You’re a busy woman — we totally get it. You’ve pretty much mastered the art of puzzle-piecing together your schedule. But some days are so jam-packed that it feels like it will be impossible to get through them without going insane. Don’t panic: We’re here to help with these super simple time-saving (and sanity-saving) tips for your busiest days.
DAY BEFORE: Prepare, prepare, prepare
- Replace to-do lists with time-blocks
- Listen, we love a good to-do list. But for the i-may-go-crazy days, a list is not enough. The night before, take a look at all your to-dos and estimate the amount of time it will take you to complete each one. Then block off that amount of time in your calendar. This will make sure you’re realistic about the number of hours in your day and the time it takes to get through your tasks.
- Know your priorities
- Sometimes those tasks will take longer than expected (aka that time we got a flat tire on the way to the grocery store). Make sure you know what your top priorities of the day are — and what won’t kill you if you can’t find the time to do it. If anything goes awry, you know what tasks to cut.
- Cook & freeze
- No one wants to get home exhausted only to have to cook a meal. Our secret? Make spaghetti sauce earlier in the week and freeze it. Pop it in the fridge before you leave for the day and it will be defrosted by the time the water is boiling that evening.
- Shower & dry shampoo
- Nighttime showers have a lot of benefits, but the ultimate one is saving you time the next morning. Better yet: Shower, dry your hair, and apply a generous amount of dry shampoo before you go to bed. Wake up looking refreshed and oil free.
DAY OF: Keep it simple and streamlined
- You woke up late — with nothing to wear. Our favorite time-saving style hack? A monochrome look. And luckily for us, it’s one of fall’s biggest style trends. One-color outfits are sleek, stylish, and professional without using any extra brainpower. Take a quick look at your closet and note which color dominates. Red on red is having a moment, but if that feels a bit too bold we recommend black’s less moody cousin: Navy.
- Skip the eyeliner, add the lipstick
- Cut out your most time-consuming makeup step (for us, that’s definitely eyeliner) and grab the lipstick, instead. A bold lip takes any outfit to the next level of sophistication (and distracts from any other elements you may have had to scrimp on due to time restraints).
- One-minute plank
- On busy days, it’s easy to cut out exercise entirely. But one missed day leads to another and another and another… you get the point. If you have time for nothing else, hold a plank for 1:00 minute straight. You’ll tone a ton of muscles, warm up your body, and not sacrifice any time doing so.
- Commute catch-up
- Think about the tasks you can accomplish on-the-go. Need to call your grandmother to wish her a happy birthday? Do it on your walk to work. Haven’t read that important business document? Read it on the train. Need to squeeze in time for mindfulness? Meditate during your morning drive. See? You’ve accomplished three tasks before your day has even begun.
- Two-minute rule
- With every spontaneous task that comes in during your busy day, ask yourself this question: Will it take two minutes or fewer to complete? If the answer is yes, do it right then and there and forget about it. If the answer is no, add it to tomorrow’s to-do list. (And forget about it until then.)
- Convert meetings to emails
- While we understand the importance of face-to-face meetings, sometimes something has to give — especially when your coworker tends to go fifteen minutes over telling you about her cat’s new vegan diet. When time is of the essence, feel free to ask if there is any way the meeting could be handled in an email or on Slack. More often than not, the answer is yes.
- Don’t freak out
- If something doesn’t get done, remember, it is not the end of the world. You are only human, after all!
DAY AFTER: Relax & recover
- Take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back. (And then do everything you didn’t get to do yesterday.)