Life is fast, complicated, and even overwhelming. There are many ways to simplify your life for less stress (one of them being trying new “hacks” offered online). All the hacks in the world can’t replace a system that works for you.
Try out these hacks and see how they impact your life. What others can you add? Consider where you seem to waste the most time. This is a prime area for developing a hack of your own. Keep your life simple and it will be easier to get through the day with a feeling of accomplishment.
Let’s focus on a few powerful strategies:
Hack #1: Don’t spend more than you make
It’s not about having a lot of savings in the bank or investments that will make you millions for retirement… it’s about freedom. Freedom from stress. Freedom from wondering how you can pay next month’s bills.
If you have an emergency fund, then you are free to pursue life-changing opportunities without worrying if you will be able to pay next month’s rent (or mortgage). Life is too short to be stressed out all the time by finances.
Hack #2: Automate what can be automated.
One of my personal life hacks is to set up things to run automatically. For example, I configure direct debits on everything so that all my bills get paid on auto-pay. Set up autoresponders on emails so that you don’t feel the pressure of needing to reply right away. Set up automation in your business so that you can work less, and live more!
Hack #3: Digital system life hack.
The point here is to save time with quick shortcuts for systems within your life. You can take this idea quite far — think about using templates for work documents or pre-prepared statements that you can use in conversations when you are short on time. Take the extra minute when it comes to setting up these digital systems in your life because they will help save you time and stress in the long run.
Hack #4: Delegate and outsource.
It’s helpful to focus on one life area at a time when you are trying to simplify life and gain more free time, but it may be impossible for you to do everything alone. Instead of doing it all yourself, delegate tasks to other people in your life (e.g., spouse or partner) or hire someone. If you have a business then consider outsourcing some of your work life so that can focus on the things which contribute most directly to revenue generation while freeing up valuable hours per week that would otherwise get sucked into managing the business activities.
Hack #5: Focus life hacks.
If you are someone who needs results, data or a reason behind everything then focus on efficiency over quantity and pursue what is meaningful (or enjoyable) rather than on what needs to be done. Sometimes focusing on fewer things more intensely will free up time for that thing to grow instead of spreading yourself too thin, getting overwhelmed and reacting defensively.
Hack #6: Make a shortlist.
The fewer things you try to accomplish, the more free time and energy you will have. Make a list of the two or three most important tasks that need to be completed, whether they are personal or professional. Then make a brand-new list for the evening, which includes only family activities. Create this list ahead of time and before coming home from work so you are already in the mindset before you arrive home.
The act of making the list will be motivating and help you prioritize so you can accomplish the most important tasks.
Hack #7: Focus on one task at a time.
Switching back and forth between two or more tasks is not only inefficient, but it also impedes your ability to do those things well, and adds extra stress. Learn to focus on one task until it’s complete before moving on to something else. Try this for a week and notice the difference it makes.
Hack #8: Simplify your meal planning.
Subscribe to a done-for-you meal service so you don’t need to think about meal planning and recipes. All you have to do is eat or do some quick prep when the food arrives. This cuts down on effort, saves money and can be a life-changer in terms of decisions made at restaurants!
You’ll save time and money at the store and do wonders for your health.
Hack #9: Automate your texts and email writing
iPhones have amazing speech to text capabilities and can substantially speed up the amount of time it takes to write an email or text message. Give it a try and see how much time you can save! You can also save preset phrases into your phone if you just want to send quick and courteous replies.
Hack #10: Go to bed early.
Any extra time you’re awake at night probably isn’t productive. It’s probably spent watching TV while nodding off in your favorite chair. Get to bed early and get up early. You’ll get more done.
If you sleep 7-9 hours per night, productivity levels go way up, you’ll feel happier, and your body (and probably your partner) will thank you.
A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health, mind, and body. It’s when our bodies heal and repair from the day’s activities, and when our minds process and store memories from the day before. Skimping on sleep robs us of these important functions and can lead to a whole host of health problems in the long run.
If you want to be productive, get to bed early tonight and wake up refreshed and ready to tackle tomorrow.
And don’t forget about investing in a comfortable mattress – it’ll make it that much easier to drift off into dreamland!
Hack #11: Don’t take life too seriously.
Learn to laugh at yourself and try not to take yourself or others too seriously. Take time to enjoy the finer things in life like a nice meal with friends, going for a walk or simply sitting and watching the world go by. Sometimes life gets so busy and serious that we miss out on simple things like enjoying life’s small pleasures! We all need a bit of fun and lightheartedness in our days!
Hack #12: Work offline.
It seems that more and more work must be completed on the computer, but there are pitfalls to working online – the internet. The internet is both the best and worst thing ever invented. It provides tremendous resources, but it’s also the perfect way to waste a lot of time.
Would you rather complete the billing report for your boss or watch a video of kittens riding on the back of a goat? See how easy it is to get distracted?
Hack #13: Turn off notifications on your phone.
This one is simple, but life-changing. It has been shown that people feel less stressed when they have notifications turned off (notifications can stress you out when they don’t stop).