I was approached by The Dollar Shave Club who asked me to create a list of time saving (or in their case, time shaving) tips that others may find helpful. As the self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Procrastination’ I have found it difficult until recently to prioritise my time effectively, prefering to leave things until the last minute and then feel stressed and overwhelmed when deadlines become imminent. Life is busy and fast paced, but here are a few little things that you could adopt to save some precious minutes during the day.
1. Put down your phone, turn off your computer and stay away from the internet. Social media sites have the ability to make hours of our day disappear. Instead of checking and updating things in the morning, reward yourself at the end of a day when all your jobs are done.
2. Turn off the television. Whenever I am around a television, I can’t help but watch it. If the television isn’t on, the temptation won’t be there.
3. Keep everything in a place. When you’ve finished with it, put it back. This will stop items building up.
4. Plan your weekly menu. Shop for the necessary ingredients in one trip. To save even more time, have your food delivered – most supermarkets offer a delivery service that allows you to select a specific date and time that is most convenient for you.
5. Cook in batches. Some meals can be prepared and frozen, ready to be reheated later on. Double up on recipes and freeze half of them.
6. When cooking, keep a small bowl at the side for any peelings. When you’re finished, take one trip to the garbage instead of several.
7. Do your banking online where possible. This could save lots of time instead of standing in line at a counter. It may also make the experience more pleasant – I am always stood in front of the people who have colds and end up coughing and sneezing into my hair. Save time, save money on shampoo!
8. Share the responsibilities with others around you. If there are more than one of you in the house, divide the chores equally.
9. Get your children to help out! Give them responsibilities that are age appropriate – tidying up their own toys, doing the washing up, taking the garbage out, walking the dog. You could make it a fun activity – create a sticker chart that they can update regularly.
10. Pre-sort all the washing. Have several linen baskets for different types of material and colours. Teach your children how to categorise their clothing.
11. Send out birthday cards once a month in one go. This may mean that some may get theirs a few weeks early, but it will mean just one trip. This also means that you are more likely to remember everybody’s birthdays (something I am guilty of forgetting on many occasions). You can shop for birthday cards in bulk, saving even more time.
12. Get everything ready for morning the night before. Have clothes clean, ironed and laid out, make packed lunches and organise bags before going to bed. It may also be useful to check the weather reports to decide on appropriate clothing.
13. Try and avoid rush hour. I often arrive at work before rush hour starts – this means that my journey takes ten minutes instead of thirty and I can get my work done in a morning and leave a little earlier without feeling guilty.
14. For those of you without a dryer, cut down on ironing time by hanging certain items of clothing up as they are drying. Stop ironing socks and underwear!
15. Once you have started a task, make sure that you finish it. Avoid answering calls and emails while you are working on it. Even if the job is so boring you find yourself repressing the urge to poke yourself in the eye, an unfinished job will inevitably take much longer to complete than if it had been seen through right to the end.
16. Learn to say no. Don’t be deliberately mean, but avoid becoming involved in tasks and activities that you have no interest in. It took me thirty years to learn to do this, but it has saved me hours of boredom over the last few years.
17. Leave the snooze button alone! Nobody wants to get up when their alarm goes off, but if you do so immediately you’ll inevitably save lots of time that would be spent waiting for the snooze alarm.
18. Set filters on your email. I have several email accounts and The Bloke (who is an IT Technician) set up filters so that emails are directed to specific folders. This has saved me lots of time instead of trawling through thousands of emails to find the one that I actually needed. While I’m on the subject of emails, turn off the notifications from social networking sites where possible that will send you an email every time that somebody interacts with your accounts.
19. Stop trying to imitate Mary Poppins. Handbags can be like Doctor Who’s tardis, and I used to spend lots of time rummaging through mine looking for my keys. Now, I have certain items in designated compartments. To save even more time, instead of searching through a large make up bag, keep your collection down to five or six essentials.
20. Have less. I’m guilty of hoarding things over periods of years, but after moving house twice in the last ten months I have realised that large amounts of the ‘stuff’ that I have accumulated was neither useful or necessary. Be ruthless – if you haven’t watched a film, listened to a CD or worn an item of clothing in the last two years then bag it up and take it all down to the charity shop. You’ll de-clutter your life and your surroundings, leaving you with less to worry about, and you’ll be helping a good cause too!
What about you guys? Have you got any useful hints and tips for saving time?
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog
Don’t forget to check out the Dollar Shave Club – have you see their viral video? Click on the image for their site…
Mary Poppins still, Disney.