7 Simple Time-Savers

By: Heidi DeCoux

Triple the recipe when making dinner. For example, when making lasagna make three pans and freeze two of them. After a week of tripling your recipes you will have a full two weeks worth of dinners prepared and frozen. Imagine not having to prepare supper for a full two weeks.
Instead of making a trip to the store every time you need to send a thank you or birthday card, create a card organizer and stock up on cards. Get a small portable file box and place hanging file folders in it. Label the folders for each category of cards - Birthday, Thank You, Graduation, Baby, Wedding, Anniversary, Blank and any other categories you see fit. Purchase cards in bulk when they are on sale and store them in the appropriate hanging file folder. Now, now sending a card will take you a couple of minutes and you will be more likely to do it.
When pumping gas use that time to clean out your car. Throw away all garbage. Keep a container of car wipes under the seat so you can wipe down your dashboard and console. Clean the windows (inside and out).
Keep your log-ins and passwords organized and quickly accessible. One way to accomplish this is to keep them in your address book (electronic or paper). How to do this is to create a new "contact" for each of your accounts. In the notes section write or type in your information and any other notes pertaining to that account. To keep them secure in the event that someone gets a hold of your address book, set up a code system. For example, your code could be that you make the last four digits or letters bogus. Your real password is what comes before those last four digits or letters.
Simplify Your Email. There are 3 types of emails.
1. Junk.
2. Emails that require an action or response from you.
3. Emails that you are simply interested in reading or using as a reference (but don't require a response or action).
Delete the junk emails and respond to action emails as soon as possible. Store the emails you want to read or reference in your "To Read" folder. When possible, clear out your inbox at the end of each day or week.
Do important or urgent action items as soon as possible. Don't feel like you need to respond to forwards, or to even read them. If you are interested in reading a particular email but don't have time right then, just store it in your "To Read" folder. However, do not put emails that require an action or response in your "To Read" folder. Respond to personalized emails as soon as possible but stop responding when an interchange has served its purpose.
Try an experiment of scheduling your To-Do List into your daily calendar. For example, if one of your To-Do List items is "find a tree-trimming service", than put it into your calendar as an appointment - "Thursday, 10:00am-10:15am, find tree trimming service". Many things on your list will take less than 15 minutes, but schedule each such item for 15 minutes anyway. You will have about 12 "to do" items scheduled in a 3-hour time period, you will probably accomplish everything on the list early and will have had time to handle interruptions.
Organize your paperwork. This will help eliminate piles of papers and probably save you more time than you may realize. According to Real Simple, if you live in the USA, you spend an average of 55.2 minutes per day looking for things! That's 14 days a year! The number one thing American's spend their time looking for is paper documents and files. If you spend just a few hours setting up an easy to use and maintain file system, and you schedule a few minutes each day to maintain your system, you may be able to take a two-week vacation with the time you saved!

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Heidi DeCoux is a Professional Organizer & Public Speaker specializing in organizing paperwork. You can get Heidi's FREE monthly e-newsletter that is filled with tips and solutions that will make your life easier and more organized. For information on Heidi's exclusive home office filing system visit ClearSimpleLiving.com.

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