We all seem to lead such busy lifestyles. So busy that sometimes we let the little things slip, and this can have a big impact on our lives. Here are 10 things you can do today that your future self will thank you for; from short term fixes that will give you gratification immediately, to the small changes that will make a difference in the long run.
Short Term Thanks
Tidy up as you go along
Don’t just leave dirty plates in the sink to pile up, or keep adding paper to that pile of admin: try to do small tasks as you go. This means you don’t build up small chores into one, huge, dreaded undertaking that will eat away at your valuable time. Your future self will definitely thank you.
Wake up early
It’s a well-known fact that super successful people like Apple’s Tim Cook, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo) get up before dawn to get a head start on the day. You can use these extra few hours in the day to exercise, get through admin, reply to emails and do things that require your full attention as we are often more alert and productive in the morning than we are in the evening. When you set an alarm, don’t be tempted to hit the snooze button – it can often just make you even more groggy!
Desk jobs can be rife with distractions: browsing social media, reading the latest news and weather, a spot of online window shopping and checking personal emails. And there’s even push notifications that mean these distractions literally pop up in your face when you’re trying to concentrate on your work. You can now get apps and plugins (such as Cold Turkey – getcoldturkey.com) that block such distractions – you can add sites to a ‘blacklist’ and block them for set amounts of time, so you can still visit these sites on your lunch break or when you’ve finished work, to help keep you focused.
Prep your clothes and bag for tomorrow the night before
An obvious one, yet so few people put it into practice! Don’t waste precious time in the morning deciding what you’re going to wear or spending ages searching for a shirt that you then find out was in the laundry basket all along – set it out the night before. If you take a pack lunch to work, make it at the same time as cooking dinner and put it in the fridge (and maybe put a sticky note on the front door to remind yourself to grab it!) and pack things like trainers and active wear for the gym if you need them the next day.
Keep a to-do list and set reminders
Whether it’s for work or personal errands, we always have lots of little things that need doing but are easily forgotten: posting your Mum her birthday card, sending those trousers back to ASOS, clearing out your work inbox. Keep a to-do list and set reminders for those with important deadlines on your phone. There’s even apps that do it for you. Check out our blog on top productivity tools to make life easier – https://www.homelyfe.com/top-productivity-tools-to-make-life-easier/
Long Term Thanks
Learn a new skill whenever you can
Never stop learning! There’s always something new that you can learn and apply to your life. Whether it’s something you could use for work, like learning how to code, a new hobby, like knitting, or something that could help your everyday life, like learning a new cooking method or recipe – you can always find little ways to better yourself.
Set up a good savings account
Talk to your bank about investing your money in a good savings account, or putting your savings into a bond or ISA. If your money is just sitting in a standard savings account, you may not be getting the best bang for your buck – you could literally be earning money for nothing if you find an account or saving scheme with a great interest rate. Go on, Google it now and make your money work harder, so you don’t have to. Take a look at Money Saving Expert’s tips on the top savings accounts – http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/savings-accounts-best-interest.
Keep your CV up-to-date
By regularly updating your CV (and LinkedIn profile) not only are you prepared if your dream job opportunity comes up, but it can also be really satisfying to look back on all your personal highlights and career progression; and cataloguing your key achievements it makes it easier to recall them quickly in interviews.
Develop a good night time routine
Get into the habit of having good sleep hygiene. This means going to bed at around the same time every night, banning screens from the bedroom (blue light from screens is proven to stimulate the brain and keep you awake), avoid caffeine after 3pm and make your bedroom a comfortable and relaxing environment. This way you are more likely to have a good night’s sleep, which will benefit both your mental and physical health.
Carve out some ‘me time’
Easier said than done, but with today’s busy lifestyle when everyone is online all the time, it’s important to keep some time to yourself to do things that will relax, enrich and energise you. This is different for everyone: it may be an hour of yoga, 30 minutes of reading, 20 minutes in a bubble bath – whatever you feel that you need to make yourself happy.