Some days I amaze myself, other days I put my keys in the fridge… Some days are just more stressful than others so instead of tearing your hair out about it and calling in “sick” to work, here are twenty manageable ways to improve your life.
Plan your time
To improve your life start by scheduling your time. Sometimes it can feel like our schedule is completely full but in reality we are wasting a lot of time being distracted. Start by adding to your calendar all your non-negotiable’s such as work and taking your children to school. Next, schedule time for the things which you really want to do, such as blogging, learning something new or family time. Be realistic and don’t pack too much into your schedule, by keeping space between each task you will allow time for self-care and those little unexpected things in life.
Prepare your meals
Meal prepping is a great way improve your life. First you need to plan your meals, this can include your breakfast, lunch, dinner and even healthy snacks. Once the meal plan is prepped for the week, add any items you don’t have to your shopping list. Depending on how you like to cook, you can use your meal plan to prepare meals in advance by batch cooking or simply chopping your vegetables to save you time later in the week.
Clean out your bag
Taking time once a week to clean out your bag and purse can honestly make you feel like you’ve got your life together. It’s such as small task but clearing out all of those unwanted receipts, chewing gum wrappers and “oh that’s where all of my hair bands went!” you will feel much more organised and together.
Wake up earlier
If you start your morning in a rush then you will have a difficult time redeeming your day. It’s important to have a mindful routine in place in order to improve your life and have a happy mind and body from the beginning of your day.
But what if I work irregular hours? You can still wake up earlier but you will have to be more thoughtful when planning your time. Whether you have a regular morning routine or if every day is different, I suggest you spend a couple of minutes planning your morning the night before. This way you will know what time you will wake up and what you will achieve with your time.
Break a sweat
Walk, run, dance, swim, lift weights, mow the lawn, however you want to break a sweat, make sure you do because your body will thank you.
Buy birthday cards
I’ve started buying birthday cards at the beginning of the month and believe me it’s been a life saver! Okay maybe that was a slight exaggeration but it has made me feel super organised and stopped unnecessary stress. Make a list of all the birthday cards you need to buy for the month ahead and then next time you’re out shopping you can pick up everything you need.
Make your bed
It might be a small accomplishment, but making your bed in the morning sets the tone for your entire day. Even the most organised rooms look messy with an unmade bed and vice versa, if your bed is made the rest of the room will look more organised.
Read a book before bed
The reason people say you should read before going to sleep is because it relaxes your brain, unlike technology such as your phone or TV. Reading before bed allows your mind to escape to another world and leave any stress and worry from the day behind.
We all know how the damaging the sun is to our skin and this includes sunbeds. A simple and healthy way to protect your skin is to add a daily moisturiser with SPF to your morning beauty routine. I absolutely love the Benefit Facial Sun Cream*, the texture is so light that I can’t even tell I’m wearing it. Most importantly, it doesn’t effect my make up. You might think that you don’t need to wear SPF because it’s not a sunny day, however the clouds only filter out the light, not the UV rays.
Write down your goals
When you set yourself a goal you provide direction in your life as you’re aware of where you should be focusing your time instead of wondering what to do next. When you write your goals down you are committing yourself to them, they become real and not just an idea which popped into your head. Once you’ve written down your goals, create a detailed plan on how you are going to achieve your goals and review them weekly to make sure you stay on track.
Do your most important task first
Know your priorities by doing the most important tasks first. It sounds simple and it is, but most people don’t do it. Instead they do the easiest task first to gain an instant sense of accomplishment. You will have more willpower during your first task of the day, plus if you do the most important task first the following easier tasks will feel like a reward.
Be kind to others
Kindness brings your attention to the positive things in life. It means treating others how you wish to be treated. A simple word or act of kindness can make an huge impact on a person’s day and this impact will have a tremendous effect on your confidence as you see the difference your actions can make.
Write a list
Writing lists allows you to brain dump all of your ideas, thoughts and to-do’s. Freeing more space in your mind to relax and get on with your day. There are plenty of lists which you can create and you will be surprised at just how much you had on your mind.
Meditation, even if it’s for just three minutes everyday can calm your restless mind, help you de-stress and allow you to understand your own mind and thoughts. For beginners you can downloads guided mediation apps such as Headspace.
Use dead time
When I say “dead time” I mean time when you’re unable to be productive such as when you’re driving, when you’re on the train or when you’re walking to work. Usually during this time you will listen to music (if you’re driving) or scroll through social media (if you’re on the train). But you could actually put this time to much better use than you may think. I used to listen to music during my commute but now I listen to personal growth podcasts. Listening to podcasts is such a simple, free and easy investment in your personal growth and most importantly you can download tones of free podcasts and listen to them during your “dead time”.
My favourite podcasts are:
- The Lavendaire Lifestyle with Aileen
- Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castill
- The Lively Show with Jess Lively
- The Perfectionism Project with Sam Laura Brown
- Mindful Productivity with Sarah Steckler
- The Tim Ferriss Show with Tim Ferriss
Keep a gratitude journal
It comes quite naturally for most of us to focus on the negative side of situations, however you can reverse these thoughts by expressing gratitude. Every evening before bed, write about three things you are grateful for, the more you practice gratitude, the more things you will be grateful for.
Switch off electronics an hour before bed
By turning off electronics you can start to unwind and prepare your mind and body for sleep. It might seem harmless to watch TV or scroll through your phone before bedtime but by keeping your mind engaged with technology, you are tricking your brain into thinking that it needs to stay awake. This is because the blue light emitted by the screen on your phone, computer and TV sends a signal to your brain telling you that it’s daytime.
Stop pressing snooze
By hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep your brain starts its sleep cycle all over again. Meaning, when your alarm goes off again you will be in a deeper sleep than before! Leaving you feeling much more tired than the first time your alarm sounded.
10 minute kitchen clean
Nobody likes to walk into a messy kitchen for breakfast, so after dinner do a ten minute kitchen clean. Improve your life by doing a quick 10 minute Kitchen clean every evening. A lot can be done in just ten minutes (probably even five minutes). You can wipe down your counters, load the dishwasher or wash up dirty dishes, throw away any expired items in your fridge and empty the bin.
Organise your work space
Your work space should inspire you, it should motivate you, it should help bring out the best in you. After all, this is where magic happens. Don’t let your work space get cluttered in paper work and unwanted items, organise your work and make life easier for yourself.