Let’s face it, we all need to find more time for the things we want and need to do! Most of us could use some great time savers in our busy lives. A few minutes here or there can go a long way!
A great deal of your day is spent “doing” things: tasks and chores. What’s more, I can get off task and start doing something totally else, completely unplanned, for a long period of time, then look up and an hour of time could have passed. “Unplanned” is the operative word here.
Imagine being able to reduce the time spent on repetitive or time-consuming things and having more time to do what you need to get done and what you want to do! We all have obligations, but we also all have things we just like to do. Not having enough time to put the have-to’s in balance with the want-to’s just isn’t fun! And when we aren’t giving ourselves some personal time, that’s a tragedy, because every single moment goes to doing for others before ourselves.
But, how can you put more of the fun and pleasurable things into your day when there’s barely any time? Streamline! That’s how.
Here are a few ways you can do the work now, setting yourself up to have that the freed time to enjoy later! These are easy things you can get into the habit of doing. If you pay attention, or keep note of them, you will find some of the stress of the day can be relieved because every minute is not filled “doing”.
#1 Prepare meals (or portions of meals) to be eaten or cooked later.
This is called meal prep. I go into detail on how to make this a routine in my eDoc, titled “Meal Prep” (you can get that here), but the basic idea is that you do all of your chopping, separating, portioning and even cooking beforehand. Then, when you want to eat, your meals are ready or at least in a state of almost ready. Imagine coming near the end of a long, tiring day and you don’t have to worry about or figure out what you will eat because you did that several days ago. All you have to do is select what you want, get it hot, and eat it! Consider this overnight oats recipe kept in my jar in the fridge. In the morning I can either warm the jar (sans lid) in the microwave or a pan of hot water, or empty into a pan to warm up, then eat, or take it with me to eat at work! Time saved!
I have an e-course for this and if you want more information about it, click here: Meal Prep For Beginners
#2 Clean as you use.
As you cook, wash. There should always be a sink of hot sudsy water while you cook so as you finish using things (utensils, platters, cutting boards, pots and pans), you can wash them up quickly. This also helps with keeping your countertops and the stove wiped and clean as well.
Who wants to stand in the kitchen after you’ve cooked to deal with a PILE of dirty things? Not I.
#3 File your mail as you get it.
Please, do NOT take the mail from the mailbox and stack it without going through said stack! It literally takes seconds! As you get mail, separate the junk mail from the important stuff. Junk mail goes in the trash. (Be sure you aren’t throwing away things with any identifiable information, like an account number! Those pieces of mail should be shredded. See below.)
Mail you want to read right away, like bills or personal letters, should be read and then put in an action folder or stack. This means you are going to come back to deal with this mail, i.e. pay the bill, later.
Things you will need to file for future reference, like bank statements, need to go in a secure place like a file or desk drawer. Maybe you could use something like this accordian file that is labeled so you can find things easier.
Keep a letter stacker near your desk or kitchen counter. Also, it’s a good idea to have a paper shredder close by so you can keep certain private information from going into the wrong hands. This is one I like, as it sits on my wastepaper basket. I can keep it in the ready by adjusting the switch or I can turn it off so nothing gets accidentally shredded through.
#4 Shower? Bath? Wash yourself. Wash your bathroom.
Bathroom cleaning, for me, is one of the least loved chore of all. I hate taking time out to do all that disinfecting and washing and scouring on cleaning day. I DO IT, and you’d be surprised how much easier it is than waiting until later to do it. I find it takes a whole lot less time if I clean as I go!
By that, I mean I will wash out the bathtub as soon as I get out, before any dirt and grime gets a chance to dry up. I keep cleaning wipes in the bathroom to swipe out the sink every morning. Yes, EVERY morning. When I’m done with the sink, I swipe with the wipe! It leaves the faucet shiny and removes any grimy leftovers from hand washing or teeth brushing. Don’t let that build up.
There are also cleaners you can get that will automatically spray down your glass and tile in the shower. I don’t like using a lot of chemicals, so I find a spray bottle with a good biodegradable cleaner or a DIY cleaner will do the same thing. Step out of the shower, spray down the walls and surfaces. Let it sit for one minute while I dry off, then rinse the cleaner. So easy.
#5 Clean your makeup brushes as you go.
Okay, I know, you probably feel that this is going to slow you down in the morning. I used to think the same thing, but when I consider the bacteria that may be brewing up on my brushes, I got over it!
This isn’t the deep washing we do monthly or semi-monthly. This is a quick spray wipe action to help keep your brushes relatively clean throughout the week.
I use this diy spray-on brush cleaner recipe from Everything Pretty:
- Pour 3 Tablespoons hot water and ½ teaspoon conditioner into a small, travel size spray bottle and shake well.
- Add 3 Tablespoons rubbing alcohol and shake again.
- This might separate, so shake before each use.
- To use, spray your brushes and rub on a clean cloth (microfiber works well) after each use. This will keep your brushes clean, sanitized, and soft.
I keep a clean washcloth near my makeup brushes so I can rub them after spraying.
These 5 timesavers are just a few of so many things you can do ahead of time that will save you a lot of time later! Please share in the comments any timesavers you have! I’d love to read what you use!
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