It’s here! The most sleepy day of the year. It isn’t just the day after the start of Daylight Savings Time that makes for a tricky morning, though. In fact, there isn’t a day on the calendar that I don’t feel like I could use a little more time. In that spirit, I thought I would share my favorite ways to save time without breaking the bank.
- Keep your task list short. Some say the magic number is three. Others argue five. Each week, I create a handful of concise task lists on Google Keep. The digital sticky notes afford me the flexibility of ranking and reranking items while still allowing me the most comforting feeling in the world—the ability to cross of each item. Is there any better feeling in the world than seeing a list with a bunch of lines through it?
- Eat the same things. The fact that I know what I am going to eat every morning and every afternoon might sound dull, but it is a fantastic time saver. It is also almost the entire reason that our grocery spending consistently clocks in at around $200 a month. Variety might be the spice of life, but as long as there’s some spice to my dinner, I’m fine with a predictable day.
- Plan your outfits. When you own over 200 pairs of shoes, your name is Decision Fatigue in the morning. Thankfully, I’ve shirked that badge of honor. The habit of planning my outfits, no matter how slim the pickings (I’m looking at you, pregnancy), has stuck. I can’t tell how much time it saves me in the morning to know that everything—from undergarments to work bag—is clean, coordinated, and corralled.
- Decide when to save…and when not to. My mom taught me many things about money. But she would also chase sales clear across town over the course of a week if it meant save a few cents on groceries. My dad was always quick to point out holes in this logic. Now, I finally appreciate his point. We are in a position where time is worth more than saving $5 on groceries.
- Outsource within reason. It is no secret that I adore our cleaning service. A twice monthly deep clean is the perfect amount of help. Plus, the night before she comes, it is the wallop in the pants I need to really tidy up. But just because we outsource this task doesn’t mean that we outsource everything. If we did that, we’d have all the time in the world to sit and think about how broke we were.
- Say goodbye to social media. I took Facebook off my phone before I started my maternity leave. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I still hop on the platform every few weeks, but I limit myself to 10 minutes or less. Thankfully, since it is all mostly devolved into noise about politics and invitations to parties for products that no one actually needs, I usually click the X much faster.
- Know when to single-task. Society values more better faster. Of course, there are times when it makes sense or is utterly necessary to multi-task. But I have found that if I really want to be judicious with my time it means giving my full attention to the most important tasks one by one.
When it comes to maximizing time, I have found that minimizing options and reducing distractions makes for a much more efficient routine. But as with anything, there is always room for improvement.
So Tell Me…What are your favorite ways to save time without spending a fortune?