I've compiled a list of time-saving ideas that can reduce time spent on the mundane activities of everyday life. Hopefully some of these will inspire some changes to help you master your schedule this year and spend more time on what you love.
Simplify Your Getting Ready Routine
- Acquire a signature look - invest some time upfront so you can save time daily.
- Get a low-maintenance haircut.
- Find an easy hairstyle.
- Master a 5-minute makeup routine.
- Take a photo of your favorite outfit and use it as a daily template.
- Set the coffee the night before (or buy a new coffee maker).
- Place all your getting-ready items in a basket on your counter or in a drawer.
Spend Less Time on Food Prep
- Batch cook your meals for the week.
- Order groceries online through Amazon or Walmart Grocery pickup.
- Plan groceries and meals throughout the week using Google Keep. You can even share the list with your family members to collaborate.
Cut Down on Your Commute
- Ask to work from home one day a week.
- Lump your errands to save on drive time.
- Don't run errands during rush hour, if you can help it.
Reclaim Unused Wait Time
- Take the 15 minutes in the waiting room at the doctor's office to read a book, jot down scene ideas, or pin setting or character inspo on Pinterest.
- Consider wait time in the school carpool lane as "me" time.
- Dictate your novel to your note app on your phone.
- Listen to an audiobook or an education podcast.
Eliminate Household Chores
- When you're finished eating, put dishes directly into the dishwasher instead of the sink.
- Turn cleaning into a weekly task, instead of a daily one.
- Commit to a block of time on the weekend (2 hours) instead of a daily one. Eliminating a half hour, seven days a week, will save you 1.5 hours every week that you can dedicate to your writing.
- Get a whiteboard. If you're spending hours managing tasks you've delegated to members of your family, try writing out the instructions ahead of time so you don't have to be physically present.
Overhaul Your Financial Tasks
- Setup automatic bill pay to shave hours off of your month.
Beware of Time Thieves
- Don't let lost items steal your writing time!
- Create a dedicated space for your car keys.
- Create a coat & shoe nook where the whole family will put on and take off their shoes and coats everyday.
- Get a Tile or key finder. These can be used on a variety of items, so whatever you're spending time tracking down on the daily, attach one of these gadgets to be able to track it easily from your phone.
- Turn off your phone. This is perhaps the biggest time-thief of them all. It's amazing how much we are able to accomplish without the distractions of social media, text messages and alluring YouTube videos. Set a block of time where your phone is completely off where you can focus your energy solely on the task in front of you.