Six Useful Ways You Can Save Time

It’s 6:15 in the morning and during the next hour and twenty minutes, you have to take a shower, get dressed, tweeze your eyebrows, trim your nose hair, put in your contacts, gargle, throw in a load of laundry, feed the dog, feed the kids (not necessarily in that order), take out the garbage, make your kids’ lunch, walk the dog, pick-up your dog’s mess from the neighbor’s front lawn, argue with your neighbor because your dog did his business on their front lawn, drop the kids off at the bus stop, drop your wife off at the train station, drop off the dry cleaning, run by Starbucks and get to work yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just have an extra half hour? Well, maybe you can.

According to a 2005 study conducted by AOL and Salary.com, the average American worker admits to frittering away over two hours a day surfing the web, socializing with co-workers and just generally spacing out. To help you gain back some of that valuable lost time, we’ve come up with a number of time saving tips to help you get through your busy day.

Shop ahead�
Depending on individual arrangements, most families will either do all of their grocery shopping once or twice a week. A few go every day. To save time, try doing all of your shopping for the entire year in one visit. Naturally, this will take a great deal of planning, but this can save you over 39 hours a year. Of course, your shopping list will be quite a bit longer (52 loaves of bread, 36 chickens, 150 lbs. of hamburger meat, etc.), but the time you save will be worth it.

Have your food delivered�
Another alternative to going out to buy your groceries is to have all of your food delivered to your home, affording you huge savings in gasoline, tune-ups and new tires. On Mondays, you can have pizza; Tuesdays, Kentucky Fried Chicken; Wednesdays, Wing Foo’s Chinese food, etc. The most important thing is to never leave the house unless it’s for a trip to the emergency room, getting the newspaper from the driveway or watching your daughter get married.

Advance food preparation�
Most busy homemakers prepare their families’ lunches the old fashioned way: a fresh one every morning. At fifteen minutes per lunch, this activity accounts for over 12.5 hours of wasted time per year. Here’s a great alternative: try making a whole year’s worth of lunches at one time. So instead of making 3 sandwiches every day for you and the kids, you’ll make 720 sandwiches at one time, throw them in 720 brown paper bags with 720 apples and 720 bags of chips. If you follow the first tip by shopping ahead, this will fit in perfectly with your schedule.

Making coffee every morning is also very inefficient – but we do need the caffeine. So, instead of making one pot every morning, try buying a 100-cup coffee urn. You know, the kind they have at your PTA meetings? Make 100 cups, three times a year and all you’ll have to do is re-warm them in the microwave each morning.

Another useful alternative to preparing and eating three meals a day is to eat one large meal, first thing in the morning. This meal should be the caloric equivalent of breakfast, lunch and dinner all rolled into one. The idea is if you eat one huge meal at 7:00 in the morning, you’ll feel so bloated and uncomfortable, you won’t feel like eating for the rest of the day. This idea works especially well on Thanksgiving Day.

Try telecommuting�
According to a study conducted by the University of West England, the average worker spends more than 139 hours a year commuting to and from the office, resulting in exacerbated rates of stress, high blood pressure, fatigue at work, low back pain and difficulty focusing on simple tasks and controlling anger. Wouldn’t it be great if you could reclaim those 139 hours and work more efficiently?

By asking your boss for the opportunity to work from home, you’ll enjoy a number of immediate benefits. First, you won’t have to wear clothes, so it will cut down on your laundry (see discussion below). You’ll also save money by dispensing with a number of personal products like shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, mouthwash, shampoo, etc. Since no one will be around you all day, there’s no point in showering or taking part in other obsolete hygienic rituals. If you can manage to work from bed, you’ll also cut down on the number of calories that you expend in a day, allowing you to skip meals, eliminating even more groceries.

No more laundry�
How many hours would you estimate that you waste every week doing laundry? Five, ten, fifteen? Most of the time it’s washing dozens of articles that could easily be eliminated. Well, there is a solution. If you’ve managed to get permission to work from home, you can do away with washing all underwear, bras, T-shirts, panties, sport shirts, blue jeans, socks, turtlenecks, girdles and ascots. The only article of clothing that you’ll have to wash will be your dressing gown and you can have your wife do that while you’re asleep. Another helpful hint is to do away with washable clothing altogether. Try stopping by your local medical supply warehouse and purchase a case of paper hospital gowns and adult diapers. At the end of your work day, you simply toss them away!

Give up exercising�
Another helpful tip is to give up exercising. Exercising causes you to sweat, which means that you’ll have to take a shower. That’s a lot of wasted water and energy being poured into your hot water heater. Exercising also causes you to burn extra calories. You don’t want that. It causes you to eat more resulting in wasted time with food preparation and grocery shopping (see discussions above). If you feel that you absolutely must exercise, try to roll it into one of your other previously planned activities like jogging to your daughter’s wedding.

Finally, there are a number of other routines that will save you countless hours over the course of a year. First, estimate how much your annual utilities will be and pay them all in advance. Do the same thing for your mortgage payments, car payments, income taxes, Elks club membership, loan shark payments and your dentist. If you have trouble coming up with that much cash at once, try selling your car, take out a home equity loan or put your three year old son to work. Another thing you can do is learn to delegate. Give your wife all of the unsavory tasks to complete like cleaning the house, installing the new garbage disposal, changing the oil and going to your daughter’s wedding.

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