Life can be a rollercoaster, can’t it? One day everything’s fine, and the next, you wake up to realize you’ve been a stressed-out mess for as long as you can remember. Desperate for change, you begin looking for ways to start making life easier.
Contrary to what society wants you to believe, your success is not measured by your stress. You don’t have to cram your schedule slap full to prove to the world you’re productive. You can reach every single goal you set for yourself and make your life easier in the process.
19 Ways to create an easier life
To help jumpstart your journey to stress-free living, we’ve gathered a list of 19 ideas to help make your life easier. So, give a couple of them a try, and let us know what you think! (We can feel the stress melting already!)
1. Get started making life easier with a morning routine
Did you know that having a morning routine can actually improve stress levels, reduce anxiety, and boost your productivity for the day? It’s true! According to Northwestern Medicine, people who don’t have a set routine typically experience higher levels of stress, poor sleep, and poor health, and more wasted time.
Your morning routine doesn’t have to be anything drastic. You just need to be intentional about how you’ll spend those first few hours of your day. It could be as simple as making your bed, eating a healthy breakfast, moving your body, and taking a few moments to practice gratitude. Starting a daily routine is how to make life easier for yourself.
2. Create an easier life by saying no
So if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent plenty of nights wondering why it’s so gosh darn hard to say no. Turns out, fear of rejection and our desire to not disappoint anyone are two forces that keep us saying yes even when we really want to say no.
But learning to say no is a powerful form of self-care. It gives you your life back and allows you to rest, recharge, and make time for activities that align with your passions.
Starting today, give yourself permission to say no. Look at your calendar and cancel any meetups that no longer serve you. Also, be sure to set boundaries with colleagues and loved ones about what you will and won’t do. They may just admire you for speaking up.
3. Do something you’ve been putting off
What’s one thing you’ve been meaning to do forever but keep putting off? It could be sending an email, building your budget, or even cleaning out that old food in the back of your fridge. But every time you go to do it, anxiety kicks in, and you decide to hold it off until another day.
Get off on the right foot by knocking that item off your to-do list today. You’ll feel an immediate rush of relief, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier life feels.
4. Batch your work to make your life easier
Batching tasks is a little productivity hack that will change your life. Instead of shifting mental gears every few seconds, you group similar tasks together and get them all done in one fail swoop.
There’s some psychology behind this, too. When you batch tasks, your mind gets into a flow state where you become extremely efficient (like you can complete everything without even thinking about it).
Some common tasks you can batch to make your life easier include:
- Answering emails
- Responding to texts
- Doing school work
- Running errands
- Having meetings
- Prepping meals
- Cleaning the house
Batching your tasks is how to make life easier in a cinch!
5. Outsource difficult tasks for an easier life
There are many renewable resources in life, but time isn’t one of them. Make your life easier — and happier — by outsourcing tasks that frustrate you or take up too much of your time.
This could include everything from hiring a cleaner for your house to hiring a VA for your business. Even if it saves you one hour a week, that’s two extra days a year you’ll have to devote to things you love.
6. Take time to pause and reflect
Life gets crazy busy sometimes, but you can learn how to slow down. Taking time to calm down can be a great way to ensure you’re making decisions that lead to the life you want to live. As you pause and reflect, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you getting closer to the goals you want to achieve, or further away?
- Are your daily habits helping or hurting you?
- What’s overwhelming you or stressing you out?
- What steps can you take to minimize these stressors and make your life easier?
So take some time to reflect and also to appreciate the little things in life.
7. Confront your negative emotions
Negative emotions are impossible to avoid, but they can wreak havoc on your happiness if you dwell on them too long. Anytime you feel a negative emotion, confront it using these steps:
- Name the emotion (e.g. anger, stress, anxiety, fear, jealousy)
- Figure out what triggered that emotion (e.g. your workload is too much, your spouse doesn’t listen, money feels too tight)
- Reduce that trigger (e.g. adjust your workload, talk to your spouse, start an emergency fund)
Confronting your negative emotions and learning to work past them is how to make life easier.
8. Use a password manager
Keeping up with a million different passwords requires way too much mental work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten my password and had to go through the steps of resetting it. All those minutes add up!
9. Turn off your phone notifications
Did you know the average person checks their phone 96 times a day, according to a study from the RescueTime app? That’s once every 10 minutes! One of the easiest ways to spend less time on your phone is to turn off push notifications.
Instead of getting distracted every time your phone buzzes, you’ll only look at your phone when you want to. I personally turned off all push notifications on my phone over a year ago and haven’t looked back. I no longer get dings for emails, social media, and other random apps I hardly use.
It’s honestly the single greatest thing I’ve done for my mental health because I'm not interrupted all of the time. I’m still amazed at how much extra brain space I have now that I’m not constantly monitoring my phone.
