When you think about how much time you waste, you tend to think of the big things, like the hours wasted binging on Netflix (I’m obsessed with Orange Is The New Black,) paging through social media or wandering
aimlessly around the mall. When something only wastes a minute or so we don’t think about it as much. But when you add all those things together you could potentially be throwing away hours of your day.
I’ve come up with a list to help you combat the small time sucks in your life:
1. Using keyboard shortcuts – The tech experts at brainwave.com estimate that you save two seconds per minute when you use keyboard shortcuts (vs. reaching for the mouse). If that doesn’t seem like a lot of time – that two seconds per minute adds up to eight workdays per year – that’s an extra vacation!
2. Electronically sign and fax your documents – Download the chrome extension Hello Sign, or simply go to their website. It allows you to e-sign all your documents, so you no longer have to waste time printing, signing and scanning. Plus, once documents have been signed they are securely stored on the cloud so you can access your important documents wherever you are. This was an amazing time saver when I was buying my first apartment. There’s always something to sign and send back to your real estate broker, lawyer or mortgage lender.
3. Wash dishes while you cook – Washing dishes is possibly the world’s dullest chore. But clearing up as you go means less time standing over the sink and instead gives you time to linger over a glass of wine or dessert. This is a trick I learned from my mother. She would always say “clean as you go.” It’s a good tip!
4. Call instead of text/email – If you need to organize a meeting or an event, a brief phone call is far more effective than a series of text messages. Texting is far more likely to digress or go off topic, a call allows you to get to the heart of the matter quickly.
5. Limit your choices – Did you know President Obama wears only blue or gray suits to curb unnecessary decisions? The more choices you have, the longer you spend deciding what you want. Pick your outfit the night before and establish a weekly menu to cut back on time spend mulling over decisions.
6. Book cabs in advance – Using apps like Hail-O to quickly book a cab and avoid waiting in the street trying to flag one down.
7. Stand in the right spot — This works particularly well if you take public transportation. I’ve got my commute mapped out so that I take a few steps as possible from the subway doors to the stairs and then to my office. By standing in exactly the right spot — I cut down on walking and weaving between people so I can get to my destination quicker and more efficiently.
What are some of your small time savers?