14 shortcuts to make time for everything
‘I have no time’, complaining to yourself in the mirror? There may be several things occupying your days. Sometimes you wish you had more time to do everything, and some others you wish you had absolutely nothing to do. Just sit like a couch potato, isolated from the world, eat some trash food and stare at the TV. Either way, maybe you would not have arrived at such a point if you followed some simple strategies to save you more time, so you could enjoy yourself time after time. Managing a family or a team of workers, there is little difference when it comes to time-saving. Follow these tips, to improve your time-management skills and make some extra hours per week:
- Create a structure for your week. Of course, you are not going to plan every detail of your week but setting a basic blueprint, will help you stay on track, do the most important things and give you the peace of mind that you are done with the basics. This schedule should include: Wake up time, meal plan, sharing of tasks with all family members, special events: birthday, concert, cinema… SO basically you should focus on things that under normal circumstances can not be postponed.
- Make sure to stick to the plan and strike-through your done stuff at the end of the day. It makes you feel in control and fills you with energy for the next day. Also, once you are done with them you are energized to do other things which are not necessities, but rather activities that give you pleasure.
- Make a list of tasks you can delegate. At work, all the things you can delegate to your colleagues, employees. At home, the tasks can very well be performed by your partner, your kids, or a third party. Your partner could send and pick up the kids from daycare, schools, courses. Your biggest kid can do the mixed clothes laundry, prepare a simple sandwich or cornflakes. And some companies can pick up the trash.
- Automate as much as you can. Dishwasher, washing machine, Hoover, calculator, spreadsheet, an app, etc. At work, find all the shortcuts possible. Even hiring a virtual personal assistant if possible.
- Focus on your task at hand. The biggest culprit of ever-ending tasks is losing concentration after TVs, cellphones, headphones, etc. If you can cut off these distractions, you will see how fast you can really perform a task.
- Convert your waiting time into a productive time. What about when you are commuting(as a passenger), you are waiting at a dentist’s office, and so on. Use that time to read on your e-reader, hear an audiobook, go through your to-do list. Always keep a useful time-eater close to you.
- One way=5 tasks. First, try to choose your workplace, your kid’s schools, your daily-market, your gym as close to you as possible. And second, when you plan to go out, reconsider all the things you could do in this way. Remember to group tasks so that you don’t have to go out 2-3 times a day. Like for example, if you have to go and pick your kids from school, on your way you have the hair-dresser, the laundry center, and the school. Make time and plan ahead to stop at each of them.
- Buy your food online(and more than food if you wish). Pre-ordering and scheduling for most of your family’s food needs can save a lot of time. Supermarkets can be overwhelming and eat up to 4 hours only to go through the shopping list you had prepared, only to go home and realize you have forgotten something. Make yourself a favor and order online for your most basic and routine needs. Sometimes you can physically go shopping for pleasure, but it won’t last 4 hours.
- Bulk-cook for the week. If you are the one responsible for cooking in your home then you must know how challenging it is to keep up with interesting and tasteful recipes every day. One day sit and make a 2-week menu plan. Then you can keep coming in circles on that same menu. After two weeks no one can say ‘Is it again, beans?!’. After you have made your plan, scan for the recipes you can cook in advance or bulk-cook and freeze. Smoothies, boiled veggies, half-ready recipes, broths, etc. This can save half the cooking time. Remember to set an alarm/reminder to pull the smoothies out the night before. Keep organized.
- Conserve some basic recipes. We are a Mediterranean family and half of our recipes include onions and tomato. So, my mom, every summer buys very cheap and tasty tomatoes that cost on average 30 ct/kg. She lightly fries chopped onions, peppers, eggplants, and tomato or varied combinations of these ingredients. Then she seals them in jars and gradually boils them in hot water so that their caps are perfectly sealed. Then in the winter, she opens and uses it. They are half ready, tasteful, and real time-savers.
- Use a slow-all in one cooker. Many people find it very useful. You pour in the ingredients in the morning, set a cooking time, and when you get back from work, all is warm and ready to eat.
- Favor few big furniture rather than several small ones. Be mindful when you choose furniture. Don’t choose them just for being cute. First of all, they have to be functional, easy to clean, and then beautiful if possible. Just imagine, having to move each of them back and forth, up and down every day just for daily cleaning needs. Bug furniture can keep a lot of clothes and materials inside, making it easy for you to organize, not let things lying around, and making it easier to clean.
- Want to cut your training time? Try exercising while you do home chores-laundry-cleaning. Mind at your moves and incorporate push-ups, stretching, squats, and muscle exercise.
- And last but not least: favor clothes that do not require ironing. A clean and proper-looking outfit makes you look neat and presentable but we all know how time-consuming ironing is. So, why not, favor the buying of clothes that do not require ironing?
Save yourself time, and use it for more meaningful activities like taking care of yourself, making money, or spending it with your family.