Hello friends! Today we have a fun member spotlight to share from Carrie in our STEP Mastery Facebook group. She shared how she got her Amazon orders and returns organized, and whether or not you do a lot of shopping online, I think her story will inspire you. (Then after you read her experience, I’m going to add a few notes/takeaways that will hopefully help you remove some of the friction you may be experiencing in your own life!)
“I did some shopping on Amazon Prime for needed things, but got extras. Was trying to return something else and the return window expired yesterday (donation box ready). As a result, I checked all my recent purchases (quality, fit, true need, etc.) and am returning 5 “extra” things for refunds. In addition, I searched “Amazon” in my email and took 3 minutes to delete all the old emails. Everything packed up and ready for a drop off at UPS when I run errands today. In addition, I have been working on emails to zero this week in waiting rooms and while in line on errands. 3/4 of the way there! I’m headed out on an unexpected business trip and plan on finishing emails to 0 and some podcast listening in the airport.”
I LOVE the energy, the forward progress, and the power that is simply emanating from this post. Well done, Carrie!!!
The fact is that many people waste a LOT of time and money when it comes to online orders AND in-person shopping (we’ve struggled with this, as well). Either items get broken, they’re not what we expected, or they don’t last as long as they should. And oftentimes, the effort to make the returns in a timely manner feels like too much, so we end up with money being wasted and “stuff” hanging around that we’re not even going to use. If we can create simple systems to manage these details, it frees our minds to focus on things that are more important–like building relationships, making human connections, living our purpose, taking care of our health, etc.
Here are a few ideas that have been helpful to our STEPpers, and we’d love for you to add any additional ideas in the comments!
(1) Note any relevant “return windows” on your calendar. On Amazon, when you request a return, they give you the due date right away. Putting a calendar reminder a few days before that due date will give you a little wiggle room and serve as a “final call” in case you don’t get to it sooner. Just make sure you’re checking your calendar every day and not cluttering it up with a bunch of “extras.”
(2) Use the 2-minute rule to assess every purchase the moment it comes into your home. Is it what you ordered? Is it functional? Are you glad you got it? If you know you’re going to return it, quickly open your app, and request the return right then (and note it on your calendar). Or if you want a bit of time to think about whether or not you’ll keep it, create a calendar trigger sometime in the next week or so that says, “Do I want to keep [this item]?” Otherwise, it may end up at the bottom of a pile, and you’ll never see it again. 🙂
(3) If you do decide to return something, put it out in your car (or in an “errand resource” box/bag somewhere near the exit to your home) so when you’re on your way out, you’re not running around trying to remember what you need. I know it’s funny that I’m writing something so specific, but this was my family ALL growing up. We had zero systems for things like this.
(4) Add “Return items to [location/drop-off spot]” on your “Errands” List. Remember how we create a weekly Next Actions List that is organized by context? That includes home, errands, phone calls, computer, to discuss, and any other contexts that are appropriate for your life. This is super helpful because then, if your return items are already in your car and you’re out running errands, you can easily remember to drop them off. And if you don’t get out for awhile, the calendar trigger/reminder you created will help you out.
(5) Keeping emails at zero is also really helpful because you can track any refund emails, receipts, etc., and you’ll just feel less overwhelmed! (A free Emails to Zero resource is linked below…)
Diving into logistics doesn’t always feel “fun,” but you’ll feel like a ROCKSTAR when you never waste another dollar or minute juggling random items, worrying about your purchases/orders, or missing a deadline and having to eat the cost. Then your mind is open and free to be present with your family, take a nap, relax with a good book, or put your energy out in the world to do something that will help others.
Do you have any other tips or tricks that have been helpful for you? Share them below in the comments!
We’d LOVE to work with you here at LearnDoBecome…
Ready to become a STEPper and build your full Command Central? Our STEP Mastery members have a special bonus class this month–all about time blocking. If you join by August 23rd, you can participate in the live event! Or join by the end of August to get the recording. Recordings of special events can be purchased for $50 on their own, or you can become a STEP Mastery member and become grandfathered in to all future STEP Mastery Member events!
Four Weeks to Finished starts September 1st! Would you like to get out of the overwhelm with a solid Command Central–built in one month with lots of coaching, support, and community along the way? Our special group coaching program is only offered a few times a year, and we would love for you to sign up! Click here to get on the waitlist!
Get Your Emails to Zero! (It’s not as difficult as it sounds…) You can sign up here!