Updated: May 24, 2019
Hit the snooze, groan, turnover, hit snooze once more and murmur the immortal words "just 5 more minutes." 5 quickly turns into 10 and before you know it you're sitting bolt upright in a panic, you're running late, yet again!
Whether you are the taxi-parent, struggling to organise your work/life balance or cramming for exams, there are days when everything is a constant fight against the clock.
We're all slaves to time and for this week's post for our Lifestyle Blog, myself and the Glitter crew had a brainstorming session and we've put together a few of our favourite, albeit a bit random, time hacking tips to help you through your day:
1.Plan ahead/keep a calendar.
For years I prided myself on being able to remember every appointment without writing it down. I never forgot a work meeting, a get-together with the girlies, or a hair appointment.
Life gets busier, the to-do list gets longer and I started to see more and more SMS messages popping up with "I had you booked in today..." or "I waited 20 minutes for you but had to leave as I'm working later."
So with the danger of being blacklisted and labelled as the client from hell hanging over my head, as well as further annoying friends with my no-show antics, I reluctantly gave in and started putting appointments in my phone in addition to writing everything down as a back-up. Life immediately became easier, and what's more I realised I'd resisted doing it for so long partly out of laziness and also a misplaced sense of pride in refusing to accept that as we all get older and busier it becomes harder to juggle your own schedule, let alone co-ordinate it to fit in with everyone else's.
2.Have a routine in the morning and evening.
If you ask any mental health professional, they will always tell you that acquiring and keeping to a routine in the morning and evening is one of the major steps to recovery for patients suffering with mental health problems. Hence, it makes perfect sense for us all to introduce a little regime into our lives.Try regulating your meal times and sleeping hours, set aside a specific time to exercise and shower. By creating a system or a schedule and sticking to it, we not only gain a sense of achievement, it also clears the deck for pursuing hobbies and doing more things we enjoy.
3. Cut back on surfing the Web and social media.
How many times have you sat down to send a quick e-mail and 20 minutes later, low and behold you're still online and checking out pics from last weekend's party on Facebook, and what's more, 9 times out of 10 you still haven't sent that e-mail?
Get yourself a timer and be strict with it.
There's an App for that! We like:Offtime (iOS, Android), App Detox (Android), Stay On Task (Android) and Moment (iOS).
No App? Then set the stop watch and try and beat it. Prioritise! Work mails, replying to mum and checking out messages from school/uni, try to complete these first before hopping over to Twitter and Instagram. Set a timer and aim to put away the social media before the clock stops. It will be challenging at first, but I promise you, if you're anything like me, you'll be surprised how liberating it will feel after a few days not to be hanging on every status update and new comment on your social media post.
4.Sort your clothes prior to washing.
Have two washing baskets. One for colours, one for whites, this saves time spent sorting for the washing machine. Obviously different temperatures and dry cleaning may be exceptions to this rule, but at least by doing this when it comes to laundry time you'll already be halfway there!
5.Listen to audio books.
Stacks of unread/half finished books next to the bed? Falling asleep whilst reading?
Join the club, you are not alone! Time hack: Download a book and listen to it in the gym, while you're commuting, or whilst driving, the possibilities are endless.
If you've read my blog post 6 Things To Remember When You Feel Like Giving Up, you'll know that I recently downloaded Audible. I did this because no matter how many books I'd promised myself to read, the pile was only getting bigger and I continually found myself off-loading them to friends and charity shops. Using audio books means I now listen to at least 2 books a month and not only save precious storage space in the house but also the time I would have spent dusting them down and giving them away!
6.Cut down on ironing time.
I love ironing. Yes, you read that correctly, I love ironing, in fact I could iron for hours and on occasion I have. My reason for this is because I switch off and relax while doing so. Anyway, I'm well aware that I might be in the minority here, so in order to make this task more bearable for you, I've a couple of time saving tips to share that can help to get it done faster: When it comes to laundry time, spin clothes on a lower speed and put them on hangers as soon as they come out of the wash. You'll see fewer creases hence minimal iron, win! Got a little penchant for silk? As we all know silk and other delicate fabrics can be nightmarish to iron. To combat this, take some ice cubes, wrap them in a clean, white face flannel (so the colour doesn’t run) and rub it over the creases. Then set your iron to the coolest temperature and watch those wrinkles smooth out as you go over them.
7.Learn to say "no."
Next time you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, not knowing what to say when the pressure is on, trying saying ''no.'' Ok, this might seem rather brutal, but think of it this way: How many times have you made arrangements, or promises knowing full well that you are going to be hard pushed to keep them later? By just saying "no" right then instead of buying time with a "maybe" not only will others respect you for not wasting their time by making plans you already knew you couldn't keep, but it could also save you many hours of trying to juggle, back tracking and making grovelling apologies .
8.Learn to delegate.
This hack isn't only reserved for CEO'S and Managers, this can work in every area of your life. By learning to prioritise and sharing workloads at home with other family/flatmates you are effectively freeing yourself up to do more of what you want to do. Introduce a chore rota to the family, or discuss getting one with your house mates.
9.Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Hey you! Super Woman, reality check! When you need help ask for it!
Whether it's to pick up the kids while you work late, pack away the groceries while you shower, run you a bath while you check emails, or help you to fathom out the new software installed on the system at work, why not learn to reach out to family, friends and colleagues when you need to? Not only can this improve your productivity in other areas but also allows you the time to re-coup with a little self-care thereby helping fight stress and exhaustion.
10.Put your clothes out ready for the morning.
