There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. We all have the same amount of time, yet we all use it differently. I’ve been following Laura Vanderkam for the last year and have become a little obsessed with finding ways that work for me (and my family) to maximize the time I have.
- Laundry: I prefer to do a load of laundry every day. Sometimes I do one as soon as I get up and others I do right after work. It depends on whether I’m going to the gym first thing and what I need to wash, but getting one load done daily makes it easier on the weekends. And my teenagers do their own laundry. They were forced to learn how to do it when I had a back injury three years ago and that was one of the best things to come out of my injury.
- Clothing: I do better if I iron weekly and pick out my outfits for the week over the weekend before. There are apps available to help with this, but I just write it down and leave the piece of paper out so I can see it. I go so far as figuring out shoes and accessories, so there’s less time wasted staring at my closet trying to figure out what to wear. I also have enough ironed and ready to go, so if the weather changes or I need to make a change, I have enough clothes ready and available.
- Lunch breaks: I try to utilize my lunch breaks as much as I can. There are some days I have to eat at my desk because I have a lot to do and some days I’d rather not go out because of lousy weather, but if I can, I make my lunch hour productive. Target runs, errands, exercising, reading, even a manicure, a brow wax or a haircut are all things I can do on my break when my schedule allows. I’d rather get these things out of the way on a lunch break than have to add them to the list of things to do on the weekend.
- Getting ready in the morning: I have short hair that I don’t need to dry, but I wear makeup and definitely primp. I’ve been known to get lost in my thoughts in the shower or get caught up in the morning radio show or a podcast and not realize how long I’m taking to get ready, so I recently decided to keep my watch on in the shower. It’s a waterproof fitness watch and while I can barely see it, I can see it well enough to keep an eye on it to know how long I’m taking in the shower and be aware of how long I’m taking to get ready. I can go from shower to walking out the door in 20 minutes now, which is a huge help on gym mornings, in particular.
- Prepping the night before: Laura Vanderkam doesn’t think it’s necessary to pack lunches the night before or do any prep the night before to get ready because it can interfere with leisure time. I disagree because I’d rather take 20 minutes the night before to get ready as much as I can for the morning than stumble around half asleep the next morning trying to do all I need to do to get out the door. I’m more likely to bring my lunch to work if I make it the night before. If I wait to do it in the morning, I might say screw it and decide to buy lunch because I’m tired and can’t think. And I definitely have to get my workout clothes ready the night before or I’m going to forget to wear my heart rate monitor or make sure I have hand wraps ready for boxing. Basically, I want to have to think as little as possible in the morning. 🙂
- Working out: I do my best to work out in the morning. There are a few classes I like to take in the evening and sometimes I need to run after work, but I’m realistic enough to know that my workouts are more likely to actually happen if I get them done before the rest of the day can fall apart.
What works for you and helps you be more productive? I’m always looking for new inspiration and maybe some of my methods can help you in some way!