There is never enough time in the day to do it all, but there’s definitely a way to take back your time. These time-saving hacks can help you get back your sanity and will give you more space for creativity.

Time-Saving Hacks

Original photo by STIL
Sometimes people ask me how I make time for everything, and the answer is that I simply don’t. It’s kind of impossible. But I do make an effort to make time for the things I want to do. So, with that in mind, my house may not be clean, but I’m writing every day.

Not to toot my own horn, but I am the master of getting a bunch of things done. Or, at least the things I want to get done. So if you’re finding yourself with a bunch to do, but not a lot of time, I’ve got some suggestions for some time-saving hacks that will simplify your life.

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Time Saving Hacks

001: Make Meals Easy.

There was a time when I cared about the food I put in my body. And to a certain extent, I still care. But I’ve changed my approach significantly, and have actually lost 30 pounds from doing it. I used to believe that I needed to meal prep real food every weekend. I’d cook it, and portion it out. And then I’d pack it up and have it ready to go to take with me to work. But when you think about all the time it takes to do that, it’s absurd.

Instead, I focus on eating intuitively. So, rather than consume a bunch of food because some health gurus or recent research says I should, I only eat when I’m hungry. This means I don’t do the one million small meals throughout the day. In fact, I usually eat about twice a day. And rather than prepping a bunch of meals, I buy pre-bagged salads and frozen chicken tenders. Sure, it’s not glamorous, but I mix up a salad and toss a chicken tender on top of it. It’s relatively healthy and super easy. And at least I’m not eating chips and drinking wine first thing in the morning.

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002: Combine Workouts with Other Stuff.

This is probably my favorite of the time-saving hacks because it’s something that has changed my life. If you have time to head to the gym, then do it. I won’t argue that working out isn’t necessary, because it absolutely is. But we all know that gym hours of operation don’t always fit our schedules, and there are some days when it’s too hard to get there.

For the past year, I’ve been walking to work. It’s kept me physically fit and it actually added no time to my commute. (I work at a university, and the majority of anyone’s commute to OU’s campus is finding parking. Walking means I skip that part.) I know that this might not be possible for everyone, but I know you can add more steps to your day. Consider going for a walk with a friend instead of going to the coffee shop. Or make it a date night tradition. Once you start finding places to put in some walking, you’ll find all sorts of ways to fit it in.

003: Build Routines.

I spent my youth listening to bands who screamed about how routine and mundane things were the enemy. And I believed those things for far too long. Now, I live for building habits, and spontaneity makes my skin crawl.

The thing about routines is that once you build them and make them a habit, it’s like you’re on autopilot. And while I would say that it’s important to be present in the moment, there are a lot of moments in the day that aren’t worth your time. Think about how you bathe in the shower. You have a routine you stick to. So I recommend building similar routines around things you do every single day, like getting up and going to bed. I also have routines for when I write blog post and how I edit YouTube videos. Building the routine takes some time, but once you get it, it makes everything flow a lot more smoothly.

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004: Know Where Your Time Pockets Are.

I’ve mentioned several times that I’m a planner. And I carry one. The reason I need a planner and I use it religiously is because I don’t want to waste time. By blocking out my time with highlighters, I’m able to see where I have some free time. And then I can fill it with some tasks that need to be done.

It’s worth noting here that a to do list isn’t enough. Or, at least it isn’t for me. I can stare at a list of tasks for hours on end and not really get them done. But if I make a spot in my schedule for them, that’s when they get done. So, for that reason, I recommend using a planner or scheduling software so you can see where your time pockets are, and you can put your to do items there.

005: Take the Easy Way Out.

This one always takes a lot of flack, but hear me out. At the end of the day, or the end of you life, more precisely, you won’t win a medal for doing things the hard way. You don’t get a special gold star on your coffin for completing more menial tasks that functionally don’t matter than anyone else. You don’t get special recognition for seeing something through to the end even though you absolutely hated it.

So, keeping this in mind, I’d like you to know that if you can cut something out, or take the easy way out, that’s not being lazy. It’s using your time wisely.

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What Are Your Time-Saving Hacks?

How do you make time for the projects you want to do? What have you cut out of your life to be more productive? How do you find your time pockets? Gimme all your time-saving hacks.

2 Responses

  1. I love spontaneity at times, but more and more I am finding I need some kind of routine in order to function effectively. Spontaneity on road trips? Awesome. Spontaneity during daily life when there’s shit to do? Not so awesome. Granted I don’t always have much to do (like, ever), but creating some routine helps avoid crankiness and frustration.

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