Freeing Up Your Time

Samurai Meditating Sketch

I’m a huge proponent of being lazy. And of course, by being lazy, I mean being smart.

In my line of work (building tech companies), there are constantly a million separate things to do, worry about, and focus on at any given time. One day you’ll be reaching out to customers all day long, and another day you’ll be furiously fixing bugs and adding features. No matter what happens, there is never a shortage of things that just have to get done.

When you’re completely swamped with things to do, all of high importance, it seems like every little thing you worry about adds fifty pounds to your shoulders. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by all the little things: remembering to pay your rent, buy toothpaste, generate the billing reports for your company, etc. Every single tiny little thing you have to do, each day / week / month / year adds up.

While it may not look like it takes an enormous amount of time to pay you rent each month, the mental cost is a lot higher. When you’re at the gym half-way through the month and your brain alerts you and says Oh yea! I have to pay the rent again in two weeks, better not forget about it. and then keeps reminding you every day or so until you do it–you’ve accumulated minutes worth of stress, worry, and unnecessary distraction. When you think about all the things you have to remember to do each month, it all adds up, inch by inch.

If you’d like to free up your time, be able to keep a clear mind, and focus on the things you want to focus on (not things you are forced to focus on), you’ll need to automate. All those little things you have to do each month? Automate them. Be as lazy as you can possibly be.

  • Can you have toothpaste shipped to your house automatically each month? Do it.
  • Can you have toilet paper shipped to your house each month? Do it.
  • Can you write a script to automate those billing reports at the end of the month? Do it.
  • Can you have your bank automatically pay your rent for you? Do it.

Automation is an incredibly useful tool, one that way too many people don’t take advantage of. It is one of the best ways to cut back on worry, stress, and unnecessary distractions in the short and long term. If you can completely automate even some of your basic monthly needs, you’ll immediately reap the benefits.

For any of your basic product needs (toilet paper, toothpaste, razors, etc.), you can most likely have Amazon auto-ship them to your house each month.

Need to generate business reports each month? Why not use a service like Ducksboard and plug your data into a single, fancy dashboard that you can look at whenever you need to.

Need to pay your rent on the 1st of the month? I can almost guarantee your bank will let you do it automatically.

I started ruthlessly automating my personal nuisances last year, and it’s made an enormous difference in how I spend my time. Instead of worrying about trivial matters constantly, running to the grocery store at 11pm to grab toothpaste, or exchanging 20 emails back and fourth at the start of each month about business analytics–I can instead focus on the things that I’d actually like to work on, as opposed to being pulled in all directions.

If you’re looking for a quick way to cut back on your stress, free up some time, and clear your mind–spend a day automating all your basic needs–I guarantee you won’t regret it.