I would like an expression that emphasizes that you've done something lots of times, that it's just routine to you. I thought

"I've done it so many times, I can do it in my sleep"

might work, but I'm curious if there's any better alternatives.

  • 2
    "autopilot" is an alternative, eg "I can do it on autopilot.". It depends on context, but "I can do it in my sleep" might be the better option. Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 10:16

8 Answers 8


A person who has completed successfully a task many times in their past would probably say: it's (like) second nature to me.

A habit or mode of behavior so long practiced that it seems innate, as in: Driving in heavy traffic is second nature to Chris.

This expression is a shortened form of an ancient proverb “Custom (or usage) is a second nature”, first recorded in 1390. It alludes to the fact that very frequently repeating something makes it seem completely natural or inborn.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms


You could use with one's eyes closed which means:

to do something very easily: 'I've filled in this form so many times, I can do it with my eyes closed.'

[Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]

"I can do it in my sleep" or "I can do it with my eyes closed" could also mean the task or action you are doing is very easy.


I've done it so many times, I can do it blindfolded, [one hand tied behind my back], [hopping on one foot]

do something blindfolded

If you can do something blindfolded, you can do it very well or easily because you have done it many times before. She could find that house blindfolded.

Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary

Also, do something standing on one's head

could do something standing on your head (informal)

if you could do something standing on your head, you can do it very easily, usually because you have done it many times before

I've done this job for so long I could do it standing on my head.

Cambridge Idioms Dictionary


You could say that you know it like the back of your hand:

be entirely familiar with a place or route.


You might consider:

1. routine; a fixed, habitual, or mechanical course of procedure: the rote of daily living.
2. proceeding mechanically and repetitiously; being mechanical and repetitious in nature; routine; habitual: rote performance; rote implementation; His behavior became more rote with every passing year.
3. by rote, from memory, without thought of the meaning; in a mechanical way:

As in:

We practiced that so much, it was all rote. Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/rote.html


If it is something you're really familiar with and you wish to connote that it is tired and no longer exciting you might consider

old hat

Used to refer to something considered uninteresting, predictable, tritely familiar, or old-fashioned.


If it has become tedious and you're only doing it out of inertia, you are going through the motions:

go through the motions

Fig. to make a feeble effort to do something; to do something insincerely or in cursory fashion. Jane isn't doing her best. She's just going through the motions. Bill was supposed to be raking the yard, but he was just going through the motions.


There is the expression phone it in

(informal) Work or perform in a perfunctory or unenthusiastic manner.

This is a somewhat pejorative term, as in

Compared to the excitement of college basketball, the players in the NBA seem to be phoning it in.

  • 1
    This implies doing a sub-par job at something, more because you don't care than because you've done it so many times. You don't have to be experienced to phone it in. A lackluster performance can be given by a complete novice just as easily. Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 15:10
  • @DarrelHoffman I agree, but I think that the term is generally reserved for someone who knows how to do the task but makes a minimal effort. I have not noticed it being used to describe novices.
    – bib
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 15:33

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