In the July/August “Zoom!” issue of Experience Life, I shared some of my favorite tips for simplifying my personal-care routines (read those here). But space is limited in print, and there are so many other areas of my life where I employ time- and labor-saving techniques, so I thought I’d offer a few more strategies here.
First, though, I should tell you that my mother taught me many organizational skills at a young age. She was structured and orderly in all that she did, and she practiced this efficiency to create more time to relax, telling me, “The lazy man invented the wheel.”
While I’ve used these skills well throughout my life, I’ve tweaked her philosophy: For me, efficiency and organization are the most important ingredients in making any activity quick and easy – and quick and easy translates to more time to play and have fun, which you know I’m all about!
Keeping that in mind, here are a few more ways I keep things simple:
- When hosting a party, I set up traffic patterns so moving from room to room and getting food and drink is a breeze for my guests. It creates a natural flow and obvious spaces for certain activities to occur (e.g., eating, socializing, relaxing). It also makes being the host more enjoyable — instead of directing, it’s like being a guest at your own event!
- I arrange my kitchen cupboards in such a way that I use the least amount of time and effort getting what I need together for a meal. I store the glasses, for instance, near the sink and fridge, and the cups near the tea kettle. I also do the dishes from right to left because I’m right handed and it feels most natural.
- I’ve streamlined bill paying by going paperless and setting up auto payments for loans and credit cards online.
- Whenever possible, I use Skype and video conferencing, which eliminate the need to travel for business meetings.
- I eat lots of fruit: It’s healthy, comes in beautiful disposable packages and there’s no preparation. I throw it in my backpack and take off for the day with a delicious meal. (To note: On the go, it’s best to carry hard fruit like apples and oranges to prevent damage in transit; if you want something delicate like peaches or pears, put them in the outside pockets of your bag.)
- I’ve found a hairstyle I love that’s low-maintenance — no rollers and blow dryers required. When I get out of the shower, I simply let my hair air dry while I get other things ready for the day or even while I’m driving to my first appointment. It saves me up to an hour of grooming time.
- I create a place for everything I own, which helps make tidying up a relatively quick and painless chore.
- I text and email when I’m making plans with friends or colleagues instead of calling everyone involved individually. It eliminates all the excess discussion that’s often involved in zeroing in on a time and place.
I love finding ways to make things quick and easy. For me, it’s a fun task in itself — one that, in the end, creates time for even more fun!
What are your strategies? I’d love to hear about them!