Do you feel like there’s never enough time for what you REALLY want to do in life? That you are always stuck in the day to day “stuff” and finish each day wishing that extra hour would appear from somewhere? These ingenious ways to save time will really help you start to maximise the time you have, and make the most of every hour.
You’re definitely not alone.
Most of us feel this way at some point or another, and find that we are constantly searching for ways to change things in some way.
What can you do To Create Time?
The trick to find ways to save time is simply to maximise the time that we do have.
If we can make every minute count as much as possible, we should find that the day to day “stuff” doesn’t take over too much and we can have more time for what we really want to be doing.
It’s creating that extra hour without the need for time travel!
To help you along the way I’ve put together my top tips for how to save time each and every week.
I really hope that they help you take back control a little and make time for what’s important for you…
Now – let’s get straight to it, shall we…
Ways to save time – which will you try?
#1 – Group similar tasks together
If you can group things together into your weekly schedule (errands, phone calls, paying bills etc…) then you’ll get them done much faster than if you did each one as and when it cropped up.
You’ll already have what you need out, and your head will be ready to tackle that specific thing – so go for it!
#2 – Meal plan
Planning out your meals each week will take a little time, of course it will – but you only have to do the thinking once and you can reuse the plan again and again.
Meal plans save time because you don’t have to open the cupboards each day and work out what to cook, and you don’t have to take extra trips to the shops to get food because you will have bought your food shop knowing what meals you are cooking for.
#3 – Put things back after you’ve used them
It can be so frustrating to go to get something and it not be where you though it was.
You spend minutes/hours searching for it – and that’s all wasted time.
Creating the habit of putting everything back once you’ve finished with it will reap rewards immediately!
#4 – Make every outing count
One of the best ways to save time is when out and about.
You know you need to pick the kids up from school – so why not add in a few errands on the way?
Making each trip you do count as much as possible means you have to take fewer journeys overall – saving lots of time over the course of a week.
TIP – Have a basket by the front door with things that need to go out of the house. You can just grab them when you leave! This works really well for things like library books, dry cleaning, post, borrowed items etc…)
#5 – Double up whenever you can
I spend a lot of my life sitting down writing articles for this site, and as such I wanted to start walking a little more. I also wanted to spend time with my friends each week but we tended to sit and have a coffee.
When I realised that one of the best ways to save time and STILL get to do it all, was to grab a coffee while out on a walk with them.
This meant I was doing everything I wanted to do, but in a much smaller timescale. Perfect!
Can you think of ways that you can double up in your life – so you still do everything but in less time?
#6 – Wear the same each day
I don’t literally mean you wear the same clothes every day, but having a type of outfit that is your go-to style can make choosing what you wear so much easier and quicker (there’s science behind it as well!)
Create a sort of uniform that you can mix and match, and you’ll be ready in next to no time! The less decisions you have to make each day, the more time you’ll save.
#7 – Turn off social media
We all know that a quick glance at Facebook is never just a few seconds.
Before we know it, an hour has passed and we’ve done nothing apart from know what’s going on in other peoples lives…
Turning it off completely, or at least setting a strict time limit for it each day will save you hours a week!
#8 – Focus, Focus, Focus
While some multi tasking works – most doesn’t…
If you have to concentrate on something, it pays to give it your full focus as you will naturally get it done much faster.
Take away as many distractions as you can and you’ll realise that you can save hours each week as a result.
#9 – Multitask when it works to do so
Multitasking is a way of saving time – when it’s done right (otherwise you end up with no focus, as already stated in point #8 above).
It works when the tasks you are doing don’t require as much concentration – or at least one of them doesn’t.
For example – you can unload the dishwasher or put a load of washing on really easily while making a phone call to a friend.
#10 – Read using audiobooks
One of the best ways to save time that I’ve found is to listen to books rather than read them.
This is because you can do other things at the same time – you aren’t simply sitting down and focusing on the book.
I love to listen when driving – or cleaning the house! Try it and you may find you love it too!
#11 – Food shop online
Food shopping can take an entire morning if you’re not careful.
Travelling to the shops, walking around each aisle and making decisions on what to buy, looking at special offers, queuing, and travelling home.
Why not save all this time by setting up a regular delivery online?
Most supermarkets now offer this service for a small fee (which I feel is worth paying for the time saved) – and you can even save time deciding what to buy as they will save your favourites in a list so you don’t need to search through every time either.
#12 – Wipe down the shower
It may seem like this takes more time rather than less, but over the course of the week you save lots of scrubbing time than if you left the water on the glass.
I love using a squeegee for this job, and just keep this right in the shower so it’s handy when the shower goes off each time.
#13 – Use waiting time
There are so many times each week that we find ourselves in a queue of some sort. Waiting at the doctors, in a shop, waiting for someone to pick up the phone etc… – so why not use this otherwise wasted time to get some stuff done?
