Your mental load consists of the place in your mind permanently occupied by your tasks and responsibilities, such as planning the week’s menu, paying the bills, buying a birthday gift, managing the budget, booking a doctor’s appointment, etc. Families have their hands full! To help ease your mental load, here are seven tips that leverage valuable digital tools. To be enjoyed freely!
1. Schedule reminders
All major platforms have a reminder feature that is sure to become your best friend once you start using it. For Apple, it’s the Reminders app. Google and Microsoft offer the option to define tasks with alerts. When you schedule a reminder, an alert is sent to you at the specified time, via the desired means (email, phone, or smartwatch notification) to remind you of the task in question.
Do you have a connected speaker, like the Google Nest Mini or an Amazon Echo device? To schedule a reminder, you just have to request it. Simply say, for example: “[Assistant name], remind me to buy milk tomorrow at 5 p.m.” Voice control is also available on most recent mobile devices. Having your own assistant is great for reducing your mental load!
2. Make the most of online services
No more holding on the phone thanks to the online services offered by big companies. Familiarize yourself with the features available on your banking, electricity, TV, Internet, and mobile service providers’ online platform. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do with just a few clicks. Quickly resolving issues means these issues are quickly out of mind.
Some major grocers’ apps suggest meals for the week based on flyer discounts. Other apps gather flyers from different banners, allowing you to quickly see where to find chicken, for example, on sale this week. Don’t have time to go to the grocery store? Order your products online and have them delivered to your home. One less errand to run!
4. Sign up for pre-authorized payments
What could be more annoying than paying bills? Get rid of this burden by signing up for pre-authorized payments for subscription-based services. The balance of your recurring bill will be charged to your credit card or bank account, as applicable, and you will no longer have to worry about oversights.
Many financial institutions offer their clients a customizable Excel or other budget template. Simply fill in the boxes and calculations are done automatically. Another quick way to monitor spending is to use a budget app. Acting like a dashboard, these apps allow you to link your bank accounts and credit cards to get an overview of your expenses.
6. Go digital
For communications you still receive in paper format, develop a “paper-photo-file” reflex. Got a letter from the school concerning an upcoming field trip? Take a picture or scan it using a scanning application and store the document in a “School” folder on your online drive (e.g., iCloud Drive, Google Drive, or One Drive). It’s so much easier to find an electronic document than a lost piece of paper!
Psst! Still receive your Videotron invoice in paper format? Simplify your life with online billing.
7. Automate your savings
Create savings accounts for occasional expenses, such as vacation, home maintenance, or car repairs. Then schedule automatic transfers to these accounts on the day you receive your pay. This way, you will build up little security nests without even thinking about it, so that you never feel unprepared again when a sudden expense comes up. The fridge just died? No problem, dip into the maintenance account!
Tools to make it easier
Mental space is not unlimited. When you get rid of your worries, you make room for the things that matter most. Feel free to make the digital tools above do the work. They will help you get things done faster so that you can focus on what really matters.