Automate Your Life to Declutter Your Brain

If your life is starting to feel out of control, you can make things easier for yourself by automating your life. Small, routine tasks such as deciding what to eat and what to wear can occupy a lot of brain space. You can reduce the amount of brain space that’s taken up by putting these routine tasks on auto-pilot.

Sit down with a pencil and paper and think of the repetitive, but important decisions you don’t need to keep making every day. Here are some examples you can implement:

1. Wear a work "uniform"

Steve Jobs famously wore the same black turtlenecks every day, so he didn’t have to think about what to wear. Think of something simple and easy, a standard outfit or a capsule wardrobe of basics (preferably easily laundered and drip dry), so that’s one less decision or stress point in your day.

2. Streamline your breakfast options

The easiest option is to eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but you can also think of a limited menu. Muesli or granola, eggs or a smoothie. Just keep it simple and easy.

3. Plan your meals

Take the angst out of the daily ‘what to have for dinner’ decision and plan your meals in advance. Do a weekly or monthly meal plan and limit the number of meal options you have in rotation. Think of seven to ten dishes and have the ingredients in your kitchen or do batch cooking and freeze. That also means you can bulk-buy groceries, saving money and limiting the number of trips to the store.

4. Use auto-debit

Pull out all your regular bills and set up a direct payment from your bank account.

5. Automate food delivery

As part of your meal planning process come up with a list of basics that you always need to have in your kitchen and use an automated delivery service like Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program. Think of the items that you automatically put on your shopping list like coffee, toilet paper, pet food or cereal.

6. Use time management tools

Take control of your schedule and use the range of time management tools that are available. Choose from a simple wall planner or diary to smartphone apps and find the right support for you to schedule regular appointments like dentists, car maintenance, vet appointments or haircuts. Get as many small, routine tasks as you can out of your head by setting them on autopilot. By automating as many micro-decisions as possible, you can free up brain space for bigger or more enjoyable activities and become more productive and calmer.

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