In this episode, I will be sharing various ways to automate your life so you can free up your most precious resource: TIME!
Tired of feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list? Listen to this episode to learn how to go from frazzled to freedom.
By the end of the episode, you will know how to get your time back, so you can focus on the things that light you up.
And before we jump into this amazing value that I want to provide to you today, I wanted to be sure to let you know that I am launching very soon. My own planner is called the modAmbition planner. And I want you to know it's not just a planner, it is a goal getting system that's going to help ambitious women like you have it all without the old.
So if you are interested and you want to learn more, we actually have pictures of it up now you can just go to signup.modAmbition.com and you can learn all about the planner that I will be launching very very soon. Sign up for the waitlist!
Paul J. Meyer said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
This way of thinking directly aligns with the 3 modAmbition pillars, which are plan, prepare, and execute! And in this episode, what we're really going to focus on is the “execute” pillar.
These strategies on automating your life are going to help you execute the things that are most important to you, achieving your goals with more ease, and have more time for what really matters in life.
I love how Jason Patel described automation in an article excerpt: He says “The average person makes 35,000 decisions a day. And studies show that decision-making fatigue is real.
Perhaps paradoxically, every act of making decisions limits your ability to make decisions later.
Reducing your number of daily decisions is a form of automation.
Automation means streamlining processes, limiting distractions, and saving time and effort. It means clearing your mind of clutter and spending your day on what matters.”
Being a mother, a psychologist, a manifestation coach, an entrepreneur, and a content creator – not to mention a friend, a daughter, a wife… (that’s a lot) “I am a multi-passionate person.” is quite an understatement.
So if you are a multi-passionate person like me, you might sometimes struggle with the urge to have more time in the desire to be able to get things off your plate that don't fill you up. But they're usually things that need to get done like cleaning, paying bills and administrative tasks.
And usually when we talk about taking things off of our plate that aren't as fulfilling, we think of automation or delegation, right? Delegation is great but it's also expensive and not always possible. Either because we don't have the support, we don't have the resources or we don't have a person that can do it in the right way. So that's where automation can come in really clutch to help you when delegation isn’t possible.
So let's jump right into these strategies for automating your life and having more freedom!
ONE: Automate Cleaning
According to an article in Better Humans, “A recent study of 2,000 Americans, commissioned by Arm & Hammer Clean & Simple, found that on average Americans spend 23 hours and 36 minutes on cleaning and housework per month.” That’s more than half a workweek spent doing repetitive tasks that don’t offer the opportunity for growth.``
I think I shared with you guys before that we do have a biweekly cleaning team that comes and helps us every other week. However, with two kids you can imagine that it doesn't stay clean in between so I have to come up with automation tools and systems to help me maintain my home in between those cleanings.
So if you can't delegate your cleaning as much as you want or maybe not at all, automation is going to be a way that's going to help you stay on top of things but not spend your life constantly cleaning.
So here are the strategies that I suggest to help you out at home and free up more of your time:
- Fly lady routine - Basically scheduled/batched cleaning
- The fly route lady routine is something that you can find on the internet and it's essentially a cleaning system that helps you stay on top of your cleaning by specifically delegating tasks for each day and routines for each day that you can get into – that by the end of the week, your whole house is clean. And by the end of the month or quarter, your house is maintained even in a deeper way.
- The larger idea is that you don't let it all stack up to one day and you take it bit by bit each day with simple cleaning routines that help you stay on top of things.
- Declutter sessions
- The way I've integrated the flag lady routine is simply just by making my own.
- I haven't done it exactly toe-to-toe but I've done certain things that I'm going to share with you now that have helped me take on the ideology of something like a flylady routine and make it work for my own life.
- So the first thing I do is I have declutter sessions about 10 to 15 minutes each day where I just focus on one part of my house.
