The words, “lazy” and “productive” usually aren’t put together in a positive way, but you can be more productive without creating more work for yourself, with a little creative thinking.
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Cross off the items on your daily bucket list while still kicking back your feet a little by checking out these five tips for being more productive in an entirely lazy way.
1. Limit Your Decisions
Less really is more sometimes, and that’s definitely true when it comes to how many decisions you have to make. Making choices can even be stressful and steal time away from your day, and the more decisions you have to make, the less likely you’ll make good ones.
That’s called “decision fatigue,” a very real psychological phenomena that can wear you down after time, according to John Tierney of the New York Post. Your brain simply becomes tired of making choice after choice and may even motivate you to act impulsively just to break up the monotony of it and release stress and frustration.
Limit your choices whenever you can, like other famous successful people have done, to make your life easier. Steve Jobs, for instance, stuck to black turtlenecks so he didn’t have to waste time deciding what to wear every morning.
Have your favorite breakfast food at the ready in the morning, so you’re not pawing through cabinets or staring at your fridge to decide what to eat. Decide meeting spaces well in advance so you’re not juggling multiple options at the last minute.
2. Put Your Shopping On Autopilot
Plenty of services, like Amazon and even some grocery chains, offer product subscriptions on frequently bought items. You can even hire online shopping services to find clothes for you based on your preferences and budget and send them right to your door.
Automate shopping as much as possible for everyday things you don’t get a kick out of shopping for. By saving time on picking up essentials, you’ll have more time to get other stuff done.
If automated shopping is too expensive or just not your thing, you can still streamline the way you shop for necessities. Have a plan and a list before you go out so you’re just grabbing what you need from the places you need to get it from.
You’ll save time by avoiding window shopping and looking around because you can’t remember what you need. Remember to stick to your list to save both time and money wasted on items you don’t need.
3. Outsource Where You Can
You can outsource a surprising number of things these days, from restaurant reservations to house cleaning and flight booking. Online virtual assistants and other life services have made outsourcing decisions and mundane, time-consuming tasks a less expensive reality.
Try some services that handle the things you absolutely dread doing and see what works for you to carve some extra time out for yourself during the day. As with anything else, price compare the different providers available in your area to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
You’ll be much more comfortable using some outsourcing services if they’re not a big hit on your pocketbook.
4. Use Down Time Wisely
Whether you’re stuck on the subway or driving in your car, you waste time commuting to work or just going about your day. Put that time to good use by learning something new or doing an activity you enjoy that’s feasible.
If you’re stuck in the car, for instance, you can listen to your favorite author’s new audiobook. If you’re on public transit, you can read, listen to some new music, play games and even watch a movie or a TV show with headphones.
Instead of wasting travel time staring off into space or at the occasional road sign, use these down periods to do something else you wanted to do instead.
5. Do It Right The First Time
Don’t rush through something you don’t really want to do. Chances are, you’ll end up having to redo it later, wasting more time and putting yourself through the same unpleasant experience twice.
Spend that extra 10 minutes on your closet cleaning or blog entry editing to avoid wasting 30 or more minutes on it later when you’re under the time gun. Taking your time and getting something correct on the first try is not only a time saver, but it also lowers your stress levels and lets you feel that rush of true accomplishment when you’re done.