If there’s one universal truth today, it’s that we are busy! There’s always way more on the to-do list than there is time to complete the list! We all could use a few more hours in the day. But the sad truth is you can’t make more time. There’s only 24 hours in a day. That’s it. But while you can’t make any more time, but you can free up the time you have.
There’s only two ways to free up more time in your day — you either do less or you do faster. I’m a big believer in doing less. I’ve long ago discovered that I can’t do it all. I’ve accepted that. If it’s not important to me, my business, or my family, I’m not doing it!
For the tasks that are important, I do have a few tips and tricks to get them done faster. These tricks aren’t necessarily related to running my freelance writing business per se, but less time spent doing household tasks frees up my time for work — or fun. And who couldn’t use more fun time?
Get More Sleep
Now this may sound counter intuitive — more time spent sleeping actually gives you less time in your day, right? Wrong. You are more efficient when well rested, so make sure you get your seven to eight hours in each night.
If you’re not the only person living in your house, you shouldn’t be the only person running the house! Get your spouse and your kids involved in the day-to-day household maintenance.
Consider hiring someone else to do certain household chores for you. If you can’t afford a professional, consider hiring a teenager from the neighborhood — teens are always in need of money, and are great for dog-walking, weed-pulling, lawn-mowing, and other time-consuming tasks.
Stop Watching TV
Okay, I don’t expect you to totally give up television. But do cut back. According to a recent Nielsen report, the average American watches 34 hours a week. If you cut out one hour a day, will give you an extra 15 days a year.
Record Your TV Shows
For the shows you absolutely must see, record them, then fast forward through the commercials during playback. This will save you 15 minutes for each hour-long program — a savings of 8 hours a week for the average American!
Receive and Pay Your Bills Online
Receiving your bills electronically saves time sorting and filing. Not to mention cutting back on the amount of paper that enters your home! If your bank or credit union offers online bill pay, I highly recommend it. Paying my bills online — from one website — cuts down the time it takes me to pay my bills by 75%. And there’s the added bonus that my credit union guarantees all transfers — and will do the fighting for me if there is ever a discrepancy.
Minimize Your Errands
Instead of running to the bank each Friday, the grocery store on Mondays and Thursdays, and the drug store on Wednesdays, combine your errands into one trip. Or better yet — shop online.
Schedule Early Appointments
For appointments with the doctor, dentist, veterinarian, hairdresser, etc., try to schedule the first appointment in the morning or the first appointment after lunch, to greatly minimize the chances that they will be running behind schedule.
Be Productive While Waiting
If you can’t get the first appointment, and do wind up sitting in the waiting room for a while, have something with you to make the most of your waiting time. I always have my iPad Mini with me so I can read a book or get a little work done.
Divide and Conquer
Have more than one kid? Have more than one hairdresser and dental hygienist, and have the appointments occur simultaneously — cutting your waiting time in half.