- The part of the house that has been cluttered for us right now a lot of times is our bar cart because it's by the door where we come in and we just kind of dropping things on it.. or if we don't want the kids to touch something because it's high up, we'll put it on there and got to get splattered. So, I find myself spending time on that a little bit and it's amazing how decluttering just really helps you clear that mind.
- It helps you feel less over-stimulated and so that's something that became an important part of my routine and that you may find helpful as well if you feel over-stimulated by all the things in your sight lines.
- Cleaning Routines
- Another really helpful way that I'm automating cleaning is my cleaning routines. That is second nature to me now.
- So, in the mornings, I have a cleaning routine after my husband takes the kids to school, I will unload the dishwasher, wipe down my kitchen, and clean up the living room. And as I go to get ready upstairs, I will kind of grab anything that's cut around the house and put it in the laundry basket.
- At the end of the night, I am also in a very strong routine of once the kids are down for bed, we clean up the kitchen and kind of organize, straighten up things that need to be straightened, and it works for us as it keeps things nice and tidy in between the cleaners coming and do the deep cleaning.
- Batch Days for Laundry
- Currently for laundry, the way things are getting done – this has kind of changed over the last couple of months as we have changed the frequency of how much we are getting people to help us with the cleaning, but currently the way that we're doing it is batch days for laundry… which are done during the weekend so, I like to save all my clothes for Saturday as we wash them on Saturdays. That way, it's not something that I have to do everyday.
- But I have heard of people doing things where they do a load each day and at the end of the day they still didn't put it away so that they don't have a big load.
- So it's really about preference when it comes to automating your laundry. Do you want to do it all in one day and have a batch day or do you want to do it in more of a daily routine?
So now I want to move on to more technological ways to automate your life.
Okay, so maybe I'm dating myself with this, but do you remember Lucy and Ethel working on the Chocolate Factory assembly line? It was supposed to be this nice automated process and they just had to do very simple things to keep the factory on mated and going in the chocolate coming out.
However, the machine was too fast and just too much for them to handle, and in that very funny episode is a metaphor for sometimes how we try to automate our lives. If we don't have the right technology, things can be harder and not easier.
I'm calling this section of the episode “There's an app for that.” So with all these SAS companies or software-as-a-service, there has become a revolution of software solutions in order to make our lives easier and I think that we are leaving time on the table if we don't capitalize on using some of these apps and technologies to make our lives easier. I think they're great solutions because they are much more affordable than delegating to a person, and if you can find ways to use these apps and technology without hiring a personal assistant, then it is a win-win.
TWO: There’s an App for that
- Car washing
- Okay so the first thing I want to share that you can automate by using an app is car washing. Did you know that there is a mobile app called “Mobile Wash” where you can essentially use this app and they will bring the car wash to you at your convenience. So if you don't like car washing and you want to save that time or your husband/partner wants to save that time, all you have to do is use the app in the car wash and they will automatically come to you.
- Automatic Bill Pay and Bookkeeping
- This next one is for my entrepreneurs out there and even anyone in your family that handles the bookkeeping or the bill-paying.
- I know that most people do not like taking time out of their day to pay their bills, so just put it on auto-paces. If you haven't done this, this is like a low-hanging fruit: put all your bills on autopay so you don't have to think about it and it helps you not have to worry about being late so it frees up time but it also frees up mind space as well.
- And if you're an entrepreneur and you're still manually doing your bookkeeping, there is definitely an app for that. I personally hate doing bookkeeping and accounting so any help I can get in this area, I am down to take. I use a software called “Xero” and I know a lot of people like “QuickBooks” but me being in e-commerce, I have found Xero to be much more intuitive for me. So just pick one that you like that works for you essentially.
- Especially if you are also selling on places like Amazon and using Shopify, there's also integration of an app called H2X, that has been very helpful in categorizing those invoices of all the crazy stuff that comes in from Amazon and makes things a lot more easy and smooth when you sit down to do bookkeeping because it's all automated.