It’s easy to sort through your email on your phone, read a magazine article, write a letter etc… – and then they’re done and out of the way!
#14 – Cook in bulk
It takes the same amount of time to cook double or even triple for a meal, but if you can get into the habit of cooking more than you need you can save all the prep time another day!
It truly is one of the easiest ways to save time.
Simply let the food cool down and freeze what’s left – then you have a really quick and easy meal on a day when time is short.
#15 – Delegate
Don’t become a martyr to your housework. You don’t have to do it all yourself.
Whether you get the family more involved, or hire some help (even a couple of hours a month can make a massive difference) – there are plenty of ways to save time in this way, in fact, you can get some much needed time back for yourself pretty easily.
#16 – Automate
Along with #15 (DELEGATE), automation can be a really effective way to save time each week.
Whether you start paying bills by direct debit, record your TV, use a slow cooker, or automate in some other way – you will save loads of time without even trying!
#17 – Declutter your schedule
We tend to carry on doing things week in week out because that’s what we’ve always done. We start to become blind to what can be changed.
Simply take a look at your diary and be critical.
Can you get rid of anything completely, can you reduce the frequency of what you are doing?
#18 – Plan clothes the night before
It can be a waste of valuable time in the morning to pick what to wear then. What makes it worse is when you need something that actually needs ironing or washing!
If you plan what to wear the night before, you can save lots of time each morning as a result.
#19 – Plan your day
If you sit down the night before and plan out the following day, you can see what time you have and what you need to get done, and plan your day accordingly.
#20 – Say ‘NO’ more
Often we find it easier to say Yes to someone as we don’t want to offend or seem unhelpful. But it really can be useful to learn to say NO even just a little more.
It’s not selfish to protect your time – you only get a set amount each week so you want to make the most of it!
#21 – Share lifts for the kids
Your children may have lots of after school activities, which can be time draining to say the least.
Why not look to share the load with other parents? If you’re both doing the same trip, then you may as well alternate taking the children and save time each week as a result.
#22 – Set a timer
We always tend to take the time we have to do a job – whether that be a minute or an hour! – so why not maximise this by setting a timer and racing yourself to get things done!
#23 – Shop online
I’ve mentioned shopping for food as a separate point, but most of your shopping can now be done online.
You can buy homeware, beauty products, tickets, holidays etc…. without leaving your sofa – and save a LOT of time walking around the shops as a result.
#24 – Question what you’re doing
When doing anything – start to question whether you really need to be doing it at all – or is it just habit?
#25 – Cook One pot meals
They’re easy to prepare, and save a lot of clearing up / washing up time too – what’s not to love?!
#26 – Group friends together
It’s always so nice to meet up with friends, but meeting each one takes time.
As such, why not go out with a group of friends instead – it saves time as you get to see everyone at once, and you may have even more fun!
#27 – Buy presents when you see them
How many times have you been at the shops or shopped online only to see the PERFECT gift for someone and think you’ll come back and get that nearer their birthday?
Why not just buy things there and then? – this is one of the hidden ways to save time that you’ll be so grateful for.
You’ll save so much time as you’re already there, and you don’t have to think it all through again when the time comes.
#28 – Avoid rush hour
Wherever possible try and schedule things so that you don’t have to travel in rush hour.
This alone can save time queueing each day.
#29 – Create a morning routine
Make your mornings habit with a routine and you’ll be able to run on autopilot and get things done more quickly – which leads me on nicely to…
#30 – Create an evening routine
… saves time in exactly the same way as your morning routine does!
#31 – Declutter
One of the most easy things to miss as a time saver is decluttering.
When you have less in your home – you have less to clean, less to maintain, less to shop for etc…. – saving masses of time each week!
#32 – Minimise TV time
You can gain so many more hours just by switching that TV off every once in a while. Try stopping watching just one program a week and work your way up from there.
#33 – Create the perfect layout for your home (for you!)
If you can make sure the layout of your home works well for you then you can save time.
Having things in the right room means less time walking around to get things, having the perfect kitchen layout means you don’t have to spend extra time putting things away – every little bit really does help!
#34 – Use a blender & other kitchen tools
Using a blender and food processor can save loads of time when preparing food – I love my Vitamix for quick smoothies and soups, and my food processor makes quick work of chopping!
#35 – Create a cleaning schedule
If you know that everything you need to do around the house will be done on a given day each week/month then you save time doing it more than needed.
I have a post all about creating a cleaning schedule HERE that you may find useful.
#36 – Use identical socks
A quick but time efficient trick is to buy the same brand and colour of sock for each person in the house.
This makes pairing them up and sorting them out after washing so much less time consuming!
#37 – Have 2 laundry baskets
Why spend extra time sorting washing before you do your laundry?
