When you consider about your day-to-day life, there are undoubtedly things you could change to make things easier. Rearrange the apps on your phone to make the ones you use most easily accessible, for example, or designate a place to leave your keys and wallet when you come home so you stop misplacing them.
We’ve all heard the stories of Mark Zuckerberg and former President Obama streamlining their wardrobe so it’s one less thing to worry about each day. As Fabricio Teixeira, design director at Work & Co., writes on Medium, thinking through some design questions can be helpful in your every day life as well.
For example, make note when you forget something and then design a fix for it, if that’s important to you. How can you make sure you’re forgetting things less?
“Setting monthly reminders to pay the bills, yearly birthday reminders for the people you love, or even daily reminders for more mundane tasks,” writes Teixeira. “It only takes a minute, and can save you a lot of frustration and energy later on.”
Other questions to ask yourself, per Teixeira: How can you reduce the number of decisions you have to make throughout the day? How can you free up your brain from all of the information around you and focus on the task at hand?
Once you start asking yourself these questions, you can start implementing solutions. He points to the dock on your computer as one such place. Are there a bunch of applications there you never use? Keep only the necessary ones.
My cleaned up macbook dock.
Screenshot: Alicia Adamczyk
Similarly, group apps on your phone you don’t use daily off of your home screen, and turn off that little red notification badge. It’s only going to distract you. He writes:
Look at the world around you with the eyes of a designer. Aren’t there too many pictures on your living room wall? Too many objects sitting on your desk? Too many apps on your phone home screen? Take a pass at every environment you interact with throughout your day and ask yourself the question: what can I eliminate from here to open up more breathing room for my eyes and brain?
This week/weekend, take some time to make deliberate choices about your environment. You don’t need to be a designer to reap the benefits.