We have been doing the dating challenge this month and when I asked you for your top reasons why you don’t date – time was at the top of the list.

The irony? Some of the first people who answered were my friends on Facebook – one of my biggest time suckers if I’m not careful. (Anyone else? Or am I alone in this?)

I know you are going to expect me to say things like “Give up 30 minutes of TV,” and for some of us, that may be required, but I also know that your 60 minutes of Glee may be the only real downtime that you have. (And by downtime, I mean watching Glee, folding laundry, paying bills on your laptop and packing kids school lunches in the next room…)

So here are a few things that have been working for me lately. (As technology changes, so does my list of how to save time.)

  1. Getting Groceries Delivered  When I’m on deadline for writing a book, and showering suddenly becomes optional, I go to my saved list on Safeway.com and have my groceries delivered to me. Sometimes I get coupons in my e-mail for free delivery, and sometimes it costs me around $7. But, if $7 can be traded for a shower, I’m on board. Another variation on this is to swap off with a neighbor for that mid-week Oh no we are out of milk and peanut butter. Be sure to give detailed lists so it doesn’t create more problems than it’s worth.
  2. Making the Kids Do It  OK, if your child is 18 months, skip this tip. Wait – no! Read it! Be planning in advance when your kids can take over certain chores – dishes, garbage, vacuuming, sweeping and mopping. Training ’em early, train ’em young, train ’em often…
  3. Limit Computer Time  I am now trying to give myself a two hour window each night where I don’t get on the computer for work, play or Facebook.  When 90% of your job is on your HP laptop, that can be a challenge, but I have found that if I know I am going to have a definite end to my work day, I tend to get more things finished than if I fool myself into believing I have all night.
  4. Make an Appointment with Your TV  Remember when we were growing up and we knew we had to be home on Thursday nights because that was the night that The Cosby Show was on (OK, maybe it was just me who had a thing for Heathcliff…)? Now I never know what night anything is on because our TIVO is recording something, every moment of the day. How great – I can watch anytime I want. The problem? I can watch anytime I want. I am setting aside some time to watch the shows I really love (Modern Family, Kell on Earth, 30 Rock etc.) and shutting off the TV so I don’t watch hours of Dateline on ID. (OK, if I am sick in bed with a cold I will have an ID marathon…)
  5. Nighttime Routines Setting the coffee the night before, putting out my walk-the-dog tennies, packing up my bag to put by the front door the night before, all of these little items not only get me out the door faster in the morning, but they let me sleep better the night before as I don’t wake up every three minutes thinking to myself “Wait, did I remember to…?”

Q4U – What is the best time-saving tip you have been using lately? Please share your wisdom in the comments below. I would love to put together a resource of all the best ideas – won’t you contribute your brilliance?

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