Automate To De-stress

My husband Thom has a weird evening ritual, which when I first noticed it, made me worry that he was morphing into an old Bubby. Before going to bed he puts a clean pan and spatula on the stove, puts two plates next to it on the cutting board, silverware on top, and places napkins to the side. It’s obvious that he’s setting up breakfast prep for the next morning, but when I asked him why he wouldn’t just do such a simple thing in the morning, he’s told me that it’s one less thing for him to think about when he has to get out the door early. This is a simple form of automation which obviously reduces his stress level the next day. It would take about thirty seconds to do it then, but the automated preparation takes it out of his head and allows him thirty more seconds of relaxation so he can ease into the day more comfortably – “old Bubby” or smart?

Think about what effect it would have if you too automated more “work” functions in this way:

  • laying out your clothes the night before going to work
  • removing wet towels and washcloths after a shower
  • checking emails at a regular time each day
  • doing a workout without thinking about your motivation
  • putting dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher, not the sink
  • applying sunscreen routinely during your morning toilette

etc., etc., etc…….

Stress management specialists say that the more things you take out of your head to remember or track or do, especially under time constraints, the less stressed you will be. So, think about what you might automate the way Thom does for his morning routine, and see what happens!

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Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

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