Over the past two years I’ve worked a full-time job and still have plenty of time to make zines, play in a band, and write weekly posts for this blog. I make time for creative projects by simplifying and systemizing all the boring tasks like errands and chores. Keep reading for the systems and routines that I recommend to make life easier and create more space for creative projects that matter.
I don’t wash my clothes unless they’re actually dirty. Pants and shirts usually don’t need to be washed after one wear, unless I've sweat in them or they smell bad. I wash socks, underwear, workout clothes, and towels once a week. Sheets once every two weeks. Bras once a month.
I created 5-7 staple outfits and repeat them each week. These outfits actually fit, are comfortable, and make me feel more like myself. Bonus points when I get rid of items that don’t fit into this rotation, aka work toward making a capsule wardrobe.
Steve Jobs was famous for wearing the same black turtleneck and jeans combo. He did this for a reason: to decrease decision fatigue. Jobs had more important decisions than what he should wear, so he stopped making that decision once and for all.
Putting together outfits is a creative outlet for me, so I prefer to mix things up every once in a while. But having my 7 go-to outfits is essential for those days or weeks when other creative projects take priority.
I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day. This makes grocery shopping and meal prepping easier. Here are my staples:
Breakfast: smoothie with banana, kale, frozen fruit, yogurt, milk, flax and chia seeds, ginger, and coconut oil
Lunch: two boiled eggs, a couple slices of deli meat, a cheese stick, baby carrots, and a serving of fruit
For dinner, I like to mix it up, but I always cook at least 3 meals at home each week which leaves 2-3 servings as leftovers. I found 5 staple recipes that are healthy, affordable, and easy to make, so I cycle those through my meal rotation. I recommend BudgetBytes if you’re just starting out or interested in cooking on a budget.
I stopped running so many errands. I started paying $100 for a year of Amazon Prime. When I need something, I add it to my online shopping cart. Great for things like makeup, skin and hair care products.
I pay bills and manage finances on the same day(s) each month. I like having most of my bills on Autopay, so I don’t have to think about them or worry about forgetting to pay something. Every payday I transfer funds to my savings. I use the financial tracking app Mint, and try to check it on the same day that I pay my bills.
I deleted all social media apps off my phone. Turned off all notifications for remaining apps and keep my phone on silent at all times.
I got in the habit of reading instead of checking my phone. Now I carry a book with me at all times. I read while standing in line, on my lunch break, or while riding the bus.
When I can’t read, I listen to podcasts. I've found podcasts that are completely outside my area of expertise. I listen to them during my commute or while walking. I recommend speeding them up to at least 1X their normal speed.
Challenging myself to not spend any money for an entire weekend. Instead, I try to sit down and start writing, actually read the book that’s been sitting on the shelf, or start working on a project that uses supplies I already own.