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Maximize Your Time - 10 Time Saving Tips

If your mind is spinning like a hamster wheel when it hits the pillow, you may benefit from a little behavior modification to help you bring your A game . When hectic schedules get the best of you, here's how to make every minute count.

List it

It's not rocket science, but writing things down can truly transform your life. Consider keeping two separate lists: a short list of prioritized items for your day and an ongoing project list to keep the big picture in check. Tip: Do the worst task first. This sets a small victory for the rest of your day.

Clean as you go

These days, there's a host of convenient cleaning tools designed to easily integrate into your busy schedule, such as daily shower sprays (a quick spritz and you're done) and toilet bowl tablets (toss and go). Keep paper towels and cleaning products within easy reach in the kitchen and bath for spot cleaning in a snap.

Boost the burn

Circuit training—alternating high-intensity cardio exercises with resistance training—can make your workouts shorter and more efficient by targeting fat loss, muscle building and heart fitness all at the same time. Exercise is also a great way to refocus and relieve tension.

Blink once. Move on

There's an old saying that rings true: Do it. Delegate it. Or dump it. Only touch something once before deciding how to deal with it.

Find your groove

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Take the time to notice when you are most productive and adjust your schedule to take advantage of that time of the day for your best flow and concentration.

Sack the static

Technology can be wonderfully time-efficient, but it can also be a siren song of distraction when you need to get things done. Set aside a finite amount of time to unplug. Switch off the TV and phone. Put email on hold. You'll be amazed by what you can accomplish.

Go Pareto

Live by the Pareto Principle, the 80-20 rule of thumb that states that 80% of a task's value comes from 20% of the effort. Expend your energy on the critical 20% and don't overdo it on the rest.

Eat light. Burn bright

Overeating can burden digestion, thereby sapping strength from body and mind. Maximize your ability to concentrate by avoiding large, greasy meals. Keep healthy snacks on hand at work (good bets are a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit) for a quick boost of energy.

Schedule the details

Finishing up thank you notes or fitting in 30 minutes of cardio Thursday are more likely to happen when they're on the calendar. Otherwise, it's too easy to get sidetracked. Get it on the books.

Say NO with a smile

Whether you agree to things out of guilt or the unrealistic belief that you can “do it all,” saying “no” can help you create a “yes list” for your productivity and well being. Avoid the need to over-explain. “I'm sorry. I can't do this now” or “I'd rather not” work well. “I can't do this but I can do X” is a nice compromise when you feel your resolve fading.


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