Make Everything in Life Easier

By learning to be more efficient in your day-to-day work, monitoring how you're actually spending your time, and automating as much as possible with the "Less Doing" philosophy, you can use the time you save for what you care about and the people you love.

Less Doing More Living Book Cover

Excerpted from LESS DOING, MORE LIVING: Make Everything in Life Easier by Ari Meisel with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin. Copyright Ari Meisel 2014.

I don't want you to run errands, ever ever ever again. They're not efficient, and there's no way to make them efficient. They're a waste of your time. The number-one service I recommend to eliminate errands is Amazon Subscribe and Save. It allows you to subscribe to nonperishable items that Amazon sells: dog food, toilet paper, toothpaste, and other things like that. You can set what you want and how much - for example, three tubes of toothpaste every two months. You can cancel any delivery at any time, and you can get an extra delivery at any time, so it’s hardly even a subscription, and you immediately get a 5 to 15 percent discount for buying this way. Most important, once you set it up, you don’t have to think about it anymore.

Using Subscribe and Save is definitely cheaper, and it’s simpler than buying stuff in person. Even if you go to Costco, it’s a lot of stuff to carry, and there’s a good chance you’ll forget something or buy something you don’t need. With Subscribe and Save, Amazon basically becomes your digital pantry. I’ve already saved thousands of hours using this service. Over the last three years, my wife and I have not had to shop for things like toilet paper, dish detergent, paper towels, soap, razors, deodorant, baby food, diapers, dog food—the list goes on. It’s set it and forget it: I set it up, and now I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

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If you don’t live in a building with a doorman or you have a hard time receiving packages, they’ve figured this out, too. They have a service called Amazon Lockers. There are about fifty locations throughout New York City that are set up like bus station lockers, where you can have your package delivered and you get a message telling you it’s there and ready for you.

Subscribe and Save is great for products with timing issues associated with them. For example, my wife and I use Brita filters. Every two months, we get a shipment of Brita filters. Now, instead of running out of filters, ordering more, waiting for them to come, and installing the new ones, I just get the shipment, know it’s time to change the filters, and put the new ones in. It’s out of my head. Similarly, every six months, we need to change the batteries in the smoke detectors, so every six months, we get a shipment of 9-volt batteries. When the batteries come, I change them. I never have to think about it or remember, and I never have a smoke detector beeping in the middle of the night. Peace of mind, time saved, money saved - works for me!

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Ari Meisel
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