I’m pretty sure we have all been in that place. Heck, maybe you’re there right now.
And sister, before you look at me all hoity-toity or draw that breath of denial, I want to remind you of the year that just tested every fiber of our being.
SIDENOTE: I feel 2021 just walked in the door and said, “Here, hold my beer”. But… whatever.
Anyway, back to what I was saying about “that place”.
I’m talking about that horrifying moment you’re looking for the adult that’s supposed to be in charge… and then you realize you are the adult. So, you look for someone more adultier.
Mmmmm hmmmm, now you’re catching what I’m throwing.
I don’t know about you, but when I find myself not wanting to put on my big girl panties and do big girl things, it’s usually because I’m feeling so overwhelmed with big girl responsibilities.
Maybe I feel like the demand for my time is maxed out, or I don’t feel equipped to do what’s being asked of me. Heck, perhaps I’m just freakin’ exhausted (or lazy) and flat out don’t want to do the things.
The struggle is real.
I had to snicker at the title I gave this blog post – “… Work Smarter, Not Harder.” Honestly, it makes me feel like a bit of a hypocrite.
Full disclosure. I don’t always work smart… I just don’t. But hey, at least I’m smart enough to know that I should, right?
The theme for every newsletter and blog post this month has been the idea that planning, scheduling, and incorporating a consistent routine is so critical to the progress and productivity in your home, your job, your business, your relationships, etc.
I can’t even emphasize enough how crucial this is.
When I say, “work smarter” I am simply referring to the idea of creating a strategy that is super-efficient.
Automating your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities is the key to making the most of your time and mental energy.
It cuts down on your daily decision-making.
Did you know that the average person makes 35,000 decisions every day? Sister, that is a lot of stinkin’ thinkin’. This shows why decision fatigue is a real freakin’ thing.
When you automate your days, it significantly reduces daily decision making.
If you are less concerned with the mundane details of everyday life, then you have more energy for creativity, productivity, problem-solving, and ah-ha ideas.
Automation literally means streamlining your processes, limiting distractions, and effectively managing your time and energy (you know, work smarter).
It allows you to spend your day on the things that truly matter.
I want you to think about the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that consume you. You know, the ones that take up valuable time and maybe even suck the life right out of you.
Then think about ways you can simplify, speed up, and even automate these responsibilities.
I have put together some helpful automation tips to get you started.
- Bills – Set up automatic bill pay for your monthly bills, like cell phone, utilities, internet, rent, daycare, insurance, etc. Determine the specific amount you want to pay and the date you wish to pay it. This eliminates the need to keep track of when payments are due. You will also avoid being pinged with late fees.
- Meal planning and prep – Create a meal plan for the week based on what is in your cupboards and what events are on your calendar. Then, make your grocery list for the items you will need. This will eliminate early morning decision making and arm you with an answer to the “what’s for dinner” question your kids ask e’ry. dang. day. If you want to go all-out-high-achiever status, set aside some time Sunday afternoon prepping ingredients for the week – bag up chips, fruits, veggies for lunches, pre-cook meats and cut up veggies for your evening meals, etc. You can even prepare the entire entrée/meal and freeze it. You can streamline this process even more by creating a collection of your favorite recipes. Save them to a computer file, write them on index cards, or print them and keep them in a file folder. Then set up a rotation of your favorite meals. This will cut down on your meal planning time.
- Household Chores – Create a list of chores you do regularly – laundry, dishes, empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, clean, water the plants, wash your sheets, grocery shop, etc. Automating these tasks doesn’t mean someone will do them for you. However, delegation of these responsibilities hurt no one. Share the load and divvy those suckers up, sister.
At the risk of sounding like a horn tooter (toot-toot), 80% of the things I do are a very habitual, engrained part of my everyday world.
On Sunday evening, we gather around the table as a family and plan our meals for the week. Everyone picks a meal and generally, they prepare the meal, as well.
We have created such an automated process where everyone knows what’s for dinner, who is cooking it, and what their assigned clean up responsibility is if it’s not their night to cook.
On Monday morning, I know exactly what my day is going to look like. Once I get the kids off to school and Mike off to work, I begin my day (and week) cleaning out emails. I do this with no hesitation or distractions.
Sister, I even know what day of the week I’m going to water my plants, clean out the litter box, do laundry, etc. Heck, my life is so automated, one could easily assume I even poop at the same time every day.
Too far, Kacie. Too far.
The beautiful thing about automation is that it eliminates surprises (mostly… because of life) and preserves your time and energy for the more important things in life.
I would love to hear how you are working smarter. How have you automated your life? Head on over to our Facebook community and share your nuggets with us.
It is such a privilege to be encouraged by and learn from one another. I’m sure thankful for you, sister.