Does life seem unnecessarily complicated? Do you feel like you’re drowning in to-do tasks, yet you never seem to make any progress? In the long run, you might need to take a long look at your life and figure out whether you’re on the right path. In the short run, you could probably use some life hacks to simplify things.
Hack Your Finances
Do a quick financial wellness check. Are there subscriptions you’re not using, free trials you signed up for and forgot to cancel or other unnecessary expenditures coming out of your bank account? First, cancel everything you’d forgotten about. Then, set as many of your bills as possible to pay automatically so you don’t have to think about them. This next step may take a little more time, but it will make things much easier for you. Look into refinancing your student loans with a private lender. If you have several, you may be able to combine them into a single monthly payment, which is far simpler than trying to keep up with multiple interest rates, payment terms and due dates. This can also save you money on your expenses each month.
Hack Your Environment
There are many things you can do to simplify the space you live and work in. Try to create a zone for focusing on particularly intense work that includes no distractions. This means no family, roommates or coworkers and no mobile devices. You may want to set aside a certain regular time to do this work. Whether you’re trying to study to pass an exam, write the next great novel or just make some serious progress on a work project, you’ll find your productivity soaring. Another way to simplify your environment is decluttering, but this is easier said than done. You can use a method to quickly go through a drawer or a shelf by sorting your belongings into stacks of Keep, Trash, Donate and Maybe. Decluttering advice sometimes tells you to make a decision in the moment and eschew the ‘maybe’, but that can actually keep you from getting started in the first place. Having a ‘maybe’ stack can help you get past the mental block.
Hack Your Schedule
There are a few different approaches you can take to this depending on your particular situation. People often talk about to-do lists, but what about making a list of the things you love and ensuring that you incorporate them into your daily list? This shouldn’t be a long list. Three to five items should be sufficient. For example, your items might be running with your dog, reading, some time playing a game you love and talking on the phone with friends. Whatever they are, try to give them the same priority you give things like eating, sleeping and showering. If you’re really struggling with feeling behind, consider a week or even a month in which you say no to any new projects or requests that come your way while you catch up on your backlog. Finally, even though people sing the praises of multi-tasking, you might want to consider focusing on a single task at a time and seeing if it makes you more productive.