Take Back the Day
The Rolling Stones lied. Time is not always on your side. Luckily, we have a handful of tips for adding some precious minutes back into your schedule, from start to finish.
START YOUR DAY
First Things First
Rise to the Music
You’ve heard it all before: Don’t hit the snooze button; place your alarm clock across the room; change your time zone entirely. But let’s face it, when you’re exhausted nothing is getting you out of that bed… except maybe some good music. Create a morning playlist (keep it pleasant and upbeat) and use it as your timer for getting through the morning. Shower for two songs, get dressed during one song, and so on and so forth.
SMELL THE COFFEE BEANS
Save time (and money) and stop waiting in line for your Colombian single-origin drip. You can now make a cup of joe right from your bed with the Mr. Coffee smart coffeemaker--controlled from your phone. Nothing will get you moving quite like the aroma of freshly roasted coffee wafting into your bedroom.
Before You Shower
GET AHEAD OF LAUNDRY DAY
SPONSORED No one wants to waste a whole weekend doing laundry, which is why we’re big advocates of fitting it in during the week. Thankfully, the new high-efficiency Kenmore top-load washer is here to help. The bigger size means you can fit more items (as many as 26 bath towels), and the SteamTreat™ option saves you time by virtually eliminating the need to pretreat stains. Toss in a load before you jump into the shower, then throw it all into a Kenmore dryer with smart dry technology before you leave the house. The Wrinkle Guard feature will make sure your clothes stay fresh for up to 150 minutes after the cycle ends.
Get Dressed Fast
STREAMLINE YOUR WARDROBE
Make a 30-minute date with your closet on Sunday afternoons and select your outfits for the upcoming week. Try your hand at the capsule wardrobe--only 37 pieces of clothes for a full season (three months). Talk about streamlining.
BEAT THE TRAFFIC
If you drive to work every day, Waze is about to become your new copilot. Waze relies on real-time information from millions of drivers to share updates about traffic, construction and police cars coming up on your route. It’s like getting a personal heads-up from all of your fellow commuters.
CHECK IT TWICE
In Timothy Ferriss’s new book, The 4-Hour Workweek, he recommends checking your email only twice a day and having everybody, including your boss, accept it. The average person spends about 13 hours every week sorting through email. By checking it only twice each day you may be able to reduce the time you spend in your in-box from 13 hours a week to a mere five. Whoa.
Take a Break
It’s been proven that taking breaks makes you more productive during the day, so working straight through your lunch hour may actually have an adverse effect on your to-do list. Instead, grab your snack and find a park bench, stat.
Meanwhile at Home...
Dog-Sit from Afar
Instead of running home in the afternoon to make sure Fido hasn’t munched his way through the sofa, get yourself a PetCube. It’s a great way to spy on your furry friend right from your phone.
KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEATY
Hour-long workouts are so five years ago. Nowadays, it’s all about tabata--high intensity interval training featuring short 20-second bursts of activity, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The idea is that you push yourself as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds (whether it’s with squats, push-ups, sit-ups or rows), rest for 10 seconds and then repeat that sequence eight times. The whole workout lasts only four to five minutes, but you’ll burn significantly more calories than you would strolling on the treadmill for an hour.
BUY IN BULK… AND GET IT DELIVERED
Trips to Costco are wonderful, but schlepping two towns over to buy massive amounts of Charmin doesn’t exactly fit into your schedule. Here to ease your pain is Boxed, a new app for buying bulk items and getting them delivered right to your door. What’s more, Boxed doesn’t charge membership fees. Massive 44-ounce barrels of pretzels for all!
PERFECT THE ONE-SKILLET DINNER
Oh, that dreaded dinnertime prep. Save time with a one-pot meal. From pizza to lasagna to a quick-and-easy frittata, here are 24 recipes that just might suit your fancy and your timetable.
TAKE OFF THE DAY
By the time you actually wind down and are ready to hit the pillow, the last thing you want to do is take off your makeup. Between serums and night creams--oof--it’s not a short process. Here’s a trick: Try Pond’s Cold Cream. Just slather it onto your face, wipe it off with a tissue and watch as your makeup dissolves.
FIND YOUR IDEAL BEDTIME
One of the greatest benefits of a fitness tracker is its ability to follow your sleep patterns. So you’ll avoid waking up in the midst of a REM cycle (a recipe for grogginess) and arise instead at a more optimal time (i.e., between REM cycles). Working in a similar fashion is sleepyti.me, a website that helps you determine your ideal bedtime based on when you need to wake up. Turns out, 11:30 p.m. is actually a better time to fall asleep than 10:30 p.m. if you’re looking to be bright-eyed at 7 a.m.