Money

How To Hack A Week In Your Life

It’s time to stash away that big long list of ‘2017 goals’ and take on life one day at a time.

Just like the rest of us, you probably wrote out extensive plans to become a better version of yourself at the start of the year. You were motivated, you had new stationery, you were ready to take life by the… er, hands. And a few months in, just like everyone else, you have no idea where you left your gym membership, you seem to always be tired, and your finances are what Alf Stewart would call a flamin’ disaster.

So, how can you get back on track without putting so much pressure on yourself that you end up crying in the supermarket? Take it one day – or one week – at a time. Hack those little moments in your day where you are flailing about aimlessly or staring blankly at your phone. Follow our guide to hacking a week in your life with these five good habits, and go from there. Settle in and read on, friend.

Block out some screen-free time

Yes, I’m serious. I hate to sound like your grandma, but even though screentime has a whole lotta bonuses – learning new things, checking in with your Mum, watching the new episode of Riverdale – it can also turn you into a zombie with carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s rare that our brains are given time to settle down and focus without notifications and memes and Netflix. So, take a bit of time to chill; even an hour a day. Read that book you’ve been meaning to pick up eventually, have a long shower or bath, do some journaling. Treat your brain to some rest time.

Check in with your finances

That stack of unopened letters from the bank on your desk or sitting pretty in your inbox? It’s time to take a deep breath and open them. Log in to your banking app and see where you’re at; are your finances swinging more towards could-buy-a-house-soon or wow-that’s-a-lot-of-debt? No matter where you’re at, take stock of the situation and figure out what might need to change. Why do you have four different savings accounts? Could you be paying less in credit card fees? What is that mystery charge on your debit card?

Wake up a lil bit earlier

I can see you, yes you, rolling your eyes at the screen. But just think about it: you wake up half an hour earlier, and you aren’t rushing. You actually have time to make a coffee or brew a pot of tea. Maybe you do some stretches, even go for a walk while it’s still delightfully brisk outside. You have a shower that lasts longer than two minutes, and you put your makeup on at home rather than on the train. You actually eat breakfast, not half-choke on a muesli bar on your commute. Are you getting the gist? Try it, just for a week!

Take some time to plan

I don’t mean the kind of big, flowery plans where you write down goals for the entire year. I mean, plan out the slightly more mundane stuff. Buy a calendar. Write in your appointments for the next week or two so that you aren’t on the other side of the city when you’re supposed to be at the dentist. If you never seem to have time to cook, write out some meal plans or plan for a bulk cook on the weekend. Write in social catch-ups so you catch any clashes before they catch you. It may not sound riveting, but it’s strangely therapeutic to add in plans where you can – and it’ll save you a whole lot of stress in the long run.

Say no to a few things

You know that terrible Jim Carrey movie Yes Man? Do the opposite of that. Start saying no to things, for your own sanity. If you’re overwhelmed at work, have a chat with your manager (or yourself, if you own your own business) and figure out what you can cut back on. If your friends are being a little too demanding or you can’t remember the last time you had two nights in a row to yourself, it’s time to just say no – they’ll still want to get a beer next week. It’s all too easy to get stuck in a cycle of saying yes to everything to please others, so remember that most of the time, saying no won’t lead to disaster.
Ready to start taking control of the little things in your life, to make a big difference? Westpac can help you find the perfect bank account to get your finances in check and make life easier.


Chloe Papas is a journalist and writer based in Victoria. You can find her on Twitter @chloepapas