We're all about simplicity here at Bare Lyfe Co. Our mission is to offer affordable, durable and stylish clothing to help simplify your morning routine. But when it comes to simplifying your life and making the most of your time, clothing is only one piece of the puzzle.
Tim Ferriss, world-renowned bio-hacker and self-proclaimed "human guinea pig" put it well:
"The objective is to control your time – a non-renewable resource – and apply it where you have the highest leverage or enjoyment."
And that's essentially what we introduce in this article - ways to get time back in your day to enjoy the things you love most.
These 5 simple tips and tricks on ways to simplify your daily routine cover some introductory topics on time optimization, and ways you can leverage modern-day technology to make it happen.
1) Automate Your Finances
Pen and paper is a thing of the past. While some may lament the move to digital banking, better usability, security features, and customization in FinTech are enabling consumers like never before. With online banking tools like Mint, Quicken, and PNC Virtual Wallet, the options, and opportunities, are endless.
But before diving headfirst into new tech, there are a few things to consider:
Establish a budget. How much is coming in every month? How much is going out? Everything else is discretionary. Where you spend the remainder of your budget should align with your short, and long term financial goals.
Leverage online banking. A tool like PNC Virtual Wallet can help compartmentalize your finances, keeping high priority items, such as rent, utilities, and food separate from your investments or emergency fund.
For bill pay, almost every major company provides a form of automated or scheduled payments. Set up your accounts to be paid in full each month, and turn on notifications for when that amount is over your budgeted allowance.
Route your direct deposit to align with your budget, add a few extra dollars monthly as a buffer, and you'll keep those "oh sh*t" moments to a minimum.
These methods will help you save time and establish boundaries so you can stay focused on your short and long term financial goals.
2) Find a Planning Tool that Works for You
Every great idea started as just that - an idea. But what came next was the most important par - execution. Having a go-to tool, location, and/or routine can increase your chances of success and build positive habits when it comes to managing your priorities.
And luckily, modern technology is here to help make navigating that space a little bit easier.
While the options can seem overwhelming, there are a few popular tools such as Evernote, One Note, or Asana that offer a boatload of functionality in both their free and premium versions, depending on your needs.
Looking for an easy way to take notes an have them available on-the-go? Evernote does that. What about a tool that works in harmony with your existing ecosystem? If your company uses Microsoft tools (most do), OneNote fits the bill. Asana totes the benefits of having "All Your Work, In One Place".
Our personal favorite? Trello.
For many, Trello is the gold standard of planning tools. It's simple, easy to use, and only limited by your own ingenuity. Organize your ideas, to-dos, features - whatever - into an unlimited number of columns, and create cards with notes, pictures, tags, due dates, colors, and more.
It has enough features and functionality for the serial note-taker, while also catering to anyone looking for an accessible, easy-to-use, drag-and-drop task list.
The opportunities for customization when it comes to how you organize your work in Trello is endless. It's what we use here at Bare Lyfe Co. to run our day to day operations. Not only does Trello make planning fun, easy, and effective, but most importantly - it keeps us accountable to our goals, and each other.
The best part about Trello? It's free.
While your situation and personal needs may vary, it's important that your tool has a few key characteristics to help make planning easier:
- Access from multiple devices (think mobile, and desktop)
- An easy to use, customizable framework
- The ability to collaborate with team members
Everyone's needs are different, and the most important thing is finding something that you'll commit to using daily.
What do you like using to keep your life, business, or side-hustle organized? We would love to hear about it!
3) Ditch the Gym Pass...Workout at Home
For those who need a little bit of extra motivation to get moving, the gym is a perfect place to pursue your fitness goals. But for some of us, the crowds, time sink, egos, and germs can be a turn-off.
Luckily, there is a growing body of evidence that shows you might not need to spend 90 minutes per day, 5x a week at a gym to be in the best shape of your life. And with today's companies taking advantage of every niche out there, tools and equipment are now readily available and affordable so you don't have to leave your home for a good workout.
One company evangelizing this growing trend is Onnit, an Austin, Texas-based company focused on Total Human Optimization. Their mantra is a perfect example of doing more with less as seen in their workouts. Using simple, single pieces of equipment such as kettlebells, steel maces, and your own bodyweight, Onnit focus is on strength, mobility, and efficiency.
While these at-home tools and routines might not satisfy the likes of regular gym-goers, it definitely makes the list of "Ways to Improve Your Life", and it will guarantee one hell of a workout.
The key is staying active, finding something sustainable, and aligning with your own personal fitness goals.
When in doubt, consult the help of a trained fitness professional. Not only will they be able to teach you the ways, but they'll be there as motivation (and as an accountability buddy) for when the going gets rough.
4) Plan Your Meals
Cooking is good. We should all try to cook more often. Not only does cooking help us understand and appreciate the ingredients we're eating, but it transcends generations, facilities family gatherings, and generally lends itself to good times.
But cooking daily can be a chore. And when cooking becomes a chore, reaching for blood-pressure raising fast food or frozen meals is easy, and tempting.
While we feel like full-blown meal prep on Sunday evening is an option, finding a balance of cooking more, and generally eating a little bit less, is a much better approach.
The key is being prepared, and planning your week out with a certain degree of accuracy, but with flexibility in mind and back up plans in place.
After years of trial and error, here are a few guidelines to consider:
- Plan 3-4 meals for the week ahead of time - this keeps things simple, yet dynamic to keep your palette satisfied
- Plan on cooking proteins 2x week - this adds variety to your meals and helps reduce waste
- Have healthy staples and condiments close by. Green, leafy vegetables and high-quality fats (such as olive oil) can be added to almost every meal
- Invest in high quality, glass containers - they're safe, reusable, and can be easily cleaned in a dishwasher
And last but not least, the most valuable piece of advice after years of meal prep is this - don't be afraid to cheat. The 80/20 rule applies here. It's better to be consistent 80% of the time, all the time, than being gung-ho for a week, and then falling off the rails the next.
Looking for more advice? You can take a look at Bulletproof's Beginner Guide to Meal Prep for a complete break-down on meal prep.
5) Simplify Your Wardrobe
What do we have here? A clothing company recommending you throw out of all of your clothes? Yes! And buy ours - because we cover all the bases when it comes to essentials and basics.
We talked about it in our blog post, "Why We Started Bare Lyfe Co.", and we'll continue to die over and over on the same hill - you don't have to spend time, or a lot of money, in order to look good and feel great.
It's as easy as having your basics covered, and supplementing with your favorite outerwear and accessories.
Our line of women's and men's basics and essentials makes it easy to plan your day and focus on the things that matter.
Don't Waste Your Time - Optimize It
Optimizing your time is something we should all take seriously - after all, time is something you can never get back. Time may seem like an infinite resource when you're younger, but realizing that the clock ticks the same speed for all of us is a major wake up call (at least it was for me!)
With a little bit of practice and refinement, you can use these simple tips to build a better version of you and get more time back to do the things you love.
What are your favorite time optimization and life hacks? We're always learning about better ways to do things here at Bare Lyfe Co. and would love to hear from you about it!