Categorized | Healthy Lifestyle

Simplify your day by doing less work

By Cindy Tulimeri and Karen DeRosas

Work Simplification is the processes of decreasing the amount of energy you expend to complete an activity. Using these techniques is essential for quality of life for people with respiratory, cardiac or degenerative joint disease but almost anyone can benefit from these ideas.

The general principle of work simplification is remembering that doing more is not better.

Plan your day ahead of time, balancing rest and activities. If you are doing household chores or a cooking task, gather all necessary items prior to doing the job or keep duplicates of things throughout your house so they are handy.

Organizing storage areas keeps things in easy reach. Eliminate steps of a job or whole jobs. For instance, let dishes air dry instead of hand drying them.

Sit while working whenever possible. Keep a stool nearby so you can sit while washing dishes or preparing a meal.

Using electric equipment is also a nice way to reduce the amount of energy you expend as well. Appliances like small choppers, electric can openers and food processers are very handy.

When preparing a meal, use convenience items like boxed mixes or frozen foods to help decrease the amount of work. Buy vegetables already sliced. Line pans with aluminum foil to avoid scrubbing later.

Slide objects instead of carrying them. For instance, slide your pot from your stove to the sink for straining. A rolling cart is another way to transport items with ease.

The following example of a doctor’s appointment should help you better understand the purpose and way to use work simplification principles.

If the appointment is at 9 a.m., you should leave the house at 8 a.m.

You would actually start the night before by organizing your clothing for the next day, placing them in a convenient place for dressing. Shower or bathe the night before since this is the most energy–consuming activity.

Use a seat in the shower, hand held sprayer and a long handled shower brush for legs and feet to avoid bending.

In the morning, make sure you allow enough time to get up and ready by giving yourself time to rest if needed. Always avoid rushing.

Deep breathing exercises are a vital component to increasing energy and decreasing shortness of breath. The aging process and poor breathing habits may cause a 20 percent reduction in oxygen blood levels. Poor breathing robs energy and negatively affects mental alertness. Exercising your breathing can improve oxygen levels and make you feel more energized.

Cindy Tulimeri is a certified occupational therapist and Karen DeRosas has her master’s degree in physical therapy. Both have an Executive Certificate for Home Modifications through the University of Southern California. As the founders of Independent Living Innovations, they have extensive experience working with elders and adults with disabilities. They can be reached at, by calling 617-877-4036 or 978-866-8782 or emailing

Leave a Reply


Join Now for the 50 Plus Newsletter