Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How to add an hour to your day

Whether it’s hitting the snooze button, mindlessly surfing the Internet or even “watching and waiting” for the water to get hot enough in the shower, everyone wastes time throughout their day. Five minutes here or 10 minutes there – it all adds up. Be aware of common daily time wasters; and by eliminating some (or all), you’ll be able to get much more out of your day.

To determine where you waste the most time, first think about your habits. Keep track of how long you spend completing everyday tasks. Do you check your home e-mail multiple times each day? Or does time slip away while you’re frantically looking for household items? By realizing how you spend your time, you’ll be better equipped to determine where you can save valuable minutes, so you can spend that time wisely on life’s more important things.

Lists that work for you

Making a to-do list is supposed to help you stay on track, right? If your list is too long, however, it may actually prevent you from crossing things off. Instead of moving on to the next item, you get overwhelmed by everything that’s still left to do. Try creating a shorter list that includes only your top three priorities each day – you’ll get a major self-esteem boost when you can cross off all three tasks, day after day, motivating you to do more in the same amount of time.

Knock off routine tasks by batching them together. Don’t file each piece of paperwork as it comes; instead keep everything together so that you file at least five items at once, turning a five-minute everyday job into a five-minute weekly one. For example, make all your telephone calls at the same time so you can work through your entire call list. Stay stocked up on greeting cards for all occasions; that way you won’t have to run to the store to pick one up at the last minute. And be sure to write out, address and stamp all of your greeting cards for the month at one time, so all you need to do is drop them in the mail when it’s time for them to go out.

Do you tend to aimlessly walk around the grocery store aisles, not knowing which meals you’re going to cook that week? If so, you’re wasting time – and money – in more ways than one. Try creating a meal plan for the entire week; it not only helps to streamline your grocery shopping, but it also cuts out extra trips to the market to pick up forgotten items. You’ll save money since you’re doing all the shopping in one trip, using less gas, and you’ll cut out extra minutes and stress each night wondering what to cook since it’s already decided.

Watching, waiting and searching

Don’t waste your time babysitting household items. Instead of watching and waiting for your shower to get to the perfect temperature or for the bath to fill, let the latest technology help save time. The new ioDIGITAL digital showering and bath system from Moen is like having your own personal digital “butler,” so you can spend that time living, instead of waiting. You can program your vertical spa to deliver personalized, precise temperature and flow; turn on the shower with a remote from across the room or while still in bed; or fill your bath to the perfect level and temperature with the touch of a button – no more watching and waiting. Best of all, ioDIGITAL’s intelligent interface provides quick, visual feedback, with LED indicators that will tell you when your water is ready – no more guessing if your shower or bath is ready and no more time wasting. For more information about ioDIGITAL from Moen, visit moen.com/iodigital or call (800) BUY-MOEN (800-289-6636).

Searching for everyday items such as keys, purses, sunglasses, paper and pens because you’re disorganized is another major time waster. To help, create designated spaces to store each of your “must have” daily items: keep your keys and purse on hooks or shelves near the front door, and add a magnetic paper and pen caddy to the fridge for lists and messages. You’ll spend less time frantically searching and have an easier and more enjoyable day. Finally, assemble a non-emergency, emergency kit with just-the-basics; keep it stocked with spare batteries, a measuring tape, light bulbs, duct tape and a flash light, so when you need something, it’s all in one, convenient, easy-to-find location.

Quick tips
  • Looking for more easy tips to eliminate daily time wasters? Try out some of these suggestions to add an hour or more to your day:

  • Stock a set of cleaning supplies in a caddy on each floor of your home to prevent running up and down the stairs when you need something.

  • Keep kitchen garbage can liners in the bottom of the garbage pail for easy refilling.

  • Stash disinfecting wipes in every bathroom for quick clean up.

  • Book the first appointment of the day with doctors and dentists, while they’re still on-schedule. Always book future appointments before you leave the office to avoid making an extra call.

  • List credit card numbers on a single index card and keep it in a safe place as a quick reference when ordering online or over the phone.

  • Speed up the mail opening process with a letter opener and don’t even bother with junk mail – toss it straight into the recycling bin or shredder.

  • Arrange to have at least one monthly bill (your cell phone, for example) paid directly from your checking account or credit card account.

By realizing and avoiding these time-eating traps, you’ll soon find yourself enjoying at least a few extra moments each day.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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