17 Time-Saving Tips for People Who Are Rushed

By: | January 6, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Honeycomb-2Do you want to blog but fear you don’t have the time?  Do you love blogging but are frustrated that it’s cutting into many other activities? Are you considering blogging less or abandoning your blog altogether due to time constraints?

While these questions are directed at bloggers, anyone who feels a time crunch can benefit from them.  They will not all be about blogging, and those that are can be tweaked to help everyone save time.

Tip 1 Don’t drive your car.

Hey, I live in California, we drive here.  I’m originally from New York where I go back to visit and see plenty of taxi cabs or people walking.  We Californians, we drive, plain and simple, so how can I be giving this advice?  Again, plain and simple.  (Is this my expression of the day?  Am I keeping you in suspense wondering the answer?) The answer is clear.  I didn’t tell you not to get in a car or other forms of transportation.  I suggested that you not drive it.  Whenever possible–be a passenger.

Your hands will be free if you are not operating a motor vehicle.  Bloggers need their hands free to check their Email to see if they have comments from bloggers they can return while someone else is driving them.  I also use my hands to go into my dashboard, get my link, and promote my blog while someone else is driving.  Last, we bloggers need to catch a power nap when we can, and if someone else drives, we can.

Tip 2 Manipulate traffic patterns in your favor.

Program your car GPS to “fastest route” not “shortest route”.  Take the fast lane when alone, and, of course, the carpool  lane when with a driver (remember, you should be the passenger).  Listen to the news to hear upcoming traffic problems and avoid them before you get there.  I hear there’s an app or two for that.  The technology in my husband’s car warns him of slow traffic on his route.  You just don’t have time in your busy day to get stuck in traffic you can avoid.

Tip 3 Multitask.

In my post How to Avoid Holiday Burnout I suggested pacing, prioritizing, and scheduling as ways to save time.  Today I offer you a fourth suggestion–multitasking.  Think of activities you want to do and creatively figure out how you can do those activities simultaneously.

For example, I want to spend time with my husband, watch television, and eat dinner when I’m home.  I do all three simultaneously.  (See, I told you not all of my Reflections would be about blogging.) Let’s try another example.  When I’m home I want to spend time with my husband and blog.  (Is attempting to combine these a more daunting challenge?)  I bought my husband headphones.  He watches television while I sit next to him with my laptop and blog.  I don’t hear the television, so I can focus.  Since we are together, I still get to be in his company, and he can’t feel neglected.

Tip 4 Do your shopping online.

I explained this in depth in one of my other holiday blogs How to Avoid Holiday Shopping Burnout.  The bottom line is you don’t have time to go shopping.  Get what you can online.  Other than trying on clothes if sizes and brands fit differently in different stores, I can’t think of any reason you need to spend the time it takes to drive to the store, park, walk, shop, and go back to your car, and drive back home again.

Tip 5 Prioritize.

Make a list of everything you want to do in the course of your day.  (I know this will take time, but it will save you time in the long run.) Now, number your list starting with #1 as the most important.  How many can you cut from the course of your day?  The bottom three?  The bottom 10%?  The bottom 50%?  If you can’t cut the beloved activity out of your day, limit it to the weekend.

For example, I am still teaching myself Canva.  (The above picture was made with Canva.)  Since I’m still learning, using a picture I’ve made with Canva takes longer than using pictures I get from other sites, so I only use Canva when I am not under a time crunch.

Tip 6 Change Your Mindset About Blogging (Sorry non-bloggers, I’ll return to you soon.)

Tell yourself you need to blog.  My most common saying is applicable here.  Do what you need to do before you do what you want to do.  People make time to do what they need to do; there is no option.

However, when you blog, listen to your favorite music that will enable you to focus.  I love upbeat music as some of my previous posts have shared, but I can’t focus on my writing while listening.  I made an instrumental playlist on my Iphone that I listen to when I blog.  Pretty background music that enhances, but doesn’t distract from, the experience of writing.

