Have you ever thought to yourself ‘‘Why didn’t I do it earlier’’, ‘’I should’ve done it at xx hour’’, ‘’I knew I should have checked that’’. Or anything that is remotely close to them? I’m going to be bold and say yes you have. At some point in life you have to deal with everything. Now is the time to deal with this. This being “you being an (fill in favorite curse word)” to yourself. Let me first say that you shouldn’t go around calling yourself this daily or often or ever. However you should realize that you aren’t being all too nice to yourself. When you are dead honest you know that I am absolutely right. So now how do we get off of this merry-go-round? Simply implement new life rules and make life easier yourself.
1. Make A To-do list
Make one. I know I have already wrote about this but I highly believe in it so I will preach about it again. Feel free to skip to the parts I have not preached about yet.
Well, make a to-do list. Your mind has plenty of things to deal with, without it having to constantly repeat all the things you have to do that day. By having to mentally repeat your to-do list, you occupy brain capacity that you can use for different better purposes. May I suggest the task at hand?
Convincing argument number two: you limit forgetting. When you have everything written down, after finishing each task you just go to your to-do list, check what is next and you’re back in business. You’re saving time (convincing argument number 3) here by not having to dig around in your brain for answers and at the end of the day realizing that you forgot something major.
Also, convincing argument number 4, at the end of the day you know exactly what got done and what still needs your attention. Boem, you made your life easier.
Where better to make a to-do list than in your very own optimized To-Do Book?! Try out all my convincing arguments for yourself and figure out that I am right about them.
2. Implement the 5-minute rule
Many people in my surrounding apply the 2-minute rule from David Allen. It basically says; if you can complete a task within two minutes do it immediately. Mostly these are tasks that get pushed to the end of the day. However if you push ten 2-minute tasks to the end of the day together they become 20 minutes. Get where I’m going here? Of course you do.
I however find two minutes too short. So I use a 5-minute rule. I like setting my timer and racing it to see if I’ll make it, gives a sense of accomplishment when I can turn it off before it actually went off.
Another reason why I use five minutes instead of two is because I can get more tedious tasks done. Such tasks usually take longer than 2 minutes. For example doing the dishes, tidying up, changing bed linen.
Last but not least 5-minutes works better for me, because it is the ideal time between two to-do list items when I have a very busy day. I get 5 minutes of downtime and get something done as well. All I see is win-win.
I briefly mentioned, my love affair with my timer and using productive distractions but I did explain the love affairs more in detail in their own respective posts.
– More Info About How To Effectively Use A Timer
– More Info About Using Productive Distractions
3. Do it all at once
Next to the 5-minute rule I have a rule to do things at once. Basically it comes down to finishing what you started and not having to repeat the same event day in day out. This prevents you from having to circle back to it later.
I can best explain this with an example. I prepare my lunch for Monday on Sunday. However I have already started preparing lunch so I will prepare it for the entire week, because else on Monday night I will be doing the same task again. By doing it all at once on Sunday, I win time during the rest of the week. Doing it this way you take away the risk of postponing it until the morning which, as we all know, is hellish.
I know this is an example which is highly dependent on what you eat but it is also transferable to other tasks. Such as checking and immediately answering e-mails, filing paperwork correctly, or putting things back where they belong after using them. All little things that make life easier.
4. Have set structures
This might sound contradictory to what you have read here previously but I have set structures specifically for tedious tasks.
I know, I know, routines bother me greatly and they still do, that has absolutely not changed. However having set moments during the week planned to specifically do some tedious tasks makes it so that they don’t get pushed around during the week.
The tasks I have as structured things to do on a day are the ones that easily get booted when the day is over-planned or there’s a slight hint of tiredness in the air. You know what type of tasks I am talking about! I’m sure you have them too.
Always doing them on the same day around the same hour builds a routine that gives peace of mind because you know they will get done. Also if you have to remember something to go along with the task, for example checking the pantry before going grocery shopping, that will happen too as there is time created specifically for that task.
When you structure the tasks like that then there’s nothing hanging above your head the entire week. The dread can honestly be anxiety inducing. Deciding when to do the task and keeping it at that scheduled time every week takes all that away.
Also, it enables you to find a time that suits you absolutely best instead of having to squeeze the task in your planning somewhere or having to do them out of obligation to make another plan happen. Tidying up is a good example of that.
There are plenty more of these little tricks that improve your day-to-day life and simply improve the quality of your life. This is just a selection of the ones I use on a daily basis that I believe will make your life easier and show you results fast. Remember in order to make the results lasting you have to keep implementing it daily.
Little changes amount to huge life improvements.
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