Ten Time Saving Tips
Do you ever wish you had more time in your day? I am always on the look out for ways to save time so I can enjoy my day more and still get through everything I want to do, but I’ve learnt this can take a bit of trial and error!
Recently my husband and I decided to order a sofa online to save the effort of going in and out of all the shops. But, our best attempt to save time totally failed. When the great sofa we thought we had found arrived, with its matching arm chair and footstool, we took one look and laughed! It didn’t look anything like the photographs and was the most uncomfortable sofa set we had ever sat on! We ended up having to travel into central London to reselect and reorder a different make and model.
Needless to say buying a sofa online didn’t make my list of Top Ten Time Saving Tips… but read on to find out what did:
1. Capsule Wardrobe
Always rushing around in the morning struggling to find something to wear? Most of us only wear 20% of what we have in our wardrobes. A good friend of mine taught me many years ago about the benefit of buying a few beautiful outfits for each season, cleverly chosen to create a capsule wardrobe. This method does away with wasting money on impulse purchases. The golden rule is only to buy items you really love.
Begin by clearing out the 80% you don’t need – let go of all the things you haven’t worn for longer than 2 years and any items you wear, but don’t feel great in. You should be left with only your favourite things. Then treat yourself to a select few items in different, but complimentary colours that you can mix and match. You are aiming for example to have 2 skirts, 2 pairs of trousers, 2 dresses and a pair of jeans to see you through a regular week. Add to this 6 tops and 4 cardi/jumpers, plus a couple of jackets/coats. Then you are sorted! From now on you will quickly and easily be able to find things to wear.
2. Eat that Frog
As Mark Twain once said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day”. The frog is a metaphor for getting on with your most challenging task, so that you overcome procrastination and flow through your day. Try it – it really works. The key is to eat your frog each day before you check your email, before you check your email, before you check your email!
3. Shop Online for Food
For some things in life online ordering can help you get organised and save a tonne of time each week. Setting up an account and entering in your weekly food shop may at first put you off, but once this is done, most online food shopping sites make things super simple for you by remembering all your favourites and even suggesting things you might like based on your regular choices! You then have the luxury of reordering your regular supplies each week without wasting time endlessly walking around the supermarket looking for what you want and getting distracted by offers on things you don’t need.
4. Super Nails
If you love your nails looking nice, but hate the time it takes to keep them looking perfect – check out the new long lasting nail polishes on the market. Not the kind you do at home yourself, but the power polishes that your beautician can apply for you with a little help from a UV lamp that seals in the shine and makes your nails scratch proof. My experience with nails had always been that I’d spend an hour or so priming and painting only to go out the very next day and chip half off! Not anymore J Once a fortnight I let my beautician work her magic and for 14 days thereafter my nails continue to look gorgeous.
5. Bulk Buy Cards
I learnt this tip from THE card QUEEN – my mum! At the beginning of the year mark all important birthdays, anniversaries etc in your diary and bulk buy cards for all the special people in your life. Keep them in a box with stamps all ready to go and when the big dates roll around you save yourself from going back and forth to the card shop by simply pulling the card you have pre-bought your nearest and dearest out of your box, signing it and popping it in the post. Always good to have a few spares too.
6. Location, location!
Sounds simple, yet so many people I know don’t do this. Put the things you use the most in each room of the house, together in one place. Do it for each room. You don’t need to be a human yo-yo anymore!
7. Wash and Go – Or, just go!
Many years ago my hairdresser advised me to leave 2-3 days between washes. “I can’t do that” I said, “my roots will look greasy”. She explained how much damage I was doing by putting my hair through the same styling routine each day and suggested I spray some hair shampoo or shake a bit of corn powder in at the roots of my hair to extend the time in between washes. It works! I save time and my hair has thanked me for it.
8. Double Up
Some American friends of mine introduced me to this time saving tip. When making a meal double up on all ingredients and put half in the freezer for an evening the following week. Once you get into the swing of this you only ever have to cook every other night.
9. Delay jumping in
If you find yourself saying “yes”, when you really mean “no”, or “not now”, try pausing for a moment the next time someone asks you to do something for them. Instead of instantly responding with “yes” and over committing yourself to doing too much, buy yourself some time to think about your response by answering their question with another question. Respond positively with “I’d like to help you AND right now I need to do XXX, can you come back to me later if you still need me?”. By doing this you position yourself as being prepared to help, but set a boundary for the other person to respect that you are already busy. You also sow the seed that the person might not need you later, because by then they might just have solved their issue without you J
10. Always leave a message
The next time you ring someone and reach their voicemail, leave a message rather than thinking “Oh, I’ll just email them instead”. You have taken the time to dial their number and listen to their recorded message, take 2 more minutes to leave a succinct, energetic and friendly message that clearly states the purpose of your call rather than wasting another 10 minutes taken to write an email.