If you’re a busy person like me, you’ve probably found yourself day-dreaming about a 25 or even a 26-hour day. A fantasy world where you not only finish all your tasks for the day, you even find time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Unfortunately I can’t make the day longer, but I do know how you can save one hour at a time.
Don’t let waiting time be wasted time
On hold with the bank? Bored on your daily commute? Use this time to do smaller tasks like reading your emails, checking your Facebook page or paying bills with a mobile app. This not only saves time, but stops these smaller errands from becoming pesky interruptions at work.
Time saved: 10 minutes
Do as much as you can the night before
It doesn’t matter how tired you are, you’ll never be as rushed in the evening as you are in the morning. Doing things like laying your clothes out, emptying the dishwasher and packing school lunches before you go to bed will not only save you time, but will make your morning’s more hassle-free. I always make a to-do list the night before so the next day I can just hit the ground running and start checking off tasks.
Time saved: 15 minutes
Double up on dinner
Many of you probably plan your evening meals a few days ahead of time when you buy your groceries. However another great tip for saving time is to cook twice as much in the evenings that your not as busy and then save the other half in the freezer for later in the week.
Time saved: 20 minutes
Don’t stop when you’re on a roll
When you’re in the middle of a task it’s always tempting to take a quick break to check your Twitter feed or chat with colleagues, but regaining your focus after an interruption can take up to 20 minutes, making that five minute break much longer than you thought. Make deals with yourself throughout the day instead. Cut your day up into chunks and make sure to give yourself breaks and rewards (like manicures!) when you finish your tasks.
Time saved: 5 minutes
‘Just five minutes’ is never just five minutes
Often when a friend calls to tell me she’s ‘just five minutes’ away, I know she’s actually more like 15. Being aware of how much time you spend on various tasks can help increase your efficiency. I like to use RescueTime.com as it tracks how much time I spend on websites and applications. It helps me to pin point my biggest ‘time-wasters’ which I can then cut down on, or eliminate completely in future.
Time saved: 10 minutes
What are some of your top tips for saving time in your day?