1 – ALEXA!!! (It has to be in capitals as I can’t say Alexa quietly, I have to shout! I mainly use ALEXA for music but after a post I put out on VA Handbookers to see which hack my ‘fellow VA’s’ (said in true Kevin and Perry style) used the most, the overwhelming number 1 was ALEXA!!!! Alexa can be used to set alarms, i.e. – “ALEXA remind me to take a break in 20 minutes”, to add items to your shopping list, to help you with spellings and maths problems, and (obviously the most important one) to tell you when your next Amazon parcel is due to arrive. She’s like your new best friend, try her!
2 – Voice Notes. If you have an idea whilst out and about record a quick voice note and then you can forget about it until you have some free time to really digest your idea and take action. iPhone’s have a built in Voice Memo app and I’m pretty sure Android will have the same too. I also use voice notes on WhatsApp as its quicker than typing and there’s only so many times I can look at my screen in one day.
3 – Outsource! If something stressing you out or taking too much time, ask someone else to help! I don’t just mean to hire people like me although that is an incredible idea.. No – rope in your partner, your children, your neighbours! Do not be afraid to accept help. You can always repay the favour when you have more head space. Me and my husband both have the Tesco app on our phones for example, so it doesn’t just fall on me to order the weekly shop.
4 – Timeblock Your Calendar. This could be an electronic calendar or your paper diary if you prefer. I have most of my days timeblocked, I even add in exercise and my lunch time walk because lets face it, if you have a proper plan you are more likely to follow it. I know this level of rigidity doesn’t suit everyone. But at least schedule the important stuff! The activities that are important to you and your wellbeing, whatever they may be. I’ve adapted Sam Bearfoot’s 3F’s method to be less sweary – but the concept is still the same. If you have a busy day and someone asks you to do an additional ‘thing’.. Stop and think, consider ‘The 3 F’s’…
- Is this new ‘thing’ being asked by a Favourite of mine i.e. a friend or someone in my family, someone I love?
- Is this thing Financing me? Am I gaining money, status, knowledge or food from it? Am I receiving something good in return for my time and energy?
- And thirdly, is this thing igniting Fire in my belly, am I excited by it?
If you can’t answer yes at least twice to the 3 questions above – then JUST SAY NO!! If you can answer yes twice or more then give it a shot, but remember you may then have to drop something else to make the time.
5 – Social Media Cleansing. Mute or unfollow anyone that is making you feel inadequate, stressed or bored. Remember you have the power over the things you mindlessly consume! Leave any groups that no longer serve you in the same way.
And always switch off all tech by 9pm at night!! That’s a non-negotiable!
If you have any question or comments feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will always get back to you.
Thanks again to Dr Becky Quicke The Menopause Psychologist for inviting me speak at her wonderful Meno Stars event last night on Brain Fog which is how this blog has come about – If you are interested in joining an amazing collective of women – you can add yourself to the waiting list by clicking HERE!!
I hope some of these hacks help, they have certainly done wonders for me!