Chores are a fact of life. Much as we might prefer to spend our time doing things of greater interest, mundane tasks keep popping up, demanding our attention. Unfortunately, we all know that ignoring them doesn’t mean that they will magically take care of themselves.
Or will they? One way to ease the burden is to consider the chores that soak up all your time and determine which ones can be automated. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that your workload becomes lighter as you simplify and streamline. Here are a few time-suckers to consider targeting for elimination.
1. Ordering and Picking Up Prescriptions
The traditional method of refilling a prescription was irksome. Normally, you would drive to your neighborhood pharmacy and hope there’s not a long line. Yes, you can call in your prescription in advance. Still, more often than not, you’ll get an estimate for when it should be ready rather than an exact time.
Instead of going through this process whenever you need a refill, look into ordering your prescriptions online. It only takes a minute to order a refill online. You can get your prescription shipped directly to your home, so no more trips to the pharmacy are required.
According to Nurx, healthcare should be easy to access, personalized, and nonjudgmental, whether you need birth control, acne medication, or herpes treatment. New online health care companies help patients get the care they need quickly and safely without the need to leave home.
2. Meal Planning
Most of us spend too much money eating out because we see it as one way to save time. However, preparing meals at home is much healthier, in addition to being more cost-effective. Meal planning can be a simple process even if it might seem daunting at first. Get the hang of weekly meal planning, and your daily meals can be placed on autopilot.
Begin your meal planning on Saturday or Sunday, before the workweek begins. Develop a list of meals you’d like to have during the upcoming week. In particular, look for anything you can cook and prepare in multiple servings. Cooking in bulk cuts down on the time you’ll spend deciding what to eat and preparing it. Pasta, such as spaghetti, makes for a great starter meal to begin your meal planning schedule.
Making pasta in bulk is so easy, people do it accidentally all the time. With appropriate storage containers, you’ll have lunch prepared for the next several days with no additional effort. There’s a balance between cooking in advance and cooking so much that food spoils, but you’ll get the hang of it.
3. Grocery Shopping
If you have small kids at home, you know just how challenging a trip to the grocery store can be. Trying to keep them happily occupied while simultaneously scanning the shelves for everything you need represents multitasking at its finest. While occasional trips to the store are unlikely to be eliminated altogether, much of the hassle of shopping for everyday items can be.
For starters, grocery delivery is a growing industry that’s on the brink of becoming mainstream. You can now place an order online and have your groceries shipped directly to your home. There’s no need to buckle all kids in and make a trek out of it. If online grocery ordering and delivery isn’t an option where you live, there might be pick-up options available instead.
You still place your order online, but instead of having it delivered, you drive over to pick it up yourself. Despite the travel, ordering ahead will save you time you would have spent selecting every item yourself. Many stores allow you to keep a running grocery list online, just waiting to place your order whenever the time is right.
4. Home Maintenance
Even if you don’t have kids or pets, keeping up with home maintenance can be a challenge. When you get home from work, the last thing you want to do is take out the trash or start the laundry. That’s not to mention dealing with any messes that accumulated without explanation.
There are at least a few ways you can put some aspects of home maintenance on autopilot. You could consider getting a robot vacuum that keeps your floors swept without your supervision. Look at other tools — like robotic mops and robotic window cleaners — that can minimize the effort you need to exert.
Balance the cost and upkeep of any tool against the time you are saving yourself. It’s much easier to maintain a home a little bit each day than to tackle a deep clean every month or two. Block off 10-15 minutes at the end of your day to do some minor cleaning and tidying. Soon this practice will become a routine, and overwhelming messes will become a thing of the past.
5. Paying Bills
Few things in life are as certain as recurring bill payments. Even though they come around at the same time each month, missing just one payment will cause problems. Late payment penalties could be applied, interest will build up, and your credit score could start to dip. If you haven’t already, look into automating every bill payment you can.
Fortunately, many service providers have already realized how much time and money they can save by going paperless. In some cases, you may need to request paperless billing be added to your account. Once your bills are being paid automatically, all you need to do is monitor your account balance. Stick to a budget, and make sure you have sufficient funds available at payment time.
6. Yard Work
Would you be interested in a Roomba for your yard? Automated lawn mowers already exist, but they cost a pretty penny. Even so, many innovators are working toward a future where lawn care can be fully automated, and yard work will become optional. Until that day comes, there are ways to make your yard look nice without spending your entire weekend tending to its needs.
Sprinkler systems aren’t cheap, but they can be set to keep your lawn watered automatically. Alternatively, reduce the size of your lawn by creating a rock garden or native plants area to cut down on mowing. Last but not least, consider hiring local kids to mow the remaining lawn for you before the robots take their summer job away. It can be a win-win for relieving the burden of lawn care and developing better relationships with your neighbors.
The first step to improving any part of your daily habits is to stop and assess where you are. Not every chore can be automated, so focus your efforts where they are most likely to offload a task you loathe. If you can reduce your least-favored tasks, you’ll no longer feel overwhelmed by chores that used to take over your personal life.