You want your life to be easier. But, here’s the thing: You want the process of improving your daily existence to be, well, easy.
Hey, I’m right there with you—which is why I’ve pulled together this helpful list of 28 simple (yes, simple!) ways that you can make the day to day a little more painless.
Whether you want to improve your productivity or take your stress levels down, these handy tips and tricks will make a big difference—without a ton of time and elbow grease.
If You Want to Save Time
Create a cheat sheet for the information you commonly need, so you can just copy and paste it.
Used canned responses to auto-fill those emails you find yourself writing time and time again.
Stop redoing the same report week after week and instead use Microsoft Word’s “Quick Styles” to apply your formatting with the click of a button. A number of other Word hacks can help you shave some time off your workday too!
If You Want to Get More Done
- Utilize the Pomodoro Technique to instill a sense of urgency and kick your productivity into high gear.
Block off some untouchable time in your calendar when you can forego any meetings, zone in, and keep your head down in your most important work.
Add one (or more than one!) productivity-boosting Chrome extension that will help you power through your to-do list.
Find your golden hours and then use that highly motivated time to crank through the most important things on your plate.
Limit yourself to one browser tab in order to stop multitasking. Constantly switching gears isn’t doing you any favors.
As counterintuitive as it seems, step away from your work and take a break for a few minutes. No really!
If You Want to Streamline Your Inbox
- Write specific subject lines so you can easily find old messages in your inbox.
You know those little stars that appear next to subject lines in Gmail? Leverage them to your advantage by marking the emails that require a response. When you have a block of time, go through and respond to your starred messages.
Use an email app to remove the headache from managing your inbox. Let technology do it for you!
Set an OOO message even when you’re in the office so you can stay away from email and focus your attention on the things that matter.
Use Unroll.me to pull together—and unsubscribe from, if necessary!—all of those newsletters that find their way to your inbox.
If You Want to Sleep Better
- Listen to this podcast to help you fall and stay asleep.
Do a few yoga poses to relax your body, focus on your breathing, and decompress before an evening of restful snoozing.
Take a hot bath or shower before bed to regulate your body temperature and tell your brain that it’s time to sleep.
If you can’t put down your phone before bed, turn it to Night Shift mode to avoid having your screen throw off your circadian rhythms.
Implement a bedtime routine that will help you wrap up loose ends, wind down, and sleep better.
If You Want to Plan Ahead
- Before you head to bed, make sure you do these five things to avoid that dreaded morning scramble.
Creating your schedule for the day? Try planning it backward.
Set a theme for each day of the workweek to keep your productive momentum high.
Have a vacation coming up? Create a reverse countdown and use this worksheet to make sure you cover all of your bases before you leave.
If You Want to Reduce Stress
- Label optional events on your calendar so you can quickly see what needs to get done on your busy days—and what can be skipped.
Do a repetitive task. As strange as it sounds, it can help to lower your stress levels.
When things get overwhelming in the office, try one of these 12 simple tricks to take some time out and inject a little more happy in your day.
Go ahead and treat yourself to a fun desk toy that you can play with in those moments of extreme stress.
Give any of these simple tricks a try? Let me know on Twitter just how much easier your life is!
Photo of happy person courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) they love. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author