Weekdays: The way we live our lives can feel like a constant struggle. Chances are you’re exhausted, and there always seems to be more to do than time in the day. Life can feel overwhelmingly difficult, with responsibilities that never seem to end and an endless list of things you need or want to do but just don’t have the energy for right now.
You deserve better. You deserve relief from stress and pressure so you can truly enjoy your life. What if we told you it’s possible? It’s true. With some simple strategies and tricks up your sleeve, you can lighten the load during the weekdays so you can finally start living your best life again. We’re going to show you how everything from simple habit-forming activities to healthy-living meal delivery services can help you get started. Let’s get started.
1) Plan Your Weekly Wardrobe on Sunday
Maybe you’re a CEO at a Fortune 100 company or an entrepreneur grinding it out from a home office. Or maybe you’re a dedicated parent keeping your household afloat or a frontline worker doing it all while keeping your head above water. You get dressed every day whether you want to or not. So why not make the process easier on yourself so you have time left over for more important things?
The first step is to plan your week’s wardrobe on Sunday. Create a morning and evening outfit so you’ll never have to agonize over what to wear or scramble for an outfit in the mornings before work or school. You can even streamline your wardrobe by having high-quality staple pieces and accessorizing them with other pieces. This will save time because you won’t have to think about it every morning, and you save money because you’ll never waste money on clothes that don’t work.
2) Don’t Check Emails or Messages First Thing in the Morning
If checking your email or messages first thing in the morning is a daily habit for you, it’s time to break the habit. Instead, keep your phone on do not disturb and start your morning with a good workout, some meditation or a simple cup of coffee. Get in your “you time” so you can get in the right frame of mind to tackle the rest of the day.
If you must review messages first thing in the morning, make sure they’re messages that won’t stress you out if left unanswered until later. If the messages are quick and easy to answer, take care of them before tackling more challenging tasks. Learn to operate by the rule of two minutes. If it takes two minutes or less, do it. If it’s going to take longer, it can wait until its designated time.
Also, limit checking your email and other messages to specific times of the day. This way, you’re not constantly sucked into thinking about work or issues that can wait until later.
Ultimately, these strategies save you time because you’re not constantly distracted, stressed and pulled in different directions at all hours of the day. By concentrating tasks and obligations — like checking messages — into appointed time slots, you can handle each task independently and keep your mind clear the rest of the time.
3) Stop Multi-Tasking
On that note, multi-tasking is one of the worst productivity habits you can have. You’re essentially trying to do several things at once with mediocre results, which causes you to waste more time than if you focus on one thing at a time. By giving yourself dedicated blocks of time to complete tasks and activities, you can do them more efficiently and quickly than if you’re constantly jumping between them.
4) Outsource Meal Duties
You spend so much time in the kitchen preparing meals each week that it can feel like another full-time job. If left to chance, you might grab a sandwich, bowl of cereal or random takeout for dinner because it’s easier than thinking up another meal. Or worse, you’ll just skip meals altogether if there are no other mouths to feed.
But what if there was an easier way? You can use a service that delivers healthy and delicious pre-made meals right to your door so you have no excuses not to eat healthily. This saves you time in several ways. No thinking up what to make or spending time shopping. A bonus is that most of these services offer easy-to-make recipes and include all the ingredients you need, regardless of what diet or eating regimen you’re on. Here are some of our favorites:
- Low-FODMAP – This diet is for people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and other digestive problems. By eliminating certain carbohydrate-containing foods, you can reduce symptoms like gas, bloating and inflammation in the intestines. Each dish in a low-FODMAP meal plan is designed to be delicious and healthy.
- Paleo – Eating a paleo diet means eating natural, whole foods and avoiding processed carbs, dairy and refined sugar. Since it’s restrictive in specific ways, those on the paleo diet usually turn to services for help eating healthy even when out of their comfort zone.
- Mediterranean Diet – This diet focuses on plant-based foods, whole grains, healthy fats and oils, lean meats and fish. Mediterranean meal delivery services are becoming increasingly popular because this way of eating continues to be named one of the healthiest in the world.
- Vegan – If you’re vegan, there are many ways to get your needed nutrients without eating animal products. This lifestyle is becoming more popular because of its health benefits and environmental impact. Best of all, you can buy plant-based meals from pre-made vegan meal delivery services if you don’t have time to cook.
- Gluten-Free – Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. Unfortunately, many people have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance. A gluten-free diet can help ease these symptoms so you feel better. Gluten-free meal delivery services offer delicious healthy recipes for your gut and promote well-being.
5) Plan, Prioritize and Delegate
It can be overwhelming and next to impossible to see how everything really fits together when you have a million things going on. That’s why it’s essential to sit down and plan out your days. Think about what needs to get done, when it must be completed by, who should help to do each job and what steps need to happen to reach a goal or get a task done. This strategy works for everything from daily school drop-offs to landing the next big client.
After you’ve mapped out your schedule, prioritize which tasks are most important and what can wait until later. This makes your days easier and frees up time because it shows you exactly what needs to get done. Plus, every item on the list should have an assigned deadline or due date so nothing slips through the cracks. Of course, you should work on the most pressing matters first, and if you can’t get everything done, it’s time to learn to delegate.
You can make sure it gets done promptly when you delegate in advance. First, decide the task or job’s level of importance, whether or not it’s time-sensitive and who can best handle it on your behalf. This will help you focus on the things only you can do while your partner, other halves, kids, co-workers or employees handle tasks that are more suited for their skillset.
In essence, the point is to get out of your own way and stop trying to do everything all at once. The easier it is to accomplish each task, the faster your day will go and the more time you’ll have during the week.
There’s no perfect way to simplify your life, but these are five tried-and-true ways that can help you do it. They may not work for everyone, but they’re worth a shot because even if they free up just a few extra hours in the week, it’s a total win. Then, you can build on that and work towards simplifying even further.