Let’s face it! Life these days gets hectic.
But we all know those people who seem to get so much done – almost like they’ve got a time-turner so they can be in two places at once.
Want to know a secret?
Nobody except Hermione Granger has a time turner, and everyone has the same 24 hours to get things done. It’s more likely those people have ways of leveraging tasks so that they get more done in less time. I know since starting a business on top of my regular job I’ve had to get a lot cleverer with my time.
Here are my favorite time saving “life hacks” to help you save hours each week.
#1: Prep your meals:
There are three ways you can do this:
Buy your groceries, come home, cook up all your meals for the week and store them in your fridge in these cute containers.
Pre-chop all your fruit and veg, marinate your meat, and “pre-prep” your ingredients so you can mix and match and create easy meals all week.
Cook enough for multiple meals at one time.
Whichever way you choose, prepping your meals in advance saves LOADS of time in the kitchen. When life gets crazy, you don’t have to turn to Uber Eats because you have nutritious meals in your fridge, ready to heat and eat.
#2: Meal prep your outfits:
How much time do we waste standing before our closets in our undies, lamenting we have nothing to wear? I, for one, am prone to wasting a LOT of time doing this.
One thing that helps is “meal prepping” my outfits at the beginning of the week.
I go through my closet on Sunday evening, choose my outfits for the day, and lay them out ready to go.
Read this next -> The Easiest Way to Look and Feel Stylish All Week Long
#3: Clean as you go:
When you’ve used something, put it back where you found it.
When you come home, hang your bag straight up on the coat rack, and put your shoes straight in the shoe rack.
You’ve got to put them somewhere anyway, and you’re going to put them back in the right place at some point anyway – why not just store them properly the first time?
Apply the same method in your kitchen while cooking. Keep a mini bin on the kitchen counter for scraps, and keep a sink full of hot soapy water so you can wash dishes as you use them.
When you’ve finished a meal, keeping a handy dish wand by the sink means you can quickly rinse a plate and your dishes aren’t left to stack up by the sink.
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#4: Colour block your wardrobe:
It makes it a LOT easier to find something specific in your closet when all your colors are grouped. Rather than rifling through your closet and getting it messy, with this method, you can usually put your hands straight on what you need (unless it’s sitting in your laundry basket).
#5: Keep your “daily makeup” on the bathroom counter, ready to go:
I have my makeup, and then I have my makeup, you know what I mean?
Typically my everyday makeup consists of only a couple of go-to items (see more about this below).
If you’re the same way, have your go-to “everyday makeup” items on the counter next to your skincare so you can apply it quickly in the morning.
#6: Buy multi-purpose makeup products:
Why have 10 billion different makeup products when you only need a few? All that rifling through your makeup drawers and reaching for different brushes takes up more time than you think.
Try a palette that works as an eyeshadow, blush, highlighter, and bronzer.
#7: Pack your work bag the night before:
Mornings can get hectic, and nothing is more stressful than dashing around trying to find your keys. In that freaked out place, you’re less able to think critically, making you less likely to find said keys, and it just goes around in one vicious cycle.
Before you go to bed, spend a few minutes packing your work bag with paperwork, reading material, toiletries, keys, and all the essentials. This way, you’re getting ready for work in a calm state, and in the morning you can just pick up your bag and go.
#8: Hang up your work shirt in the bathroom while you shower:
Love a steamy hot shower? Ahh, me too. I come out looking like a boiled prawn.
The cool thing about steam is that it irons out wrinkles – so take your work shirt into the bathroom with you and hang it on the towel rack. The steam from your shower will do its thing and iron out any creases.
#9: Wipe down the shower after you use it:
While we’re on the topic of showers, getting rid of soap scum and mold can be a bitch. But it doesn’t have to be.
When everything’s nice and steamy, turn off the water, take a squeegee and wipe down the shower walls and glass, then pull the excess water from the shower pan into the sink.
This prevents moisture from sitting in the shower bay and causing mold and scum build-up.
#10: Make your morning coffee at home:
This can save you time and money! Sometimes I’ve waited 15 minutes for a cappuccino and nearly run late for work (and paid over $5 for the privilege).
