Being ‘busy’ is a badge of honor for some. They love telling everybody that they possibly can that they are busy – but are they really getting everything done? Being busy doesn’t automatically translate to being productive. It just means you feel like you have a lot on your plate. Below, to make sure you’re getting the most out of your busy days, you’ll find 11 smart ways to save time. Adopt some of these habits and tricks and you’ll immediately feel like you’re getting more done!
Get Up Earlier
If you already get up as early as you possibly can, you can ignore this point. However, you might even be able to get more out of getting up an hour or even half an hour earlier than you currently do. Just think about how quiet it is at 6am! This is why many people choose to get up at 6am, or sometimes even earlier. The world feels like it’s still asleep and it’s a great time to get some real work done. Alternatively, you can even use the time to work out, have a nice breakfast, and spend the morning preparing for the day so you don’t have to rush around. The day will start as you mean to go on!
Know That Your Time Is Valuable
Your time is valuable, so make sure you learn how to say no. Only agree to things that you genuinely want to do, and can actually do. Don’t agree to bake 36 brownies for your child’s school’s bake sale if you don’t have the time. Avoid overbooking yourself and you’ll be much happier. It can be tough to learn to say no, but it’s a wonderful skill that will work wonders for you.
Prep Meals As Much As You Can In Advance
Cooking can take a huge chunk out of your day, especially of you want to cook healthy meals from scratch. Failure to prepare meals in advance can lead to snacking on things that don’t really fill you up, and not really getting the most out of your nutrition. See if you can spend some time on the weekend prepping meals for the week ahead and freezing them. Even just chopping vegetables in advance can make a big difference.
Make A List Of Your Priorities
Having a list of your priorities for the day can help you to stay focused. The truth is, you probably only have a few things you absolutely must get done on a given day. Smaller tasks can sometimes be carried out whenever, so you shouldn’t focus too much on them. If you can get a few smaller tasks and chores done after you’ve done the big ticket items, that’s a bonus. Stick to a maximum of three things on your list and you won’t feel put out when you don’t get everything done.
Outsource And Automate
One of the smartest ways to save time in your busy day is to outsource and automate where possible. Is there a task you do every single day that you could easily outsource to a freelancer? Maybe you could hire a virtual assistant to answer emails for you, or take messages. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but you’ll have so much more time for the important stuff. This isn’t just great for work – but your washing and cleaning, too. See if you can outsource a few tasks that you have to get done at home. Don’t feel bad for hiring a cleaner to come in once a week if it’s going to help you save time.
There are also a lot of task management systems out there you could make use of. Experiment with free trials and see if there are any you would like to commit to in the long run.
Keep Everything Running Smoothly
Make sure everything is running smoothly by performing regular checks. Know what to look for to ensure your car is running smoothly. The last thing you want to do is get in to go to an important meeting and realize something is wrong. Make sure your computer and other gadgets are working, too. This how-to guide can help you to remove viruses if you need to. Knowing how to do these things in advance will be a huge help if something does go wrong.
Take Advantage Of Travel Time
If you commute to and from work, or you spend time traveling elsewhere, you could make the most of that time by listening to audiobooks as you travel. Alternatively, if you take public transport, you could do some work on the train or bus. It isn’t exactly the ideal workspace, but it can definitely help you to make the most of your time.
Create A Capsule Wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe will make getting dressed in the morning so much easier and more enjoyable. Make sure you also arrange your clothes the night before so you don’t have to mess about in the morning. Do it for the kids, too, and you’ll save yourself a few headaches!
Know When You Are At Your Most Productive
Everybody is different. You might feel more productive in the evening once your kids are in bed, or right after you get up. Whenever it is, make sure you make the most of this time. Knowing when you are at your most productive means you can focus on the bigger ticket items, and take care of smaller tasks when you’re not feeling so focused.
Time Yourself Doing Certain Tasks
Using a timer as you go about your day can give you incentives to get them done faster. Challenge yourself to complete one of your tasks within a 20 minute timer. Doing this is a great way to improve your focus!
Avoid Distractions Like The Plague
Know what your biggest distractions are and avoid them like the plague. Leave your phone somewhere to stop the temptation to look at it, and don’t watch the TV during the day, for example.