With the new year upon us, it’s the perfect time to evaluate our routine and find ways to put more minutes in our day, or, rather, to be more efficient with our time management! In this posy are several tips for getting more done in the same amount of time or ideas on how to reduce time wasted when tasks are done individually rather than together. There is some multi-tasking involved – but it’s more about having a proactive mindset to anticipate what needs to be accomplished and tackling it at the best moment. Dig in and see which tips work for you!
Wake up earlier
As hard as it is to get out of bed each morning, waking up earlier allows for more time to ease into your day and do something good for yourself, whether that is a morning workout, quiet time alone, or listening to your favourite tunes. Waking up earlier may also put you ahead of your day by allowing you to start into tasks an duties with more energy, sooner.
Make a to-do list
That running list of to-do’s, to-remember’s, and to-get-at’s? Write it down. Not only will it feel great to cross off items as you get them done, but writing down tasks frees your mind to fully focus on what you’re doing at the present moment rather than being distracted by everything you can’t forget! A list also helps you to see what needs to be done, allowing you to group similar tasks together, which leads me to my next tip…
Schedule work in batches & do related things at the same time
When you’re in the kitchen, do everything that needs to be done in the kitchen. When you go to the store to pick up milk, see if there’s anything else that you need or may need in the near future that you can get at the same time. Similar to the rule in organization to “keep like with like”, organize your time and to-do list so that you’re accomplishing related tasks or tasks that take place in the same vicinity at the same time. You’ll save a bundle of time over jumping from task to task and back again.
Turn off notifications
Social media and email can be great for keeping in-the-know … as well as for frittering away precious time! Turning off notifications – or getting rid of the apps entirely! – will prevent those distracted scroll sessions that always take more time than you originally anticipated.
Have three (max) set times to check email
Related to the previous point, set regular times to check email, up to 3 times per day. No more than that. Unless your job is such that you need to respond immediately, most of us can reply to emails in batches at set times in the morning, at noon, and later in the afternoon. That allows you to focus on the tasks at hand without getting distracted by every email or alert that lands in your inbox!
I know it seems easier to do everything – especially if it’s to be done right! But there is a beautiful freedom that comes in letting go of control and handing off duties and tasks to other. Off-loading responsibility lifts some of that stress and pressure from your mind and enables to you do what you do better, with more focus and energy. Keep the tasks that are most important to you, or that you enjoy to do, and let go of the rest.
Automate as many tasks as possible & establish a routine
The less you have to think about the mundane things, the better you can concentrate of what really matters. Sign up for Google alerts that are sent directly to your inbox, set up automatic bill payments, use tools like Zapier and IFTT to backup all your Instagram photos to your cloud drive, and use a tool like LastPass to save all your passwords. Try out a meal delivery like Good Food and program your coffee maker to start when you get up.
A routine also helps with getting tasks done quickly and efficiently. Give each day of the week a theme or focus – Monday can be laundry day, Tuesday can be for vacuuming, Wednesday can be grocery shopping day, etc. This works for meal prep, too; have a rotation of meals that you go through leaving one day to try a different recipe to keep things interesting.
Always look for things to do & keep tidying up
Maintenance is always the easiest option. Always be on the lookout for things that need to be done – tidy out the car before you head into the house, empty the kitchen trash, while you’re waiting for dinner to finish cooking, take any items in room “A” that belong in room “B” when you’re headed in that direction. Be proactive about chores and tasks to keep them from piling up.
Leave an “out/errand” bag at the front door
Never forget to make returns, drop off the dry-cleaning, or mail that letter by keeping a designated bag or box near your front door for al those around-the-town tasks. Just grab and go when you’re headed out for groceries or to pick up the kids from school (and remember to bring it back in when you return!)
Listen to a podcast or audio book while you wash dishes, do laundry, or other mundane tasks
Make the mundane or least-favourite tasks more enjoyable by listening to a podcast, audio book, or music while you work. Not only will it help pass the time more quickly but it will also serve as a motivation to get at those tasks you’ve been putting off.
When you use rolled tape, fold over the end when you’re done
No more searching for the end of the tape and struggling to get it pealed back!
A place for everything and everything in its place
This tip alone will save you a ton of time! When everything has a place it is so much easier to clean up afterwards. Keeping everything in its place make it so much easier to find when you need it. It’s a win-win!