Tip 7 Anticipate your needs before you start blogging.

Work in an area that’s yours alone.  Anticipate what you will need while blogging and have it there before you sit at your screen.  You just don’t have time to get up and start walking around looking for items you might need.  Plus, it will break your focus.  You don’t necessarily have to use the items.  Just anticipate you might want to use them and have them there before you start.

I’ll tell you what’s in front of me right now if you don’t judge me badly.

  • Coffee–I might get sleepy without it.
  • Water–I might get thirsty.
  • A snack–I might get hungry.
  • Gum–I may feel like eating but not be hungry.
  • Tissues–I might sneeze.
  • Hand Lotion–Hey, it’s winter, my hands are dry.
  • Screen Cleaner–My screen may get dirty.
  • Reading glasses–I’m wearing them, so they’re not technically in front of me.
  • Scratch paper and post it notes–I may get an idea I want to jot down.
  • Red pens and black pens to write on the paper
  • My notes for this post

If you have an area you can call your own when you blog, no one can complain you’re cluttering up their area.

Tip 8– Take Echinacea (See non-bloggers, I’m back.)

Look at me, suggesting what you should put in your bodies.  This is a first.  I am a teacher. I am exposed to germs hourly.  Usually the classroom door is closed to keep in the air conditioning.  I am trapped in with germs every hour of my workday.  I take Echinacea daily to boost my immune system.  I use to get sick all the time until I started.  It’s herbal and sold over the counter.

You can’t blog effectively if you’re sick.  Of course, the downtime in bed would give you more blogging time, but it would be hard to blog effectively with cold symptoms or if your head is pounding.

Tip 9 Read other people’s blogging tips. (Thank you for reading mine today.)

Don’t reinvent the wheel.  There’s so many tips that will improve, as well as expedite, your blogging.  In addition to all the tips that currently exist elsewhere, I have found Pinterest a pretty good source.

Tip 10 Get regimented

Have a schedule to ensure everything gets done.  I am a full-time history teacher, and my class is in charge of making a 100-page color yearbook.  Here is an example of my blogging regimen.  I am at my laptop at 6:30 am promoting the previous day’s blog post.  I get home from work at 5:15 and walk my dog.  At 5:30 I write my blog which takes until dinner.   At 9:30, I take my dog out.  While waiting for her to come in, I respond to commenters.  Find a schedule that works for you.

Tip 11 Socialize

Is it contradictory to tell you to get out of the house when I’m trying to save you time, and I’ve already suggested not driving your car?  No.  By socializing you’re accomplishing several things, for example, relaxation.  A relaxed blogger can let creative juices flow.  Next, you might get ideas for blog posts which will save you time thinking of them.  Observing and listening will accomplish that.

Case in point: A group of my friends wanted to take a yoga class.  I’d never taken a yoga class nor had I ever had any interest in it.  However, I heard it was relaxing, good for me, and I’d get to see my friends (multi-task, remember?), so I went.  The result–not only did I accomplish all those things, but I got the idea for my blog post Quick Guide: Genetics since I wrote a human-interest story about the instructor.

When you socialize, meet at a place convenient for you.  If you can’t, meet in a place that’s convenient for both of you.  You don’t have time to travel long distances that can be avoided.

Tip 12 Do what you can the night before.

Check the weather, get your clothes out, make sure you know where your car keys are, and make your lunch.  Really, make your lunch.  You don’t have time to eat out.

Tip 13 Don’t buy pencils that need sharpening.

I would tell you to sharpen makeup pencils–eyeliner, lip liner, and concealer stick–but you don’t have time to sharpen them.  You could be promoting your blog instead!

Tip 14 Wear pockets.

If you write blogging ideas when you think of them, stick them in your pocket.  You’ll see them at the end of the day when you take the contents of your pockets out.  You can also bring your phone with you easier if you have a pocket (see next tip).  I also leave notes on chairs I know I will sit on and keyboards I know I will use.  I have also put post-it notes on the mirror.