- Grocery Shopping
- The next thing, I don't personally automate because I enjoy doing our grocery shopping. Either I or my husband does it. Lately, it has been my husband and Layla going to the groceries. But grocery shopping is something that I know a lot of people are liking to have automated these days because it is such a Time Saver.
- So when we were using an app to automate our grocery shopping we were using “Instacart”, but there's also Amazon. So just pick one that you are satisfied with.
- Thermostat schedule
- This next kind of tool that I'm going to share with you is kind of one of those things that just saves you a little bit of time but those little bits of time add up in your day, right?
- So this next one is to use a thermostat schedule on your app that monitors your thermostat. So for us, we use “the nest” and if you put it on a schedule, you don’t constantly have to take time out of your day to go back and forth to change your thermostat in the day and night. We have it on the heat cool system and on a schedule and it's something off my head already. I don't even have to think about it and it doesn't distract me from my day.
- Email Filters in Apple Mail and Gmail
- Moving on to email filters in Apple Mail or in Gmail. How many minutes and hours a day do we waste filtering through emails and searching through emails? If you are on a journey where you want to start saving time, your email inbox is a good place to start with and take advantage of email filtering as a start.
- Personally I didn't use to do that. This is something that I have been getting into more over the last couple of years and it's definitely for me been a game-changer. Just having my emails more automated and organized has been helpful for me not to have to go in there and do it myself. I know a lot of people delegate their email organization to their assistant.
- I personally feel like that's very difficult for me to give off but having it in an automated type of way and something that I can't handle and not feel like I'm giving up to completely control are missing out on anything.
- Get your apps talking and save time: IFTTT app to repost IGs to Twitter; Later app
- See this next one, content creators like me might find useful, and that is to get your apps talking to each other so that you can save time and not have to do those redundant tasks especially if you are into the concept of repurposing content, using an app like “if this, then that” can help you get your apps like Twitter and Instagram working together so that you don't have to manually go and repurpose things. Another alternative that I like to use is an app called “later.com”. Later has been essential in helping me schedule content, repurpose content and just overall save time.
- Repeating Calendar reminders so you don’t have to remember to live – reminders to post, to plan, to review my quarter, to do my bedtime routine
- I don't know if you guys are like me but having to remember things causes me so much stress of just having to hold things in my mind.
- I really like to automate any type of repeating things in my life by using calendar reminders. So my last “there's an app for that” solution is to really use calendar reminders so you don't have to remember to post things, you can use reminders to remind you to plan at the beginning of the week, to review your quarters.
- You can use reminders to do your bedtime routine and your morning routines.
- Pro-tip: Sometimes alarms are better. Sometimes in the iPhone, a reminder is so soft and gentle and you can just dismiss it so easily that using an alarm is better if you really want to get your attention to remember something.
So now I want to move on to another automation strategy that can help you save time and be more free, which is to use subscriptions.
I know a lot of times you might get subscription offers and your initial reaction is “I don't want to subscribe to something cuz I don't want something automatically coming out of my bank account.”
However there is a time and a place for subscriptions where it is more helpful to have them than to save the money of not having them. So here are the subscriptions that I currently recommend that can be game changers in saving you time and energy.
- The first subscription I recommend is the love every subscription which I have for my toddler. It’s basically a montessori toy subscription that comes each quarter. I love it because I don't even have to think about things like “okay, where is she at developmentally?” and “what's going to help her thrive?” It's all done for me. They think of all these things and then they actually inform me of how these toys help in her development. Plus, they're such great quality toys I can pass them down and use with my younger son Christian as well.
- Toddler Meal Kits
- Speaking of Toddlers and another subscription that you may want to consider, if you do have kiddos I can help you automate life is “toddler meal kits”. So we all want to have our Toddlers and kids eating the same thing as us but let's face it, if your kids are anything like mine that they are sometimes picky eaters. So, you end up just throwing things away.
- And honestly many times, you probably end up making them their own meals just to make sure that they eat and get something nutritious. Well if you do toddler meal kits, there's many out there that you can consider but if you use any of them out there, you can automate this part of your life and not have to worry about what's your kids going to eat for dinner tonight especially if they tend to have different meals than you and your partner have.
