Time is the most valuable thing any of us possess, and it’s the only thing you can’t increase beyond the 24 hours you’re given in a day. Which is why most people turn to multitasking. It seems like the perfect answer. Get two or three things done at the same time so you have extra time left over for something else.
Unfortunately, multitasking doesn’t work. Every time you attempt to complete multiple tasks at once, your brain wastes precious time trying to decide which task to do right in this moment.
Imagine going for a run and stopping at every corner with the question, right, left or straight? Your run would take twice as long than if you’d planned your entire route ahead of time and followed that.
That’s what happens when you try to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Your brain constantly has to figure out which task it’s focusing on and you end up taking longer to complete all your tasks than if you had done one task at a time.
So if you’re never going to able to save time by doing multiple things at once, how do you find more time for the things you want to focus on?
How automation helps
The average adult makes 35,000 decisions on a daily basis. Over 250 of those alone are devoted to food. Sure, most of them take microseconds to resolve, but a few microseconds times 35,000 adds up to a lot of time and energy spent before you even get to the task at hand.
Automation helps you make fewer decisions on things that matter less or are done on a regular basis so you free up more time for the tasks you want to focus on.
Automation isn’t the same as multitasking because you’re not doing multiple tasks at the same time and you’re not constantly making decisions about what to do next. Instead, you’re making all your decisions once and ahead of time, then working through them one task at a time (or in some cases, allowing them to happen on their own). You get everything done, save time and do all your tasks better. #winning
The magic formula
There are a lot of ways to automate different parts of your life, but the formula for how to do it is always the same. That is to:
- Recognize something in your life that happens repetitively
- Make a decision (or a series of decisions) for how you want that task handled
- Set up a system to enact those decisions
- Tweak as necessary
That’s pretty much it. The hardest part is #3, knowing what system to use, so here are 3 examples to spark some ideas.
3 ways to automate your life
1. Prep for your day the night before
Deciding what your day is going to look like the night before frees up time for you to complete your tasks the next day. You’ll wake up to a hassle-free morning and have a prioritized roadmap of what to do next every time you finish a task to help you have a productive day every day.
Here are a few ways to get a head start on tomorrow:
- Write down all your to dos in the order of priority
- Decide which tasks can be pushed off until later in the week and which are crucial to get done tomorrow
- Schedule tasks into your calendar and commit to getting them done in a certain amount of time
- Set up your environment with what you need to have a successful start to the morning (like laying out your clothes, choosing a workout playlist or gathering ingredients for a healthy breakfast)
2. Create routines and habits
The beauty of a routine is you decide once what it’s going to be and you don’t have to think about it again, except maybe to tweak it every once in awhile.
A routine is also the foundation for creating a habit, those tasks that are hardwired into your brain thanks to the basal ganglia and the brain stem. The closer a routine comes to becoming a habit, the easier it becomes and the less brain power you need to use to complete it, freeing up even more time and energy for other tasks. And once you develop a habit, you can use it as an anchor to create additional healthy habits in your life.
Here are a few ideas to save time and add a few healthy habits to your day:
- Meditate for five minutes while your morning coffee is brewing
- Develop an easy-to-remember exercise routine that you perform every time you turn on the TV
- Keep a journal and pen next to your bed and spend 5-10 minutes writing out your thoughts before turning off the light
- Add sunscreen as an extra step to your morning beauty routine
3. Use technology
Technology is one of the most powerful systems you can use to automate your life. More automation options become available all the time as technology becomes able to handle more complex tasks. With people doing more than ever before, companies are automating as much as possible to create ways to free up more of your time.
Here are a few examples of what can be automated to help take care of common tasks:
- Coffee makers and kettles that start brewing your coffee or boiling water right around the time you wake up
- Thermostats that adapt on their own as they learn your preferences each time you change the temperature and turn off your A/C or heater whenever you leave the house
- Apps that allow clients and coworkers to schedule meetings at times that work for both of you without the back and forth email coordination
- Prescription refills through your pharmacy or health insurance so you never run out
- Product subscriptions that replenish common items at set intervals of time so you never run out
- Monthly bill pay for almost anything you pay for on a recurring basis (including your credit card bill)
- Budget trackers for all your credit card purchases so you know how much you’re spending
- Smart scales that upload your weight online for easy tracking and monitoring
There are even water bottles being built that record how much water you drink in a day.
Automation is the idea Methodology is built off of. Remember those 200+ decisions you make every day on food? We want to cut those down significantly so you don’t have to think about things like:
- What do you eat?
- Do you make it or go out to eat it?
- Where do you get the ingredients?
- What restaurant do you go to?
Which frees you to spend time on things like spending quality time with people you care about.
The majority of clients who come to Methodology cite time as their biggest barrier to healthy eating, and we understand why. There are a LOT of decisions and preparation that go into a healthy meal, and it’s so much easier to settle for something else.
That’s why we:
- Come up with the menus
- Automatically assign you meals
- Cook everything
- Deliver meals to your front doorstep.
We even send an email every week to remind you to check your menu just in case you want to make a change.
Our goal is to make it so all you have to do is choose your plan once, tweak it as necessary and then reheat the meals in your constantly stocked fridge.
If that sounds like the perfect way for you to save time and eat better, then click here to join our waitlist. Or learn more about what we do.