Looking for ways to make life easier?
Trying to manage your life, especially your financial life, can be challenging. In addition to your bills and raising a family, you may also be planning for retirement, emergencies, and more.
Keeping up with all of those financial obligations can be very draining.
On top of financial stress, many of us live with a lot of disorder and chaos. These are things like filling our houses with things lots of things we don’t need or use, having spending problems, living with debt, being unsatisfied with your job, etc.
There is also a lot of emotional stress that can come when you live with so much mental chaos and clutter. You might feel depressed, anxious, have low self-esteem, etc. And, it can be very easy to start to compare your life to others — thinking that they have it so easy and are so much happier.
When you are so focused on controlling the madness and clutter, it can be very difficult to get ahead or spend time doing what makes you happy.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with financial and life stress, one of the best ways to reach your goals while managing everything else going on in your life is to find ways to make life easier.
Learning to make life easier can free up time so that you can focus on things that matter more to you. It can help you get rid of any extra mental and physical clutter that is preventing you from achieving the things you want from life.
Thinking about making your life easier may sound difficult, but it simply starts with small changes that will improve your outlook and mindset.
By learning how to make life easier, you can be in more control of your life, waste less of your valuable time, and be more lively.
Today’s post has lots of tips for things that make life easier. You don’t need to do everything on this list. Start by looking at this list and finding one small thing that will improve your life — even if it’s something small like watching less TV.
I want you to think about your goals, what you actually appreciate in life, what makes you happy, and work towards eliminating the things you dislike and those that aren’t as essential.
As you start eliminating things that are wasting your time and causing you stress, you’ll find it much easier to work towards your goals and enjoy life more.
Related content: Setting Goals- Let’s make this year the best!
Here’s how to make life easier.
1. Spend less time on social media to learn how to make life easy.
This one is my #1 tip because I know we are all spending too much time on social media.
Stop and think about all of the social media sites you use throughout the day, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Then, think about when and where you’re doing it, like waiting in line somewhere, procrastinating at work, eating lunch, spending time with friends, etc. All of those little amounts of time really add up, and I’ve read many statistics that say that the average person spends over five hours a day on social media!
FIVE HOURS A DAY!
I’m completely guilty of spending too much time on social media too. I use Facebook and Instagram to connect with friends and family while I travel. It’s also how I keep in touch with my readers.
But, there are times when I find myself scrolling through my feed and just zoning out. This is completely unproductive!
Besides wasting your time, spending too much time on social media can cause you to compare yourself to others or try to keep up with someone in a different situation. Those things can lead to negative feelings about yourself.
If this sounds familiar, one of the best ways to make life easier is to shut down those sites. You can also create time blocks so that you cannot access your accounts during certain periods of the day, and so on.
Related content: 100+ Things To Do Instead Of Social Media
2. Organize your life this year.
This is one of the best ways to make life easier, because being unorganized can cause you to waste a significant amount of time and can lead to late fees, stress, lost items, and more.
Here are some surprising statistics I found from Simply Orderly about being unorganized:
- The average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find.
- Every day, the average office worker spends 1.5 hours looking for things.
- In a recent survey, 55% of consumers stated they would save anywhere from 16 to 60 minutes a day if they were more organized.
- 23% of people pay bills late and have to pay late fees because they are unable to find their bills.
These statistics are all nuts! I can’t believe how much time the average person wastes because they’re unorganized.
If this sounds like you, you may want to find start using a day or life planner to write out your day and stay on task. If you’re unorganized because you have too much stuff, you may want to downsize or sell some items.
Related content: Downsizing Your Home? Here’s How I Went From A 2,000 Square Foot House To An RV
3. Organize your finances.
Just like physical and mental clutter, many families have a lot of financial clutter too.
Most households have many different accounts that they are trying to manage on a daily or weekly basis, from checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, student loans, their mortgage, car loans, etc.
One of the most helpful things you can do to make life easier, especially your financial life, is by downloading an app like Personal Capital.
Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your entire financial situation. You can connect accounts, such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more. Plus, Personal Capital is FREE.
Related: How To Simplify Your Financial Life – 12 Best Tips
4. Watch less TV.
To make life easier, I am a huge advocate of simply watching less TV.
We cut out TV entirely when we were living in the RV, and while we go through short phases where we will watch a lot of TV, we have spent the last few months watching zero hours of TV.
The thing is, though, I used to watch way too much TV, and I know that cutting back on TV has made my life much easier and more productive. That’s because I’ve been able to reclaim all of those hours I was wasting.
And, the average person watches about 35 hours of TV a week. Just think about what you could do if you reclaimed just half of those hours every week!
Reclaiming that time will allow you to spend more time with your friends and family, work on side hustles, get outside and enjoy the world around you, and more.
