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.... 6 Simple steps to automate your life
I remember when my children were small... life was fun, but frenetic. There was so much cleaning up, organising, finding lost items, looking for odd socks and missing library books and trying to get everyone ready in time. I used to think that it would be easier when they were older. But with each age and stage of their young lives, the activities changed but the busyness remained. And now, they've all grown and left home and still, the busyness of life stays constant.
And I'm not alone. If I speak to others, regardless of their phase of life- with little kids, tweens, teens or no kids at home, the one constant is 'life's crazy busy!' So, how are you going? If your life is starting to feel out of control, you can make things easier for yourself. This is the answer you've been looking for. Here are the simple steps to controlling your life and moving beyond survival mode. Is it possible? Absolutely!
You'll be amazed at how small, routine tasks such as deciding what to eat and what to wear can occupy a lot of brain space. You can reduce the amount of brain space that’s taken up by putting these routine tasks on auto-pilot.
Let's begin by sitting down with a pencil and paper and listing the repetitive, but important decisions you don’t need to keep making every day. Here are some examples you can implement:
Wear a work "uniform"
I know... that sounds drastic. But if you remember, Steve Jobs famously wore the same black turtlenecks every day, so he didn’t have to think about what to wear. And I'm with you; that sounds really boring. But that's not exactly what I mean. You don't have to go that far.
Think of something simple and easy, a standard outfit or a capsule wardrobe of basics (preferably easily laundered and drip dry), so that’s one less decision or stress point in your day. For instance, if I'm working at home, I have a couple of basic jeans & top/jumper outfits that work. During summer, it's skirts and tops. I even group them together in my wardrobe. When I have meetings to attend, appointments or work away from home, then again I have a couple of simple choices.
And I lay it all out ready the night before. It only takes a couple of minutes before bed.
It doesn't sound like it will make a difference but it does. I don't have to think about it.. it's there ready for me and I can concentrate on more important concerns.
Streamline your breakfast options
The easiest option is to eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but that's a bit limiting. Instead, you can think of a limited menu. Muesli or granola, eggs or a smoothie. Just keep it simple and easy. You might also have noticed a growing number of recipes that you can prepare the night before and leave in the fridge ready for a quick start to the morning. (I'm all for using a couple of minutes in the evening to save a rush in the morning.)
Plan your meals
Take the angst out of the daily ‘what to have for dinner’ decision and plan your meals in advance. Do a weekly or monthly meal plan and limit the number of meal options you have in rotation. I set aside time Sunday afternoons to plan the meals and organise my shopping list. (See the following point.)
Think of seven to ten dishes and have the ingredients in your kitchen or do batch cooking and freeze. That also means you can bulk-buy groceries, saving money and limiting the number of trips to the store.
Forget Masterchef... unless it's a special occasion. Stick to simple but delicious dishes that won't require a lot of special ingredients and don't involve multiple steps to complete.
For example, try the following Herb Butter Chicken recipe and serve with a simple salad, a veggie stir-fry or roast vegetables. (Roast vegetables will take less time to cook if you par-cook them in the microwave before popping them in the oven.)
HERB BUTTER CHICKEN - (See below adjustments for Paleo/Keto/Whole 30)
The recipe can be downloaded below and printed for future reference.
PALEO: Use clarified butter / Ghee, instead of butter
KETO: Increase the butter amount or add some cream to meet your macro
WHOLE 30: Make sure your broth has no msg or additive. Use homemade broth if needed
Automate food delivery
As part of your meal planning process come up with a list of basics that you always need to have in your kitchen and use an automated delivery service like Coles online or Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program.
I have set up an essentials list within the Coles online website of these regularly ordered items. It makes it so easy to reorder the essentials but it's also is a reminder in case I've forgotten any. Think of the items that you automatically put on your shopping list like coffee, toilet paper, pet food or cereal. If these are already part of your online shopping order, you just need to delete what you don't need and add any extras and your weekly or fortnightly shopping is done and forgotten! Easy!
Use time management tools
Take control of your schedule and use the range of time management tools that are available. Choose from a simple wall planner or diary to smartphone apps and find the right support for you to schedule regular appointments like dentists, car maintenance, vet appointments or haircuts. (I like Wunderlist (keeps your life in sync) or Cozi - a simple family organiser both of which are free. You can set up reminders and include additional notes and even addresses or directions to your appointments.)
But I also use a printed planner. I think the whole process of writing it down helps me to remember what needs to be done during the day. But it's also added to Wunderlist as a reminder.
Get as many small, routine tasks as you can out of your head by setting them on autopilot. By automating as many micro-decisions as possible, you can free up brain space for bigger or more enjoyable activities and become more productive and calmer. Prepare today for your tomorrows and you'll have time to enjoy your life.
With this in mind, you might also like to check out the Intentional Moms Monthly Toolbox. You'll receive all the resources listed below and more. And, you'll have access to online courses like:
* Stop Settling For Overwhelmed Course ($18 value) :: Learn how to examine, establish, and live out your priorities in this simple, step-by-step course!
* The What's For Dinner? Meal Planning System ($20 value) :: Create a recipe binder that works, complete with quick reference sheets, monthly meal planning worksheets, recipe cards, and more! Works as the PERFECT companion for the Toolkit's monthly meal plans! (digital download)
Every single month, you will be provided with:
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN:
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.