Everyone is time stressed. Waking up earlier just borrows time from the evening. I’m on a mission to focus more but even focusing requires time on the calendar. Afterall, I need a good 30 minutes to get into “Flow state” for anything whether it’s playing with my daughter, working on my novel, or falling in love…(um, with the foam on my cappuccino that is). 

I’ve found a few hacks to give me more time.

1. Zoom Attire

If I have time for a morning workout I usually cannot get ready fast enough to make an 8:30am meeting. No shower? No problem. I put on a suit jacket over my sports bra and sit down to Zoom 10 minutes after walking in the door. No one is the wiser. I look surprising put together (post workout face provides dewy skin too). 

2. Zoom Filters

I often ALSO don’t have time to put on makeup. Zoom to the rescue! Perplexed by non makeup face, an ex Sephora colleague told me about the “Touch up my appearance” setting. The filter acts like it’s wiping vaseline all over my imperfections.I can then add virtual eyebrows and lipstick. I’ve never looked this put together in the office. 

3. Yes, the Same Darn Dinner

Sometimes thinking of what to make for dinner takes me more time than actually making it. I will stare at the fridge, trying to put all food items into a trance so they’ll magically dance over to the stove and create a wonderful meal like in Disney’s Fantasia. Total time stress. I love cooking but I don’t have time for extravagant meals anymore. To save time I yes, meal plan…but also with the same things. I have 5 -8 rotating dinner recipes that are quick and easy and I make 3-4 of them weekly. I know my daughter likes them and she’s familiar enough with them to help me prep. Not thinking of what to make saves so much time. We do something fun and different on weekends of course. Then cooking is a fun activity, not a chore.

4. Harder Workouts, Less Frequently

Before I had Vivi I worked out 60-90 minutes EACH DAY. (Yes, I was addicted to exercise, but that is a topic for another post). Since I had her AND committed to writing each morning, I don’t have as much time. In fact I only have 2 days a week where I can squeeze in a workout.  To ensure I get a good workout I either go to kickass bootcamp or do a REALLY hard workout on my own. The key is interval training and discipline. Fastener runs, heavier weights. When I up my weights on deadlifts and chest presses, I am so sore and exhausted that I couldn’t work out the next day if I wanted to. I do the max I feel I can lift. It’s not fun. But it’s effective. And a good hard workout set only requires 20-30 minutes (not 60). Try it! (there are also apps like Tabata that can time your intervals)

5. No Work Emails Before 8am

If I check my work first thing in the morning I dive into emails and projects , get time stressed and get nothing else accomplished. (like my writing, Vivi’s school lunch, or a workout). Work email is the biggest time suck. To protect my mornings I refuse to check email until at least 8 am, sometimes 9.  I do check it at night, but it’s usually while watching Netflix or unwinding. I’m rather useless in the evening anyway. I’m on a mission to complete my novel manuscript (version 3.0) by the end of Sept.  Of course, I still struggle with finding time while balancing a career, a child, and life. But hack by hack I’m doing it. One minute at a time, one word at a time.

 

What saves you time? What are your hacks?  How do you look put together quickly?

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