Spending a few hours less each week in front of the TV is one of the best ways to make life easier.
Related: 59 Things To Do Instead of Watching TV – Stop Watching TV!
5. Unsubscribe from useless emails.
Unsubscribing from useless emails is one of the simplest ways to make life easier. That’s because you can cut down on the time it takes you to check your email.
Subscribing to emails is really easy to do. We’ve all done it to get a coupon code, at the cash register to get a receipt (isn’t that annoying?!), and sometimes you just mysteriously land on an email list.
Over the years, I’ve subscribed to plenty of different websites and companies. I got hundreds of unnecessary emails every day, and even though I set up tabs to organize my email, I was still spending so much time filtering through them.
It was tedious, and they were mostly junk. But, sometimes real emails got lost in the mix as well!
So, I unsubscribed from almost all emails, except for blogs that I enjoy and whatever is absolutely necessary.
Everything else has been removed.
If you find that you are spending a lot of time everyday checking, reading, and deleting emails, then I definitely suggest unsubscribing from the ones that aren’t meaningful to you.
You can find an unsubscribe button on the bottom of most emails, and it just takes a couple of clicks to get off an email list. This is one of the things to make your life easier that you’ll wish you did a long time ago!
6. Pay off your debt to make life easier.
Life is so much easier without debt!
Paying off debt isn’t just important to me as a personal finance blogger, it’s important to me because I actually know how being debt free allows you to finally start living the life you want.
When thinking about all the mental clutter we have, debt can be a huge contributor to that clutter. Debt can cause a crazy amount of stress, and eliminating your debt as a way to make life easier has endless benefits. Paying off your debt will lead to reduced spending, and that means you can set more aside for your long-term financial goals, like through investing or saving for retirement.
Whether you have student loan debt, credit card debt, car debt, or whatever else, paying it off will make managing your finances easier — there’s just less debt to stress about.
Related article: Want To Live Your Best Life? It Starts With Saving.
7. Make meals easier.
Thinking about what you’re going to make for dinner every night is a small thing that causes a lot of stress for people. And, it’s too easy to go out to eat or order take-out on nights when you don’t have much time or are out of ideas — extra food spending like this really adds up!
To make weekly meals easier, you can start meal prepping in advance, do a meal share with friends, sign up for a weekly meal planner, and more.
This can help you save money, reduce dinner time stress, and make your life easier.
Note: If you’re looking for easy weeknight meals that are full of budget recipes, I recommend checking out $5 Meal Plan. $5 Meal Plan is a meal planning service that sends you a delicious meal plan and shopping list every week for just $5.
8. Make life easier by spending less time getting ready.
How much time do you spend getting ready each day?
Saving time on the smaller aspects of your daily life, like getting dressed in the morning, can make life a little easier for you.
There are many small things like this that are often overlooked and can add up to a lot of wasted time.
There are lots of people who spend way too much time picking out outfits and trying to get ready, and I was once one of them.
Since we had to downsize to travel full-time, I had to get rid of a lot of my clothes. It was a little hard at first because I had so many! But, by having less clothing options and/or choosing your outfit the night before, you can save valuable minutes each day and stop stressing about what you’re going to wear.
9. Start saying no more often.
Looking for an easy way to make your life easier and live your best life?
Start saying no and stop filling up your already busy schedule.
One of the ways we add clutter to our life is by agreeing to more than we can actually handle.
While I am a big fan of stepping outside of your box and saying yes to everything, there are some situations when you should probably say no. If you say yes to everything, but are ready to pull your hair out, then saying no is a good way to simplify your life.
Think about everything you have said yes to in the past year, and ask yourself these questions:
- Did that bring me joy?
- Did the benefit of the task outweigh the stress it caused?
- Was I able to make a meaningful difference for myself or someone else?
If you find that the answer to these questions is mostly no, then perhaps that’s the answer you should be giving in the future.
Saying no may allow you to have more time to focus on what you truly want.
10. Singletask more.
One of the biggest misconceptions about time management is that you save time by multi-tasking, but that’s not always the case. In fact, it actually causes many people to waste time and become unproductive.
To make life easier, you may want to try singletasking more often.
When you are switching back and forth between more than one task, it can take a lot of time and mental energy. That’s why many people cannot successfully multitask.
Think about your strengths and weaknesses to understand whether or not multitasking actually helps you save time. It’s possible that you can multitask some things, but other tasks will need your full one-on-one attention.
For the most part, you’ll be more effective if you focus on one task at a time. This will help you get things done faster so you can spend more time doing what you love.
11. Start waking up a little earlier.
Waking up just 15 to 30 minutes earlier than you need to be up is a great way to make life easier. You can spend that extra time doing a little cleaning around your house, responding to emails, organizing what you’re doing for the rest of the day, etc.
