Life is full of decisions… opportunities to say yes to, opportunities to say no to, options (where to eat, what to wear, what to do, who to see), vacations to plan, what groceries to buy, meals to make, books to read… You get the idea. The average person makes 35,000 decisions a day.
GOOD LORD. I didn’t make this up. Google told me.
Because 35,000 decisions a day basically feels impossible (how do we do that?) I like to automate as many of mine as possible.
In this post I’ll share SEVEN things that will help you automate your life so you only have to make 34,993 decisions a day. 😉
I promise it makes a bigger difference than it sounds like. Ha!
(These are all things I do, as I don’t like to preach anything I don’t practice.)
1. Wake up before anyone else
One of my favorite things to do during the week (I keep more structure in the week and much less on the weekend — I like to keep parts of the week totally spontaneous) is to wake up before Marco and Abby (my pup).
I get up around 5:00 while it’s still dark outside, pour my coffee, turn on soft music, wrap myself in a blanket, sit down and read my Bible.
I love having quiet time first thing, before anyone else is up. This is the only part of my day that is completely un-interrupted and I think we could all use some uninterrupted time.
2. Keep the first hour of your day social media free
Which takes me into this next point. Keep the first hour of your day social media free. ALL day long you’re going to be responding to others, connecting with others, thinking about others… etc… let the first hour of your day just be YOU, in your home, doing what you want, without online distraction.
3. Do the things that’ll get put aside FIRST
What are the things in your day that somehow seem to slip away way more often than you’d like them to? For me, these things are:
- morning quiet time
- going to the gym or for a walk
- showering and getting dressed
Because I know that these things can get swept away from my day so easily (even though I love them all) I plan to do them first thing in the morning. There’s not much that can interrupt these things early in the morning (not even my own thoughts – haha!).
4. Plan your next day
Use a WRITTEN PLANNER (it’s so easy to delete events that you care about from online calendars; writing down the things you want to do keeps you more accountable) and plan your next day the night before.
This way, you know when to wake up and you know what you can do to set yourself up for success for the next day. You can grab some scratch paper to do this for tomorrow if you don’t have a planner.
Here’s an example of what planning my day out looks like on a workday:
- 5:00 wake + quiet time
- 6:00 gym
- 7:00 breakfast
- 8:00 shower/dress
- 9:00 start clients
- 12:00 lunch
- 5:05 end clients
- 5:15 clear inbox
- 5:45 plan next day / straighten up
- 6:00 OFF / be in my life
Of course, your life and my life may be entirely different so your day will look different. Use whatever time frame works for you. The most important things to have in your plan are:
- Things just for you
- Start time for work
- End time for work
- Planning your next day
5. Set yourself up for success
Now that you’ve planned your next day, what things can you do to set yourself up for success to have these things happen? For example, with my day I’ll want to:
- pick my outfit for the next day
- set out my gym clothes
- have the coffee pot ready to go in the morning
- leave my planned day piece of paper front and center for the next morning
- have the house nice and tidy when I go to bed so I don’t turn to “pick up mode” in the morning
Setting these things up the night before is going to take all of the decision making out of the morning. It’s going to automate the way my morning flows and I’m going to be so much more likely to get to do the things I want to do. THIS is a form of self-care — caring for my future (morning) self.
6. Make budgeting a habit
Budgeting your money gives you FINANCIAL FREEDOM. What does financial freedom look like? Here are a few examples:
- your car breaks down and you have enough money to fix it
- when the offering bucket comes by at Church you can joyfully give
- that house you want to save for? You can actually do it
- the coach you want to invest in? Money’s in the bank!
There are A LOT MORE EXAMPLES on this, which I’ll talk about more in an upcoming budget workshop I’m putting together. Want in on this workshop? Have a question or area of budgeting you want covered? Sweet! Send me an email and share it with me — firstname.lastname@example.org!
7. Use the lists app in your phone
I love the reminders list app in my phone. I use it to write down meals each week, plan our grocery list, write down work to-do’s that pop up while I’m away from my office, etc… This app is a lifesaver for me! It makes grocery shopping SO easy.
Speaking of budgeting, I know it can be a challenge to save EVERY receipt (though it’s so good to do!)… so I also have a list for when I forget a receipt. I jot down the total and what I bought and plug it in when I sit down to update my budget.
I hope this post gave you some awesome ideas! Take all of the tips that resonated and make them work for YOU. There’s no one right way to do any of this. Use this as inspiration and find what feels good for you.
Sending you all of my love!