Life-hacks to save time and energy.

It’s the time of the year when it feels like bed time by 6:30pm. Almost overnight it seems like it takes more energy to do the same things that were easier when daylight lingered until 8pm. If you like me appreciate simple ways to make small changes that make life easier, you’ll appreciate these life-hacks.

Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together. – Vincent Van Gogh

6 Simple Life-Hacks:

1. Sort your silverware.

As you and your family load your dishwasher, sort spoons, forks, knives, and other utensils into their own spaces. It takes about the same amount of time to load the dishwasher but saves time unloading. I’ve found that this little change makes unloading the dishwasher less of a dread than it was before and it’s much faster. We’ve even had visiting family see how effective it is and vow to take the trick home with them. If it saves a few minutes each time, those are minutes you can use for something other than dishes.

2. Reduce eye strain.

If strained eyes are making you more tired than you were already, reduce the blue light that you are exposed from your electronics. There are some great software programs available such as f.lux that can make a huge difference. If you do opt for this awesome free software program, consider a donation to the great folks who created it since they could have charged a fee but allow you to use it for free. This program has made a noticeable difference in my energy after my work day. Eye strain from blue light had previously made me feel tired after work. It turns out it was much less about being tired than it was about my eyes being stressed from too much blue light. Most smart phones have settings to adjust the screen

3. Plan 3 for 1 dinners.

Want to reduce time and effort cooking dinner? Plan your weekly dinners by cooking enough of your main course to be re-purposed into 3 different meals. A few examples cook ground beef to make chili, tacos, and sloppy joes.  Grill chicken and have chicken and vegetables, chicken fried rice, and chicken casserole with chicken, broccoli, rice, and cream of chicken soup. Or make meatballs and have spaghetti and meatballs, tortellini soup, and meatball subs topped with provolone cheese. Three for 1 dinners save time, energy, and stress. It’s easier than you think! And, if you prefer you can freeze your planned overs to give your family more variety while still saving you time and effort.

4. Set a timer.

If you want to get a number of small things done faster, set a timer. The Pomodoro Technique suggests a 25 minute timer, followed by a 5 minute break. Set out to beat the clock and be both more focused and productive. Use your smart phone’s timer or choose from a number of free apps to conveniently set a timer on your phone. There are a number of versions available online. Choose the one that works for you. Try it out and let me know if you see the same productivity boost I’ve found when I use a timer.

5. Choose to move.

While you brush your teeth or wait for the microwave to warm your coffee, polish off a few reps of squats or strengthen your calves by going up and down from your toes to flat footed? Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator or choose to park a little farther away. Or when you go to get something upstairs at home, go up, then down, then back up to get what you need. Find spare moments in your day when you can consciously choose to move a bit more. All of the little things add up.

6. Choose how you start.

Just over a year ago I decided that I would avoid hitting social media as one of the first things I did in the morning. It’s such an easy habit to fall in to – wanting to check what’s going on with people or the world when we wake up. I decided to make my first app of the day YouVersion. Each day I check out the verse of the day to set the tone for the challenges I know will lie ahead. Other apps such as First5 let you do the same as well. Choose what gets your attention first each day and choose the attitude that you step into the day with. Why not deliberately start on a positive note?

It’s your turn

Why not try a few these this week? Click and share your favorite life-hacks or let me know which of the ones I’ve shared you’ll be trying. What do you do to make the most of your time during the shorter days of fall and winter? How do you keep your spirits up when it gets dark so early?  I’d love to hear from you. Click to join the conversation.

Encouraged by this post? Please share it with your friends on social media and help spread the encouragement.

Until next time friends, be blessed!

You might also enjoy:

Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. Rober Collier