I think we can all agree that in our day to day lives, there never seems to be enough time. Running around and trying to get everything done in a day can, often times, be exhausting and there’s always more to be done than we seem to have the capacity to achieve. In reality, however, it’s less about the amount of time available and more about the efficiency level with which we get things done.
Here’s a list of 6 simple tips and tricks that are sure to save you small amounts of time and energy here and there which add up to a lot less stress later on:
Dead Phone No More
Let’s face it, we are extremely reliant on our cell phones for everything these days from simple communication to enabling us to work remotely. Watching your battery life drop below the 20% mark can be enough to induce a panic attack, particularly if you’re in the midst of a busy day. One thing you can do throughout the day is be sure to close out any apps, completely, when you are finished with them. This will help save some battery life so you can go longer before needing a charge. Additionally, if you’re on the go a lot, it may be worthwhile to invest in a car charger and/or a phone case that doubles as an extra battery for your cell phone. (i.e mophie) Lastly, while charging your cell phone can be time-consuming, one thing you can do to help it go a little quicker is putting your phone on airplane mode. While that may only save you a couple extra minutes, that might be just enough to get you the battery life you need and on your way.
The Perfectly Chilled Beverage
Often times, nothing hits the spot like a cold one and all the running around you do in any given day can leave you craving a nice, chilled beverage. And then, there it is… nothing but a tepid can or bottle that is a far cry from the cold drink you were needing. If you find yourself in this predicament, all you need are some paper towels, water and a freezer. Wrap a few wet paper towels around your drink – make sure the paper towels are soaked but not dripping – place it in the freezer for five to ten minutes and voila! You have a perfectly chilled beverage. Another quick fix here is to submerge your drink in ice water with lots of salt added, which lowers the freezing point of water, for three to five minutes to create the same effect. For multiple beverages, the salty ice water is your best bet.
Hit the Gym Instead of the Snooze Button
Some mornings it can feel impossible to drag yourself from the comfortable confines of your bed and get to the gym, out for a run or whatever your workout routine entails. A great tip for combatting that early morning tendency to go back to sleep after the early alarm is to put your gym shoes on right away. If you put your socks and shoes on first thing, before you have the chance to come up with excuses not to go, you’re already halfway there and much less inclined to take them off. Another great tip, in tandem with getting your shoes on immediately, is to set an alarm on your coffee maker so that it starts brewing your first cup just as your alarm goes off. The smell of fresh coffee alone is enough to pull you from the comforts of bed. Also, remember that you don’t necessarily have to pack in an hour or more to get a good workout. Sometimes a quick 20-30 minutes is enough to add a boost to your day.
Avoid Mealtime Meltdowns
If you’re like me, you probably find that most days when the clock inches closer to lunch time, not only is your stomach starting to growl but you also have no lunch plan. Many people don’t get the luxury of a long lunch break and if you fall into this category, you might find yourself struggling to find a quick and healthy meal during your workday. Set yourself up for success by pre-planning and prepping your lunches for the week. One or two hours on Sunday can save you a lot of time and money as opposed to trying to find suitable, on-the-fly options that tend to be less healthy.
In addition to the lunch-time debacle, dinner time can also be stress-inducing if you have a busy schedule during the day and then come home to find that you have no dinner plan and are, once again, getting increasingly hungry. This can be made worse if there are other hungry mouths ready for dinner when you get home. One way to help remedy the ‘evening dinner debacle’ is to utilize some sort of meal prep/delivery service. There are many different options from Blue Apron and Hello Fresh to Sun Basket and many more. Take the time to find the right option for you and your family and it could make weekday evenings much more relaxing and pleasant with someone else handling the menu & providing the necessary ingredients.
Always Ready to Roll
There are few things less aggravating than not having what you need when you need it. For instance, you’re running late getting out the door only to find that the gas light is on in your car. Or you’re going out to lunch with some co-workers and suddenly you are nominated as the driver but your car is a mess.
To avoid either of these situations, one thing I always try to do is fill up the gas in my car whenever the gauge is anywhere between half and a quarter of a tank and I have any extra time (which does not seem to be often). On the rare occasion that I’m actually NOT in a hurry and my gas is even close to a quarter tank, I fill her up.
Secondly, the same goes for car washes. I, personally, am not a big fan of hosing down and soaping up my own car (my dad would be so disappointed to read this right now) so whenever I have a little extra time, usually coinciding with my gas fill-ups, I run the car through the quick gas station car wash. While this is fine for every now and then when the outside needs a wash, the inside can be a struggle, what with the small children I’m often carting around, spilling crumbs all over the place. A great, time-saver for when the car needs a more thorough cleaning has been the car wash service that is available in the parking garage at my office. While these services tend to run a little more, cost-wise, the convenience of being able to drop my car off, go to work and leave at the end of the day with a clean car is well worth the extra spend.
Home Maintenance Shortcuts
Cleaning and maintaining your home is a part of life, like it or not. It doesn’t, however, have to be a daunting task. There are lots of simple things you can do on a regular basis that make the bigger, spring cleaning tasks a little less intense.
One of the greatest inventions of all time has to be the baby wipe. It has so many more uses than the name implies from removing sticky substances from your counters and wiping down the inside of a fridge to removing cobwebs and wiping down any leather surface. Side tip: keep some baby wipes in your car for a quick clean on the go or just to wipe down a dusty dashboard. Click here for a full list of the many unexpected uses for baby wipes.
Another great invention that will save you time and decrease stress is the cordless vacuum. Never did I think that I’d be so excited for a household cleaning appliance the way I am about my cordless vacuum but here we are. No more is the thought of pulling out the heavy vacuum and finding the appropriate plug for the area you need to clean a dreaded ordeal. Today, these lightweight, cordless vacuums offer great cleaning performance without the hassle, making it a cinch to do a quick run over any hard floors or carpeted areas needing attention.
These are just a few of the life hacks that I have found to be helpful and minimize stress in my life. Do you have any life hacks that you have found to be helpful in your daily life? I’d love to hear about any tips and tricks you’ve discovered so please feel free to message me on LinkedIn.
Contact the author