For most of us, time management is a constant struggle. We make New Year resolutions to do better but go back to our old patterns after a week or two of trying. We know that online bill paying can save us hours throughout the year. But how can we save time on our week-to-week or even day-to-day responsibilities?
For example, how often do you find yourself frantically looking for stuff you know you have, but can’t find? Or miss an appointment, or forget to pick up a kid, or make 5 trips to the grocery store as you keep forgetting something that is needed. That’s wasted time! And wasted time adds up throughout the year.
Here Are Four Ways to Save or Make Time throughout the Week:
1. Organize Your Daily Travelers
Travelers are the items we all haul around with us every day such as a cell phone, keys, wallet or purse, calendar/planner, Chap Stick, etc. They have a tendency to end up all over the place if you’re disorganized and constantly on the go. If you haven’t already, designate a spot where you place these items when you come home. It could be a basket in your kitchen or bedroom or a desk in the living room. Having a designated spot for your travelers means you always know where they are in the morning so you just have to grab and go. If it helps, make it a point to check that these items are in their designated place before you head to bed.
2. Logically Route Errands.
Sometimes it feels as if running errands takes up all of our free time. For those of us who work full-time or even part-time, we have a limited timeframe either during the week or on the weekends where we need to get non-work related work done. Like it or not, errands are the necessary tasks of life maintenance. Save time by planning out when you’ll run your errands, trying to get them all done in one trip. The key here is mapping your route. Try to avoid back-tracking from location to location. Know the furthest distance is you will have to travel, and knock out errands along the way. After you are done with your last and furthest errand you can return home. Make a list of each stop in order and making sure to not forget a stop. Back-tracking while running errands because of poor route planning can certainly waste time, especially during high traffic hours.
3. De-Clutter Your Desk
Shuffling through papers to find a document you know you have, but can’t find because of a messy desk, is a waste of time. Lost papers are a pain and can cost you countless hours over the course of a year. They can also be financially costly; just ask anyone who’s ever misplaced a check. When your home or office paper is taking up a lot of space, the messy situation leads to items being lost, and time wasted. First, organize your paper clutter by using either an at home or digital filing cabinet or filing system. Once your documents are organized, make it a point to place all incoming documents in its designated area. This allows you to not only have a more organized desk, but saves you time in the future.
4. Plan Your Grocery Shopping
Running out to the market several times a week to pick up a few things is a giant waste of time. Instead, designate a day during the week or on the weekend to go to the store to buy your food for the week. We would recommend choosing Sunday or Monday, so that you start your week with a full fridge and that way, you can plan out what you will have for breakfast, lunch and dinner during that week. Before your trip to the store, check your fridge and pantries for anything that has run out or is running low, so that you can restock. Make a list of everything you need ensuring you don’t forget anything. When you return from the store, meal-prep for the week and make it a point to not return to the store until the following week.
Do you have any more scenarios where planning ahead and getting organized can save you time?