We get in the way of ourselves. Often.

We may not know it, but we unconsciously make things harder than they need to be and then swear at life for the complications.

They can be minuscule choices, ones we have always made but never questioned. Now is the time to question them.

Why? Why are things always done that way? Why can’t they change?

Breathe. Deep.

Here are some things I have been working on to relieve some stress and increase my productivity every day.

• Trying out new apps and services. Sure, it’s great to find a new app or service that makes your life easier, but if you have a habit of trying new services several times a week, it may be time to slow down. Not only can you forget which charges are running through your bank account, but they can also have learning curves that take up too much of your time. Sometimes there are apps you already have that can you can use in a different way that complete the job.

• Buying or checking out too many books.  Yes, read a book! But if you are purchasing to collect them, they turn into visible to-do lists on your shelves. And pace yourself with library books or a big stack will feel like a ticking time bomb as their due date draws near.

• Planning on returning items you don’t want. It’s easy to say in-store “I will try it on at home” instead of making the hard decision right then and there. Most times when you do this, you are adding an extra errand to your list later in the week. Try to make the hard decision in-store and bring the “should I buy this” question home. Or just don’t go into the store in the first place.

Can you think of anything similar in your life?

These kind of choices take so much time to notice and unpack so give yourself time to really study them to see if they serve you.

And if not, let them go. Make things simpler in your life.