Making your coffee at home takes minutes, you can drink it on your commute, and you can save $30.73 a week. Before long you’ll have saved enough dough to buy yourself a bougie espresso machine like this one – and you’ll never want to buy another cup of coffee out again.
#11: Consider doing your workout at home:
Well, I guess this year we’ve all had to do this anyway, but it’s still a good tip as life goes back to normal.
The time you spend driving to the gym, looking for a park, and then standing around inside the gym waiting for change rooms and machines is all time you can save by working out at home.
You can find some amazing workout videos on YouTube that require little to no equipment and no creepy old men will stare at you while you work out.
#12: Do the most important task first:
Where possible, tackle the most important thing on your to-do list first thing in the morning when you’re refreshed and your brainpower is at its most focused.
That way, no matter what else happens today, the most important thing got done.
You’ll feel instantly more productive and will be less likely to procrastinate or miss an important deadline.
#13: Batch similar tasks together:
Batching is a huge time saver, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. Batching involves grouping similar tasks together and getting them done in one hit.
For example, you might have a day in the week just for team meetings, another one for 1:1 consulting calls, another for content writing, and another for admin.
As a blogger, I batch my tasks together so that one day I draft, the next I write, the next I edit and schedule, and so on. It’s so much more efficient!
#14: Be more email efficient:
I only check my emails twice a day, once mid-morning and again before I log off for the evening. Every time you shift your attention to your Inbox, you disrupt your workflow and suck your productivity.
It would be like the postie knocking on the door every five minutes to deliver mail – you’d get nothing else done, right? Furthermore, studies show that after you get distracted, it takes you more than 20 minutes to get back into the flow again.
Unless it’s your literal job to be sitting in your Inbox, check email twice a day and even close out the app when you’re not using it. Most things can wait.
Train your clients to expect you to answer within 24 hours and to pick up the phone and call if it’s really urgent.
For your colleagues/staff, set the expectation and ask them to come by and see you at your desk if they need you urgently.
While we’re talking about email efficiency, your Inbox can be a huge time suck if you let emails accrue. When you’re checking your emails, deal with each one there and then.
Apply the DO, DELETE, or DELEGATE rule to your emails. Either action them, delegate them to someone else, or delete them if no action is needed.
(Once you’ve actioned your emails, you can always save them in a different folder in need, just get them out of your Inbox).
#15: Have a two minute rule for household chores:
If you come across a task that needs doing and it would take two minutes or less to do, don’t hold off.
Do it there and then and move on.
Two minutes now saves an entire day to take care of all those “two minute tasks” you’ve put off.
#16: Keep a diary:
My drama teacher called me her “absent-minded professor” – I had a lot of potential as a kid, but I was a chronic daydreamer and forgot about deadlines and appointments. Admittedly, I’m still a bit like this as an adult.
A day planner with all my appointments, priorities, and to-dos is a must.
You can use an electronic app on your phone if you’d like, though I find writing it out on paper makes it easier to remember.
I keep my planner open at my desk, at a week to a page, and it really helps me keep time organized. Any old week to a page diary works fine and I’ve always just used my law of attraction planner, though my sister bought me a personal organizer for my birthday and it’s the best.
So compact, I take it everywhere, and I can write down things as I think of them.
#17: Go through your to-do list on a timer system:
Okay, this is kind of genius.
So, I am a proponent for working through your top 3 priorities FIRST, based on your goals.
But what do you do about everything else on your to-do list? Whether it’s business, or personal, work out how much time you realistically have to allocate to your to-do list.
Then, divide that by the number of tasks on your list. So, say you have 45 minutes to work on your to-dos, and you have 10 things on your list – allocate 4.5 minutes to each task.
Set a timer for 4.5 minutes and do as much as you can in that time. When the timer goes off, stop working on that task and move on to the next one on the list.
If you get the task done before 4.5 minutes is up, quickly reset the timer and move onto the next one. This is the best way I’ve found for working through a big insurmountable list in a digestible way, and you’ll be amazed at what you can get through.
#18: Have all the ingredients for “go to” dinners ALWAYS in your pantry/freezer:
You know how you have that one go to dinner recipe that’s easy, delicious, and fast?
