Everyone could do with more time, especially in the morning. Is there ever enough time to do all the things you want to? There are only 24 hours in a day but so much to do in those 24 hours. There are a lot of things you want to do: exercise, spend time with family, chat with old friends, and go get a massage. But where do you fit it all in around commuting, work, and getting dinner on the table?
Try instituting some everyday hacks, simple changes you can make in your daily life to save time and get to the things you’d rather do. Here are seven hacks to help you make time for the things on your to-do list, starting with your morning routine.
Everyone should watch the news, but it is depressing and takes at least an hour of your time each day. The local news doesn’t tell you what is going on in the world, and the world news tends to analyze things to death. If you want to stay current without falling into a pit of despair from listening for hours about some tragic event or spending your life glued to the TV, take advantage of the one-minute news videos available online from more than one news outlet. Yes, you can find out what’s going on in the world in one minute, but pay attention or you may have to watch it twice.
And of course, there is an app for that. Once you download a one-minute news app to your phone, you can check the news from wherever you happen to be. If you want to multi-task while waiting for the coffee to brew in the morning, one-minute news is for you. If you find you want to go more in depth, finding more information about a story is a breeze given all the major news agencies that are now on the web.
With a weather app, you don’t need to spend 20 to 30 minutes watching the morning news waiting for the weather to come on. Simply download a the app for your area for real-time weather information at your fingertips. Your local news channel probably has its own weather app.
You could try to fit in a half hour to a hour of gym time each day — plus the time spent driving to the gym, changing, and showering — or you could look into something called super-slow weight training. This type of weight training uses few repetitions with light weights as slowly as you can possibly move until you reach muscular failure. When you do reach muscular failure, your muscles have done all they can and you repeat this in a couple of days.
Proponents say you can work out as little as twice a week for 20 minutes a session, and because the weights are light, chances are likely that you may already own what you need to get started. That’s not bad considering how much a gym membership can cost.
4) Cold shower
Now, there is another way to burn calories and save time. You will never take a shower faster than when the water is cold, which will save you time, but it also turns out you’ll burn more calories doing it.
Called cold water therapy, taking a cold shower or bath has been shown to boost metabolism and increase your immunity. Increased immunity means less time being sick, which is a time savings everyone can appreciate because, when you are sick, nothing on your to-do list gets done. Cold water therapy has also been shown to lift your mood and help you to sleep better.
Have you ever had a sleepless night and spent the next day like a zombie, trying to make it through your day but not getting much accomplished? Melatonin, a natural supplement, can help. It is the same thing our bodies make to help us fall asleep at night, and is a great backup plan to tossing and turning all night. Keeping some of this on hand will mean no more wasted nights that could have been spent sleep.
What do you do when you wake up after a good night’s rest, brew some coffee? By using an instant form of green tea called matcha — you can cut off another few minutes from your morning routine.
Matcha is a special type of green tea ground into a powder, so you can mix it in cold or hot water. It has less caffeine than coffee, but its special chemical makeup gives you a calm alertness that lasts longer than coffee and won’t keep you up at night. It also has an extensive nutrient profile and antioxidant levels that are higher than in blueberries or pomegranates.
7) Slow cooking
While you’re in the kitchen, go ahead and pull out that slow cooker. By setting up a slow cooker in the morning, you can have dinner waiting when you come home. Also, if you use the slow cooker liners sold near the sandwich bags at the grocery store, you can end your day without having to wash the slow cooker.
There are even slow cooker cookbooks that specialize in what they call dump recipes. With these recipes, you don’t have to do a lot of prep work. Some of these cookbooks have shopping lists and schedules included, so all you have to do is pick up the ingredients and dump them into your cooker during the morning.
So, thanks to melatonin, you’re no longer tossing and turning the night away. You wake up refreshed. While you are drinking your matcha, you can catch the one-minute news and weather on your phone. Then set up dinner in the slow cooker. You do 20 minutes of super-slow weight training right in your home and head for a 10-minute cold shower.
You are ready to take on your day in no time with a calm alertness from the matcha, increased immunity from the cold water therapy, increased strength because of the super-slow weight training, and the ability to talk about current events because you know what is going on in the world. As a bonus, you also know to bring an umbrella to work because of the weather app and are looking forward to a tasty dinner.
“That’s not a bad way to start the day.”