There are things each of us could do that would make our lives run a lot smoother. I’m sure you could think of about 10 right now without even trying. However, I think there is a big difference between a project that should make your life easier, and one that actually does. Many times, the projects on our lists are ones that we haven’t gotten around to for a reason; they are more effort than they are worth.
I hereby give you permission to cross those things off your list and never think about them again. So what if you never alphabetize your book collection or bake those beautiful, organic chocolate chip cookies your neighbor made? Only do projects that benefit your life as it is right now. Do projects that enrich and uplift you as you are, but are able to bring you closer to the life you want.
And most importantly: keep them short. The projects with the most impact are the ones that don’t take hours to complete. The painting above was on my dresser for 8 months before I finally took the 10 minutes needed to hang it up. And it has made such a difference! It inspired me to finish several other projects (which I’ll share over the next two days), and it makes me smile whenever I walk into my bedroom.
Here are 10 simple, short projects that may be a great start:
1. Take 15-20 minutes to clean out your purse or wallet.
2. Take an hour or so to go through your movies. Eliminate ones you never watch or don’t like or bought on a whim; keep only favorites and ones you’ll watch again and again. Additionally, think about saving space by discarding cases, and put the discs in a cd case instead.
3. Look around your home and make a list of all the home projects you want to accomplish. Look down your list and see what you could do right now, without going to the store or stopping at Home Depot—something you can do with the materials you have.
4. Go through your bills and see which ones you can switch to paperless.
5. Make sure your iPod is current with the music you like and listen to now.
6. Do something fun and simple to bond with your family. Travis and I have been playing a game of “Where’s Waldo?” for about a year and a half by hiding a small plush Waldo doll where the other one will find it. Occasionally, months will go by until one of us says, “Oh, hey, look, Waldo’s in the freezer!”
7. Create a space in your day that’s just for you. That may seem difficult with an already crazy schedule, but whether you need 15 minutes to sip your morning beverage before the chaos of the day, or 15 minutes to unwind with a magazine at the end of it, make the time to get it, and both you and your family will be happier for it.
8. Hang some hooks to wrangle loose articles. I have one in a kitchen corner for my apron, and because my apron is super adorable, it is also decorative.
9. Take a few minutes to write a thank-you note to someone who helped you in some way. It may seem like one extra thing to do, but it will make someone’s day, and yours in turn.
10. Along those same lines, if you are feeling grumpy, make an effort to compliment at least 3 people. Not only will your grumpiness fade, but you’ll remember their smiles all day. Free happiness for everyone!
See one you like? Go ahead and get started! But first tell me, what are some small projects you’ve done to make your life easier?