Women are masters at juggling a million things at once. Our brains are wired to handle several different tasks and thoughts at the same time. But I am finding that the more I put on my plate, the harder it is to keep track of everything. That’s why I put as many things as I can on autopilot.
What do I mean by autopilot?
I create routines, systems, habits and reminders that keep me from having to think about so many things at once and avoid decision fatigue. Decision fatigue means the more decisions we make, the more we deplete our mental energy.
And most of the time, we waste our decision-making energy on insignificant things like what to eat and what to wear, so when harder decisions come our way, we are already mentally tired.
Putting some of the easier decisions on autopilot is literally a way to keep from losing our minds.
Eight Tasks You Can Put on Autopilot
If you wash, dry and put away one load a day, this chore is less overwhelming and time-consuming. Try to get the load started first thing in the morning, and you’re sure to be done by lunch. If you work outside the home, gather the laundry and take it to the laundry room in the morning so as soon as you get in from work in the evening, you can start a load of clothes.
- Meal Planning
Everyone needs to eat, but deciding what to fix every night can be a huge chore. There are so many ways to simplify meal planning like themed meal nights, using a meal planning service such as emeals or choosing 10-15 go-to recipes that you put on rotation. Choose the one that works best for your family, and then use online grocery ordering to make meal planning as easy as possible.
- Food Prep
If you save food prep until 5:30 pm, dinner won’t be ready until late. Instead, consider prepping as much as you can in the morning or on the weekends. Even if you only chop veggies or cook meats, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
Whether you stay at home or work, having an organized schedule can be a lifesaver. Set a time each week to go to the grocery, do errands or go to the gym. Bonus points for creating a morning and evening routine to follow each day. Money Saving Mom has fantastic courses on creating morning and evening routines if you need extra help.
Organize your closet by outfits, so you can easily see your clothing options. Then each night, select what you will wear the following today, along with shoes and accessories.
There are a couple of ways to put cleaning your house on autopilot. You could do one cleaning job each day or get the whole family involved by cleaning the whole house together on the weekend. And by cleaning, I mean tasks like dusting, vacuuming and mopping. Decluttering can be a breeze if you take just 15 minutes to pick up the house at the end of the day.
- Recurring Tasks
Who has the brain capacity to remember those things like changing your toothbrush or air filters or mascara? How about scheduling annual doctor’s appointments, paying bills or contributing to savings or investment accounts? Take advantage of the Reminders app on your iPhone or use an app like ToDoist to remember those tasks for you.
Use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program and Dash buttons to order items you use on a regular basis. This is a great way to stay stocked in everything from household goods to supplements to beauty products.
What other things do you have on autopilot? The more things we create a routine or systems for, the more energy we have to focus on more important things.