We lead full lives.
Every day requires us to manage and juggle multiple tasks and appointments.
Using automation can help to ease the load and simplify our days, weeks and thus our lives.
Like many of you, I run a house and a business, and around!
I am busy. Yet I spend a great deal of time and energy being intentional about living a simple life.
Simplicity is the word around which my life pivots. Hence Richard Bach’s words apply very fittingly to me.
Simplicity is the state of being simple, uncomplicated, or uncompounded.
In my business I have procedures that need to be completed regularly.
In my personal life I incorporate a few daily tools designed to enrich my days and thus my life.
In both – I am human and not a machine, and as such have productive days and unproductive days.
For this reason I love tools that help me to automate as many of these things as possible.
They allow me to live simply and keep up the good work, so to speak!
1 Lists, Habits and a Supportive Environment
I love lists. I love a framework in which to operate. Every day I work through a short checklist of improvements designed to help me live better in various areas of my life.
- meditation and
- stretching and
- stream of consciousness writing and
- reading and
I have tried and tested a number of apps and checklists – but I have returned to a – simple – solution that works for me:
I use ‘notes’ on my phone and I check each off once completed.
- I have read about productivity and habit change and have learnt that habit change is best supported with tools that encourage an environment of ease. It is very hard to rely on self-control alone. For me this environment is a simple checklist.
- I have learnt that habit change is facilitated when we link 2 connected habits as a reminder and as a form of personal automation. For example when I wake up I meditate. Or when I boil the kettle for coffee I drink a glass of water first.
2 Blog template on WordPress
My business is fairly new and I am learning a great deal at the moment. I am still in the process of setting things up and creating a platform from which to operate.
From the training I have received at SFM I will be setting up a blog template in my WordPress site.
I will adapt this with fresh content and relevant links when I have something valuable to add to the world.
3 Email template on AWeber
I use AWeber for my emails. Again from the training I have received at SFM – I will be setting up pre-scheduled emails in my AWeber account.
In other words, I will be able to write a few emails on a rainy day and when I have some time and am feeling enthused about a topic, and schedule them to go out when I’m having an unproductive day, or am on the beach with my daughters, or even on holiday!
I find this kind of automation opportunity abundantly joyful! I can now see in practice what I learned in theory in the SFM training modules. In other words how digital tools and automation really can afford me and us the opportunity for living on our terms. Working with more freedom. Creating a lifestyle that suits me and us and our particular life circumstances; family commitments, where we live, our interests outside work.
4 Planoly for Instagram feed
I discovered Planoly after having tried a few other schedulers.
Besides my Simple Beautiful Life Instagram account, I manage 2 other small business accounts. So I Instagram x4 (including my personal account).
As such a scheduler really helps to keep me on top of the feeds.
I am a very visual person and use mostly my own photos for my feed, so I love Planoly which allows me simply and easily to add photos as I take them.
Then when I come across quotes or read something I feel is relevant, or learn something new, I simply add it to a post.
I aim to have a month’s worth of content running ahead of me. So if I ever take a day or a weekend off, my Instagram keeps posting for me.
Once I post, Planoly automatically shares my content to Facebook and Twitter.
I recently started posting on Instagram stories too, but although Planoly offers a stories option, I currently do this manually every day. I take a few moments in the evening to add a few pics from the day.
This is probably one of my favourite automation tools, but then I do love working with images.
5 Blinkist Reminder for Daily Reading
My penultimate automation tool is Blinkist.
This is an app that provides brief summaries of books.
I receive a reminder every morning on my phone and start the day by spending 15 minutes or so reading or listening to the essential parts of a book.
I find it a brilliant way of getting a few ideas about a particular topic. And a large variety of subjects is covered. If anything really grabs my attention I can get hold of the full book.
At worst this offers a pause in the day, and at best some inspiration.
And the reminder makes this just one more easy way to tick off a daily, and enjoyable, task.
6 Mindfulness Reminder from Daily Calm
I have been using the beautiful Calm app for meditation and sleep for many years.
The app offers a wonderful selection of learning tools and types and durations of meditation, as well as sleep stories to help one fall asleep.
It also offers reminders to be mindful, to be grateful, and even to get ready for bed!
The reminders allow a brief mindful moment in my day. And even if I ignore my bedtime reminder, in the back my mind I know it’s there!
So There We Have It
Every day offers new opportunities and new challenges amidst our ongoing commitments.
But we have a choice:
- we can choose busyness
- or we can choose simplicity
If we choose busyness, we might feel productive, but we might also feel worn out.
If we choose simplicity, we just might feel well. And we might even be more productive.
We have so many incredible tools available for automation of so many of our tasks.
I have learned about most of these tools since I joined the SFM tribe. I have learned so much already and continue to feel lit up by new knowledge every day. Since having joined the SFM I regularly choose to do a little work on weekends!
So far with the SFM I have learned:
- entrepeneurial skills
- about WordPress
- about digital marketing
- about Instagram
- about Facebook
- to write better blog posts
- to write better emails
- how to set up a website
- how to link and track and even a bit about coding
- all about automating so much of this
- something new every day
And through webinars and from other members I have also learned:
- to become more me
- to be comfortable with being unique
- to be comfortable with being outside my comfort zone
- to ask for help
- to support others
- to get out of my own way
- to try hard
- to persevere
- to grow
- to rest
- to remember why I am starting a business – for those I love
I am thrilled every day that I decided to join the SFM. The journey I am on is full of practical and current skills to learn and unexpected in its level of personal growth.
If anyone is interested to learn more, do get in touch, it might just change your life.