Survival Tips for One-Income Households

10 Ways to Save Time in Your Day

on February 15, 2011

10 Easy Ways to Save Time in Your Day

We all have the same 24 hours in a day and it often feels like it’s not enough time. With busy schedules and a fast- paced life, many of us would love to have even just a few extra minutes in our day. The good news is that you can reclaim a few minutes just by making minor adjustments to your daily tasks.

1. Subtract Steps. Carry all of your cleaning supplies in a bucket rather than walking back and forth to the cleaning supply area. Fold clothes as you take them out of the dryer. Unload groceries directly into the pantry or fridge rather than putting them on the counter first.  Pack a Project. Don’t waste your time just standing in line, sitting in the doctor’s office, waiting for a friend or client who is meeting you for lunch or sitting in the car to pick up a child or spouse. Spend those few free minutes working on a project. Balance your checkbook, work on cross- stitch craft, write letters, update your planner, catch up on your reading, etc. If you know you’ll be waiting, take along something to do.  Create a ‘Free Time Bag’. Instead of wasting your free time by running around the house looking for something to do, grab your ‘free time bag.’ A book you’re reading, your crocheting project, magazines, crossword puzzles, and stationery and pens can all be held in a tote bag. Keep the bag in an easily accessible place and you’ll always be ready when you have a little free time.
2. Make Standard Lists. Make standard lists for anything that you rewrite often. This would include grocery lists, instructions for the babysitter, instructions for the house or pet sitter, etc. That way you don’t have to completely recreate them each time.

3. Plan Your Meals. Before going to the supermarket, make sure you have planned your meals and have a shopping list. This should eliminate last minute trips across town to the store just to pick up eggs or milk. You’ll also save time since you won’t be scouring the pantry, fridge, and freezer, wondering what you can put together for dinner.

4. Make a To Do List. To Do Lists let you see the big picture. You get an idea of what has to be done during the day and you can approach the day more systematically.

5. Group Like Tasks. Return phone calls and schedule appointments before moving to another task. Run all your errands at the same time and plan your route to eliminate driving back and forth across town. This will not only save you time, but also money on gas.

6. Put It Away, Now. Whenever you’re finished using something, put it away. This will save you time and energy at the end of the day when you tidy the house since things should already be in their proper place. This will also save you time when you need to find something. You won’t be late because you were frantically searching the house or your office for a missing item.

7. Delegate Jobs. At home, give the kids age-appropriate chores. Even toddlers can help load the dryer, sort laundry, straighten up toys and magazines, and do some dusting. At work you can delegate portions of a project to a coworker who isn’t quite as busy as you.

8. Screen Your Emails. Don’t read every single email you receive. Look at the subject of your emails and delete anything you do not intend on reading, including any junk mail or chain mail. Look at the subjects again and only read those that are important and need to be dealt with today. The others can be saved for when you have more time.

9. Get Things Ready the Night Before. Mornings can be hectic and seem unproductive. Prepare lunches, pack schoolbags and briefcases, plan breakfast, and make your To Do list before going to bed. Your morning will be less stressful and everyone should be able to be a little bit more self-sufficient and organized.

10. Eliminate Ironing. Buy clothing that doesn’t require ironing. Don’t let clothes sit in the dryer or laundry basket after they’re dry. This can cause them to wrinkle and need ironing. Once they’re dry, immediately fold or hang them to prevent this.

References…Get Organized Now! Newsletter – By Maria Gracia
February 13-19, 2011


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