Before I had Franco, I was working full-time, blogging part-time, involved in Burning Man and all of my alma maters, traveling around the country and the world for pleasure, spending 1-2 weeks in the Black Rock City desert, doing movie nights, book clubs, happy hours, hiking, eating out extensively and I still had a lot of time on my hands. Now, with a 15-month-old kid, I have very limited time. I cannot stress enough how little leisure time I have!
So today I want to talk about time savers. I will share some of mine if you promise to share some of yours.
Showers: I used to take 2 showers a day. Gulp. I especially feel bad saying that since California is in crazy drought mode. But I used to take a shower in the morning and then again late at night before bed because I love long hot showers! Still do. Except now I am down to 1 at night. This means I wake up, wash my face, brush my teeth, put on my clothes and I’m good to go.
Botox: Yes I do botox! Botox under the armpits helps control my hyperhydrosis problem, which means no time wasted applying deodorant. Yay!
Makeup: Don’t wear any.
Perfume: Don’t do this either. I don’t do it, nor should you. Ok I know I’m being a bit drastic, but perfume obviously is a very personal thing. I get it for nights out, but please not during the day. It can be very repulsive. The guy sitting next to me on the bus this morning was wearing this cologne that made me want to vomit. Perfume, like smoking, should be banned in the workplace.
Hunger: As a sugar addict, I used to spend so much time out of my day going to get hot chocolate or froyo or chocolate chip cookies or ice-cream. OMIGOSH, what a huge time waster! I now have large packs of almonds and whenever I get hungry, I just munch on almonds. I’m also a huge proponent of Lean Cuisines. They’re balanced meals and very healthy. When I was working with a nutritionist, I was embarrassed to tell her all I ate were Lean Cuisines and she said, “Good! Lean Cuisines are great.” I couldn’t believe it. That’s 3-4 minutes nuke time and you’re ready to eat.
Exercise: I don’t do it. No gym membership. No running along the beach. Nada. This isn’t to say that you should stop too. Personally I have never needed exercise to feel healthy and good about myself. I also believe exercise in moderation is best. Excessive exercise (i.e., marathons) is not good. Your body gets so used to that much training that if, God forbid you miss a day, then you are screwed. Also, with exercise, you burn more energy and have to eat more! I wasted a lot of time running in my 20s and 30s and I am here to tell you, it did me no F*ing good. My body is in much better shape with ZERO exercise.
Reading: Love me some audiobooks! Also when I come into the office in the morning, my printer is on fire because I am printing out all my non-urgent emails. So bad for the environment, I know, but I swear I do my part in other ways. I work better, faster and retain more with printed material. You’ll never catch me without a book or printouts in-hand; that way while I’m waiting in line or my computer is giving me the hour glass, I can quickly read something from my stash.
Finances: All automated. Savings are withdrawn automatically. Bills are linked to my Citi 2% cash back rewards credit card. The credit card payment is automated. My stock portfolio has built-in stop orders so I don’t have to worry about anything dipping below 2%. I use Mint.com where I can see in one dashboard where I am spending money, how my stocks are doing, if my properties are increasing in value, and my entire net worth.
Email: I cut out all the bullshit. I don’t get a single promotional sales email. Do this now: Unsubscribe to anything that is cluttering your mind and wasting your time.
Shopping: As much as possible, I stay away from stores or shopping malls. I try not to waste time buying more shit. If I do need something, Amazon to the rescue.
Facebook and Social Media: I am not one of those people who’s on Facebook all day, every day. That’s silly. Get a life! I limit my use to once a day–if that.
Outsource: I’m a huge believer in outsourcing: cleaners, travel agents, personal assistants. Think of it this way. Is it worth your time to clean your home, or is your time best served elsewhere (i.e., closing more business, spending more time with your children, going away for the weekend, etc.).
Don’t do stupid shit: I try really hard not to do stupid shit. Waiting in line for a free ice-cream. That’s stupid shit. Going to the museum on a jam-packed free admission day because it’s going to save you $20. THAT’S STUPID SHIT! I shake my head at these people. Don’t be one of those people, trying so hard to save money, they can’t see beyond their blinders.
Please share with me your time savers or shortcuts in the comments! I would love to hear.