- Baby Formula
- Very similar to Toddler Meal Kits is getting a subscription for baby formula which I did for my son Christian, which was also very helpful, something I didn't have to even think about. The formula just showed up every month and we are good to go.
- Makeup Staples
- The last subscription that I utilize that has been helpful and saving time is having my Makeup Staples on subscription.
- So my Nars concealer, my Nars tinted moisturizer. Yes, I'm a Nars girl. I just love it. I love the formulations. I love how saturated the products are but anyways, I just go on Amazon and put those on a subscription and that way I don't have to worry about how I need to go and do these certain things. Again all those little things add up to time that you could be having to do things that are more important for you.
FOUR: Manifesting on Autopilot
If you don't know what manifesting is, it's just a method of reaching your goals and getting things that you want in life right. And as a manifestation coach, I really preach infusing your life with automations that are going to make manifesting what you want really easy, really simple and really automated so it's on autopilot.
So here are the basic ways that I teach my clients on how to get what you want on autopilot by infusing it into your everyday life.
- One: Infuse your day with routines that will help you get to where you want to go.
- Two: create routines to feel good, to work on your mindset and to take actions that will bring you closer to what you want
- Use Morning, Day, Evening routines filled with manifestation techniques like visualizations, focus wheels, and vision boards
Ok, so the last strategy I want to share to automate your life is to use preparation systems.
FIVE: Preparation Systems
This form of automating is about using systems that your future self will thank you for, which I think is a term I got from the Kendra Adachi of the Lazy Genius. But essentially Just think about how you can create systems in your life that are going to help you automatically feel more prepared for each segment you're moving into. You can think of these as habits and tools that will prepare you to live life more easily.
- The first preparation system is meal planning and preparing at the beginning of the week.
- Let me tell you I am so thankful to my past self when I'm in the middle of the week is that the end of the day, I'm tired after working a long day and I'm walking to the kitchen and I don't have to think about what am I going to cook I just look at my meal plan and I automatically get to work without even having to think or spend time in the moment trying to prepare what it is that I'm going to do. Because quite frankly at the end of the day I just don't have the energy to think about those types of things and it just makes my life much easier that I already thought about it and in time where I did have energy.
- Also, there is an app called “Menu Planner App”, that can make your meal planning much easier.
- I personally just use a white board that has the days of the week on the left side and lunch dinner and kids on the top portions and I just fill in the different blank spots. And also at the bottom of the Whiteboard, I have a grocery list for the grocery store Amazon and Costco where I just placed everything that we need throughout the week and based on what I'm planning to cook that week, it just goes right there and we take a picture of it before we go to the grocery store.
- Shortcuts are another easy way to have systems in your life to prepare and automate things especially in your work life like keyboard shortcuts and email signatures. So the way that you would use an email signature as a shortcut is let's say you have a freaking response that you need to send to clients, you can just save that response as an email signature and whenever you get one of those questions from a client you can just pop in that signature and send it right off and it saves a lot of times by automating things in that way.
- Lastly, reduce decision fatigue by narrowing down your choices and preparing your choices beforehand.
- A great example of this is choosing what to wear or Or you can be like me and justified in general that you wear in life so I don't have to make many decisions when it comes to shopping or putting out what I'm going to wear because I only wear neutral colors and I don't wear patterns so that narrows down to my choices and makes things much easier for me and life.
- Other examples of preparing your choices beforehand and clued batch work days. So deciding what type of work you'll do on each day of the week so when you sit down you know exactly what you're doing and you're moving the needle on those important things.
- Or you could even badge your meal Days by having things like Taco Tuesdays or Pizza Fridays.
- As Barack Obama explained, “You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can't be going through the day distracted by trivia.”
I think that's a great place to end. Those are my tips on how to automate your life and save time so you can spend more time doing the things that light you up.