It’s hard to think of a time when we were more pressed for extra moments in the day. Not only do most jobs require us to work beyond a 40-hour week, we now have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up with. And that is a bare minimum social media regimen. If one is to explore beyond those basic platforms, there is a treasure trove of time-wasting material out there. So, more than ever before – we are hard-pressed to save time. Every little bit counts!
Luckily, we’ve found some tricks that will help you to easily shave minutes – even hours – off of your day. With that extra time you can lay back and relax, sleep more, go for a walk – anything your mind can dream of! These 10 tips won’t be mind-blowing – but when you add them all up, you’ll see an increase of free time that will make a big impact on your day-to-day routine. So without further ado, let’s get going!
1. Work Anywhere You Can
The advent of all this technology means that we can now work in more places than ever before (though this particular step may be a little bit limited – depending on your profession). But smartphones give us a huge advantage when it comes to the little tasks that are work-related – answering emails, making quick calls and reviewing notes, for example.
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Focus on trying to get more done during the little chunks of time you spend commuting (but not while driving) and goofing off. Though this may not seem like that much time saved initially, when we start combining this step with the others ahead, you will really see the minutes start to add up!
2. Do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT workouts are increasingly popular for a reason – they work! Short, intense and effective – they’re the best workouts for saving time! Make sure you stretch properly but otherwise – full speed ahead!
No more 1-hour trips to the gym, no more long bike rides – make your workouts 20 minutes or less, do them at home or outside – and reap the benefits of 30 minutes or more saved!
3. Maximize Sleep Quality
This is another big one – and many of us pay the price by not following this step. Sleep quality is hugely important and this is doubly true if we are sleeping less than optimal amounts (read: everyone). By the time our heads hit the pillow, we are not pulling in enough hours, on average. But if you can’t get 8 hours every evening, you can at least get a very effective 6. And how to do this? Cover your windows with blackout curtains, avoid electronic light for an hour before bed (install f. lux and/or get blue blockers, if you really need to stare at some screens) and avoid caffeine in the hours before slumber.
Not only will this give you better results as far as anti-aging, cognitive function and weight loss – this improved sleep quality will allow you to be more productive! While you should still strive to get 7-8 hours a night, this will help protect you on the nights when you cannot achieve this, and allow you to feel better rested when you are still a little sleep deprived.
4. Delete Social Media Profiles
I know – this is a tough one. I’m going to be a stickler, too. I’m saying “delete” instead of simply “deactivate”. While ultimately this is up to you, it will be better for you to remove your profiles to really see how much time you spent on social media previously. It will blow your mind. And before I get bombarded with the “how will people get in touch with me?” questions – I will gently remind you that you have a phone and email address that will still work just fine! It has been a quick sea-change into social media running our lives – but we can fight back and save time!
5. Delete Games
I’m really going to get hate mail over this one! But hear me out! You would not believe how many clients I have had who keep 5-10 games on their phones. And they play them! Regularly! Clearly, we need to do some housekeeping here, and clean up the games on our phone.
If you have video games at home or on the computer, this is also true. If you really need to keep 1-2, you can try it, but to see the maximum impact of how much time you can save, you need to go a month without any at all. And don’t worry about stress relief, if that is why you are playing these games – we’re going to cover that!
6. Cut Out The Nonsense (And Simplify!)
This is a tough one for those pack rats out there, but it is a huge timesaver to throw away some things and simplify your routine, place of residence, and life. It may take you an entire weekend, but the rest of your year will be substantially better for it! Start by picking up things that may not be totally needed, and really ask “do I absolutely need this?” If the answer is no – throw it away! If there are some things you would like to keep, but want to avoid clutter, rent a small, cheap storage space. It will be worth the peace of mind!
7. Use A Traffic App
While I wholeheartedly agree that games and almost every other app have no place on your phone, a traffic app like Waze can be a massive time saver. Since the content is user-generated, you will get real time updates on traffic patterns – which will allow you to avoid backups and take shortcuts. This is the one app you really need if you want to save time!
8. Walk Or Ride Your Bike To Work
If you are looking to really hack your schedule, hit two birds with one stone and exercise as you commute! Though this one may not be possible depending on how far your place of business is from your home, it will make a lot of sense to follow this step if you are close-by. You’ll also get in better shape by doing this day in and day out – not too shabby for just busting out that old Schwinn in your garage!
9. Bulk-Prepare Your Food
This is a step that exactly zero percent of my incoming clients currently do. It is a huge timesaver, though! In fact, if you change nothing else on this list, follow this one step. I promise it will be worth it. Instead of worrying about what you’re going to make for dinner every night, you will be enjoying that steak you cooked over the weekend – complete with an extra 30 minutes to enjoy!
The best way to start doing this is with one-pot meals, where you can knock out 4-5 servings in one cooking session. Paleo chili is a great way to start this journey, as are Paleo egg bakes. Multi-task – work on bulk cooking while you also do laundry or organize your house. It will be worth it!
10. Get Organized!
Depending on your personality type, this may be the easiest – or the hardest – task on this list. But there is no debating that a more organized life is a more productive one! Following our earlier tip of getting rid of the clutter, organize what you do have, and your brain and mind will be much more organized, as well. More organized means less time searching for things you need and more space to be productive!
I hope I’ve given you actionable steps to move forward with, and get on the path to a more productive, relaxing life! Time is money, and there is nothing more valuable than your time, so make sure you are maximizing your own!
(Related: 5 Stress-Free Ways to Simplify Your Diet)