The decisions you are making in real time is killing your ability to be productive and get things done. I’ve found that by making small changes in my daily routine I could boost my productivity many times over. The fewer decisions I make “in the moment ” the more likely I am to get things done. That means more time for the things and people I love.
If you automate certain tasks so that you don’t have to think about them, you’ll be less stressed and find that they actually get done. This makes you more efficient resulting in a day that flows more smoothly. For instance, if I take my gym clothes out the night before, I get to the gym with time to spare. No more procrastinating or dropping the ball because I “couldn’t find anything to wear”
Many people think of automation as a process done via computer software. The truth is that you can automate any routine by simplifying it. This ultimately saves you time and brainpower. You can use those brain cells for more pressing matters like crossword puzzles and fun DIY projects.
Here are the top 3 things I automate or pre-plan in order to lower my stress levels and be more productive:
This is by far the chore that gives many of us, especially busy moms, the biggest headache. I’ve done meal plans in the past but never fully committed to the process. They were always an afterthought. At the suggestion of a friend, I picked it back up along with utilizing my crockpot. It’s been a total game-changer for me. It takes 5 minutes to crank out a meal plan and jot down a quick list of items I need from the grocery store then I stick it on the fridge as a reminder. Done and done!
The rest of the week I know exactly what’s for dinner. I’m able to use those fine critical thinking skills elsewhere or I can take a load off and relax.
Another timesaver is buying healthy food items that are pre-prepared for breakfast and lunch. However, the biggest time saver by far is meal prepping. Prepare your weekly lunches or dinners on Sunday and freeze them. If you know you’ll have a busy week ahead filled with late meetings and activities, then meal prepping to the rescue! There are a ton of recipes on Pinterest for this sole purpose so you can save that time as well.
Another way I free up valuable time and headspace is with automatic bill pay. I use auto-pay to pay all recurring bills. It’s a great way to set it and forget it. Many people are leery of auto-pay because they like to view their bills first. I understand because I used to share this sentiment, however, if a bill doesn’t fluctuate take advantage of auto-pay. You may even get a discount!
In this digital age, you can pay bills in minutes by going online and picking the date you want bills drafted. I highly recommend this as an item do knock off your to-do list. Use that hour to grab coffee with a friend!
Another task that will save brainpower and frustration is picking out your clothes the night before. It’s an oldie but a goodie yet something most of us hate to do. The key is having the discipline to prepare your clothes the night consistently. It can positively affect your entire morning since it’s one less decision you have to make in the moment. Who wants to spend the morning haggling with kids or going through a million pair of pants?
If you have older kids, have them choose their own clothes on Sunday and iron them. I don’t have experience with older kids so this may come with some struggle but if you can get them to pitch in you’ll thank me later. There are even tools such as closet organizers that allow you to sort clothes by the day of the week. If you can remove this chore from your daily routine, you’ll have more time and energy each day for the things you enjoy.
I hope you’ve thought about some tasks you can streamline to make your life more enjoyable. Your time is better spent on hobbies, work, and family.
What tasks do you automate or preplan that help you be more productive ? Leave a comment below!
Nia Hughes, is a freelance writer and digital marketer at Nia On Social Nia’s specialty is copywriting and content marketing for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the health and beauty industry.