Time saved when you have routines

An article in Newsweek stated, “The average American spends 55 minutes a day looking for things they own but cannot find.”

In addition to this time wasted, there is also frustration and stress that goes with searching for items, which is heightened when you are in a hurry or someone is waiting on you.

Having routines is a great way to lessen these wasted minutes.

Start by paying attention to how you waste your time and see if you can put routines in place to prevent it from happening again.

Some routines I find helpful are:

1. If you frequent a particular store often, park your car in the same row each time you go.

My youngest daughter often accompanies me to the grocery store. As we were leaving the store one day, she stopped and said, “Where did we park?”

My first thought was, “Not remembering where you park is not just an old age thing” and secondly, “My daughter has never caught on that I park in the same row every time I visit this grocery store.”

That day my daughter learned a routine that Mom does consistently to save time. What we didn’t know was this would come in handy the next week.

My husband was ready to take our daughter to soccer practice but was delayed because they couldn’t find her cleats. She suddenly remembered they were still in the trunk of my car from the last practice, but I was at the grocery store.

My husband grabbed my extra set of car keys, drove to the store and was directed to “Mom’s” grocery store row by my daughter. They were then able to retrieve her cleats from my trunk.

Having routines in place saved my family time that day. My husband found my spare keys quickly, because I routinely hang them on the same hook. My daughter found the car easily in a full parking lot and I didn’t have to leave my grocery shopping to assist them.

I have since put a new routine in place. I now ask my children to double check that they have all of their belongings out of the car before heading into the house.

2. Put items used routinely such as your cell phone, keys, purse and wallet in the same location in your home when you’re done using them for the day.

3. Put items that need to be put in the car in a designated location near your door. This will keep you from searching for them when it’s time to leave.

4. Gather paperwork and create folders when you have several papers pertaining to the same subject, instead of leaving them in stacks mixed with unrelated papers. File these folders in a drawer for easy retrieval.

5. Find a place in your home for every item you own and routinely return items to their proper place.

6. The next time you’re searching for something, stop and ask yourself, “What solution can I put in place so I won’t waste time looking for this again?”

Finding things fast saves time. Every bit of time saved with each instance adds up over the course of a day.

How will you spend your 55 minutes saved today?

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