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Happiness Tip: Automate a Hassle

Ever feel like your time and energy is going into tasks you don’t really want to do?

If so, find a way to make those chores into habits so you don’t have to think much about doing them anymore. Planning to do something takes the energy of our conscious minds; habitual tasks are accomplished more quickly and with less effort.

For me, planning weeknight meals was becoming a dreaded chore, so I automated them. The answer to “What’s for dinner?” is always the same, depending on the day of the week. Here’s how it works:

Sunday Sit-downs:
My daughters and I cook in large quantities so that we’ll have left-overs for another meal. (We always sit down when we eat, but on Sundays, we go large.)

Monday Makeover: We turn Sunday’s meal into something new.  (This week, chili became burrito filling.)

Tuesday Takeout: We go out or get take out.

Wacky Wednesdays: Usually breakfast for dinner (with raw veggies as a pre-meal snack).

Thursday Thaw: We pull something out of the freezer from a previous “Sunday Sit-down”.

Friday Favorites: We have one of four super-easy dinners on Fridays (spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, pot-stickers with rice and stir fried veggies, or pizza).

It might seem hokey, but this system has made dinnertime loads easier for me. Other things our family has on autopilot: we fold laundry while watching “Bewitched” on Friday nights; we hang up backpacks and put shoes away the instant we walk through the door; we empty the dishwasher and set the table for dinner simultaneously in the evening.

Join the Discussion: What hassle or task can you automate this week? Inspire others by leaving a comment below.