The 6-Week Cleanse

8 Lazy Solutions To Fix Your Most Annoying Habits

By Monday, March 22, 2021

This article is sponsored by Blue Apron.

I love talking about habits and how to get them to stick. I’m an avid planner-user, ending each day filling in a color-coded habit tracker. I’ve learned which habits help me feel happiest, or at least the most in control of my life, whether they help me save money or feel healthier.

But this means that I’m also hyper-aware of when my habits aren’t adding to my life, or when I could be doing something better. Now, I don’t think every single moment of our lives needs to be optimized. I don’t see the point of building good habits as to increase your productivity at every possible level, but rather to make room for the joyous things that can’t be optimized. Good money habits, for example, make it so it’s more possible to make larger (or even spontaneous) money decisions. So, along with our partners at Blue Apron, I’ve rounded up several relatively-common bad (or at least annoying) habits, and my simplest, laziest ways to fix them. 

1. If your bad habit is leaving clutter around, try placing “collection bins” around the house.

I’m naturally an incredibly clutter-prone person. There are only two real things that have helped me combat this, and unfortunately, the first one is having more space, which isn’t exactly an immediate fix. (This does make me feel a little more generous towards my extremely clutter-prone 22-year-old self living in an NYC shoebox.) The second one, however, is something anyone can start doing right this second: leave bowls, bins, baskets, trinket dishes, etc. around your home so that whenever you have an item out of place, you can just leave it in a nearby receptacle whose sole purpose is to collect random items. I’m constantly taking off my earrings, setting down a book, or leaving a hair tie in random places in my apartment, so having a nearby dish or basket means I can at least put it *somewhat* away. Then, when I’m doing my weekly tidying (or whenever I feel like it), I empty out these collection items.

2. If your bad habit is never cooking at home, try a meal kit service like Blue Apron.

A long time ago, when my now-husband, Peter, was newly single (before we met), he felt lost when it came to cooking for himself. He always really liked cooking, but he’s never been much of a meal planner and doesn’t really like to grocery shop, so he found himself either eating the same boring chicken and rice or ordering takeout for dinner every night. To mix it up, he started subscribing to Blue Apron — and, cut to six years later, it is still a staple in his (well, our) weekly food budget. 

Blue Apron’s Sambal Chicken & Quinoa “Fried Rice;” photo courtesy of TFD's Marketing Director, Rachel Steinman
Blue Apron’s Sambal Chicken & Quinoa “Fried Rice;” photo courtesy of TFD’s Marketing Director, Rachel Steinman

And he’s not alone! TFD’s marketing director, Rachel, says Blue Apron was one of the easiest ways she got into cooking: 

“When I first moved in with my now-husband a few years ago I was kind of embarrassed that I wasn’t confident cooking the way he was. My friend recommended Blue Apron and it was a really seamless way to get more comfortable cooking because the ingredients are all there for you and the instructions are super simple to follow.”

Blue Apron’s Cumin-Sichuan Peppercorn Beef; photo courtesy of TFD's Marketing Director, Rachel Steinman
Blue Apron’s Cumin-Sichuan Peppercorn Beef; photo courtesy of TFD’s Marketing Director, Rachel Steinman

If you have a hard time motivating yourself to cook at home (and after the year we’ve had, I absolutely don’t blame you), I highly recommend you check out Blue Apron as well. They send you exactly the amount of each ingredient you need to cook high-quality, delicious, non-boring meals, and they provide step-by-step instructions. It doesn’t matter how little kitchen experience you have, because they take care of all the hard parts of putting a meal together. And you don’t have to sacrifice nutrition — their wellness options offer balanced, nutritionist-approved recipes designed for your holistic health, including WW-approved, 600 calorie or less, and carb-conscious dinners.

Click here to check out Blue Apron’s new healthy options and lock in your next order, and get $80 off over your first four boxes! 

3. If your bad habit is not drinking enough water, try getting a “by the hour” water bottle. 

Admittedly, I have not tried this myself, as I find the easiest way for me to stay hydrated is to consume a lot of cheap store-brand seltzer (shout out to Wegman’s orange pineapple this week). But I’ve seen water bottles like these a lot on friend’s Instagrams lately, and they do seem pretty handy — you fill them up just twice a day (or once, if you buy a 64-oz bottle) and try to drink down to each line based on the listed time stamp. It might seem a bit silly, even self-parenting, but if you have a hard time keeping track of how much water you drink and regularly feel dehydrated, this looks like a really easy solution.

4. If your bad habit is picking at your nails, try keeping a mini maintenance kit nearby.

I know from personal experience how difficult it is to quit picking at your nails, as it is embarrassingly still something I battle as a nearly 30-year-old woman. I think a huge part of it is an anxious tick, and needing something to do with your hands. If I have a nail file/manicure kit nearby, I have learned to at least reach for that instead of resorting to more picking.

5. If your bad habit is impulse spending, try keeping an  “impulse journal.”

One of my favorite recent tips from a TFD contributor: keep a running list of the items you want to purchase, assign them each a point value, and leave a tally for each day you go without impulse buying each item. All points can be applied to any item, but you can only buy an item once you have reached the point value you assigned it — meaning you rarely would be able to buy every item on your list at once. Be sure to check out the full post for more details!

6. If your bad habit is spending too much time on distracting websites/apps, try installing a blocker.

I love the Tomato Timer plugin for blocking distracting websites (read: any social media) during the workday based on the “Pomodoro method.” If you have a bad habit of spending too much time on your phone, try implementing your phone’s version of “focus mode.” I have mine set to pause/block Instagram and TikTok during the workday. I also set “digital wellbeing” timers for each app, so that my phone alerts me when I’ve gone over my allotted time on an app each day. 

7. If your bad habit is letting laundry pile up, try scheduling a time to do it when you normally wouldn’t.

Unfortunately, I don’t really have a lazy solution for getting out of doing laundry, unless you want to pay for a wash and fold service (something I’ve indulged in more times than I really care to admit). When I lived in an apartment without in-unit laundry, Peter and I would take turns each week going one weekday morning down to the laundry room in our building — it was the best way to ensure we’d get a machine, because it was the least-busy time, and then we got it out of the way for the rest of the day. Now that we do have in-unit laundry, I still find myself dreading to do it. But when I take care of it in the morning instead of after work hours, it’s somehow a lot less annoying — and it gives me more time in my afternoon/evening to indulge my lazy side. Try doing this with laundry, or whatever chore you find yourself actively avoiding.

8. If your bad habit is regularly transferring savings back to checking, try opening a more difficult to access savings account. 

This is something we’ve discussed a lot here at TFD, especially when it comes to your emergency fund: do not keep your savings at the same bank as your checking account! “Out of sight, out of mind” really applies here. The point of savings is to set money aside for a specific purpose, not to cover your own back when you go overboard with FOMO spending. An easy solution is to simply make your savings harder to reach, so you take away the immediate option of transferring savings to checking. (Of course, if you find yourself still wanting to do this regularly, it may be time to adjust your budget.)

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Remember that bad habits don’t make anyone a bad person — we all have them. These are just a few potential solutions to common bad habits. If you have any other tricks that have worked for you, we’d love to hear them in the comments!

Image via Unsplash

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