Last week my sister called me an overachiever, because I made a rhubarb pie that morning. It’s funny because it required little effort on my part and was in the oven in about 15 minutes. Later I realized that so much of what I do is built on life hacks. These hacks simplify my life and set it up so things get done simply and therefore easily. I’m always looking for the shortest path between where I am and where I want to go. For example, in the pie situation, I started with store bought crust. I cut the fruit the night before and had it ready to go when I put the pie together in the morning. I only needed to add a few ingredients to the fruit, roll out the dough, fill my pie crust and throw it in the oven. That’s hardly being an overachiever in my mind- maybe just competent. Baking/ cooking are almost hobbies for me and I’ve been working on them for a long time. Also, it was a Sunday morning and I was not rushing out the door that day. Here’s few more ideas that may make your day go more smoothly.
- Sometimes while waiting for my coffee to brew, I empty the dishwasher
- Every time I drink water in the morning, I take one of my vitamins.
- While shopping for vegetables for dinner that night, I pick up the chicken for tomorrow night’s dinner
- Always have eggs and rice in the house and green beans in the freezer.
- To release tension in your body, breathe deeply, relax your jaw and mouth and let it all go slack for a minute.
- One way to fall asleep faster is to breathe in, all the way to the bottom of your lungs into your diaphragm.
- Use a simple childhood prayer or mantra to calm your brain down to sleep.
- To find a solution to most any problem, ask what the simplest thing would be
- If you can’t solve a problem directly, what work-around could you use?
- Check to make sure you’ve met your physical needs today. Are you thirsty, hungry or need a break? Sometimes just taking a shower, steadies my nerves and makes me feel ready for the day.
- If you can’t do a whole task right away, calculate what micro-task could you do to move that issue further, like putting the stamp and address on the letter you need to mail
- When I need to get something done, I think about running upstairs (or down) as taking another lap which helps me get in my daily steps.
- Sometimes when I avoid doing one task- I do something else like folding laundry or paying a bill. In one way I’m not being directly productive but in another I am and sometimes doing the household stuff helps me figure out the solution or methodology for the first task.
- I understand my most productive hours for creativity or problem solving are the morning when I’m fresh.
- Sometimes 20 minutes on the couch in the afternoon can recharge me enough to propel me through the rest of my day.
- Recycle the junk as soon as the mail comes in.
- When the new magazines come in, recycle the old ones- do not keep more than 3 months issues.
- Prep your garbage and recycling the day before pickup so that you’re not scrambling that morning.
- Get rid of old produce and the like, the day before garbage pickup. For me that’s Sunday.
- If you can address an annoying problem first, it frees up your brain from the underlying discontent and you’re able to think more freely.
- Before I leave the house I check to make sure I have everything I need. If I need a lunch, I leave my lunch bag on the counter the night before, so that I remember to make and take my lunch. Before I leave the house I make sure I have my phone with me.
- Always have a snack in the car, to avoid bad decisions.
- Sometimes when I have a problem pestering me at night, I tell myself that I’ll think about it in the morning and give myself permission to fall asleep, which seems to work.
At the end of the day, think about what went well and say good job!
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