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Prep That's Worth Your Time (Even if You're Lazy)

Okay, so the “L” word (lazy) is really condemning. If you want to get to the bottom of it, the issue isn’t laziness, it’s more than likely being overextended. With a booked schedule and minimal “me” time, it’s not likely that your free time will be spent on anything other than being a sack of organic material on the couch. When working with an overextended brain and body, the key is to begin streamlining tasks and finding hacks to lighten the load.

Most of these streamlined tasks and hacks should center around “prep.” As in, preparing a thing before you need it, or preparing an environment to conform to those needs. Prep is an important part of efficiency because if you add it in, you’re basically completing a repetitive task that takes out the nonsense for you throughout the week, thereby reducing your decision fatigue and inability to focus when you’re in a brain fog. Here are some examples of that fog. Ever come home from work and the last thing you want to do is make dinner? So instead of making dinner you pop a quick meal in the oven or microwave or even order out, and this is why staying healthy is also difficult? The problem of overextension leaks into so many areas of life. More examples: What about when you come home or even when you wake up and the house/apartment is a mess, so you can’t find half the things you need and certainly can’t wrap your head around what to wear?

This post won’t solve all of those issues, but even if you’re not organized and “on top of it,” here are some “prep” tasks that are actually worth doing especially if you’re lazy. Doing these prep tasks ahead of time will lighten your load through the week and help you feel more “zen,” so that if you’re spending your time lazy on the couch, at least you can enjoy it.

1. Putting away/folding laundry AND choosing your outfits.

Apparently most people already do this. But if you’re ultra lazy, you’ve found the hack where you can clean your laundry, stuff it in the “clean laundry” basket, choose your outfits, and disperse used clothing in the “dirty laundry” basket, creating an endless loop of laundry that never gets put away. The truth is, if you don’t put away your laundry in your preferred format (folding away or hanging up in the closet) you run the risk of spending about 10 minutes every morning looking for your one set of clothes you’re going to wear. Take the challenge. Once you find those clothes, fold or hang them up to see how long it takes you to fold/hang them. Did it take 10 minutes? No. Which means each morning you waste 10 minutes on looking for clothes, you could have consolidated into 1-3 minutes of hanging/folding. If you wear 7 outfits throughout the week, and if it takes you 10 minutes to find those clothes, that’s over an hour wasted each week on looking for clothes. If you go ahead and hang/fold them on laundry day, it now becomes at worst 30 minutes of folding along with the minute it takes you to pull them out of the drawers each morning. Not to mention, if you get frazzled in the mornings looking for clothes that are unorganized, you’ll likely start off your day with a disheveled spirit of indecision and chaos. If you know you have a place you can get your clothes from based on what you’re looking for without throwing them around, you’ll likely start off your day with some serenity. Take it to the next level by choosing your outfit the night before! Not necessary, but might help.

2. Food prep

This one’s a hard one too! You’re basically canceling out an entire afternoon for tedious cooking. This is mostly helpful if you intend on eating healthy, by the way, which with some good food prep is easier to do than one thinks as long as you don’t go crazy on the recipes. If you’re find with popping in quick meals, have at it! That’s your Zen. For those of us that need healthy food, here’s the deal. Don’t kid yourself that you’re going to wake up at 5am every morning to fix your frittata’s from scratch. If you take the time on a day off to spend just a couple hours making some quick breakfasts and lunches, you’ll be more open to freestyling at dinner. Seriously, just cook a week’s worth of eggs or oatmeal, or prep them by setting them aside in baggies/containers so you can grab them easily if you want to cook them fresh in the morning. This can mostly help with decision making issues--spending those early morning moments freaking about which breakfast you’ll go with. But if it’s planned out ahead of time, and set aside so you can grab it easy, and especially if it’s already cooked, you just have to warm it up and move on. Try this with breakfasts and lunches to see how much space you make in your life. OR, feel free to do whatever for your breakfasts lunches, and maybe just food prep dinners so that you can come home and just unwind. Working these issues out ahead of time saves time and emotional energy that you need for your post work routine.

3. Vitamins/medications.

If you take a lot of medications and vitamins, this is a prep that is not only helpful, but it keeps you safe. Taking a lot of supplements or medications especially if you need to can mean it’s hard to keep track of what you’ve taken for the day. Many people on medications will tell you they can’t recall if they took their medication at noon, and the consequences of taking the medication twice on accident is worse than the possibility of skipping it. Getting a medication/supplement organizer that outlines the days and already pre filling them before your work week starts will help avoid that mess. It will also help keep you from getting frazzled and confused over the number of bottles you have to go through, and if you’ve ever taken more than 5 medications/supplements at a time from the bottle directly without organizing them, you know what I mean.

  1. Space prepping.

Prep your workspace or any space when you walk in and are about to sit down. Don’t make a big deal out of it, or make it a journey of organizing, but when you walk into the Livingroom to watch TV, just take 2 minutes to clear off the coffee table or night stands. Then sit and watch TV. Even if the area isn’t all the way clean, putting in just 2 minutes of work can help you set the precedent that you’re going to respect your space. This could inspire future cleaning routines with a more positive attitude and is antithetical to just “letting things go.” And all it takes is 2 minutes. Consider it a mindfulness or meditation practice. If your dining room table is a drop station, then before you make dinner (which, if your table is a drop station you’re obviously not eating there, but the time frame can still be a good reminder) spend just 2 minutes tidying up the table. Any more than that just let it go and eat in the living room. But at least you spent 2 minutes leaving an area better than you found it. Especially if you’re lazy, this is a great way to still get some calm into your space without making it into a huge, high pressure cleaning spree.

At WHV, we’re always looking for special tips and tricks from ladies who are trying to have it all and not lose their minds in the process. Stop by the forum and share your mindfulness practices, cleaning/organizing strategies, and all the ways you choose to vixen up your life!

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