One of the most precious things we have in life is time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
Whether you’re trying to be more productive or you just want to savor the time you have, here are 13 life hacks that can put deposits in your time bank.
Don’t Wash Your Hair Everyday
Hair Care pros agree that not only do you not need to wash your hair every day, but you shouldn’t. At most, experts say, wash it every two to three days. Excessive shampoo use can actually damage your hair by stripping it of the oils it has naturally. This can save you time in the shower. You should still wet your hair every day, though. This gets rid of dead skin, dirt, or excess oil.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are all the rage these days. You can save time by delegating time-consuming tasks, such as booking appointments, managing travel, data entry, and responding to email or social media. A virtual assistant lets you delegate the tasks you find unpleasant but necessary and concentrate on the things you enjoy.
Schedule Virtual Doctor’s Visits
Rather than taking the time to travel to the doctor’s office and spend time in the waiting room, it’s now easy to find an online doctor and schedule a virtual visit — especially for routine healthcare. If your doctor doesn’t provide telehealth services, check with your insurance company and they can direct you to providers that will do virtual visits.
Automate Your Savings
The power of compound interest is amazing. You can save small amounts regularly over time and it can add up to a nice nest egg. Investing $400 a month starting at age 25 would net you more than $1 million by retirement age. Automate your savings by taking advantage of automatic payroll deductions or creating automated drafts through your bank account.
Set Your Coffee Maker on a Timer
If you need that morning jolt before you get out the door in the morning, set up your coffee maker the night before and put it on a timer so it’s ready when you wake.
Use the 2-Minute Rule
If you do something in two minutes, do it now. Remembering it, writing it down, or planning for it later can take longer. When new tasks arrive, decide whether you can do them quickly or save them for later.
Grocery Shop on Mondays or Tuesdays
Hate fighting crowds or waiting in line at the checkout? Monday at 8 am is the best time to shop. That’s when grocery stores are the least busy. Overall, Monday and Tuesday will see the smallest crowds while Saturdays between noon and 3 pm are the busiest.
Use Curbside Pickup
If you really want to save time, order groceries online and then pick them up on your way home. While you won’t get to pick your fruits and veggies yourself, you’ll save plenty of time. The same goes for grabbing meals on the go or shopping at stores like Target, Kohl’s, or Walmart. Nearly every chain store now offers some version of curbside pickup.
Buy Pre-Chopped Veggies
While you are grocery shopping, pick up pre-chopped or pre-sliced vegetables to use with salads, omelets, or other dishes.
Pre-Sort Your Laundry
Cut down on your pre-laundry prep time by pre-sorting your clothes every day. Use three laundry baskets and sort them as you change out of your clothes each day. When it’s laundry time, you won’t have to sort through dirty clothes to put them in the right piles. If you’re headed to a laundromat, this makes life much simpler.
Whether you’re working in an office, working at home, or not working at all, schedule time that’s just for you. At work, you need time to think and plan while getting away from meetings, calls, and email. If you’re working at home, it’s too easy to find something else that needs to get done. If you’re not working, don’t fill up your day with tasks that must be done without reserving some downtime to do whatever you want.
Don’t Always Strive for Perfect
You want to do your best, but things don’t always have to be perfect. Great, as they say, can be the enemy of good. Ask yourself if the time investment is worth it to go from good to great. Striving for perfection often leads to procrastination.
We all like to think we’re good at multitasking. The reality is exactly the opposite. Nobody really multitasks. Instead, our brain jumps from one task to another quickly, which can diminish your productivity. Research shows that multitasking can make you 40% less efficient because of your divided attention. Multitasking weakens your cognitive abilities and can diminish brain function. You are better off making a list and focusing on one task until it’s done before moving on to another.