Taking care of my hair is the least efficient part of my day

Over the past year and a half, I’ve optimized many aspects of my life. I’ve decluttered around 50 bags of stuff from my 1-bedroom apartment. Despite my hatred of leftovers, I’ve started cooking or buying meals in bulk. I organized my entire life in Notion, including everything from personal finance to healthy habits to shopping lists. At work, I championed transitioning some project management into a different database solution that offers more robust sorting and sharing of data.

Despite streamlining so many tasks, I’m not prepared to make everything in my life as easy as possible.

Indeed, the things I’ve made easier have created more time to spend on things I love. I hate cleaning – so I got rid of stuff. I find it stressful to have to think in detail about every meal – so I keep prepared food in my fridge. I struggled to keep track of some details from various aspects of my personal and work lives – so I set up databases for each.

Each of those actions cleared up time for me to spend on activities I enjoy and find valuable, and therefore wouldn’t benefit from a similar optimization process.

My hair is thick and curly and butt-length with bangs. It’s crossed my mind more than once to cut it short – that would save me time in the shower plus several hours of waiting for it to dry, and make it easier to style. It would also save me money on the cost of shampoo, conditioner, and styling products. And yet I haven’t cut it in 3 years, in which time I’ve let it grow from above my shoulders to the length it is now. And I love it! The time I’ve saved by having a more streamlined wardrobe to choose my outfit from each day has given me time to deal with my unruly hair in the mornings.

Not your ideal use of time? The beauty of optimizing your own day is being able to prioritize what you spend your time doing while making it as easy as possible to breeze through the necessary activities that you want done as quickly as possible.

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Aliyah is a scientist, writer, and advocate for inclusion in STEM. She currently works in the Boston biotech scene. A fan of traveling, board games, college sports, and reality TV, you can engage more with Aliyah on Twitter @YourTurnAliyah.

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