There are routine errands that have to get done each week when living on your own after college. There is constant checking to make sure there is enough food in the fridge, enough toilet paper, and laundry detergent. The average American adult is in his or her car anywhere from 500 to 1,000 hours per year running errands. Think about that. No one tells you when you graduate that you will be spending countless hours running weekly errands. That’s the boring stuff that no one wants to hear about. The truth is we spend a lot of our life doing routine tasks. Most people tend to think of these errands as burdens or hassles we have to juggle and squeeze in with the rest of our busy life.
What if we stopped treating errands as burdens? What if we used them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right? Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow us time to think. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when we’re focused and attentive on multiple things at once.
Here are four easy steps to make your errand runs a pleasant experience:
1. Make a detailed list of things you need to do to complete each task. Get all of the details of the tasks out on paper so that you don’t forget anything. This way, your mind can relax when you go out. By trusting that all of your needs are laid out in front of you, you will not be frantic when trying to complete the task.
2. Clear your mind by taking three deep breaths before, during, and after running your errand.
3. Practice being present with each of the steps of the task at hand.
4. Notice how good it feels when you get something done and are able to check it off your list. Allow this to be your time to de-stress from your day.
5. Give yourself extra time to run your errands in case something comes up that takes more attention than you thought. This will also help you feel less annoyed if someone cuts in front of you at the gas station or if the cash register is broken and you need to switch lines.