If you are one of those people that is always busy and constantly on the go, or you juts really value your personal free time, then you know what making the most of your time is so important. Here are some things that I do to ensure I am using my time more effectively so I can concentrate on other areas of my life.
I always make sure to have a few tasks going on at once that are simple to manage. For example, the dishwasher or laundry cycle will be running while I am taking care of other cleaning tasks. This allows me to get more done by simple planning my time in a smart way. Knowing that my wash cycle will run 40 minutes, I will spend 10 minutes cleaning the bathroom, 10 minutes cleaning the kitchen area and then 20 minutes for general tidy, including taking the recycling to our outdoor bins in the parking garage. While I am doing this, I keep my motion tracker on, which after detecting 30 minutes of active movement will count towards one of my PACT workouts for the week. See, in those 10 minutes, I am not moving at a snail’s pace. I move at fast pace. Not only does it motivate me to keep my living space tidy, but it also frees up more time for me to pursue my personal interests. I may not get to everything in the house, but it helps me to target the immediate areas and then the next day while the dish cycle is running, I will target another spot.
I set aside 1 day a week to meal plan. By setting aside a specific time, I find that I am much more focused on the task. My process involves checking the flyers, Checkout 51 offers and PC Plus offers. If I see any offers that appeal to me, I jot it down, along with meals for the week. I take into consideration the following: price per serving, time we have to prepare a meal, quick meals in case of unexpected situations and balanced meal options. A couple days before our next grocery shop, we check the fridge and the pantry to remind ourselves of what we have left. We make meals out of what we can before it spoils so that we can stretch our dollar a little. This helps to eliminate food waste. Then, before we head out, we clean out the fridge.With my jotted list, we head to the grocery store and purchase only items on our list. This helps to cut down shopping time because we know what we want and we stick to it. When we get home, we unload our groceries. This may seem like a lot, but we have it down to such a routine that it really cuts out a lot of time in our day.
We keep any and all important papers in a file system in our office. Before tucking it away in the appropriate file, I make sure to scan it onto our computer. This way we have more than 1 copy in case it gets misplaced. This extra step takes a maximum of 2 minutes and in doing so has saved our butt more than once after one of our files got misplaced in a move! Another strategy we use is to have a “communication board” ie. a large dry erase board, where we write important upcoming events, bills, etc. This gives both of us a clear image of what we need to be prepared for. Being proactive with organization can save time in the long run.
I do not know what it is, but it seems that our car is a collector of stuff throughout the week. One guilty habit I have is that I end up bringing things to school for lessons and they do not always make it back right away. Rather than stress about it, I just let the week roll by. On Fridays, before I head up to our apartment, I gather all items that do not belong and take them up with me. We also keep Lysol wipes in the car for emergency spills and a mini garbage can for any loose wrappers. On Fridays, I also stop by the garbage receptacle in the parking garage, which again takes care of a cleaning task quickly.
This is one of our biggest time-saving tasks. Once a week, we sit down together and take a peek at our finances. We look at our short-term and long-term goals and try to find ways to reduce spending. Sometimes, we are very disciplined with our goals and it only takes 5 minutes. 5 minutes set aside, both knowing our upcoming bills and savings… yeah, definitely worth it! Sometimes, we have a more in-depth conversation because we are looking at a more complicated situation or we are looking at multiple angles to overcome an upcoming financial obstacle. Both of us are able to walk away with minimal stress because we are on the same page and we know where we stand. It also allows us to determine if we have any spare change for social activities.
These are just some of the ways we put in a little time to open up more time. What are your “make the most of it” time strategies?