I woke up this morning and starting going through my mental “to-do” list. I do this every morning, and it dawned on me that I was super busy. How did this happen? I quit my fancy consulting job and took a part-time job to give me more time. In an effort to get some free time back, I started working on some shortcuts.
It’s a trial-and-error kind of thing, looking for shortcuts. You don’t want your life to get shittier because you’ve neglected stuff to get other stuff done. A shortcut is beautiful when it allows you to get the important tasks done while you reclaim precious moments of time.
Here are a few shortcuts I’ve been experimenting with:
- Simplify house cleaning. Instead of cleaning the whole room, concentrate on one thing. I vacuum one day. Then another day, I might dust or de-clutter a room. Breakdown “cleaning the whole house” task into smaller tasks. Also, try 5 minutes of cleaning per room.
- Hire someone. My brother-in-law saw his neighbor’s teenage son and offered to pay him to mow his lawn. It was a win-win for all involved: Inexpensive and the teenager gets some cash. Don’t spend unnecessary time worrying that chores aren’t getting done; delegate them.
- Frozen food/no-cooking meals. I keep frozen chicken and veggies stocked so that if the cupboards are bare, I can throw something together quick. We also make some of our meals super easy, like pre-cooked chicken on a salad. There are services like Blue Apron, which provide all the ingredients for three or five meals a week. And let’s not forget pizza delivery, because sometimes it’s better than spending an hour in the kitchen.
- Get organized. This takes some effort upfront but saves a ton of time in the end. Just as we wrote about sorting kids’ outfits while folding laundry, being organized will help everything run smoothly. Everything has its place, you just need to find it. Lots of toys? Get lots of bins. Lots of dishes? Keep that dishwasher empty, and you won’t have clutter on the counter.
Tell us: How are you are taking shortcuts to enjoy life more?
This is the second in our “Manifesto for Adulthood” series, where we share our philosophies for being a better adult in the modern world.