20 Things In Life You Should “Set and Forget”


Between remembering to pay bills, feed the dog, clean the house, and make dinner, you end up with little time to do much else. When life’s hustle and bustle keeps you running on empty, you take any opportunity to snag some free time. Automating certain aspects of your schedule, to-do lists, and other responsibilities is your golden ticket to clearing your mind and your calendar.

1. Get Your Paycheck Direct Deposited

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Stop wasting precious time going to the bank to deposit your paycheck. Most businesses nowadays automatically set up their employees on direct deposit, but if you’re still doing things the old-fashioned way it’s time to make a change. Even freelancers have the option of getting their pay directly deposited depending on the client. If direct deposit isn’t an option, see if your account includes mobile deposit — at least it eliminates a trip to the bank.

2. Set Timers For Lights

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Use smart bulbs and set timers via a voice assistant or smart home hub to turn certain lights on and off at particular times. For example, if you always turn your outside lights on at 6 pm and switch them off in the morning, let a timer do that for you. Set timers for any lights you routinely turn on or off at certain times of the day to eliminate one more to-do from your life.

3. Program Your Thermostat

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Adjusting your thermostat to save energy when you’re away from home is also a great way to save money. But it’s a hassle to constantly remember to turn your thermostat up and down when you leave and return home. A programmable thermostat handles it for you. It only takes a few minutes to program your schedule, and then you can forget about it.

4. Embrace Crock Pot Meals

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Wouldn’t it be nice to have dinner waiting for you when you got home from a busy workday? Or how about waking up to the delicious aromas of breakfast? No, we’re not talking about hiring a personal chef (although if you can do that, go for it). Crock pot meals make it a breeze to whip up some quick, tasty meals without having to monitor the stove or oven.

5. Buy Essentials Through Subscribe And Save Programs

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Everyone has essential items they need to keep in stock, like toilet paper, paper towels, certain over-the-counter medications, and food staples. If you’re a parent, you may feel like you’re buying diapers and wipes every weekend. Use a program like Amazon’s Subscribe and Save to set up regular deliveries so you never run out of what you need and you never have to remember to order it.

6. Digitize Your To-Do List

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Use an app like Todoist to organize and prioritize your tasks. Input daily tasks on repeat, set your priorities, and let the app track the rest so you never let an important item slip through the cracks. Using a digital to-do list also eliminates all the random post-its and paper scraps, reducing the risk of losing your list and forgetting about tasks.

7. Set Up Automatic Bill Pay

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Nobody likes to pay bills, but it’s not something you can forget about. However, you can do the next best thing by setting up automatic bill pay through your bank or opting for automatic payments directly with the company. Once you set everything up, you can relax knowing your bills are paid on time.

8. Try A Programmable Coffeemaker

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If you can’t function or fully wake up until after your morning coffee, opt for a programmable coffeemaker so your java is ready and waiting for you. It may not take all the work out of your hands, but at least you don’t have to fumble with buttons, coffee, and water levels when you’re still struggling to open your eyes.

9. Use A Scrub-Free Toilet Cleaner

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Who wouldn’t want a way to spend less time cleaning the toilet? Use an automatic toilet cleaner to keep your porcelain throne fresh and clean with every flush. That’s right, no more worrying about embarrassing toilet nasties when unexpected visitors drop by. These cleaners typically continue to clean your toilet for roughly three months before you need to use a new tablet.

10. Automate Your Savings

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Pay yourself first. This is some of the most popular advice from financial professionals, wise parents, and successful people. Make it easy to save by setting up automatic transfers from your main checking account to a high-yield savings account. Or ask your company if they offer the option to split your direct deposit between separate accounts.

11. Schedule A Robot Vacuum And Mop

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Robot vacuums have taken over (at least it feels that way), and why wouldn’t they? A robot that cleans? Yes, please. Now smart home tech also features robo mops ready to clean and shine up your floors. Opt for models with programmable features to schedule regular cleaning sessions instead of worrying about turning them on and off manually (or forgetting to run them at all).

12. Set Reminders For Scheduling Appointments

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Certain appointments occur regularly, like an annual doctor visit, routine hair care, an oil change, etc. But you often can’t schedule them until it gets closer to the actual time frame. Use the handy reminder feature on your phone’s calendar or through your voice assistant, like Alexa. Instead of constantly telling yourself to remember to make that appointment, you’ll get a handy reminder when the time comes.

13. Enable The Vacation Feature On Your Email Account

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Don’t like to answer work emails on the weekend, or you’re heading out of town for two weeks? Maybe you’re about to have surgery and know you’ll be in recovery and out of commission for a few days. There’s a reason your email service offers the option to set “away” messages. Automate your response by plugging in the start and end dates, and what you want to tell people who reach out to you, and then relax and focus on other things.

14. Autobalance Retirement Accounts

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Even if you’re not close to retirement, you should still save for it. An important component of maintaining your retirement accounts is rebalancing to make sure your assets aren’t too heavy-handed in certain areas. The general rule of thumb is to rebalance retirement accounts at least once a year, maybe twice, to ensure your different investments match your target ranges. Luckily, you can set this to happen automatically so your numbers stay aligned without you giving them a second thought.

15. Use Solar Lights For Gardens And Walkways

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The right exterior lighting makes all the difference in how your home looks and also safety. Solar lights turn on automatically when it starts to get dark after they’ve spent the day soaking up the sun’s rays. Place a few along your exterior walkways, in gardens, and in any other spots you like to have lit at night. When the sun starts to set, you won’t have to worry about flipping on a bunch of switches.

16. Try An Automatic Pet Feeder

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If you have pets, feeding them is another item on your to-do list. Consider using an automatic pet feeder that you can schedule to feed your furry friend at certain times. These feeders vary in style and size, but many offer additional features in addition to the ability to program your pet’s meals. Options include portion control, voice-activated feeding, and app connectivity so you can feed your pet remotely.

17. Get A Litter Robot

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Using a litter robot or self-cleaning litter box keeps your cat’s personal potty spot clean without you having to scoop it after every poop. Depending on the model you get, you’ll only have to occasionally clean or empty the box since the automated features handle most of the heavy lifting.

18. Use An Ice Maker

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Most newer refrigerators include an automatic ice maker and even an ice dispenser, so you likely never have to make ice again. If your fridge doesn’t have one, you don’t need to relegate yourself to a lifetime of filling old-school ice-cube trays. A countertop ice maker is another way to ensure you always have ice at the ready.

19. Schedule Social Media Posts

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If you make a lot of social media posts, whether for personal reasons or work, you know it can suck up a lot of your time. Plus, if life gets hectic, you might forget about that post you wanted to make and miss the opportunity. Use a service like Hootsuite to schedule and manage your social media so you have more time to focus on other areas of your life or business.

20. Use A Meal Delivery Service

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Have ready-made meals or meal kits delivered to take the guesswork out of dinner (or breakfast and lunch). These services eliminate the need for meal planning, making grocery lists, and sometimes cooking. If you’re working with a limited budget, consider choosing one week a month to use a service like HelloFresh or Dinnerly to give yourself a break in the kitchen.