Make it easy

October 10, 2013

The easier something is to clean, the more likely I am to do it. I'm pretty good about most things, except when I get in a funk about it. For example, I would rather cook than buy take out on a normal night, but sometimes, I'll let dishes pile, pans go unwashed, trash pile up, that I'll become relunctant to head into the kitchen. It's not hard, and it doesn't even take that long, but it's the thought of doing it that stops me. So the less time I think something will take to do, the less I let it fester in my head, and the easier it is to just do it.

Think about how you can minimize thinking about anything before doing it. You might need to do it a different way, or use a different tool. Take, for example, coffee. I love coffee. Probably too much. But coffee machines are a pain. A pain to make to make coffee with, and a pain to clean. Then I got an Aeropress. Wow that thing is easy. I'm still blown away every time I'm done making a cup and it's time to clean it because it takes like three seconds. Three seconds. I drink so much coffee now. I'm pretty sure that matters more than how much better it tastes.

There's stuff that is always going to be scary when you think about it. Scary as in you freak yourself out by imagining yourself having to do it, which is a lot worse than actually doing it. Let's go back to cooking. If you're trying to eat healthy and maybe save a few bucks and maybe get better at taking care of yourself, cooking is amazing. But you can't make a gourmet meal every day (okay, unless you're into that). Find the simple recipes and buy the simple ingredients. There are an infinite number of meals you can prepare in 10 minutes. Get the right tools to make it as fast and easy to clean as possible. Here's one thing I do — I always buy the pre-cut meat because I fucking hate cutting meat. Yeah, I'm a weirdo.

Or take exercise. An hour at the gym is daunting. Driving there, stretching, eating right, all that shit. So figure out how to make it take thirty minutes. Twenty minutes. Figure out the stuff that does 80% of what you need and just do those, quickly, and get out. Find and experiment your routine so that from out the door to back in and showered it's thirty minutes. It's hard, but doable, and it only gets easier.

Saying all that, unfortunately, I still haven't figured out how to wash and fold laundry any faster than I've been doing it for the last ten years.