Getting More Done

  1. Arrange to receive bills by email and paid by direct debit.
  2. If you find yourself frittering away time surfing on the computer, set a timer and allow yourself a limited time.
  3. Make appointments with yourself for everything that’s important to you – going to the gym, writing that report, sending your best friend’s birthday card. Put it in your diary and keep that appointment.
  4. Let the answering machine take your calls during the evening rush hour at home. Let someone else screen your calls at work so you can concentrate on the report that’s due. Call back at your convenience. It keeps telemarketers and sales calls at bay as well.
  5. Be wary of labour-saving appliances. Some can require more time and effort in assembling and cleaning than they actually save.
  6. Call ahead. Before heading out to hire a DVD, buy something from the latest sale catalogue or pick up a book from the library, call to see if they have it in stock. Don’t waste a trip.
  7. Let your fingers do the walking. Shop around, either by telephone or online.
  8. Car pool or catch public transport to work. When you don’t drive, you could be reading through papers.
  9. Car pool at home. You can drive the kids to scouts, ballet, school etc. one way and let another parent do the other. You’ll both save time.
  10. Put a clock in every bathroom. Mornings will run much smoother.
  11. When leaving a message on an answering machine, leave specific details of why you’re calling. As well as leaving contact details, nominate times you’ll be contactable. This allows for a speedier transaction in the long run and eliminates useless “telephone tag”.
  12. Make lists. Movies you want to see, books to read, what to pack for a holiday or camping, gift ideas. You won’t forget what to pack, and the trip to the video store, library or shopping will be much quicker.
  13. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. You’ll have a head start all day.
  14. Arrive at the office extra early before the phones start ringing for some really productive, focused time.
  15. Consider avoiding the worst of the peak. Commuting can be dramatically shortened by avoiding peak traffic times.
  16. Delegate. Take a little extra time now to teach someone how to do the job to your satisfaction. Then they can handle it forevermore.
  17. Let go of something on your to do list.
  18. Need to call someone who loves to talk? Keep a list of conversation cues handy to keep the call moving along.
  19. Get plenty of sleep. Burning the candle at both ends will ensure a drop in productivity and precision.
  20. Work close to home or move closer to work. It saves time and money, as well as the earth.
  21. Make appointments with doctors, dentists, accountants etc. when they first open for the day. You’ll have the shortest wait then.
  22. Invest in a really good, low-maintenance haircut. It will save you time on styling in the morning, and you’ll look good with minimum effort and extra expense.
  23. Organise your wardrobe so that everything is easy to find. Categorise into workwear, weekend wear, evening wear, or trousers, skirts, blouses, etc.
  24. Learn to say “No”. There are lots of polite ways to do it.
  25. Before making any purchase, consider what it will cost you in space and maintenance as well as the initial cost.
  26. A place for everything and everything in its place. Our mothers really knew what they were talking about.
  27. Plan meals ahead. Make a list and shop once a week. Frequent trips to the supermarket waste time and money.
  28. Buy easy care clothes.
  29. Are your “tools” in good working order? Make sure the things you need on a regular basis are reliable and ready to use.

Around the Home

  1. Getting rid of clutter will reduce housework.
  2. Keep a hanging shoe bag on the back of the wardrobe door/near the back door to hold hats, sunscreen, gloves, dog’s leash as well as shoes.
  3. If you live in a two-storey home, keep a basket at the bottom of the stairs to gather anything that needs to make the trip upstairs. Take it with you when you go up.
  4. A short wash time of 6 minutes is sufficient for all but the dirtiest clothes. Washing longer when you don’t need to will only wear out clothes faster and use more energy.
  5. Keep only those things you love, need or use.
  6. The bathroom is not the best place to store medications. Heat and humidity will speed up deterioration.
  7. To remove tarnish from silverware, place item in an aluminium pan. Keep the pan in the sink to avoid splashing, sprinkle with ½ to 1 cup baking soda and pour enough boiling water to cover the utensils. When the tarnish disappears, remove the silverware and buff with a soft cotton cloth.
  8. Get the whole family involved in pack up time at the end of the day. Make a game of it by putting on a dance CD or your football team theme song. By the end of the song/CD, see how much you’ve achieved and congratulate yourselves. If there’s more to do, just play it again.
  9. To make clean-up quick and easy, cut a plastic placemat to fit a baby’s high chair tray.
  10. Tape your favourite TV shows. Then view at your convenience, without the ads, saving around 20 minutes per hour.
  11. Line the sandwich press with baking paper to stop toasted sandwiches sticking and making a mess.

Avoiding Drama

  1. A stitch in time saves nine. The same applies to computer maintenance. Keep virus software up to date and back up files regularly.
  2. While it’s charging, leave your phone in your handbag or briefcase and never leave your phone behind again.
  3. Keep what you need where you need it. When you need something in a hurry, it’ll be right there for you.
  4. If you’re relying on other people to meet a deadline so you can meet yours, allow an extra day, or even a week, so you’re not caught short by other people’s poor time management. And never tell them.
  5. Always listen to or read instructions carefully. Don’t waste time getting things wrong.
  6. Set your clocks to the right time. You can’t be on time if you don’t know what time it is.
  7. Fill the car with petrol when you’re not in a hurry so you don’t have to stop when you are.
  8. At busy times, like Christmas, shop away from the big shopping centres. You’ll save time and your sanity by not battling the car park and queues.
  9. Keep a supply of greeting cards and all-purpose wrapping paper. You’ll never have to make a rushed trip for them again.
  10. Don’t buy anything you don’t love or need, no matter how much of a bargain it is.

 

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