Waking up a little earlier allows you to get some smaller tasks out of the way that can make the rest of your day easier.
Sometimes it’s just really nice to sit in quiet before everyone else wakes up too. You can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, read a book, and more. It will help you get in the right headspace to handle the rest of your day.
12. Pay expenses annually or semiannually.
There are some bills that you have to pay each and every month, but paying some of them annually or semiannually, is one of the many ways to make your life easier.
You can pay bills like car and homeowners insurance every six months or once a year, and you will probably qualify for a discount if you do this as well.
If you switch from monthly payments for those two bills, that’s two less bills to worry about each month!
You will probably have to adjust your monthly and yearly budget to do so, but looking at and adjusting your budget is always a good thing to do anyway.
13. Have regular money talks with your partner.
One of the reasons that so many people have financial stress is that they aren’t talking to their partner about what is happening with their money. There are many couples where one partner doesn’t know how much the other makes, are unaware of how much they have invested, or have no clue how much debt they have.
How are you ever supposed to reach your financial goals if you have no idea what’s happening with your money?
Money shouldn’t be a taboo subject, especially for couples. And, having regular money talks will start to make these conversations easier and help both parties understand what is happening with your finances.
Your money talks should include things like creating a budget, talking about short-term and long-term goals, how to adjust your budget to make those goals happen, your financial fears and successes, and more.
If you’re nervous to start talking with your partner about money, you can start with just 10-15 minute conversations. Always go in with an open mind and try not to pass judgement.
Talking about your finances will make life easier for both you and your partner because you can get on the same page and work on goals together.
Learn more at Check In On Your Finances With Regular Money Talks
14. Automate your payments to make life easier.
This is one tip to make life easier that you can do in just a couple of hours. And, automating your payments will clear up a lot of the financial clutter I’ve already mentioned a couple of times.
You can have your paychecks direct deposited (many people still deposit their checks manually), you can auto pay your bills, you can even auto pay your monthly credit card payments. Sometimes, going paperless will give you discounts on some of the payments you make on a regular monthly basis.
Automating your payments can even make managing your budget easier!
Even though I check through all of my transactions and expenses, I still automate many of my actual payments so that I never have to worry about forgetting something or being late. Most of my expenses are similar from month to month, so I can usually just check the payment to see if everything is correct.
15. Improve your confidence.
This can be one of the most difficult areas to work on, but I really do believe that gaining confidence will make life easier for you.
Gaining confidence isn’t an overnight thing, and it starts by finding small ways to believe in yourself.
Once the ball gets rolling, your confidence will allow you to improve your life rather than dwelling on things that scare you. This can make your life easier because you’ll stop holding yourself back from reaching success.
Confidence can lead to:
- Achieving the things you want in life.
- Working your dream job.
- Earning a higher income.
- Making new friends.
- Traveling the world, and more.
Learn more at Be More Confident And Get What You Want In Life.
16. Save for your future.
Saving can make your life easier because you are making a plan for your future self!
Starting to invest for retirement now is incredibly important if you don’t want to work for the rest of your life, and you might even be able to retire early.
Investing is a powerful way to save because it means you are making your money work for you. If you weren’t investing, your money would just be sitting there and not earning a thing. Plus, the earlier you start investing, the more you’ll end up earning because investing is long-term financial planning.
The problem is that many people don’t know how to invest or don’t think they have enough money to get started. To start to simplify your life for the future, learn more at How To Start Investing For Beginners With Little Money.
17. Set reminders on your phone’s calendar (or any calendar).
One of the things I regularly do to make life easier for myself is to set reminders on my phone.
I live and die by my to do list, haha!
If there is something coming up that I know I will not remember, I will create a reminder. This makes managing my life easier because I don’t have to worry about forgetting things, missing payments, etc.
I create reminders for things such as:
- Business tasks and to-do lists.
- When it’s time to pay estimated quarterly tax payments.
- Renewing license plate tags for our cars.
- Paying semiannual bills, such as car insurance.
I’m always surprised by the number of people who don’t set reminders for things, because you can use them for anything! Plus, they do more than simplify your life, they can help you save money.
18. Slow down to make life easier.
To make life easier, I recommend slowing down every once in a while.
People rush through all sorts of things, from busy days at work to rushing from one life milestone to the next. Maybe you’ve spent college only thinking about graduation, after graduation only thinking about a job, working and only thinking about starting a family, until everything has passed by and you are wondering what you did with your life.
It is exciting to think about the future, but if you stop and look around at your life right now, you might be surprised by how good it is.
This is something that I’m just as guilty of doing. However, as I’ve learned to slow down and take my time, I’ve learned how to do things correctly, enjoy life more, and start living more simply.
