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The Best Time-Saving Ideas

What Change to Your Routine Has Saved You the Most Time?

This month, readers share their best tips for streamlining hectic schedules. 

Fridge with Food In ItChristopher Silas Neal

By having my daughters choose what they’re going to wear the next day before they go to bed, I’ve restored about 15 minutes of peace, quiet, and sleep to our mornings. Plus, this tweak has helped us start the day in much better spirits. My seven-year-old used to dissolve into tears because she couldn’t find anything that she wanted to wear. Now she’s calm and cool, which means that I am, too.

Anna Taylor

Jacksonville, Florida

I stopped using up precious minutes drying my hair after a shower. Instead, I put my wet hair into an easy updo, like a twist or a braid. My hair stays out of my face, and I get to work sooner.

Elizabeth Terry

Fort Collins, Colorado

I’m not a morning person, but I must admit that working out right when I wake up has been great. By getting this onerous task over with, I don’t interrupt my flow of productivity later on. Plus, I have free time in the evenings, when there are so many more fun things to do than exercise.

Diana M. Smith

Heath, Ohio

Making my kids take off their shoes as soon as they enter the house. We no longer spend 10 minutes searching for a missing sneaker every time we want to go out.

Jen Troutman

Brookhaven, Pennsylvania

Laundry dominated my weekends until I decided to wash one load every weeknight. I start the washer before dinner, switch the clothes to the dryer before I do the dishes, and fold everything while I watch TV. The routine leaves Saturday and Sunday totally open.

Rhonda Hackworth

North Brunswick, New Jersey

Leaving my computer off until I’ve sent the kids to school has made my mornings so much more efficient. I used to check my e-mail as soon as I woke up, and before I knew it, I would waste a half hour online and need to rush the kids (and myself) out the door. With the computer off, I have time to eat breakfast and get other things done.

Julia Garstecki

Bemus Point, New York

Four years ago, my granddaughter asked me to quit smoking, and I’m proud to say that I obliged. Quitting gave me back so much time—not only minutes in the day but also, hopefully, years of life. It’s the best thing I ever did.

Patricia Van Dam

Claremont, California

Read More About:Time Management

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