10 ways to save time for what matters most

It seems that wherever you go, you hear the same message. I don’t have enough time, I need more time, I would love to exercise more, play more, __________ more (fill in the missing word), but I just don’t have time.

These are some of my favorite time savers.

o 1. Shop when stores are empty

I started doing our weekly shopping on Friday nights at 6:30. My favorite grocery store closes at 7pm, so the store isn’t too crowded and all of us shoppers are in “achievement” mode, so we don’t have to do much browsing etc. We are armed with our lists and continue with the work. I’ve saved at least an hour doing the weekly shopping on Saturdays like I used to.

or 2. Whenever you cook, cook twice as much

I cook at least twice as much for the nights when I have afternoon workout dates. Then it only takes a few minutes to thaw meals in the microwave and saves me about 30 minutes of meal prep time. You can freeze single servings of just about anything: soup, rice, casseroles, etc.

or 3. When you get home from shopping, prepare all your vegetables right away.

Yes, it will take a bit of time initially, but it saves you time during the week when you are busy. Remember, you can spend some time each night getting out all your cutting boards, knives, etc. And clean it after, or you can do it once a week. I vote for once a week. Do the same with meat and chicken if you separate them for different meals.

o 4. Establish a menu plan for the week

The best part about using a menu plan for me, aside from saving money, is that it saves me time. You don’t have the indecision every night to open that fridge or cupboard and wonder what to cook. It’s already decided. Try it and you will see, you will not look back.

o 5. Choose your clothes for the night

This is another underrated time saver. When you pick out your clothes for the night, you can see if you need to clean your shoes, if all the buttons on your shirt are still intact, etc. Then in the morning you are ready to go. And if you’re like me, you need all the help you can get just getting out of bed!

o 6. Prepare your lunch at night

This not only saves time, but also helps you remember everything. I have a small insulated bag that I use to pack my lunch while dinner cooks (or defrosts). I pack my sandwich, cereal, yogurt, my cup of soup, and my two pieces of fruit.

o 7. Uses TV time for other meaningless tasks

I understand that television is a relaxation time, but this works for me. I work out with weights, wrap presents, pack my purse, update my journal, sew on buttons, go through my old magazines, etc, etc. all while watching TV. The list goes on and on. At least at the end of a show, I feel like I’ve accomplished something rather than just being a couch potato.

o 8. Record TV shows and watch them on video later

I’m a HUGE Dr. Phil fan and tape the show every day. If I had to sit down and watch the show live, it would take me an hour. Because I record it and fast-forward through all the commercial breaks, it only takes 43 minutes. I also noticed that reality shows like Survivor, Amazing Race, and The Apprentice are usually only about 37 minutes long.

o 9. Routine batch tasks

Keep all your files together so you can file 5 sheets of paper at a time. Make all your phone calls at the same time. Write all the greeting cards for the month at once. And wrap all the gifts at once too, yes, in front of the TV!

o 10. Automate everything you can

Have your bank automatically deduct your monthly payments. This is what I do more and more with my business, like automating my monthly newsletter, so I can focus more time on my main genius, coaching, organizing, writing and speaking. For example, I use the AutoText feature in Microsoft Word a lot for all the emails I write a lot, like questions about my training and workshops, my e-signature, etc. I recently read some great advice in an online newsletter. Every time you comment on a blog, make it a meaningful comment and use the same wording as a post on your own blog. Or turn it into an article.

If you put into practice just two or three of these ideas, you will save an hour every day.

What could you do with an extra hour every day? You could play with your kids, spend more quality time with your husband, reconnect with family or friends, or take better care of yourself by joining the gym.

Make a small change today and start changing your life.

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