10. Start making life easier by decluttering
There’s something beautiful about getting rid of all the physical and digital junk you no longer use. You suddenly feel calmer, more at ease. You have less stress and more focus as you go throughout the day. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Decluttering is the path to an easier life because it frees up so much of your time. So check out these six steps for decluttering your life. And if you’re up for it, take our free decluttering challenge by downloading this checklist and seeing how many items you can mark off.
11. Practice self-care
No matter how busy life gets, always make room in your budget for self-care. You can’t put a price tag on your physical and mental health.
Research shows that self-care makes your life easier by reducing stress levels, boosting your mood, and triggering a relaxation response that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. So make it a goal to practice self-care regularly to help you have an easier life.
12. Organize your finances
CreditWise recently did a study that found 73% of people stress about money more than anything else — more than politics, work, and even family. A lot of this stress stems from the fact that most of us wander through life without having a real plan for our money. We just spend and cross our fingers that we’ll still have money in the bank when the next bill rolls around.
Organizing your finances is one way to feel more in control of your money (which will ultimately make life easier). If you need help organizing your finances, this free Clever Girl Finance course walks you through how to do it.
13. Set financial goals
What does your ideal life look like? Is it a world in which you start your own business, have plenty of time to spend with your kids, and ultimately retire early? Whatever it is, you’ll make life easier for yourself if you set SMART financial goals to achieve these dreams.
Setting goals is important because it helps you have a clear vision of what you want your life to be. So, be sure to set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals to make them more attainable!
14. Find a budgeting method that works for you
Budgets get a bad rap, but having one is critical to making your life easier and being financially successful. If you’ve tried before and failed, it’s likely because you haven’t found a method that works for you.
Try your hand at zero-based budgeting, reverse budgeting, or even the cash envelope system until you find a method that’s right for you. Make the process easier by using one of these budgeting templates to get started.
15. Automate your finances for an easier life
Want to know the secret to making life easier when it comes to your finances? Automate everything! When you automate your finances, you never have to worry about forgetting to pay bills or move money to savings ever again.
It’s all done for you! It’s one of the best financial hacks for busy people. So get started by setting up automatic deposits to your savings and putting your bills on auto-pay!
16. Save for retirement
Saving for retirement can seem daunting, but the sooner you start, the better. Thanks to compound interest, you won’t have to save nearly as much money to retire comfortably if you start now.
For example, let’s say your goal is to have $1 million saved for retirement. If you started at age 35, you’d only need to save $150 a week to reach your goal, assuming an 8% return on investment. You’d contribute $240,000 total, and the other $760,000 would be straight interest.
If you start at age 45 — just 10 years later — you’d need to save around $390 per week to reach your goal. You’d contribute $405,600 in total ($165,600 more than the person who starts at age 35), and the other $594,400 would be in earned interest. Make life easier for Future You by planning for retirement today.
17. Get your spending in check
Emotional spending is a vicious cycle because it's a temporary pleasure that comes with a high price. You feel sad or stressed, so you start shopping to boost your mood and get that dopamine “high.” But then you check out at the store and feel an instant tinge of regret as you think about the money you just spent on that thing you didn’t need.
Feeling low, you begin searching for the next thing to buy to make yourself feel happy again. Overspending keeps you buried in debt and prevents you from ever living your best life. Learning how to be more intentional with your purchases can be a great way to make life easier for yourself both now and in the future.
18. Find a mentor to hold you accountable
Data shows that having an accountability partner can actually increase your chances of reaching a goal by 95%. Yes, you can technically do it on your own, but you’ll make life easier if you have someone in your corner to motivate and encourage you along the way. Also, having someone to answer to for your actions can prevent you from making snap decisions with your finances.
For example, if you tell your accountability partner that you are trying a no-spend challenge and are tempted with an impulse purchase, it can help prevent you from acting on it. This works because you have accountability from someone else for your actions.
19. Focus on getting 1% better every day
Your life isn’t going to get a million times easier overnight. It’s going to take time and a lot of micro-adjustments to get where you want to be. Just focus on getting 1% better every day, and the easier life you’re looking for will begin to take shape.
For instance, getting 1% better with your finances could be paying an extra $20 toward your debt or saving an extra $10 a week. So simply take your big goals and focus on getting 1% closer to them every day!
Start making life easier with these tips!
As you read through this list, there may be a dozen things you want to change about your life immediately. However, instead of getting overwhelmed by focusing on too many things at once, simply choose one idea and start there.
For example, if money is really stressing you out and you want to deal with that first, the Clever Girl Finance Roadmap will give you all the tools you need to take control of your future. Using these tips one at a time is how to make life easier without getting overwhelmed.