Get in the fast lane: here are 24 ways to prioritize, automate, outsource, and add more hours to your day to feel more productive than ever.
Do you ever feel like your to-do lists are getting longer while the 24-hour day is inexplicably getting shorter? We know the feeling. While a live-in chef and an army of personal assistants may not be in your immediate future, there are still plenty of ways to reclaim some hours of your day. (Here’s a hint: it’s all about prioritization and strategic outsourcing.) Here are 24 ways to prioritize, automate, outsource, and add more hours to your day:
1. Prioritize smarter. You can’t magically create more time to do everything on your list, but you can create a better, shorter list! Try making a priority matrix to identify busywork that can be cut.
2. Multitask the boring stuff. If you throw in a load of laundry, you can make the bed and vacuum while it’s washing to give yourself a clean place to fold once it’s done. You can wipe down the counter while you wait for the microwave to ding, too.
3. Batch tasks. It takes humans time to adjust from one activity to the next, so batch tasks together to cut down on time. You’ll get through your email in less total time if you check it and clear it once or twice a day, rather than responding to email as it comes in.
4. Save up for a robot vacuum. Seriously. They’re cheaper than ever now, and you won’t miss a second of this thankless chore.
5. Break your stay-up-late and sleep-in-late habit. The time you spend scrolling through your phone in bed when you could be sleeping is stealing time from your next morning. (Try a screen color adjuster that filters out the blue light that keeps you up longer.)
6. Listen to audiobooks in the car. It’s hard to find hours to get lost in a book, but it’s easy to find car time!
7. Bookmark tasks for later. Instead of switching tracks when you get a great idea or remember a chore, make a post-it note or phone reminder to tackle it later, so you don’t end up with two things only half done.
8. Practice mindfulness in the gaps. It’s hard to carve out dedicated time to meditate, but it’s easy to find a few minutes in line or on the elevator where you can practice being in the minute and observing what’s around you.
9. Avoid the urge to fill every minute. It’s almost second nature to pick up your phone during a lull in conversation or while waiting for your computer to restart, but the distraction often ends up lasting much longer than what you’re trying to wait for, and you end up losing time.
10. Invest in a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers cook food much faster than other appliances, so you can prepare a home-cooked dinner even when you can’t devote all evening to it.
11. Try the Exit Gate without the Wait. Sign up for Hertz Fast Lane powered by CLEAR to save time when renting a car. Hertz Fast Lane uses CLEAR’s platform to confirm it’s really you so you can exit the Hertz lot in the blink of an eye.
12. Outsource the home projects. Try a service like Task Rabbit to get help for home projects like setting up furniture or minor home repairs.
13. Don’t go shopping, go buying. Maintain a grocery list on your phone and add items as soon as you notice you’ve run out. When you hit the store, use your list to grab what you need instead of browsing.
14. Try curbside pickup. Many restaurants now offer an order-ahead, pick up later option via phone or app, so you don’t sit around waiting for your food to be prepared.
15. Make ahead lunches. Cook up one big batch of shredded chicken or stir-fry veggies that can be incorporated into multiple meals throughout the week—think tacos, wraps or rice bowls.
16. Buy an automatic shower cleaner. They’re inexpensive and hang on your shower head, spraying a cleaning product that doesn’t need to be scrubbed out or rinsed off.
17. Start a high intensity, low-rep workout routine. It’s very difficult to find hours for the treadmill, but you can still get a really effective workout by doing a high-weight, low rep routine that takes a fraction of the time. Research the HIT strength training method or a high weight, low rep plan to find a good routine.
18. Subscribe to a news aggregator. Rather than scrolling through several feeds, use a service that provides an emailed summary of the day’s news.
19. Set up canned email responses. Some email services like Gmail provide built-in canned response support where you can write out generic greetings or answers to common questions to pop into your emails when needed. Save time by not typing the same things over and over.
20. Think Autopay and paperless billing for everything. There’s no good reason to spend time mailing checks or opening bills – no matter what service or utility, there’s an app for that.
21. Spot clean, don’t deep scrub. Your living room doesn’t need to look like a dentist’s office. Use a dust wipe and pick up the room while you’re on the phone, and you’ll find that you don’t need as many all-day-scrubbing marathons as you once did.
22. Subscribe and ship household consumables. Services like Instacart or Amazon Fresh can ship common consumables like laundry detergent and mouthwash straight to your house, saving you trips to the store.
23. Get off on the right foot. Don’t open up your news app or email as soon as you wake up, but instead have breakfast and plan your day first. Waking up to bad news can set the tone for the whole day and make you less productive.
24. Get more sleep. You lose more time to brain fog than you save by skipping out on hours of sleep. Leave it for the morning, get your beauty rest, and attack it with a fresh mind the next day.
Feel like the day just got a longer? To find out how Hertz can save you time on your next rental, visit hertz.com/CLEAR.