No one’s life is perfect, but some people have a bit more chaos than others. If you feel like you’re constantly moving but can’t ever keep up, you may need some help organizing your life and becoming more productive. Here are some awesome tips that are easy to implement and will help you save time on a nearly daily basis.
1. Make your bed.
Adding one more thing to your ever-growing “To Do” list probably doesn’t seem like the best way to save yourself time, but making your bed daily helps you feel more in control of your life. It’s also a great way to deal with stress since the sight of a neatly made bed will help calm your nerves and make you feel pulled together. Best of all, making your bed only takes two to three minutes. To make the task even more efficient, cut down on the number of blankets and pillows you use. A simple fitted sheet and comforter will make your life much easier. Just pull the comforter up, plump your pillows, and go.
2. Cut down on your beauty products.
Women are notorious hoarders of beauty products, but men sometimes develop this bad habit, too. Having too many items to choose from each morning can cause unneeded stress and waste valuable seconds from your daily routine. If you have multiple bottles of hair products and tubes of lipstick, cut everything down to only one choice. You should keep one bottle of shampoo and conditioner in the shower, as long as one of anything else you might need. For makeup, keep one bag of your daily essentials together and separate your other items to use for special occasions only.
3. Plan your weeks on Sunday.
The weekdays are the busiest times for most people. Sundays, however, are typically the day of rest. Each Sunday night, before you go to bed, you should prep for the upcoming week while things aren’t so hectic. Plan out your outfits for each day, as well as the outfits for each of your children. Make a meal plan and make sure you have those groceries stocked in your kitchen. Sign any permission slips or other forms you’ll need for the week ahead, and do a quick sweep of your home. All in all, this shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, tops, and it will help you deal with the upcoming week much more easily.
4. Make your “To Do” list each evening.
Don’t make your “To Do” list in the morning. If you do, you may lay awake at night thinking of all the things you need to do the next day. Instead, take a few moments each night to jot down all the items you have upcoming the next day. Then, list the most important item in book letters at the top of the page. When you wake up and get started with your day, do this item first. Then, and only then, can you choose the next most important item on your list? This is a great system for efficiency because the least important items are generally the ones that go unfinished. You can also work on them later if the need arises.
Many people forget to delegate tasks to other household members or coworkers. As you go over you “To Do” list, think of each item and ask yourself whether someone else might be able to complete the task. Oftentimes, someone else can easily complete simple tasks. For example, washing a load of laundry may be important if your family needs clean clothes. But could your teenager or spouse help with this task? You may be surprised at how much you can knock off your list by delegating the tasks to someone else.
6. Only check emails once or twice per day.
If you check your email constantly or keep your inbox open at all times, you’re likely wasting lots of time each day on unimportant emails. While it’s important to stay informed of important information, emails rarely fall into this category. If someone really needs to reach you, they’ll use call you directly or visit you at your desk. Instead of checking email throughout the day, establish one or two times to go over all your messages at once. For example, you might check them as soon as you arrive at work and just before you leave. You can let coworkers aware of your new email checking procedure by adding the information to your email signature. Some email programs also allow you to customize default reply messages. You can specify that a phone call is necessary for any emergency situations.
7. Use your downtime.
You waste valuable moments each day waiting on other people. Don’t let these opportunities pass you by. Next time you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or DMV, pull out your phone and respond to emails. You might also catch up on necessary reading for work or balance your checkbook. These small amounts of time may not seem like much, but there are many quick, easy tasks that are simple to accomplish in just a few minutes or less.
8. Multitask—or don’t.
Multitasking isn’t necessarily a good way to save time. Some people are more efficient when they’re multitasking because they can easily focus on more than one thing at once. Other people, however, actually make more mistakes or lose efficiency when they multitask. To determine which type you are, try multitasking one day and focusing on one task at a time the next day. Keep a log of how much you accomplish and compare the two days. If it seems like you got more done while multitasking, try to make it a habit. If one task at a time works better for you, though, then stick with that.
Life is hard, but you don’t need it to be any more difficult than necessary. If you find yourself lagging behind with home or work tasks, try implementing some of these ideas to get ahead. With a little determined