Tip 15 Don’t be too proud to ask for help.

Supportive people are happy to support you by doing what you need.

Tip 16 Don’t be too proud to pay for help.

Blogging is a hobby if you’re not getting income from it, and hobbies cost money.  Golf is an example of a very expensive hobby I hear.

Tip 17 Bring your smartphone with you everywhere.

I really mean it, everywhere.  I always bring my phone into the bathroom with me.  Yes,we are talking about the bathroom now.  I am blessed (I really mean it!)  to have readers from all over the world.  I don’t care what you call it–the potty, the john (is that inappropriate?), the loo, the bathroom–bring your phone with you.  You don’t have time to just sit there waiting for nature to call.  I get many of the best ideas sitting there.  No pen or paper?  Smartphones have voice recording capacities.  If you have to drive and get an idea for a blog post, record your voice.

Some of these ideas will save you seconds of time.  (Sharpening a pencil, really?)  However, if you add up all the seconds that some of these ideas could save you, you’d be saving a chunk of time every day.

Readers, do you have any other time-saving tips that work for you?  Have you tried any of these tips and care to share feedback?  I look forward to your views.

 

 

 

  1. John Doe | at 5:49 pm

    It appears that you have very good time management skills and that is why you’re able to post very articulate and comprehensive blogs. Thank you for these great time saving ideas

    • Janice Wald | at 11:21 pm

      Hi,
      I even forgot one–keep drafts on the “shelf” for when you don’t have time to blog. Oh well. When I read your comment,
      Lord have mercy, you are a blogging machine!
      Wayne and I both laughed. I don’t know how I am going to write this often when I’m back in school. Maybe I should take the 17 Time-Saving Tips for People Who Are Rushed! =) Thanks for writing.
      Janice
      Janice

    • Janice Wald | at 11:19 pm

      Hi,
      1. Yes, I saw it as I was scrolling through my mail. I didn’t mean to be rude. I”m sorry. I feel like I still had confusion about it, though, which is maybe another reason I didn’t respond. Before responding to you today, I watched a YouTube video on it, and now I think I understand how to use Google Royalty Free Images. Which license do you pick? The ones in the video weren’t the ones I saw. Thanks, and again my apologies. Janice

    • Janice Wald | at 11:38 pm

      Hi Nick,
      Nice hearing from you. I’ve been reading Jon Morrow’s blogging tips. He advised having shocking tips. It sounds like you were surprised by that one.
      I’ll tell you the impetus for it. I was sitting in traffic on a one way street thinking that I didn’t have time to be sitting there.
      Thanks for sharing.
      Janice

  2. The Cold Texan | at 8:18 am

    Great advice! I definitely need to anticipate my needs before I sit down to write. I get distracted so easily that if I get up, I’ll wash a dish, play with the cat, take a look outside etc etc. and then before I know it, I’ve wasted 30 minutes

    • lauren | at 10:21 am

      You know my grandma worked until she was in her seventies and she would only wear dresses so she had pockets added to all her clothes. If she ran late she took a taxi. She always had her keys in her pocket and a small amount of money and tokens for the bus or train. Living in New York City is a bit different. She would make her lunch and take it with her even on plane flights. She’s been gone for twenty years. As a kid, my mom always had instant breakfast in Tupperware containers with the lid ready to go, and her lunches made the night before.

      • Janice Wald | at 11:26 pm

        Hi Lauren,
        That’s funny about your grandma. Here I thought I made up the idea about the pockets because I’m always walking around with my phone in my pocket at school! Thanks for reading what I wrote and sharing!
        Janice

  3. Naomi | at 11:14 am

    I am so impressed how well you manage your time….I wish I could be more like you!!!
    BTW, you’re my favorite blogger.

  4. SingleMotherAhoy | at 12:32 pm

    These are great tips, especially the one about blogging tips. I always try to read all of the “blogging tips” posts I come across – there’s always more to learn!
    Thanks for linking up with #WeekendBlogHop!

