Many people are paying double for virtually the same services from two providers of entertainment streaming. It’s a good idea to do a spreadsheet and audit your services, so you can see what you are getting and from whom. Once you do this, you’ll cancel a few, save some money and even find some new entertainment sources. I switch my services every year, as new ones pop up every six months or so. By the time I got back to Netflix, there were a ton of new movies to watch. FYI: This advice can be applied to insurance services, too.
3. Go paperless and use autopay on your bills
I admit it: In the past, I sometimes misplaced bills and had to pay late fees. Every year, I had to enter all the numbers into Quicken. But no longer. Now most of my regular monthly bills get taken care of through a banking service at no charge. And with electronic statements, it is easy to download your information into whatever financial program or app you’re using. It really does simplify one of the more stressful things in life. If you need to change anything for any reason, it’s just a few clicks, and you’re done. You’re also leaving a smaller carbon footprint and gaining a cleaner desk in the bargain.
4. Get a smartwatch with speakers for your home
With the speakers, setting reminders has never been easier (and the sound quality on some is amazing). The watch has features that can actually save your life, and the speaker will call 911 if you can’t. You can use it as a phone and text, as well. These devices also save the most valuable commodity you have — your time. Right now, my speaker is reminding me I have a client in 10 minutes. I could have easily kept writing and been late. How often do you need a quick reminder like that, and how helpful could this technology be for you?
5. Finish projects you have started, or move on
We all have spare moments we don’t put to use, because “that project is going to take more time than I have right now.” But why should that stop you? If the project is worth anything, it will take time to do, and doing it one small piece at a time — in your spare moments — is a tried-and-true method of creating something to be proud of. So if you hate wasting time, why not put that extra 10 minutes into your novel or water a few plants? Whatever you want to finish will not get done until you start putting your energy into it. If you can’t muster the energy you need, it’s probably not the right thing for you to be doing anyway.
Keeping things simple and easy will allow you to enjoy your life and your success more. It also makes you a better person because you’ll be in a better mood. Working smarter means not only getting things done, but also enjoying the process along the way.
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Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.”