Always have the ingredients for it in your pantry and freezer, ready to go.
For me, that’s tuna bake: a can of tuna, a packet of wholegrain pasta, and a jar of sauce, and I just raid the veggie crisper to health it up a bit. For my husband, it’s his world-famous spaghetti Bolognese. (Pasta is a love language in our house.)
It’s a way to get a nutritious meal cooked in a pinch, no matter how far away you are from payday/grocery day. Pro tip: have enough to cook a double batch, so you can coast along on leftovers.
#19: Spend less time on social media:
I don’t know who needs to read this but you’re probably spending WAAY too much time on social media. It’s a delicious little time suck, isn’t it?
Audit how much time you spend on social media each day with an app like AntiSocial and be amazed at just how much time you’re living in your phone.
Then aim to cut back your usage by 20% each day. Watch how much your schedule opens up.
#20: Never leave a room empty handed:
Every time you leave a room, get into the habit of leaving it a little tidier than you found it. Pick up something that doesn’t belong and put it away, or wipe down a hard surface.
#22: Say “NO” more often:
Every time you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else, so make sure you’re not saying “yes” to other people’s requests more than you are to your priorities.
If your schedule’s already packed out, start getting really comfortable with saying “no” a lot more often.
#23: Buy a portable phone charger:
Girls, it’s just smart to have one of these.
You don’t want to be caught somewhere and need to call someone in an emergency only to find your phone is out of battery. Keep it in your handbag and you’ll always be able to keep your phone charged.
#24: Unsubscribe to mailing lists you don’t read anymore:
Your Inbox can get overwhelming FAST. One way to decrease inbox overwhelm is to keep it decluttered.
Go through your Inbox and unsubscribe to emails you no longer like to read.
Don’t feel mean.
If you never open emails from that person, unsubscribe with love – you can always come back later if things change down the track.
#25: Always bring snacks:
If you’re out and about and feel peckish, having a handy snack in your purse to tide you over can be a lot faster, cheaper, and healthier than grabbing something from a cafe or fast food joint.
#26: Always buy socks in the same color and style:
One of my best friends had amazing time saving life hacks. She was one of those people who always knew the most efficient and effective way to get a job done.
This was one of her hacks. As fun as cute printed socks can be, it’s better to stick to basic colors in the same style. That way, no matter what, you’ve always got a pair.
#27: Charge your phone in airplane mode so it charges faster:
If your battery is low, you can save on charging time by closing all the apps (including background apps), putting it in “energy saver” mode, and switching it over to airplane mode while it’s on charge. Seriously, you can charge your phone in minutes.
#28: Use your commute time productively:
When I was working in the city, my commute was about two hours a day, or 10 hours a week. Some people have even more time than this.
Sometimes it’s relaxing to sit on the train and read, but you can also use it to be productive if you choose. In fact, I used that 10 hours a week to do all my studies and assignments for my coaching qualification.
If you drive to work, you could listen to an audiobook on Audible or an educational podcast.
#29: Wear a chic black robe to protect your outfit while you’re doing your makeup:
Not only does a flowy black robe look chic AF, but you’ll protect your cute outfit from big foundation smears or powder puffs, which can result in a frantic last minute outfit change.
#30: Wash your bra in the shower:
We all know you shouldn’t be washing your bras in the washing machine, right?
You’ll reduce their lifespan, bend them out of shape, and you can even damage your washing machine. My husband is an appliance technician and says the underwire from bras can cause major problems for your appliance.
But standing at a sink handwashing them can be a drag, too. When your bra needs washing, take it into the shower with you.
Use that time you spend solving world hunger in there to rinse your bra, lather it with baby shampoo, and rinse thoroughly. Then just hang it on your shower door or on a coat hanger in your bathroom to dry.
Life in today’s crazy world can definitely get hectic, but trying some of the above tips can save you hours and help you get your sanity back.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite time saving life hacks? Share them with me in the comments below.
If you liked this article, you’ll find these useful too: How to Keep Your Home Clean (When You Really Hate Cleaning) / The Easiest Way to Look and Feel Stylish All Week Long / An Honest Law of Attraction Planner Review / Self Care Routines for Busy People
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