There's a meme that pops up now and then on my Instagram feed that goes something like: "Monday, the only day of the week when you can wear yesterday's clothes and get away with it." It's a joke right? Or is it? Every second is valuable and in the morning there is little worse than arriving at work feeling dishevelled and badly put together. Ok, not everyone has an unlimited budget to spend on clothes, but arriving stressed and running late because you couldn't find clean socks or the shoes you wanted to wear is not the best way to start, so before sleeping, make it part of your routine to check your outfit is ready for the next day.
11.Try gel nails.
Until about 15 years ago I prided myself on always doing my own nails. I carefully co-ordinated my choice of shade to complement my outfits and had endless amounts of half used OPI and Essie Bottles in the make-up box.
It used to drive me mad waiting for my nails to dry, then finding those annoying smudges, trying to glue together breakages and always having to scratch my head or go to the bathroom when they were almost done! Enter Gel nails! They not only look perfectly finished, they are smudge proof and can last a good couple of weeks or more when looked after properly. Definitely one of my favourite time hacks!
12.Put house keys and car keys on a hook and colour code them.
I recently wrote a Facebook update, half joking - half not, asking Apple to introduce a Find My Keys App, people laughed but I was deadly serious. I can't tell you how often I have been late because I cannot, for the life of me remember where I threw down my keys on entering the house the day before.
Countless times I‘ve had to enlist the help of every family member when trying to track my keys down, only to discover them down the side of the sofa or still in my gym bag from the previous night!
As a quick fix put keys in a designated bowl. If you have several similar looking keys then colour code them by adding key rings or use nail varnish for an even cuter finish! This could save you hours, not to mention ease your stress.
13. Buy black socks.
Easy to match. No further explanation needed, but if you do need a reason why you should do this then you clearly live a charmed life.
14. Store TV remotes and phone chargers in a designated box.
Explanation? Check number 13!
15. Where possible (and financially viable) book fast-track tickets to avoid queuing.
I cannot express to you how much I detest queueing. In fact, the thought of it brings me out in a cold sweat and I'd do absolutely anything to avoid it.Thankfully, by planning ahead, these days queuing can be avoided in many situations. Cinemas, exhibitions, take-away restaurants, supermarkets, most of them operate a pre-order, booking or delivery service. Some may charge a small fee, but think of the aggravation saved and time spared that would otherwise be spent waiting and fuming in line.
16. Use nail polish as a quick fix for scratched black shoes.
This one has saved my outfits on so many occasions! There is nothing worse that realising your favourite pair of black heels have lost some of their colour due to wear and tear.
So when this annoyance strikes, instead of spending time rummaging through the wardrobe desperately searching for another pair, or worse still changing your whole outfit, go and invest in a small, inexpensive pot of black nail polish so that next time it happens you can give those babies a quick, slick make-over by carefully touching up those pesky marks. Let them dry for 2 minutes and hey presto, fixed in a flash!
17. Cotton wool buds to the rescue for make-up disasters.
Wipe away make-up catastrophes in a jiffy by using the humble cotton wool bud. I adore black eyeliner and countless times my cat-eye flick has ended up looking a bit too Nike for my liking. If this sounds like you, don't panic, no need to remove the whole lot and start again! Firstly, make sure the slip up is completely dry (this is so it doesn't smudge) then take a dry cotton bud, and dip it in petroleum jelly, gently rub the area until the mark is no longer visible and voila! You are ready to start again. Similarly this hack works well on mascara and eyebrow pencils/ powder too!
18.Try dry shampoo.
Now honestly, my first reaction to this one was ewwwww, in fact whenever anyone has mentioned or suggested this to me as a quick fix to pep up my hair I’ve always felt uncomfortable as if someone somewhere was giving me a license to be dirty. I generally wash my hair every second day as the texture is a little dry from colour however, for the sake of the blog I set aside my prejudice and bought and tried the product pictured below.
Did it work? Well on day 3 my hair definitely smelt heavenly after I'd sprayed the roots and although there was a little build up remaining after I'd brushed it through to put it in a messy bun, my hair looked distinctly better than if I'd left it without doing anything to it at all. Great time saver if you are running late, or have a need to liven up your hair for after work drinks or a spontaneous invite.
19. Switch off phone notifications after 9pm.
Back away from the mobile! Most of us, even when we are not actually using our phone, still have one eye on it, which means of course we're not really fully focused on any job in hand. Whether you're catching up on Game Of Thrones or making lunch for the next day, give it your full attention! Pausing the TV or rewinding because you missed what Daenerys just said to Jon Snow, is not only a waste of time but hugely irritating for people around you, not to mention those sloppy, badly put together sandwiches will hardly be the most appetising come tomorrow lunchtime.
20.Look back at your week.
Check your routine regularly. Review tasks and your behaviour on a weekly basis. Keep a checklist, be ruthless and above all honest with yourself when answering: Does this make my life easier, is it productive or could I change/do away with something and thereby reclaim my time? You'd be surprised how often the patterns we acquire can become little more than outdated, pointless habits that hold us back and keep us in our comfort zones instead of enabling us to explore the exciting and the new.
As mentioned above, these are just a few time-hacks we've come up with at All That Glitters, and of course there are so many more out there. We'd love to hear any you might have discovered and would like to share! Simply subscribe free to comment or drop us a line @
Photo credit:Gel Nails, many thanks to Kerry Asby and her team @ Elegance Beauty Lounge. Enquiries @ www.elegancebeautysalon.co.uk
Disclaimer:No fees or compensation have been received for product placement within this blog post.