Switching to Auto-Pilot

Have you ever driven somewhere so many times that after you’ve reached your destination you completely forgot how you got there?

Believe it or not that happens at work too, BUT it can be a good thing.

airplane the movie, auto pilot, cruise control, auto park, distraction free driving, leslie neilsen, kareem abdul jabbar

Similar to athletes “getting in the zone,” when distraction-free, your mind produces at a phenomenal rate. There are different ways to arrive there, but let me share what’s worked for me the past several years:

Schedule everything into your smartphone with reminder alerts (and I mean EVERYTHING).

There’s a reason why iCalendar has three categories: home, social/out & home. You’re supposed to use them all.

Start with reserving “pockets” of work you need to get done (it doesn’t matter if you work at an office or at home). During that period don’t answer the phone, check emails, play games, etc. (unless that’s you’re actual task)

Next, put down the outings you’re planning on taking: chores, shopping, pick-ups, etc. (basically anything where you have to travel to).

Lastly, what needs or can be done at home? It can range anywhere from washing dishes to calling a friend on the phone.

I know it might sound a bit ridiculous, but here’s the payoff…

If you pre-schedule everything you have to do, you don’t have to remember anything. Even when you get sidetracked, your alerts remind you what to do. I’m obsessed with efficiency so that’s probably why this method works for me, but it really comes in handy when I need to pay a bill online because that’s something I would normally forget to do.

I probably take it too far since I even schedule where we are going to eat and do on vacations, but it actually saves time because decisions are made in advance. Of course there are times when things happen out of your control and you have to adjust, but at least you can re-schedule what you originally planned to do and continue to function on auto-pilot.

Even if you’re a free spirit, creative who hates structure this can work for you (type A’s love it). Running on auto-pilot saves time so you can spend your actual free time on what you please.

Looking for more time-hacking strategies? Check out this month’s free webinars!

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