Time is precious. We can’t get it back and we can’t magically create more of it. So, as we all juggle work deadlines, appointments, family activities, and household demands, we’ve gotta figure out how to be as efficient as possible. That way, when the day is over, we can feel accomplished. And, more importantly, we can have time for the things that matter most to us. To help you gain hours each week, I’ve compiled a list of helpful hacks for home and the workplace.
1. Wake Up an Hour Earlier
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Duh! But raise your hand if you’re guilty of hitting the snooze button. Yup, that’s what I thought! With four kids to care for and a mountain of tasks to tackle, my early mornings in solitude are sacred. I wake up at 5 am to fit in a run or yoga practice before my world awakes, setting the tone for a productive and energetic day. Plus, waking up early also gives me a jumpstart on answering emails and knocking out important work tasks with little distraction.
2. Plan for Success
It’s like the famous saying: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Without direction for your day, you’ll find yourself crawling into bed at night counting the many things you forgot to do. So, before you go to bed each night, check your calendar and make a to-do list. Tip: When carving out your tasks, make sure to get real about how long each will take you.
3. Lay Out Your Clothes at Night
Have you ever stared at a full closet and thought to yourself, “But I have nothing to wear!”? I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. Instead of spending 20 minutes trying on different outfits in the morning (when you’re most likely in a rush), take a few minutes to do this before you drift off into dreamland.
4. Skip The Grocery Store
Who has time to wander up and down the aisles of the grocery store? Well, here’s the good news: Many grocery stores today offer an online shopping option, where you easily pick your items on their website, load your digital shopping cart, and then pick everything up at the store once they’re bagged and ready to go. Some services deliver groceries right to your front door. Either way, they both save you a lot of time!
5. Prep Veggies Before Putting Them Away
Food prep is often the biggest time-suck when it comes to cooking. So, one of my favorite things to do is pre-wash and pre-chop vegetables before storing them in the refrigerator.
6. Create a Smart Menu For The Week & Cook In Advance
Set aside about 30 minutes to create a weekly food menu, eliminating the constant need to ask, “What the heck should we eat tonight?”. Once that’s done, prep a few ingredients — or full dishes — in advance. Click here for my free menu planner!
7. Cheat A Little (In the Kitchen)
I strategically cheat in the kitchen. In a pinch, I serve store-bought rotisserie chicken next to my freshly roasted veggies, whip up minute rice instead of standing at the stove for 17 minutes, or serve a store-bought chocolate cake topped with homemade icing and berries. Guess what? No one knows or cares. Cooking shortcuts preserve your sanity and invite a life beyond slaving all day in the kitchen.
8. Eliminate Distractions When Working
In my book, FOOD YOU WANT For The Life You Crave, I talk about the importance of ditching multi-tasking and focusing on single-tasking. When you want to get something done quickly, you’ve gotta put your phone down and get off social media. It’s easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole of Facebook statuses and Instagram posts. If you really have a hard time ignoring texts and email notifications, try setting it to airplane mode … just until your task is done!
9. Stay Organized
Okay, hear me out. Studies show people with a messy workspace are actually less efficient. When we’re surrounded by clutter, our brains have a harder time concentrating and processing information, which in turn causes our stress levels to rise. So, keep your workspace clean and tidy by assigning a proper place for work essentials and tossing everything else.
10. Utilize Your Commute
The time you’re stuck in the car doesn’t have to be a waste. Squeeze in work calls, listen to an inspiring podcast, or tune into that audiobook you’ve been wanting to hear.
11. Put Bills On Autopay
This tip is a bit random but, hey, we’ve all gotta pay bills and that takes up time! Instead of signing into your accounts to plug in your credit card numbers each month, set up autopay so payments are automatically taken care of for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!