Wasn’t it nice to have that extra hour this past Sunday? What did you do with it? Did you sleep in longer or did you tackle one more task on your “to do”?
As a self proclaimed “Type A” individual, some days I feel like there’s not enough time to accomplish everything I’d like “to do”. BUT, Sunday I used my extra hour to chill out. I really did! I lounged with my coffee a little longer before church and my daughter’s 2pm basketball game. We had dinner earlier then usual, we rented a movie, and I went to bed early. It was great!
Now, back to MY “real world” and my “to do” list. And, thoughts of how I can try and gain an extra hour each week so I can replay Sunday all over again.
Wake up a teeny, teeny bit earlier
I say “teeny, teeny” because I squeeze in every second of shut eye that I can – including hitting snooze for 9 minutes some days. BUT – this week I got up just five minutes earlier and it made NO difference on my sleep time but it made a huge difference in my coffee/lounge time. If I do that 5 days a week, that’s almost a 1/2 hour freed up (to delete all the junk mail in my inbox every morning)!
Prepare meals in advance.
I’ve tried this before – prepping meals on Sunday to portion out lunches and dinners for our work/school week. It actually takes A LOT of time. I don’t gain any hours that way. However, it does help free up time during the week so I’m going to stay the course. In addition, I’ve started ordering grocery delivery from Peapod and with their grocery delivery program you can also order FRESH ready made meal kits. I made three slow cookers meals last week and I didn’t have to measure or chop anything!! Then Monday, I bought a freshly prepared lasagna meal from Costco which easily fed my family of four and they loved it. All of the above helped me gain about TWO extra hours this week.
I used to have see it, touch it, try it on, etc. Now, it takes too long. With free shipping offered on most items and the ability to buy near anything on line, I’ve gained more than a hour a week. Just last week I ordered my face wash, my son’s Halloween costume, and a huge bottle of white vinegar (my odor eliminator & fabric softener of choice for our home laundry) in 5 minutes. Easy!
Handle your “snail mail” ONCE
This is hard because sometimes I look at the items, put them down, and say I’ll get to this later. NO! Handle it immediately. It will help you gain many minutes later. I start sorting the mail walking slowly back from my mailbox and toss all the “junk” in the recycle container in the garage before I enter the house. I even OPEN and toss the envelopes of items I have to open in the container as well. I deliver bills and donation requests to our home office; place coupons in my coupon envelope in my handbag; and stack magazines on the coffee table to be read when I have more time. Of course it’s not always this easy but the goal is to avoid handling the same piece of mail over and over to gain time later.
Turn the TV off earlier
I had a bad habit of watching TV after the kids went to bed for a specific amount of time whether or not there’s was something “good” on that I wanted to watch. Lately, even if it’s only been a half hour, if there’s nothing that I absolutely LOVE on TV or my DVR to watch, I turn off the TV and pick up a book. I finished my new thriller in three evenings! A few weeks ago I would have told you I had no time to read a book. Not only did I have time – I finished the book in record time (for me)!
I could list many more ways to gain an hour of time each week. Maybe that will be a Part 2 entry later.
What have you done recently to gain time?
F.C. Tucker Geist
The Tumbarello Group