Ramit sent an email last week about how President Obama manages his time. Basically, since he has so many BIG decisions to make, to keep his decision-making abilities sharp, he makes no decisions about his daily life. Of course, everything is being taken care of, but he also only wears gray or blue shirt, to avoid the decision-making process and focus on the big task of running a country.
Taking this example back to our daily lives, there are many things that we can automate so that we don’t have to worry about them anymore, and can concentrate on what is really important to us. Would you rather chose your shirt for 10 minutes each morning, or have 10 minutes to deeply reflect on your life goals and ways to achieve them?
Obama-ize your finances
Put everything on auto-pilot, bills, savings to different account, retirement contributions, donations… Check once a week on your online banking that everything is going smoothly, and withdraw a bit of cash for unexpected expenses. Review your budget once a month or every quarter to confirm that your spending is in track and adjust to your new goals.
My Obama score: I’ll give myself an A on that one, I have simplified my finances over the years, and now I maybe write or get a couple of checks per year, everything else is wired to my account and goes out to pay all of my expenses.
Obama-ize your clothes
Find out a dressing routine that works for you, it can be that you will use two pants and five shirts over the week, so you can take those seven items out on Sunday night, and pair them during the week. You will save time instead of looking at that huge closet mumbling ”I have nothing to wear”
My Obama score:Again, I deserve an A! I have been traveling for 6 months with one pair of jeans and one other pair of pants, five t-shirts, one sweater and a jacket. I didn’t have too much trouble wondering what to wear in the morning.
Obama-ize your food
First, don’t stare bluntly at your open fridge for hours, it wastes energy and drives me crazy! Just as with clothing, figure out a common basis for each meal, that you do enjoy (rice, pasta, potatoes, lentils), and go shopping for complements (vegetables, meat, fish) that you can easily pour on top. Vegetables can be chopped and cleaned during the weekend so that you only have to grab them and put them into a salad or a wok.
My Obama score: I get a B. Ramit suggests eating the same breakfast every day, I like a variety of breakfasts, but can have the same breakfast for five days in a row. So I can get a carton of eggs or a box of cereal and figure out the next breakfast series once I finish those. I am good at not wondering what to eat and just grabbing vegetables and leftovers from the fridge to turn it into something edible, but couldn’t have taco Mondays, lasagna Tuesdays, wash, rinse and repeat.
Obama-ize your house
Like grandma said one spot for each thing and each thing on its spot. Or something. Leave your retainer by the side of your bed or in the bathroom, your keys by the door on a key-basket or a special place where you know they will be the next time you need them. Bills go to a bills folder, put the dirty clothes bin where it is more convenient, the bathroom or the bedroom, but one place where you won’t miss and end up having socks on the floor for a week.
My Obama score: A very poor F, I am terrible at this! Just yesterday I spent half an hour looking for my keys!! Points for trying though.
Obama-ize your fitness
Leave your running shoes and gear by your bed at night so you just have to wake up and step into them. Your mind is powerful and will try to trick you into not going if the minimum effort is required in order to get you ready.
Have a set routine, run on Monday swim on Wednesday cycle on Friday for example. Your body and mind will get into the habit and do it much easier.
My Obama score: I think it’s a C. I hate the gym so I don’t go but I have made it a habit to take my bicycle to go almost anywhere. I hope to settle down into a swimming and cycling routine when I move to Guatemala next month.
What other simple routines can you implement to make your life easier and concentrate on what is important in life?