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Ahhhhh, time. Ain’t nobody got enough of it, amiright??? For as much as we all whine about “not having enough time” or “time just flies!”, here’s a friendly reminder: We all have the same amount. We all have 24 hours in a day – the same amount as Beyoncé and Jesus – and what we do with those hours is entirely up to us. #MicDrop
Now, before you jump with, “But Erica, I don’t choose to go to work! If it were up to me, I’d just hang out with Netflix and pizza all day or spend more time with my kids, or save the world, yadda yadda yadda!”, I feel ya – it never feels like enough. But we can’t complain, because we *do* have choices. You don’t HAVE to go to work at the job you’re currently at – you could get another. Heck, you could just not go (tho not recommended, cos we’re not tryna get you fired). It might take time (that magic word) to find a new day gig, but it’s not impossible. There are always steps you can take, in either direction. But while the big stuff in life gets worked out (cos Lord knows, it does take time!), here are TEN life hacks to help you save at *least* one hour every single day. From morning to night, from around the house to in the office, these life hacks should def bring back some peace + sanity + time to yo’ everyday life.
- Set yo’ morning up right. One of the hardest things for me is actually getting out of bed and hopping to it first thing in the AM. I mean…join the club amiright??? What makes mornings easier? Not having to think about ’em. Prepare everything the night before in the exact order you’ll need once your alarm goes off and it’s time to move. Put your slippers and glasses right next to your bed (#GrandmaStatus), pre-load the Keurig with a mug waiting right there, sleep in your workout clothes to just get up and go (+ use this quick workout!), and make it so that you’re essentially on autopilot as you get ready for your day. In case of accidental snooze, this one’s clutch, folks.
- Password vault. There are options online (J and I both love this one) that help save, store, and create passwords for all of your important schtuff. It’s totally secure, even giving you a security ranking to cue you in to exactly how good your passwords are. And, it can create new passwords for you that are nearly uncrackable, saving them all to the vault so your security is never compromised just cos you can’t remember 52 different strings of letters and numbers. 😉
- Nix ironing altogether. I mean…does anyone actually *enjoy* ironing, anyways? Either way, I know I have a clothing rack full of stuff right now “to iron later,” and I know that “later” is never gonna happen. HA. An easy life hack to ironing? Hang your needs-ironing clothes in your bathroom while you take a shower. The steam can help relax wrinkly fabrics.
- Use focus applications. Nothing sucks time more than distractions. Save time by eliminating ’em altogether. Applications and websites like RescueTime and Productivity Owl can track the amount of time you’re spending on various websites and programs and categorize accordingly (work versus social media), and/or block certain websites altogether to ensure you’re actually *focused* and not context switching from one thing to the next. (Here’s what context switching is + why it’s so bad!) Life hacks above all should be training helping you focus on the important stuff, so nothing beats a literal focus app!
- Digital paybacks. I *distinctly* remember the day when everyone had to go out to a nearby ATM to get cash to pay back a friend for splitting a taxi or covering coffee. And then it’d be too big of a bill, said friend would need change, wouldn’t have it, would need to find alternative solutions, and a hot mess would ensue. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m a fan of Square Cash – an easy way to send or receive money from friends and family at the tap of your thumb. It takes 3 minutes to sign up and link your debit card (if that), and voila – you can pass moola back and forth no problemo. You also get access to the Square Cash Virtual Card to buy things online straight from your cash account. And and aaaaaaaand…Square Cash is the *only* money-sharing app that allowed INSTANT transfers, allowing for instantaneous deposits for just a 1% fee. No silly social sharing features, either, cos ain’t nobody carin’ who bought who the Uber. 😉
- Use an old, used up gift card to clean your kitchen. Really though. When it comes to life hacks, this one is pretty nifty. It takes waaaaay too much time to scrub that hard grit off of pots and pants after a good time in the kitchen. Instead of using up your elbow grease on it with an old-fashioned scrubber brush, use an old gift card to scrape the surface and get off the gunk.
- Keep your documents in an online cloud (think OneDrive, Google Drive). Save time by having accessibility across devices, and save EXTRA time in case of crash. Because ain’t nobody got time for the heart attack that undoubtedly ensues when your computer goes black and your files aren’t backed up. Or what happens when your hard drive is literally full and requires a massive purge, and it takes more than a hot sec to sort through files from 7th grade onwards.
- Write expiration dates with Sharpie. Maybe this one’s just me, but I’ve got a thing with expiration dates. I’m the one that could lose things in the depths of the fridge, whereas my hubby is constantly trying to sneak things in the trash with an irrational fear of things expiring – we’re quite the combo. 😉 I strongly dislike when I’m trying to honestly hunt for an expiration and just can’t find one for the life of me. It just wastes time. Instead of having to worry about that in the moment, find it as soon as you buy it and write it on with permanent marker, loud and proud (so long as marker won’t leak through the container, obvi), so all parties know exactly when that baby needs to go.
- Meal prep. A super popular, trendy term on the interwebs as of late, and for good reason. Basically, whenever you can – work ahead. If you know what you’re cooking/baking/whipping up for the week ahead (which many of us do, bc hello grocery shopping!), prep ingredients ahead of time. Anything that can be prematurely chopped, diced, marinated, mixed, or stirred, do it. You’ll save time when it really counts – at the dinner table. With that, double your recipes!
- Sort laundry as you go. We’ve got three plastic baskets sitting on our washer/dryer – one for darks, one for lights, and one for delicates/more gentle wash cycles. Life hacks that are time saving? CHECK, cos this saves SO MUCH TIME. All you’ve gotta do is dump one full basket into the washer and go. BOOM.
What life hacks do you lovelovelove that help you save time every single day?
Life hacks are all the rage right about now, so drop your own faves in a comment below. I’m SURE you guys have some awesome ones you’ve found and/or use on the reg, and girlfriend needs herself some more life hacks STAT. Help a sistah out?!
*This post is in partnership with Square Cash and Her Campus Media. As always, all opinions and thoughts presented are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!