Written by Neha Kalavati
During this quarantine, our life is moving slowly, it feels as though we have all the time in the world to get things done, and Covid-19 lockdown has actually allowed us to experience the concept of slow living. Irrespective of that, the coronavirus will eventually vanish from our world, and we have to get back to our regular lives (which is a good thing). The transition we have to make from being at home all day to getting back to our old life will be challenging. It may feel like a whole new way of managing time. We may not be leading fast-paced life right now, but once everything gets back to normal, We need to match the pace of time.
So, here are 10 time-saving hacks for someone who runs late!
#1. Plan for the next day.
Overcome decision fatigue by choosing your outfit for the next day, pack your bag, decide what breakfast to cook, set intentions, and be ready with a to-do list. You can save a tonne of time you involuntarily waste on unimportant things and instead get them done the night before, so you are ready to conquer the next day.
#2. Text yourself!
I have a WhatsApp group with only me in it. As crazy as this sounds, it definitely works and is an effective strategy to save time through a brain-dump.
I like to brain-dump whatever that's crossing my mind then and there so that I don't waste my time and energy, remembering 100 things that cross my mind. Be it the things I need to get done, reminders, ideas for my writing. Etc. The advantage I have of texting myself over any notes taking app is that I don't forget checking it daily. In fact, the very first thing I do every morning is to go through my WhatsApp group! I don't even have to waste time texting myself, I usually prefer voice messaging! I also send in the links of interesting articles and videos I don't have time for and often go back to them once I am free.
#3. Get sun-kissed!
The proverb I kept hearing since childhood is - Early bird gets the worm! Getting up early means having extra time to get things done!
I am someone who gets up late, even when I go to bed early! I tried every complicated hack, and nothing worked until I found the easiest hack to get up in the morning. Just get sun-kissed!! I keep my curtains wide open, the dazzling rays of sun wake me up to the new day. Sunlight kickstarts the body's internal clock for a new day, and because your eyes are sensitive to light, You will definitely wake up.
#4. 5 min or 15 min?
Just when you are running late, you get a call from someone. How do you tackle it? Simple. Just tell them that you are running late and ask them if it is 5 min talk or a 15 min talk? If it is a 15 min talk, you can tell them you will call back, and if it's a 5 min talk, you can go ahead and continue talking. This way, the people around you will value your time and definitely take you seriously.
#5. Be smart with cooking.
When it comes to cooking, here are the three things you can do to save time!
a) Meal-prep - Meal-prepping is not a thing for us, Indians! We prefer cooking everything from scratch. I don't do hardcore meal prepping either; I just have sliced tomatoes, onions, chilies, and diced vegetables on hand, so I can skip the cutting part when I am running late and move straight to the cooking.
b) Find easy recipes - Have an arsenal of easy recipes that you can go to every time you find yourself in a rush. I personally have 5-10 easy recipes that can be cooked with fewer ingredients in just 15 minutes.
c) Learn cooking tricks - I learned cooking tricks that allow me to cook faster, For, e.g., I add a pinch of salt to onions so that I don't have to spend too much time saute-ing. I soak my grains the night before for faster cooking, Etc.
#6. Apply Parkinson's law to save time!
You might have heard of Parkinson's law. It states that "work swells according to the time assigned for its completion." If you have a task that can be completed in one hour, and you assign four hours instead, you will probably end up taking four hours to get it done. On the other hand, when you assign one hour to the same task, you not only complete the job in less time, the quality of work you do is significantly higher because of your uninterupting focus due to time pressure. The shorter the deadlines, the lesser is time wasted, and the higher is the quality of work! It’s a win-win-win!
#7. Delegate some tasks.
I am not sure if it's a good or a bad habit, but I like getting things done on my own! Sometimes, it proves to a brilliant practice, although at other times I end up pressuring myself to get things done. So, I have formed a habit of delegating simple tasks to others. My roommate and I take turns to clean the room, she cooks when I am busy with work. It relieves me of the pressure of completing my to-do list, and a little help can work wonders while managing time.
#8. Save time while grocery shopping!!!
Every time you go grocery shopping, make sure you have a list to stick to. You will end up saving time, not dawdling in the shopping aisle, trying to remember what you have to buy. Alternatively, you can also save time by ordering groceries online! I know you don't get to pick those ripe mangoes on your own, but it saves time!!
#9. Clean smartly!
If you would ask how? It's simple! Every time you get up to go from one room to another, carry an object that belongs to that room. For, e.g., While going to the kitchen, carry the tea mug to put it in the sink, or while going to the bedroom, carry those folded clothes to put them in the closet. Trust me, once you get the hang of it, cleaning and saving time will seem like an easy thing to do.
#10. Put an end to those notifications.
The reason we spend more time on our cellphones is that we keep getting notified for every little thing. We get an urge to check what we are notified every time it beeps. Try turning off the notifications. You don't have to know every time someone posts on social media, you don't need to know what's new on online shopping platforms, and you definitely don't need to reply to every email throughout the day. Check your email at the same time every day, and respond to as many as you can in the designated time, this saves you time compared to when you had to individually reply to each and every email all day long.