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10 Ways to Fit More Than 24 Hours Into Your Day

10 Ways to Fit More Than 24 Hours Into Your Day

Life is getting busier and busier leaving many people feeling like they don’t have enough time in the day to get mundane tasks completed or to spend quality time with their family and friends. According to Asian Efficiency, one of the best ways to fit more into your day is not to do the task at all, but to outsource it. The idea is to take things you would do in your everyday life and have someone else do it at a low cost. Everyday tasks such as shopping, gardening and laundry could all be outsourced to a company that completes these tasks for you, freeing up your time for more complex tasks or for more leisure time. The important thing to remember about personal outsourcing is that you absolutely must know how much your time is worth (usually per hour). This is the only way to find out if something is worth outsourcing or not.

Below are 10 examples of things you can outsource in order to fit more than 24 hours into your day.

1. Grocery shopping

A menial task that most of us hate doing, especially when our time could better be spent elsewhere. With most grocery stores now offering delivery and online shopping this not only saves you time but also money as you focus on things you need. Don’t have time to do online grocery shopping? You can still hire personal shoppers who will do the entire thing for you.

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2. Gardening

With so many people opening franchise mowing and gardening businesses there is no better time to take advantage. Call up a few different companies for quotes and go with the option that is most affordable to you. Outsourcing your gardening saves you time and maybe some money, as you won’t have to purchase and maintain gardening equipment.

3. Laundry

According to Asian Efficiency, in most major American cities, people usually spend at least 1.5-2 hours each week doing their laundry. We all hate it but it must be done. And ironing? Don’t even bother. Put everything into a basket and ship it off to your local professional iron lady (pun intended).

4. Everyday errands

Don’t have time to make appointments, follow up on personal tasks or write that important email? Many people now hire virtual assistants to help them with simple things like general administration, emails, filing and making appointments etc. Search Craigslist and you will be sure to find someone with good credentials.

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5. Cleaning

After working a 40-hour week do you really want to spend your weekend cleaning? Didn’t think so! In that case it’s time to find a professional cleaner to do all of the dirty work for you. You may be able to find some cleaners with reasonable rates via Craigslist. Alternatively, do a Google search for cleaners in your local area.

6. Pet walking

We all know exercise is good for us but sometimes you just don’t have time to go for an hour-long walk with the dog every night. There are many professional dog walkers available who are just waiting for you to call them to walk your beloved pooch.

7. Cooking

There are now so many options available for pre-made, good, healthy food. This saves you time, money and also benefits your health in the long run as it is better to come home to a cooked meal rather than buying take away food on the way home. Check out something like Premade Paleo or GenoVive for meal plans.

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8. Handyman tasks

A lot of people have lists full of tasks they need to complete around the house yet never find the time to. Why not hire a professional handyman to come fix that broken light, replace worn out light-bulbs or fix that broken window in the shed. It will be a relief to finally cross off everything that you needed to do without having to lift a finger!

9. Car washing

If your kids are tired of washing the car for a lousy $2 or if you don’t even have kids to wash the car it might be time to call someone to clean it for you. Most car washing rates are low especially if they are local business owners who do it part-time. Again, do some searching and come up with an affordable option. If not maybe ask your neighbor if their kids will do it for some pocket money.

10. Moving

There is nothing worse than having to pack up everything and then unpack everything into a new house. Especially when you are time-poor as it is. Hire someone to come pack your boxes and unpack them once they are moved to the new house. You could even ask some friends if they have any teenagers who would be willing to do this for some quick cash.

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Making Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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