5 Ways I’ve Become More Efficient

Pencil and Paper

I’m always interested in finding ways to get things done quicker, and not waste time. When you get things done that need to be done, this essentially leaves you with more room in your schedule to do what you want. Ah, the simple pleasure of finishing a good book on the couch, or going to a movie with your sister – things that you can fully enjoy because you’ve efficiently completed tasks that needed to be done. No need for guilt. You did what you had to do. You’re efficient. You are happily enjoying your free time (however you want!).

Here are five ways I’ve made my life more efficient:

1. I always, always, always make my lunch and pack it up the night before work. I also quickly pick out what I’m wearing and iron it so it’s ready. This usually takes me about twenty minutes before I go to bed, but it saves me from stressing out the next morning. Helps me sleep easier, too!

2. We like to stock up at the grocery store on Sundays so that we’re prepared for the week. I’ve tried meal planning for the week on Sundays as well – I’ll sit down and write the dinner plans for Monday through Friday, and then base our grocery list off of that. I don’t always do this one but would love to do it more, because when I have, it has made a world of difference. Gets you feeling quite organized!

3. I like to make a big salad for the week on Sundays or Mondays and then just take lunch portions from that to bring with me to work. (Just make sure you have a nice, big container that will keep your salad fresh.) Recently I made a big quinoa Greek salad for the week, and it was delicious. It might take a lot of time on Sunday when you put it together, but it really cuts down on time for the rest of the week.

4. Get up an hour earlier. When I’m feeling like I haven’t had time to catch up on personal emails, or I have something I really want to write a blog post about, etc. I try to get up an hour earlier than I normally would. This way you carve out extra time in your schedule to get this done, but don’t jeopardize what you have to do later in the day. Just make sure you get to bed a little earlier the night before you’re waking up earlier, because you don’t want to compromise your night’s sleep!

5. Don’t be afraid to make lists, leave yourself reminders, or take advantage of a calendar (phone, planner, big hanging calendar, etc.) How else are you going to remember that you have a dentist appointment Wednesday, Mary’s party Friday, Lucy’s soccer game Sunday, and Declan’s parent-teacher meeting Monday night?! Unless you’re a magician, you’re not going to get every single detail right. You know what? You probably won’t even get every.single.detail right when you write it all down, but it will help. I promise.

—Colleen Mescall