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“It was one of those days”, as Liz thought to herself as she was driving home from work.  She was so glad to get out of there before someone else asked her to do another task!

The ride home in traffic wasn’t much better, it gave her more time to remember all of the things she forgot to get done at home this morning.  After Liz gave herself a 30 minute guilt trip, she arrived at the pharmacy after she had forgot to fill her prescription this weekend! Overwhelmed, Liz finally made it home! 

Once at home she realized that she had lost control of her life!  Dishes weren’t done, junk mail was scattered on the table and clothes were everywhere!?

A few moments later a friend texts and asked if she was free to get some dinner.  Liz decided that she was too overwhelmed with her current situation that she would not be meeting her friend, but instead trying to figure out how to fix the mess she made.

We’ve all been in Liz’s situation!  Many of us work hard at work in order to get out of work on time, but we sometimes forget that working hard at home will get us the extra rest and free time we deserve.  Or maybe a chance to go out to dinner with our friends!

Why wouldn’t you want to work harder on your day to day ‘chores’ in order to have more spare time in a day?  That’s what we will be talking about today, getting all of the adulting (we can call it that, right?) done more efficiently so you can live the life you’ve always wanted.
The first thing we should really do is decide why your free time is important.  If you don’t value your extra time to put up your feet or spend more time with friends, this list will never be useful!  You will never move towards a goal of super fantastic productivity! 

Take a minute, think or even write down a few things that you would do if you had more time in a day! Once you have done so, you can move on to the rest of the article…


The to-do list

Everywhere you look people are recommending a to-do list.  That’s because it helps you organize your thoughts and gives you satisfaction of crossing them off after completing items!

When writing a to-do list, make sure that you compile the list the night before.  Doing so help relieve worry that you aren’t going to get something done or that you will forget it in the morning. 

Make sure to star the top three that are NON negotiable! These three things you will complete before the next day is done, no exceptions.  Don’t make it an unobtainable goal, it just needs to be a task.

One more of my favorite things to do while writing your to do list the evening before, is to see if you can knock off one or two of the easiest items off the list before going to bed!  Maybe it’s something like send mom a birthday card or pack your lunch?  Waking up to a shorter list than planned is also a great feeling!  That will really give you a great start to your day!


Run all your errands at once

In a week’s time, do you find yourself at the grocery store twice, the bank, the dry cleaners, or the wholesale warehouse?  How much energy do you use driving back and forth to those places?  Do you go to the store, run home, wait until after work to run to the bank and then to the cleaners? 

Think about how much extra travel time there is between all of those places!

Next week make a plan to run all of your errands at once.  Pick places all in the same area and go to them in an order that helps create less distance between the stops. Get everything done in one trip.

How does this help?

The extra back and forth saves you drive time, all of your errands for the week are complete, reducing stress, and your after work battle against traffic just got a little easier!  You now have the chance to decide what else is important to you that you can fill that time slot with!

Think about Liz, if she would have went to get her prescription while she was at the store a few days earlier she could have avoided one stop.

Schedule time in your calendar to complete tasks

Do you always feel like you never have time to make it to the gym or even clean the house?  Schedule a block of time in your calendar to remind you of your plans.  This means you have now made a mental obligation to show up and get your task done!

Our number one complaint is that we don’t have the time!  Right?  Well, now that time is scheduled for you to complete it.  If you decided Netflix is more important than cleaning or hitting the gym, that is on you and it must not be that important.  I know this sounds harsh, but it is the reality of the situation and sometimes you need to look at what is most important to you.

When I first heard this tip, I thought it was stupid.  Then I realized that it wasn’t so much!  Even if I don’t complete the task at the time block I make sure to complete it before the day is over.  Program it in to your phone calendar and don’t let it go away until completed.


Pay all of your bills once a month

Schedule a time in your calendar!!!  Paying your bills once instead of a few times a month will help make sure that ALL of them are paid and that you get the rest of the month to not worry about it! 

There are about a million ways to track your bill pay.  If you have found a way that works for you, keep it! 

I use the notes section in my planner.  I write down all of the amounts and when each bill will hit my checking account.  I also check my account balance and add in payday on the date it will happen.  This way if I’m curious about a bill during the month, as to how much a bill was, I can go back and easily check the amount and the date it will come out of my account.



Decide how you will clean your house

Will you clean all at once or in small amounts of time?

I hate cleaning, but in order to not be gross, we have to clean. Surprise!  There are a few ways to tackle it.

1. You can get it all done at once.  Take some free time, now that you have it from not worrying about bills and errands! 

Turn up some music and give yourself an hour’s time.  See how much you can get done.  Timing yourself is key… otherwise we lose focus! The timer also helps push us to a higher potential and we are able to see how far we got within the limits.  Make it a game to see if you can get that far again. 

2. My favorite way to clean is doing small amounts every day.  So for 20 minutes a day I’ll pick a spot to clean, it could be the bathroom, vacuuming the main living areas, making sure everything is picked up, etc.  I do not include cleaning up the dishes in this set aside time. It is something that should be done every time you make a mess.  This could account for cleaning out the refrigerator or doing the floors.

It’s all about preferences.  Now way is better than the other… it is only better if it takes you less time!  Try a few different ways of cleaning your home out!  I once had a friend who refused to clean the house on the weekend, so he made sure to get it all done during the week.  Experiment and go with what works for you!


Don’t procrastinate

Easier said than done, I know.  The truth is, the less you procrastinate the more you get done.  The more you get done the less you worry about all the stuff you have to do.  It is as simple as that!  Less stress in my life has always been a goal for me! 

People who get things done right away, tend to forget they even completed the task! They didn’t have to spend a whole day worrying about whether they would get it done!  Add it to your to do list.  Get it done.  Stop worrying.

Time is money

Your time is valuable, don’t waste it!  If you’ve ever worked a demanding job, you know that free time is hard to come by.  If you work hard on being productive in your free time, you will find more of it, which is invaluable.



We all want more free time and we all have the moments of falling behind and being overwhelmed. The real question here is how are you going to get it?  Will you be focusing on your to do list, running errands less often, scheduling time for what’s important, simplifying your bill pay, cleaning your house more efficiently or cutting out procrastination? 

The truth is that there are LOTS of opportunities here.  I’d challenge you to take on one or two at a time and come back for more once you have mastered each one!  Don’t forget to hit bookmark or join our mailing list!


Action plan items:

-Discover why free time is so important to you and what you are going to do with more of it.

-Create a to-do list, with your top three items to complete starred.  Complete two easy items the night before

-Run all your errands at once

-Schedule time in your calendar to complete your tasks

-Pay all of your bills once a month

-Decide on how to tackle cleaning duties

-Say goodbye to procrastination

-Value your time!




How do you make your free time more productive?  Have you tried any of the items on the list with success?


Main Blog Photo: (C) Jazmin Quaynor

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Comments

12/10/2016 12:49pm

The first on your list is really a good reminder. We should always keep in mind to list down all the things that are needed to be done in order to save time, money and effort. Those tips are really helpful for all especially for moms like me who are always on-the-go. Time is really important for me and these tips can really help in saving time with the daily chores so I can have quality time with my family. Thanks and keep blogging!

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03/15/2017 8:26am

These tips are eye-opening and surprising. I never knew that there are life hacks like this. I've been so accustomed to the household routines that I have been doing for years. I never thought that there are new ways to make my life easier.

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03/04/2017 8:16am

To do list is always a good solution even for a week and month ahead. This is a simple planning.

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04/10/2017 5:37am

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05/15/2017 12:16pm

We like to read this issue.. Thanks you've made it clear!

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