Simple ways to streamline and simplify life this holiday

CEOS, moms, students, busy people--this is for you.

A Healthline Survey showed that a vast majority of people experience holiday-induced stress. Between finances, health and fitness, and shopping for gifts, attending (or planning parties) and traveling, people feel depleted and disrupted from their normal cycles.

If you, like most people, are finding yourself short on time this season, or feeling particularly frenzied, there’s no time like the present to simplify life.

Check out these simple hacks to boost your productivity and cut out your stress—one app, one plan, and one task at a time.

Automate your life

Automation is trending, and for good reason. It’s helping people everywhere simplify life and be more productive. From programming and automating your morning coffee to automating bill paying, you can save time by hacking daily tasks. Mobile apps and the internet are making automation easier than ever across the board. Check out these apps to streamline your finances, meal planning and shopping.

  •      Finances: Mint tracks and automates your finances so you can budget easily, and see where your money goes. It integrates with Quickbooks and your credit cards to keep accurate track of it all.
  •      Meal planning: Apps like Menu Planner can store all your recipes so you can easily plan your meals. Others, like Swole.me allow you to create a meal plan based on your dieting goals. Companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh will send you the ingredients for the meals of your choice, along with a recipe, making it a tasty way to streamline your life.
  •      Shopping: Ecommerce sites like Amazon are simplifying lives globally by shipping products and even groceries straight to your door. This is a lifesaver at the holidays. With a few clicks, you can complete all your holiday gift shopping (and grocery shopping), and sit back and wait for them to show up at your door.

Streamline the day-to-day

Minutes become hours without us realizing it, and during especially busy times like the holidays, where parties and social obligations reign, keeping things simple is key. Here are a few ways you can streamline your day, and find some extra hours too.

  •      Chores: A whole day of chores might feel like a drag, but you can break up chores into manageable chunks throughout your day to keep your day flowing smoothly—and your home or office clean.
  •      Fashion: Check the weather for the week, then put together some outfits ahead of time so you can get ready in a snap to get on with your busy day.
  •      Fitness: Wear a pedometer to track your steps as you go about your daily life, and to encourage you to walk more. Exercise can improve your health and your outlook, and make you even more productive.
  •      Vision: If you wear glasses, you’ve likely known the woes of misplacing them and frantically searching for them as you’re running out the door—and arriving late at your destination. You can ditch the glasses for good by correcting your vision with a long-term solution like LASIK.
  •      Food: Prepare lunches ahead of time (even the night before) so you can jump right into your day—frenzy-free.

Focus on the task at hand

Lack of productivity can often be traced back to a lack of focus. In the digital age, with incoming information at every turn, it can be easy to lose track of time, one email or social scroll at a time. Hack your habits to optimize your time and actually get things done.

  •      Turn off notifications: The tiniest distractions can derail your day and set you behind by hours. When working on a project, shut off all notifications to avoid distractions.
  •      Close email and social media: Don’t fall prey to thinking you can just check your email or take a break and see what’s trending among your social circles. These nebulous spaces can quickly suck you in and lead you into a black hole where time and space collide—and before you know it, the day is gone—and so is your chance to get things done. Don’t even go there.

By applying a few simple hacks, you can simplify life and cut the stress of the holidays. Live. Laugh. Love. And breathe easy. You can have a happy holiday after all.

 

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