  5. NIMWOwl | at 9:04 pm

    Janice, I am Senior Editor for Our Circle, NOT IN MY WORLD!!!! G+ Page, Our Website, and Our Facebook Page. this is probably why you didn’t realize who I was, although you have many followers. You write really well, it will be an experience following you.

    • Janice Wald | at 9:22 pm

      I am so sorry. Color me embarrassed. Yes I got the notification. I am so flattered by your compliments of my writing–coming from a senior editor it means so much. Thanks for the follow and please accept my apologies. Janice

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

    • Janice Wald | at 11:15 pm

      Thank you once again. Question: I am trying to get more attention on my blog. I’m not familiar with your Circle in contrast to let’s say a Google + community. Would it be possible to share a post or two of mine with your group? I have several parenting posts. I hate to impose when you’ve been so kind, but I thought it was worth a question.
      Janice

      • NIMWOwl | at 11:48 pm

        Ms Wald, I apologize for not seeing this before now, but we have been covered up; we added a Facebook Page, I started taking 2 courses at College, Robert submitted us to another search engine, more than a few unforseen errors were returned, etc,,,
        OK, Our Circle is what we call Our REAL Followers on G+ at NOT IN MY WORLD!!!!, they are, in reality, Our VIPs, as are you. The fact that you were a Parent, and a good one it seems, is why I invited you to NOT IN MY WORLD!!!!. But just so you really understand NIMW!!!!, Robert was sick of Facebook, and their antics, he is a Computer Security Professional in a very elite class. He came to Google and was taken in by an elite group of Veterans, most people think he stretches the truth, in truth, they have no idea that the man does not lie. His friends KNOW his Father was one of the Comanches in WW2, he was raised by a step-Father who is X Army Secret Service, his nephew is soon to be General, etc.. and thats just a start, they were severely abused, and that’s the reason for Our Website. We can talk about the rest later.
        Let me read (start reading) what you have and we will get Our Circle(YOU) seen. Then we can talk, because it also appears you have quiet a lot of experience writing.
        Thank You Ms Wald for this, you are such a nice Lady!
        Aida

  6. rebpavlik | at 8:42 am

    Time saver tips from me, plan meals, use the crockpot. The crockpot is like a vacation for me! I can stick whatever we have for dinner in there in the morning and wala, perfect dinner and I didn’t have to lift a finger! Planning meals also saves a ton of time. While I am getting out something for one meal, I make a mental note of something ELSE in the freezer, and think yep that’s for tomorrow. Even that little bit of extra planning saves time, and it saves me from being put on spot and having nothing for dinner.

    Blogging, working, networking tips. If I find an article or blog, or anything online interesting and I can’t get to it immediately, I leave the tab open. Then at the end of the night I spend a little time going through each of those tabs. It’s a great way to find information for twitter, or blogging, and helps with networking! I can tell when I slack on this because my follows go down!

    • Janice Wald | at 2:12 am

      Hi,
      1. I read that you’re following me. Thank you so much. It sounds like you’re a professional writer, so I’m extremely flattered.
      2. I also swear by my crockpot. My husband bought me one with a timer on it. So easy, Sunday night, I put the ingredients in, I plug it in before I go to work, and Monday night we have a hot, delicious dinner. I actually thought of having a crockpot recipe page on my site to attract traffic, but I would only do that as a last resort.
      Thank you again for your interest in my writing, following me, and sharing your comments.
      PS I, too, have tabs open all the time. Unlike you, though, I rarely have time to peruse them later. I look forward to more interactions.
      Janice

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  8. The Chaos Realm | at 8:36 am

    So ironic, I’m actually picking a place/city to move to where I don’t have to drive my car everywhere. *laugh* And I’ve explored non-caffeine herbal teas that give my system a boost, echinicea, mate tea, and Teeccino herbal coffee…which really does make me feel more alert and focused.

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