Want to reduce your stress and add a few hours of free time to your day? Just try these simple tricks to carve out more time.
Skip the suds: Shampoo every other day. It’s better for your hair, you’ll save time in the shower, and thanks to the miracle of dry shampoo, no one will notice.
Stop the scavenger hunts: Two minutes looking for your cell phone, five minutes tearing the house apart for your keys, nine aggravating minutes searching through the pockets of every pair of every pair of pants you own to locate your wallet. It all adds up. Save yourself the time and stress by cleaning out your wallet/purse/pockets/whatever on a regular basis and placing your keys and phone in the same spot every time you enter the house (a basket or tray in the entryway or kitchen works well).
Use shortcuts: Bookmark websites you frequently visit, create shortcuts on your desktop for applications or folders you open regularly and enter new contacts into your phone’s speed dial.
Procrastinate at work: How can procrastinating save you time? If you normally get stuck spending the entire morning at the office on the phone with Chatty Kathy – aka the sales rep who talks your ear off every time you call – wait until the end of the day to ring her/him. At 5:00 p.m., when the rep’s rushing to get things done so he/she can go home, the rep will be more likely to get down to business and less likely to gab about things unrelated to business.
Screen: Caller ID was invented for a reason. So only pick up when it’s someone important, such as your boss or your significant other, or when you actually have time to talk. The bank promising you a better deal on your mortgage and your best friend with the 10th crisis of the week…call them back when you have time or never call back. It’s up to you.
Cut commercials: Sure, you’ve been waiting all week to watch the new episode of your favorite TV show. You can wait another hour. Take advantage of your internet connection to watch your favorite shows commercial-free.
Make errands efficient: Plan to pick up your prescription between two meetings or grab toilet tissue on your way to work. That way, you won’t be tempted to wander around the store browsing, saving you both time and money.
Curtail cook time: Considering the average person spends 46 minutes a day on food preparation and cleanup, it’s not hard to see why takeout and frozen dinners are staples in many households. But you can actually save money, calories and time by trying one of the quick and easy weeknight meals that’s have you sitting down to eat in 20 minutes or less.
Multitask: In some cases doing several things at once, such as trying to finish three presentations at the same time, it can actually slow you down. But there are situations when multitasking can add minutes or even hours back on the clock, such as when one or both tasks don’t require much focus. Some multitasking moves that can save you time: watching your favorite shows while you work out, going through the mail while you’re on hold with the cable company, or throwing in a load of laundry while you wait for the oven to heat up.