school and work bags in the evening when you have more time and space to think about what you’re doing without forgetting anything important. This will mean you’re super-organised for the morning and will have more time for getting ready.

You could also choose your clothes for the following day to make it quicker and easier to get dressed in the morning without having to decide on and find something to wear when you’re rushing around and time is tight. You might like these tips on how to create your own personal uniform to make it even easier to choose clothes you love to wear and feel good in!

8. Create a consistent simple evening routine

What you do in the evening sets the tone for your night in many ways. Not only can you use your evenings to get ready for the following day and ease that morning stress but you can also quieten your mind, calm and relax your body for sleep. Read more on creating a simple evening routine for some simple tips on how to plan and organise for tomorrow and wind down and get ready for bedtime tonight.

9. Practice self-care

Self-care is important so spend a little time making sure you do what you need to feel good and look after yourself! This could be washing and styling your hair, drinking more water and less coffee, reading a book, practicing meditation or something else. So often self-care gets pushed to the bottom of our priority list and put off until tomorrow or the next day. Then it becomes too little, too late and we wonder why we’re feeling tired, frustrated and burnt out.

What does self-care look like to you and how will you practice self-care for yourself today? Make it a daily habit!

10. Get fresh air every day

Even if it’s just 5 minutes, natural daylight has some great benefits and does wonders for your mental health. Sit in the park whilst you eat lunch, walk to pick the kids up from school, take the dog out for a walk, walk by yourself and listen to nature or a podcast. Hear the birds sing, watch the leaves change colour or the flowers blossom.

11. Get regular exercise

Take some exercise and get those endorphins flowing. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise it is, even just a walk. Choose something you enjoy, realistic for the time you have and your lifestyle, that’s comfortable and get your body moving to build stamina, strength and suppleness in a way that feels right to you.

If you can’t commit time, motivation or money to a gym membership or hour long daily workout, think about ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily life. Some examples could be taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking instead of driving to do the school run, parking a little way from the shops and walking the rest of the way, walking faster than your normal strolling pace, gardening and cleaning with lots of energy, even dancing around the house in your spare moments! It might all add up to get you those 10,000 steps!

Simple habits to make life easier

12. Keep up with current affairs

Catch up on the news so you know what’s going on in the world but keep to just the headlines if you find it too upsetting or difficult. It’s good to keep up to date with current affairs but consume only as much as you need.

13. Keep a To Do list

Your brain has to work hard and it’s probably full of the tiny details of your every day life. No wonder then that you might forget a thing or two every and now and then! Instead of relying on your brain, get into the habit of writing a To Do list for each day. You’ll have a visual list of what you need to do to help you stay focused and on task. You’re also less likely to forget things and you can identify what’s most important. Get these Most Important Tasks (MITs) done first. Read more on creating a simple, strategic To Do list.

14. Practice gratitude

Cultivating a habit of gratitude reminds us to be thankful for all that we have, instead of chasing what we haven’t. Writing a regular gratitude list (or even just recalling in our mind a few things to be grateful of), can help to keep things in perspective and improve our mental health. We can also use our gratitude lists to help us improve our lives. Read more on gratitude lists and how they help simplify life.

15. Declutter your mind

When you’ve got so much on your plate that you don’t know where to start everything seems more overwhelming and difficult. Make it a regular daily habit to declutter your mind and get all the thoughts out of your head so you can think clearly.

16. Deal with paperwork every day

Of all the things that clutters our home, it has to be paperwork that I get asked about the most! Keeping up with paperwork is a struggle for many of us. Just think about all the post that comes in, junk mail, flyers and leaflets, appointment letters, cards, school permission forms, receipts, bank statements and other important financial, personal and household documents.

Check your post daily, deal with any paperwork that requires actioning and throw, shred, scan or file everything else regularly so that paper clutter doesn’t build up. Allocate a particular box or place in your home where you keep and deal with paperwork so it doesn’t spread throughout the home.

17. Declutter your emails

Check your emails regularly and deal with them so your inbox doesn’t fill up with junk and you can make sure you don’t miss anything important. Delete unwanted newsletters.

18. Spend quality time with your partner

Chat and spend time with your partner and give each other your presence, time and love. Every relationship needs work to keep it strong and healthy but it’s easy for quality time to be sidelined when the day is busy with so much else.

19. Spend quality time with your children

Spend some quality time with your kids, playing a game, building Lego, reading a book etc when you’re not distracted or multi-tasking doing something else. Children grow up and become independent so what you do when you spend time together will change over the years. Ask them what they would like to do, let them take the lead if they would like. It probably doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive.

20. Plan your meals

I hate meal planning but love the benefits so much that regular meal planning is part of my weekly routine. Although I plan our family’s meals for the week each Sunday, one of my daily habits is also to check what’s on the meal plan for the day. This means I remember to take things out of the freezer if necessary and prep any food during the day if I’m going to be rushed for dinner. I also prep the packed lunches for tomorrow to save time in the morning if time is tight. Read more about meal planning and get a free printable meal plan.

21. Check your schedule

Check your schedule first thing in the morning so you don’t forget or miss any appointments or activities. Try this monthly checklist, how to plan for the week ahead or this list of things to do on Sunday for more help with planning and organising your schedule and time.

22. Do a little housework

Spend a few minutes doing housework so you don’t have to spend hours playing catch up. Even just 10 minutes here or there every day will help keep on top of the mess and grime. You could clean the bathroom whilst overseeing the kids in the bath, do the dishes and sweep the floor after every meal, or change bedding on rotation. Read this post on how to spend less time cleaning for some tips to get housework done quickly and easily.

23. Declutter your home

Clutter invades our homes daily so keep on top of it with some simple habits to stay clutter-free. Put things away after you’ve used them, don’t move around empty-handed when you could carry something instead, give everything a ‘home’ to be stored in when not in use and keep a donation box handy to pop things in you don’t want to keep. For more tips, try this article on daily habits for a clutter-free home.

24. Never end the day on an argument

Go to bed saying I love you and never end on an argument. Tomorrow is another day and you want it to start out right.

Simple habits to make life easier

HOW TO CREATE NEW HABITS BY HABIT STACKING

Habits can be difficult to put in place to start with. One way of making this easier is by habit stacking.

Habit stacking involves you adding a new habit on to one that you already have in place. So, for example, making your bed directly after you’ve got out of it, cleaning the kitchen counters after you’ve served dinner, listening to your favourite podcast whilst you’re out for a daily walk.

Choose a habit that you already have in place and do regularly and then ‘stack’ a new habit on top of it. This way your brain will associate one habit with another and the regularity with which you do them.

Read this article from James Clear about habit-stacking and how and why our brains respond well to habit-stacking!

ayearofpositiveparenting

Thursday 4th of October 2018

Such a lovely post, thank you for sharing. Lot's of these things I do already, so it's good to know I'm on the right track and there is definitely some room for improvement! x

Balance Through Simplicity

Wednesday 26th of December 2018

Hi, I'm glad you liked it! I think it's always helpful to know when you're doing a good job. We often hear about the things we don't do, or forget to do, or do wrong, but it's so important to hear when we do things right too!