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I'm Aly Kirkpatrick.

I'm a wife, business owner, and photographer fueled by Dr. Pepper and anything sweet! I am married to my high school sweetheart, and love living in the Arizona desert!

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4 Time-Saving Tips

January 3, 2018

business, personal

Life can be a real struggle bus. Some days/weeks are better than others, but do you ever feel like your life is running you, instead of you running your life? I know some of you out there can relate! You wish there were more hours in the day, and more TIME to do things you love, but instead you feel reactive towards everything life throws at you. I’ve been there.

Did you know there are 168 hours in every week? Yes, this is simple math 😉
But let me break this down for you…
Let’s say you have a 40 hour/week day job, and let’s say you get 8 hours of sleep every night.
Outside of these allocated hours, there are still 72 waking hours in your week. Crazy, right?

#whatwillyoudowith72

How is that we all feel like we don’t have enough time? If you know me, you know that I love efficiency and I kind of go crazy when things take an unnecessary amount of work and/or time. I wanted to share with you 4 practical time-saving tips that have helped me not only in my business, but also in my personal life as well!

the 2-minute rule productivity

Do you ever feel like things in your life can get out of hand so quickly and then you are at a point where you have a literal 50 million little things to do and you wondered how it got that bad? ME TOO! I try to live by the principle, if I know I can do it in 2 minutes or less, I’ll do it right then. This is a sure way to keep things from piling up, plus you feel like you got a lot accomplished! Win!

Pro Tip #1: When cooking dinner, CLEAN as you GO. Don’t leave it all for the end!

there's an app for that productivity

Recently, I heard about this app called Moment. It’s an app that tracks your phone usage, breaks out what apps you are using the most and for how long, how many times you pick your phone up, and much more!

It wasn’t until I had this visual that I began to see how much time I was wasting on my phone, and specifically social media. I wanted to cry, and it made me never want to complain about not having enough time ever again. In the few weeks of tracking, I was averaging 3-5 HOURS per DAY on my phone. O.M.G.! 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, it’s easy to fall into the scrolling trap.

Now that I can see this information on a daily basis, I challenge myself to “beat” the time from the day before. It has really been eye opening! If I find myself mindlessly scrolling on social media, I will go put my phone in another room. If it’s out of sight, it’s less likely to be a temptation. It’s always hard disciplining yourself, but it’s so worth it!

Another app that I love to help me stay organized is Trello. I use this to track my business workflows, my responsibilities at church, and even my personal to-do list. I can set due dates, repeating tasks, and manage everything visually on my boards. And the best part, it’s free!

say goodbye to grocery shopping productivity

Yes, I said it friends. I said goodbye to:

  • the long checkout lines
  • the aisle shopping that added $157 to my bill
  • the awkward moment of waiting for someone to move out of the way so I could get my jar of spaghetti sauce
  • and the “wait, where is the milk again?! Oh, right…the very back of the store…where I just came from…”

Yep, I’m done with all that nonsense!

So what was my alternative? Well, I convinced my husband that we should eat out for every single meal, and he agreed! Ok, not really. That’s nonsense too.

Introducing… grocery pickup! Yes, that’s right – I order my groceries online and I pick them up every single week. It’s literally the best. What used to be an hour and half (at least) trip to the grocery store now takes me 5-10 minutes max!! It’s amazing!

I use Walmart Grocery Pickup, but if you’re a Walma-phobe, don’t fret! Many local & chain groceries are starting to offer this option, so just research if your grocery store of choice offers this!

I think I could talk about this forever but here are my favorite parts:

  • I order everything from an app on my phone. Food, hairspray, toothpaste, charcoal for the grill, you name it! Throughout the week I just add items to my cart when I notice we are out or low on something, or when I’m meal planning for the upcoming week. It’s super easy & saves me a TON of time!
  • I see my running total, so it’s easy to stick to a budget.
  • It remembers my previously bought items, which makes it even faster in the future.
  • If they are out of an item, they substitute it with a bigger & better equivalent for the price of the one I originally ordered (SCORE!)
  • I only buy what I need, and I can be more intentional about it.

Pro Tip #2: When meal planning for a particular week, choose recipes that use similar ingredients so you’re not buying 40 different items that you’re only going to use half of. For example, if I am going to make an alfredo sauce with cream cheese (linking my favorite homemade alfredo recipe here!), I might buy bagels for breakfasts so that I can use the remaining cream cheese. Now I’ve got breakfasts covered and I’m not letting that cream cheese get moldy in my fridge!

My brain likes to trick me into thinking that I can remember it all. Does yours? I’ll be like, “Oh I’ll remember that” and then four minutes later I’m like, “Wait, what was I supposed to remember?!” Sometimes my brain goes a million miles a minute and it’s hard for me to keep up.

Invest 15-20 minutes at the beginning of every day and dump your brain (ok not literally) onto a notepad or a note on your phone. I love having hand-written to-do lists, but I found that it’s just not practical for me so I use my phone instead.

Anything I’m thinking about, I’ll jot it down. This goes for business, personal, or just general life thoughts. (In case you missed it, re-read #2 to know my favorite app to use for this!) Anything that is taking up mental energy, I make a note of it. If there are tasks that are time sensitive, I set reminders at the exact time I need to do it (for iPhone users – the built-in Reminder app is great for this!)

I’ve found that investing the few extra minutes at the front end really helps you during the day to get the important things done! It also helps you be more intentional with how you spend your time during the day because you already have a general overview of everything you’ve got going on.

I also do this before I go to bed. My brain is also the most active at night, which makes sleeping a challenge sometimes! I’ve found that if I write everything down that’s on my mind at night, I fall asleep faster and stay asleep.

 

Well, friends…I hope this helps you like it has helped me! I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments, so drop them below! Also, if you have any additional tips regarding the area of saving time, send ’em our way!xoxo aly kirkpatrick

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