5 Tiny Habits that Simplify My Life - Lisa E Betz

(Photo: Unsplash)

Do you want simple tricks to make your life a little bit easier? Here are 5 examples of tiny habits that simplify my life in some small way.

These tiny habits may seem trivial, but the cumulative effect of practicing them daily adds up. Every time I exchange stress for peace, I win. You can too.

Tiny habit 1 – When I go to the grocery store, I park in the same row every time.

And when I pull into the row, I choose a visibly open spot even if there might be a “better” one closer to the door.

How this simplifies my life

  • I always know where to find my car when I come out of the store. Do I need to explain why this saves me time and reduces stress?
  • I don’t need to think about where to park. I’ve already made the decision, so I don’t need to expend energy wondering which lane has the best spot.
  • No more frustration over heading for a spot I thought was open only to discover it isn’t and I have to drive past and circle around to try again.

Intentional decisions and tradeoffs that impact this habit

I choose to park farther away from the store and get a little exercise rather worry over getting the closes possible spot. If I discover there was a closer spot, I’m happy that I left it for someone who isn’t as spry as I am. I willingly trade the optimum spot for a simpler, less frustrating experience.

Tiny habit 2 – I only use purses that have multiple pockets

Why? So I can designate specific pockets for specific items. One pocket for my keys, another for my phone, another for wallet and checkbook, and so on. Then, I always put those items back in their designated pocket.

How this simplifies my life

  • I don’t have to root through the entire purse to find something, because I always know which pocket I should look in.
  • Since my keys are always in the same pocket, I don’t have last minute panics to find my keys when I’m already running late.

Intentional decisions and tradeoffs that impact this habit

Style vs. practicality. I would rather use a purse that keeps things where I can find them even though this limits my selection of purses. Avoiding the nuisance of searching for my keys every day is more important to me than fashion.

Tiny habit 3 – Designated vs. default ring tones

I assign ringtones to my friends and family that are different than the default ringtone.

How this simplifies my life

  • It enables me to have more control of my phone rather than my phone controlling me.
  • If I hear the default ringtone, I know it’s not someone important, and I don’t feel guilty for not answering it right then.
  • Thus, it enables fewer interruptions when I’m working

Intentional decisions and tradeoffs that impact this habit

Our tech gadgets are filled with features that are supposed to make life better, so why not utilize them when they actually help? It takes a little bit of extra time to assign specific ringtones to my contacts, but I think the benefits are worth it.

 Tiny habit 4 – I set the table before I start making dinner

How this simplifies my life

  • It enables me to cross a task off my mental list, which always provides a tiny bit of relief.
  • I am terrible at multitasking. Therefore, trying to get all the dishes ready at the same time is stressful. Knowing the table is already set means I have one less thing to worry about.
  • Because I have turned it into a habit, setting the table helps me switch from work mode to dinner-cooking mode.

Intentional decisions that impact this habit

Setting the table was one of my preferred chores in childhood, so it’s a pleasant task for me. I would rather do it when I can have a brief moment of enjoyment instead of putting it off until I’m in too much of a hurry to care. It’s become a little ritual that makes me happy.

Tiny habit 5 – My husband calls me every day when he leaves work

Technically, this is my husband’s habit, not mine, but I’m VERY GRATEFUL that he developed it!

How this simplifies our lives

  • No more guessing about when he will arrive home, which makes meal planning easier.
  • A huge reduction in frustration, because I’m not assuming he’ll be home for dinner at 6:30 and then fuming about the dried-out meat and overcooked, mushy vegetables when he doesn’t arrive until 7.
  • Since he has a long commute, his call is my signal to turn off the computer and start dinner. Sort of like a handy alarm clock that I never need to worry about setting.
  • Because he has developed this habit, my husband is freed from the expectation of arriving home by a hard-and-fast deadline.

Intentional decisions and tradeoffs that impact this habit

I would rather flex with my husband’s schedule and eat dinner whenever he gets home than insist on a fixed dinner time. Our kids are grown, so we have the luxury to do this.

What tiny habits will make your life easier?

Your life probably has different stressors than mine does, and you might make different tradeoffs than I have. That’s OK. My goal was to give you examples of how tiny habits can simplify life.

Now it’s time for you to adopt your own custom-designed tiny habits. What tiny habit can you institute this week that will make your life a little bit simpler, and give your brain a little bit of rest?