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Top Time-Saving Tips

Laura Peppas

Time is such a precious thing.

We get 86,400 seconds in our day, which sounds like a lot, but many of us still have those days where we’ve achieved very little even though we’re running around like a headless chook. Which leads me to be believe the woman who coined the phrase “ain’t nobody got time for that” was onto something. So – how do you get the most out of your day? Here are eight tips to get you started.

Allocate where you can 

“This is New York City, you can pay someone to do anything,” Samantha once declared in an episode of Sex and the City after Charlotte whined she didn’t have enough time to look for bridal dresses. Yes, we’re not NYC, but as a city full of busy professionals we should be able to allocate when we’re feeling overwhelmed without feeling guilty. Sick of spending every weekend ironing, scrubbing the bathroom floor or mowing the lawn?

Professional cleaners such as Absolute Domestics charge about $80 for a solid two hour clean, while ironing services such as Shirty Business allow you to drop off your dirty shirts and pick them up, clean and freshly pressed and ready for the work week for $3.50 an item. Businesses like Jim’s Mowing are also reasonably priced for a one-off lawn mow. Even if you only use them every now and then, it will make a difference, especially if your time is worth more.

Switch off

Did you know checking social media pages wastes an average of 1.72 hours per day? It’s easier said than done, but the best way to free up your time is to log off. Allocate a time each day where you won’t check or use social media – for instance from 6 – 9pm each night – and you’ll notice how you can just suddenly get. shit. done.

Keep a list

Manage your time by creating a list of everything you do, and how long you spend on it, from morning to night. This will help you identify where you are wasting the most time and what you could cut down on. It could be anything from cutting down on television time, checking emails or social media.

Do things in batches

Do all your paperwork at once. Make all your phone calls in one go. Do all your errands in the one trip. The same goes for food – on a Sunday, make time to cook a big batch for the week which can be used for several lunches and dinners. Grouping your tasks saves a lot of time and allows you to focus. No time to cook? Places such as Dinner Rush can provide freshly made meals for you that can be frozen for up to two weeks.

Go online for the boring errands 

Going grocery shopping used to be the bane of my weekends – I’d spend all Saturday thinking about it, all Sunday morning dreading it and then finally in the evening, at the last minute, I would drag myself there. That is, until I discovered online grocery shopping. For an extra $9, you can do it all from your computer at home and have it delivered to your door (so no more lugging ten bags up the stairs).

Plan ahead

You may have heard of Matilda Kahl, a New York City-based art director who now wears the same outfit to work every day because she was sick of wasting time going through her wardrobe. On those bleary eyed mornings where I’m surrounded by an explosion of clothes, all somehow suddenly not suitable for work, I’ve been tempted to do the same. The easy solution? Plan out what you’re going to wear for the week on a Saturday, so it’s all freshly washed and ready to go for the week ahead.

Don’t be afraid to say no 

Social time is great, but if you’re running yourself ragged trying to fit in catch ups with everyone, it’s time to take a step back – remember “you” time is important too, and can actually help you to be more productive in the long-run. Be honest with your friends and tell them you need a week off and you’ll catch them next time, or suggest a group catch up on busy weekends rather than lots of one on one dates.

Become an early bird

If all else fails, it’s time to start facing reality and setting the alarm clock one hour earlier than usual. Not a morning person? See our tips for changing that here.

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Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author

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