Being messy or disorganized has probably never been as endearing, cute or loveable as I’ve managed to convince myself that it was.
I have been living a split personality by telling myself “this is who I am” and “don’t sweat the small stuff” only to do a 180 when I can’t find or remember something or I have to walk the entire parking structure to find my car.
In these situations, my frustration and self-loathing goes to DEFCON 4. I have a very loud and persistent inner voice and when I’m suffering from a self-inflicted time suck due to disorganization or memory lapse it is screaming “you are a loser!” “your brain is turning to mush!” and “this is why you can’t have nice things.”
As I blog my way into living more intentionally, I’ve noticed some very cool side effects that qualify this post for the everything it’s cracked up to be daily challenge. I have adopted some new and improved behaviors that give me back something critical on the journey to just whelmed – time.
Here are 9 strategies that I estimate are giving me back at least 4 hours per week and have the added benefit of making me feel good about myself by putting a muzzle on my inner critic. Sure some of them take a little time to make the time, but the investment is insignificant compared to the payoff.
- Put keys away in the same place every time I use them. Amount of time saved per week digging through my purse or combing through the house: 15 minutes.
- Fold and put away laundry as soon as I take it out of the dryer. Put like items away with like items. Mate the socks. This may seem like an obvious one and maybe most people already do this, but this has been a long time coming for me and I am still on a day by day (load by load) basis. My husband suffers from the same affliction, so I know I’m not the only one who does (or doesn’t do) this. Time saved per week hunting for missing items or digging through clean laundry: 30 minutes.
- Decide each night what I’ll wear to work the next day. Time saved per week trying things on or standing there staring at my closet: 25 minutes, 5 minutes per work day.
- Put 7 day’s worth of pills and vitamins in the pill container every weekend. Yes, I’m that old. Time saved per week opening each bottle and shuffling through drawers: 21 minutes (3 per day).
- Keep the makeup I use every day in the same drawer within one drawer organizer. Time saved per week pushing the “occasional” items aside to find my must-haves: 14 minutes, at least 2 minutes per day.
- Put my purse and my coat in the same spot each time I come into the house. Gloves go inside the coat pockets. Time saved not hunting for these items each week: 15 minutes.
- Write all of my passwords down in a central location. Time saved typing in wrong passwords, racking my brain or waiting for the “forgot your password” cycle: 30 minutes per week.
- Park in/near the same spot every day at the office. Use memory techniques to create a picture image of where I parked on those occasions I must park in unfamiliar territory. For example when I park on level 3 in the blue zone facing the wall of windows of my building, I visualize 3 Blue Man Group members staring at me and my car through the windows. When appropriate, I use my phone to take a picture of the parking spot number (like at the airport). Time saved hunting for my car: 30 minutes per week.
- Save running a Saturday or Sunday errand and just buy it on Amazon if the price seems fair. Time saved per week: 1 hour (at least).
What are your time-saving strategies?