19. Leave your negative outlook behind and find positivity.
I know what you’re thinking — How is this related to making my life easier?!
Well, according to the National Science Foundation, the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts. (statistic found on Medium)
That is a lot of time wasted on negative thoughts!
And, I’ve recently realized that I waste a lot of time with negative and repetitive thoughts too. It’s been crazy to realize how easy it is to turn something so little and simple into something negative.
Changing your mindset from a negative one to a positive one can be hard to do, but adapting to positivity will really help you in the long run.
Negative thoughts like regret, guilt, and comparisons can cause a lot of mental clutter. All of that can prevent you from seeing what amazing things you have happening in your life.
When you find that you are thinking in a negative way, take a moment to think of something that makes you happy. Is it your family? Do you love what you do? Did someone do something nice for you today?
A positive outlook can be life changing. It gives you more time to focus on your goals, you’ll feel more confident, and you’ll realize that you can achieve much more than you realized.
How are you going to make life easier this year?
Joe DiSanto says
I unsubscribed from useless emails…and its pretty nice. My email inbox just feels way less “hectic”. I also am starting to turn off my email and messages, for multiple hours, and just focusing on what I’m doing. Its actually hard to to…but makes me feel more calm.
My wife and have also been listening to Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”. Ive probably listened to it 10 times. Its an amazing philosophy and/or spiritual-ish approach to living, about letting your baggage go and focusing on enjoying being alive. It too is not always easy to implement…but been pretty cool! I recommend it (Obviously).
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
I’ll check that out, thank you!
My goal this year is to be happier. Ive spent the last 2 years stressed and doing things that didn’t feel right. So saying no to things is something I need to work on.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
I hope 2020 is a very happy year for you 🙂
Unsubscribing from emails is definitely something I recommend! I got away with letting so many emails flooding in… One frustrating thing though is when I hit unsub, I got the confirmation and then still receive emails days after the fact. There were several email lists I had to unsubscribe multiple times.
Saying ‘No’ is going to be saying ‘Yes’ for me as I’m in a new town AND a hermit so really need to make the effort to meet people and make friends. I will do this by implementing the steps about less social media and less series/movies. Although one thing I already started saying no to is constantly helping others, putting them before me to the extent I felt used. I will still help and be there for my friends, of course, but I will make a conscious decision about who and when to help.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
Yeah I’ve been unsubscribing from something nearly every day. It feels nice to do so, haha!
My two simple New Year’s resolutions are to spend less time on Instagram and get out of high interest debt. I was shocked the other week when I opened my Instagram app that I spent almost an hour and 30 minutes a day on average using the app. So, if I am not promoting my business on social media, I will reduce my time on there significantly.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
I need to spend less time on Instagram too!
Working on so many of these! I am trying to follow less folks on social. I have to let go of the guilt. I can’t even see all the posts I want to see when I compulsively follow.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
Mr. Fat says
Thanks for the tips! We’ll have to try harder to meal prep this year, eating keto makes it a little tough, but we’ll figure it out!
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Cutting out negativity and finding positivity is something that I’ve been working on for a while. I realised that I was spending way too much time in my head and that was affecting so much in my life. Hopefully, 2020 will be a much more positive year!
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
I hope 2020 is great for you!
Aileen Luib says
Yes, yes, yes to staying organized and single-tasking! I’ve always been pretty good with organization since it helps keep me focused. However, I’ve only recently learned the wonders of single-tasking and I am SO much more productive and efficient with my time. Multitasking made me stressed out, mentally exhausted, and I was so much less productive. Great post, have a great 2020!
Alicia M Trautwein says
Organizing and unsubscribing are definitely goals of mine this year! Last year I cut out social media except for business use and it was a HUGE relief on my mental health! Thanks, Michelle for always being an inspiration!
Dora DeLellis says
Setting goals and planning are the keys to success. Ignoring chaos and clutter are a must.
Giovanna @ Blissful & Beautiful says
I love ALL the ideas in this post! I especially agree that leaving your negative thoughts behind and improving your confidence can both make a huge difference for your life in ways that are unexplainable! To your point of slowing down I think taking steps to care for yourself also helps reduce stress as well, making your life much easier overall! So many great ideas and tips in this post! I will definitely be putting them into practice!
P.S. Paying off debt is life-changing! I paid off my debt in early 2018 and I haven’t looked back since! Thank you so much for your dedication to teaching others how to manage their finances!
chris panteli says
I’ve just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 32!! arh! it’s really made me think about every aspect of my life. I love your blog and your insights. I have started my own blog where I am going to document my journey to financial indpependence and healthy happines. Hope I can provide some good advice for your followers as well. Keep up the amazing work.
Due to all this Covid 19 i am planning to slow down and concentrate on my Autistic kids.