Do the work up front by having 2 laundry baskets – 1 for whites and 1 for colours (or get one with 2 sections).
TIP – You could use a laundry basket per person if you prefer, as this works well and most washing can be done at a lower temperature nowadays and so doesn’t need to be sorted in quite the same way (a personal preference of course – I still like to separate my whites!)
#38 – Leave space around the furniture
It takes so much more time to hoover a room when you have to move every last item of furniture to get to the floor.
Try and leave enough space around each piece for the hoover to get around it easily and you can save a good few minutes each time.
#39 – Buy a larger bin
Just investing in a larger bin for each room you have one means less trips to empty them – thus saving less time each week – simple!
#40 – Make your shopping lists logical
When you write your shopping list, write it in the order you will go around the store. Group items in categories so you avoid wasting time when shopping going to and from each section multiple times.
#41 – Create a place for your shopping list
Add a shopping list to your kitchen cupboard door so you (and other family members) can add things that are needed as they run out.
This saves you time having to look through the cupboards every time you want to do a shop.
#42 – Have leftovers for lunch
Cooking can be time consuming, so another of the best ways to save time is to stop doing as much!
When you cook the evening meal try and cook enough so that you have leftovers for lunch the next day.
For example, roast meat is great in a sandwich or salad, or pasta dishes can heated up again.
This can really save prep time the next day.
#43 – Create checklists
If you find yourself writing the same things down all the time, then consider making checklists that you can simply get out when you need them and save time.
This works really well for a babysitters info sheet, or how to use the TV for guests, pet sitters info etc…
There are loads of these sorts of lists in the Home File – which you can check out HERE.
#44 – Check eMail less
Along with TV and Social Media, eMail can be another one of those things that sucks up endless amounts of time if you’re not careful.
Try and check it once or twice only each day – that habit alone can save you hours each week!
#45 – Know your body clock
If you do hard things when you are naturally most alert each day you will do them in less time than if you tried to force yourself when tired.
#46 – Have a place for everything
If you can create a place for everything in your home then you will know exactly where it is when you need it (as long as you get into the habit of also putting it back when finished!).
#47 – Use a slow cooker
A great way to save time is to get something like a crock pot / slow cooker to do the cooking for you while you are out and about each day.
#48 – Subscribe
Subscribing to things means less time shopping each month.
Whether it be magazines, medicine or other things, see what you can subscribe to and save some time!
TIP – I love Amazons subscribe and save option to order regular deliveries of food items – it makes it really easy and stops me forgetting to order them as well which saves time on unnecessary trips to the shops as well!
#49 – Clean the bathroom when you’re in there
Why not clean the bathroom when you are bathing the kids?! – you have to be in there but there’s nothing stopping you wiping things down at the same time….
#50 – Exercise at home
Save time on the trip to the gym by exercising in your own home, and you’ll have exercised before you’d normally have even arrived!
#51 – Make exercise a part of your day
Walk more, use the stairs, squat while the kettle boils – it all adds up and takes away the need to find time for a dedicated exercise slot.
#52 – Buy cards in bulk
This is one of my favourite ways to save time – because I LOVE to get the right card for each and every person I send one to.
If you can, write down a list of all events that you need to buy for over the coming months and get them all on one trip to the shops.
You’re in the mode of card shopping, so you’ll be able to find them all much more quickly, and they’ll be there ready and waiting when each event rolls around.
#53 – Record your TV
Time wasting is at an all time high when it comes to watching adverts. Recording your TV means you can get that time back by fast forwarding through them instead.
#54 – Iron less
Be selective over what you iron – question if it really needs doing at all.
#55 – Wash less
In much the same way as ironing – make sure you only wash clothes that really need a wash.
Sometimes it’s all too easy to throw your clothes into the wash when they can be worn at least once more – but washing them less often means much less laundry time!
#56 – Shower
Baths take a lot more time – and you can have a lovely long shower to still feel really pampered!
#57 – Use the quick wash functions
If you use your quick wash functions on your dishwasher and washing machine you can still get things clean but save lots of time in the process (most things we wash aren’t really really dirty most of the time!).
#58 – Find the quickest route
Make sure you are using the quickest route and transport to get where you need to each day.
Would taking the train be easier than driving?, have you taken the same route to work each day but not checked it for a while?
#59 – Use the microwave
I cook vegetables in the microwave more often than not as it’s so quick and easy to do, and keeps all the nutrients in tact (it’s often the recommended way of cooking when you get pre packed prepared veg, which can also save time!).
You can also par cook jacket potatoes which is a massive time saver.
So – that’s it!
59 ways to save time that will shave minutes (or even hours!) off your schedule – easily!
Hope you enjoy trying a few of these time saving tips out – and maybe, just maybe – you’ll have more time on your hands before you know it!