I’m a big fan of creating systems. Systems make it easier for me to stick to the things I value without relying on willpower at every move.
These are some of the ways that I systemize my life:
Sunday dinner with friends
My husband and I have a standing invitation to our friends for Sunday night dinner. Every Sunday we host dinner at our place. Our friends can come whenever they want and can so the group varies a bit every week. It is a great way to see my friends regularly and brings so much joy. It is also a great way to add new people into your life — we just invite them to Sunday night dinner! Regardless of what I do during the week: whether I’m busy or not, happy or not, feeling like it or not, there will always be Sunday night dinner with my friends. Sometimes just a couple of people can make it and it’s a chance for more intimate conversations. And sometimes more people come and it becomes a party!
Weekly video call with my family
Similar to having a weekly time with my friends, I also systemize a weekly time together with my family. I live far away from my parents and sibling so we can’t always see each other in person, but every week we have a family video call together. It is the same time every week so we don’t need to plan or coordinate. I’ve found that when you have to plan it, it becomes so much easier to fall through the cracks. So I systemize this time to make sure that I, at the very least, speak with my family once a week.
I know I don’t want to spend too much of my life in front of a screen and don’t want to wake up in 40 years and feel like my life has been spent digitally. There are so many more fulfilling things to do in life.
I also know what I am impulsive and not great at moment-to-moment self-control. Therefore, I chose to systemize my screen time. I use Cold Turkey blocker to set restrictions on my laptop screen use. I cannot access the internet in the morning until 11 AM or at night after 6 PM. On top of that, I have deleted all social media apps on my iPhone. I also use Apple’s screen time settings to limit daily browsing time to max 15 minutes and blocks the ability to add any new apps. This is slightly inconvenient at times but I truly believe that the benefits far outweigh the downsides.
I like money… I love eating and having a roof over my head and I also love the freedom money provides. So I want to be mindful about saving, investing, and how I spend my money. But spending a lot of time obsessing about allocations can really stress me out. So I use M1 Finance to auto-transfer a small amount of money from my bank account every single day. M1 Finance will then invest that money for me according to my pre-determined allocation percentages. That way I make sure to invest consistently, but I don’t get stuck in decision paralysis on whether today or tomorrow is better, or about what exactly I should invest in. I set it up once and now it happens automatically for me.
Avoiding environmental toxins
I’m mindful of avoiding excessive exposure to environmental toxins. But I also do not want to be afraid or obsessive about it. Once a year, I do some research on what the current best, and non-toxic, products (shampoo, dishwasher soap, etc) are, and then for the rest of the year, I just stick with those products.
Having a consistent eating style
I want to eat healthily but I don’t wanna obsess about it too much or spend unnecessarily much money on it. Therefore I make up my mind on what I want to eat and then I consistently make that. A lot of cultures systematically eat almost the same thing every day, for example, chicken and rice, and I chose to do the same. I consistently eat very similar foods and get good at making them. Then I go wild on spices to provide flavor variation.
I also eat daily nutritional food supplements to make sure that I cover the whole spectrum of nutrients I need to be healthy. I make a big batch of properly prepared grains every Sunday (some of it is used for our weekly Sunday meal with friends) to provide the bulk of my calories. In addition to this, I cook one piece of meat (or fish), in the instant pot, daily. Finally, I add some frozen veggies (pre-cut) at the end and a bunch of spices to keep it interesting and add variety. This is easy for me to systemize, both practically and mentally, and make weekly grocery shopping a breeze.
Bi-monthly laundry service
I use a laundry service every two weeks. I’ve always hated doing laundry so this is really money well spent in my opinion. The laundry service comes to pick up my laundry and returns it the next day, dry and neatly folded – ready to be put into my dresser. I love it.
I’m sure there are tons of other ways to systemize your life. Do you have any ways you systemize your life?