If you're like most time-strapped women, you often underestimate how much time it really takes to get things done for yourself or your family. Often, we set ourselves up for failure when we waste precious minutes chasing down things like forgotten passwords or tracking down the correct URL instead of immediately diving into the tasks at hand. With a little effort, you can make things go a faster by doing some organizational legwork up front. None of these tips will add a 25th hour to your day (And boy, doesn't everyone wish for that some days?). But they may help you shave a few minutes here and there so that you don't feel so rushed all the time.
Stop Searching For It Time Saved: 5 Minutes
Assess the Web sites you visit most and organize them in one place. Whether you add them to your new Yahoo home page or bookmark them on your computer's toolbar, save yourself the time you spend navigating to your online banking page or social networking site by keeping those destinations in front of you. If you have an iPhone or other smart phone, take a look at whether there are apps you can download that you can access on the go. (Your personalized Yahoo home page is accessible from your mobile device at m.yahoo.com).
Because I live in New York City, I've started doing most of my grocery shopping online. And while it is faster than trekking to the store with my twin 3-year-olds in tow, I don't always have time to sit in front of my laptop to shop. Instead, I've started using my mobile phone. I have my online grocery site bookmarked and can do a whole week's worth of shopping while I wait for the kids at soccer practice or sitting on the bus. I also had the chance to show Martha Stewart how easy it is to access my finances and budget from my phone using the Mint.com app for the Yahoo home page. Click on the video player to watch.
Get Rid of Stuff You Don't Read Time Saved: 2 Minutes
Whittle down the time you spend looking for old emails by eliminating the clutter in your inbox. Instead of deleting junk, unsubscribe to messages you never read. Set up folders to archive important email and to prioritize what you need to open first. Set up a regular time each week or a couple times a month to dump the stuff that never gets opened and probably never will. And stop subscribing to newsletters. You'll never have time to read all of them anyway. Pick one or two you really care about and get rid of the rest.
Organize Your Passwords Time Saved: 8 Minutes
One of the biggest time wasters is trying to figure out your user name or password when you can't remember it. Just think how much time you would save if you didn't have to reset your password all those times you forgot it (and then wait for the email with the link back to the site so you can confirm the change?) Develop a system to keep track of passwords that is more advanced than those sticky notes on your keyboard. Check out Keepass.info to create a master password to store all of your other passwords in once secure place or the free downloadable software program called Flying Bit Password Keeper. Another option, check out the password storage options on your mobile phone. Many newer smart phones offer this feature.
Which time savers work for you?