The Monthly Automations page helps you turn your chores into a routine. It takes the thinking (and stress) out of it so that you can complete each task on a certain day and focus on more important things.
If you’ve ever been to a house that feels clean and organized, chances are they have a system (or schedule) to keep it that way.
What is an automation?
It’s just a task that gets done automatically. You can turn your chores into an automation by completing them on a certain day every week or month.
Let’s say you want to vacuum your house every week and see some extra time on Saturdays. Plug “Vacuuming” into a Saturday on your Monthly Automations and commit to doing it every Saturday. After a few weeks, vacuuming on Saturdays will become a habit, like it’s on auto-pilot. That’s an automation.
Think of how an office works. You have a marketing meeting every Monday or an accounting call every Wednesday. You attend that meeting because it's on your schedule, and now your chores can be the same.
Step 1: Just start! Make a List
On a separate sheet, write down all the things you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It’s a long list! If you notice the tasks are for work, home, and personal projects, break them down into individual lists.
- If you include chores for different categories of life, use color-coding to distinguish different kinds of tasks.
Step 2: Narrow it Down
Focus on tasks that have the most impact. Since clean clothes are a must-have, list a clothes-only laundry day every week. We recommend washing bed sheets on another day, so you don't rush through folding.
If you've written chores into the previous month's calendar, go back and see what it is that you’re doing regularly. This will help you select the best days too.
Step 3: Look for Harmony
What chores can be batched together? Schedule related tasks on the same day, like paying the bills, balancing your checkbook, and reviewing investments.
Step 4: Create Zones for Tasks
Does your house feel disorganized? Create spaces where you keep certain items. Shoes, keys, and mail should have designated drop-off spots in easy-to-remember places.
Got junk mail? Keep a recycle bin next to your mail bin to toss unwanted flyers and magazines.
Step 5: Delegate!
Enlist the help of your household! On laundry day, ask your kids to bring down their hamper of clothes (a soft, drag-able hamper like this one will make it easy for the younger ones).
Be sure to post the chore schedule where everyone can see it. If you wash clothes on Friday, kids will get used to being asked to bring their laundry down on Fridays and will start bringing it down without being asked (eventually).
Step 6: How do I stick to this plan?
Like any new routine, keep reminding yourself until it becomes a habit. Write tasks into your Monthly Automations, then plug them into the weekly or monthly planning pages you view more frequently.
Do you use a digital calendar or productivity app? Plug in these recurring tasks and set an alert to make sure you follow through.
Remember: The Monthly Automations page is divided into four weeks, so you can space some of the chores out.
What do I write in Daily Tasks?
If you do something every day, it’s already a habit (does anyone need to be reminded to make coffee?). Use this space as a visual to see where your time is usually spent. You may want to use this space to purge redundant tasks or add more healthy ones, like taking a 15-minute walk after every meal. This is the place to do it!
More Automation Tips:
Use a Pencil
Monthly Automations can be a work-in-progress, so using a pencil may be best. Want to cover up old writing and replace it with something pretty? Use our stickers for a fresh look.
Color-Code like a Pro
Want to make your automations page really pop? Assign a color for different chores, people, or areas of life (like work or home). Here are our three favorite ways to color-code:
- Create a monthly task list of what you need to do each month. These tasks aren’t scheduled as part of your normal automations. For example: fertilize the yard in April and then again in October; disinfect the dishwasher in March, June, September, and December; waterproof the deck in April.
- Plans change! It’s always OK to assess your automations and make edits throughout the year.
Remember: Monthly Automations is just a page to schedule your chores! It doesn’t matter how you set it up. What matters is that it allows you to do these tasks without thinking too hard about them. Use the extra time to build new and healthy habits that support your dreams!
Have you used Monthly Automations before? We would love to see what systems you've created and how it works for you! Share your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Instagram at @inkwellpress