Whether you work from home or outside the home, time is a very valuable thing. Anything you can do to save time in your day helps a great deal. This post will discuss some things that you can do to help save time both at home and at the office.
- Lay out your clothes in advance - Rather than deciding what you're going to wear in the morning, check the weather the night before and choose what you want to wear based on that. Then in the morning, if you find that the weatherman's prediction was wrong, you can make a quick change.
- Make lunch in advance, or decide what or where you're going to eat in advance - Rather than waiting until the morning to make your lunch, or deciding what you're going to eat or where you're going to eat, make those decisions the night before. Make your lunch and put it in the refrigerator so all you have to do is grab it on the way out. Same goes for your spouse or children's lunches.
- Pack up anything else you need in advance - If you work out at a gym, pack up your workout clothes in advance. If you work out at home to an exercise DVD, choose the DVD you want to workout to in advance.
- Automate certain tasks, if you can - When I was in college I wanted to be a teacher - during my student teaching semester, I set my coffee maker on a timer. I would put the coffee and the water in the coffee maker the night before and then set the timer for the time I wanted the coffee maker to go on, which was right about the time I got up and got in the shower. By the time I got out of the shower, the coffee was ready for me to pour into my mug. This is just one example, but there may be other tasks you can automate this way.
There are also ways you can save not only time, but also keystrokes when you're at the office. There is a software program called Phrase Express, which I discussed in one of the posts I wrote for Work at Home Adventures about must-have tools for transcriptionists . This program is useful not only for saving time while transcribing, but also for automating certain tasks on your computer so that all you have to do is press a few keys on your keyboard rather than click the mouse a few times. For example, you can set up Phrase Express to open certain programs or websites by pressing a few buttons - all you have to do is locate the executable file for the program you want to automate, then go to Phrase Express and select "Create a New Phrase," give the phrase a name, click on "Add Macro," go down to "Automation" and select "Execute application." Then select the filepath and click "ok." Then type the key combination you want to use to automatically open that application - for example, you might select "msw" (without quotes) for Microsoft Word if you use it a lot. After you've done all that, as long as PhraseExpress is open, when you type the key combination you set up, the program or website will automatically open. One tip about setting up macros in PhraseExpress - be careful that you don't set up macros that already are set up for other functions in Windows. For example, control + P is the command for bringing up the print menu, so you wouldn't want to set that as a key combination for opening a program.
I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to save time both at home and at the office. I would be interested to hear about any other ways you save time.