With to-do lists that are a mile long, wouldn’t it be nice to ditch a few tasks? That’s what automating lets us do. It’s the idea of set it and forget it. If you can automate tasks, you can take a few things off your to-do list completely.
Automate is sounds techie, but what does it really mean? An automated task is one that occurs on its own without your involvement. If you like programmable coffee makers or crockpots, you already enjoy that “set it and forget it” technology.
We can leverage that same idea with some of the tasks you perform on a regular basis. Automating any task requires a bit of set-up time on the front end but saves significant time long term.
And, when you can eliminate even one ongoing task, it saves you time, mental energy and sometimes money.
Let’s take a look at a few ideas of tasks to automate.
9 Tasks You Should Automate
- Paying bills.
Thanks to technology, most every bill you have can be set up on automatic draft. Not only does this eliminate several things on your to-do list each month, it also prevents late fees due to forgotten bills. You can even automate non-traditional payments, such as those owed to housekeepers or babysitters, by setting up recurring payments through PayPal.
- Shopping for clothes.
Driving to different stores, looking through all the racks and trying everything on takes so much time. If that isn’t your idea of a good time, you can skip it all by using a clothing subscription service such as Stitch Fix (for men, women and kids), Trendsend by Evereve or Nadine West (a lower cost option).
- Saving money.
I am much more likely to contribute to retirement accounts or kids’ college funds if I set them up as automatic purchases each month. This is something you can set up easily through your investment firm’s website.
- Items you purchase frequently.
If you aren’t using Amazon Subscribe & Save, do yourself a favor and go check it out. We use Subscribe & Save for many items we purchase on a regular basis, such as supplements, batteries, skin care, some grocery products and diapers. You can also get things like paper towels, toilet paper and laundry detergent– all delivered to your door in your monthly delivery. You can decide how often you want to receive each item from every month to every 6 months.
- Preparing food.
If there is one task I want to save more time on, it’s meal planning and food prep. I honestly feel like I run a restaurant some days. Fortunately, there are several services that can make the job easier. There are meal kit delivery services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron that deliver prepped ingredients for a recipe to your door. If you can afford it and want your meals prepared for you, there are companies you offer premade meals such as Freshly and Prepped.
- Cleaning your house.
Though I haven’t found a way to automate cleaning toilets, you can automate vacuuming and mopping with robots. We have an ILIFE robotic vacuum that we love and robot mops are similarly priced.
- Control your home.
The newest gadgets allow you to power on and off your lights, wifi, thermostat and security all using your phone. Once you set up your preferences, you’ll never have to wonder if you turned off all the lights before leaving home or if your packages will still be at the front door when you arrive home.
- Shopping for gifts.
Instead of letting Mother’s Day or your friend’s birthday sneak up on you every year and force you to send yet another Amazon gift card, make a list of every holiday you need to buy gifts and cards for and buy them all at once. (Some people like Jessica Turner of The Mom Creative do this after Christmas and take advantage of post-holiday sales.) Then you just have to set a reminder in your phone a few days in advance to wrap and deliver the gift. If this method is too much of an expense at once, just set a reminder each month to purchase any gifts or cards needed for the following month. This still allows you to stay ahead of the game.
- Improve your health.
Even basic activity trackers and pedometers track the number of steps you take daily to help you get to the recommended 10,000 steps per day. And, have you seen the smart water bottles like Hidrate and H20Pal, that keep track of how much water you drink and even remind you when to drink more.
Automating is just one of the hacks you can use to save time. For 24 other ideas, sign up to get my FREE guide on 25 ways to find more time.
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