September flew by in a bit of a blur. Admittedly I went on holiday for a week and spent a quarter of the month on a sun lounger. However I spent the rest of the time working 15 hour days on numerous projects. No rest for the wicked.

I used to get my knickers in a real twist when daily life became a bit more high pressured. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I breezed my way through last month but five things helped me through.

Getting Up An Hour Earlier

The idea was to set my alarm for 5.45 rather than 6.45 to give myself an extra hour. I’m a morning person so I’m far more productive first thing.
It’s very peaceful at this time in my house and I found I was able to bash out email responses far quicker than if I was going at it later in the day. What I didn’t anticipate was my body clock would adjust so quickly and suddenly decide 4.30am was a smashing time to wake up. Even 4.30 is a bit too early for me to creep downstairs so it was a bit frustrating trying to get back to some shut eye.

Don’t Bounce Around

The lovely Becky and I are doing this to combat our rather varied working and home lives. One day in particular I was feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of organising James’ birthday, writing a post, pulling together a presentation and briefing for an event I was working on. I’m a big fan of the to-do list but this time found myself grouping tasks together and scheduling a designated spot to complete things in. If an email came in at 10.30 relating to something I’d allocated a 2pm slot to then it just had to wait! Straight away I felt less pressured and it really helped with procrastination too. Becky sets an alarm to remind her to move on to the next task.

Online Shopping

We’re actually relatively new to the whole online food shopping thing and was put off by the delivery charges for delivering at ’normal’ times. Who wants their cornflakes delivered at 11pm at night?! Then Sainsbury’s did a promotion to schedule delivery at any time so we snapped up the offer. One thing making the whole experience even easier is the spreadsheet we’ve put together with twenty of our favourite meals with all the ingredients required. We just go through the options at the end of the week to decide on next week’s meals and then have everything delivered the next day. I’ve found it saves time not having to go out to do the shopping and in the evening we don’t have to think about what to cook.

What To Wear

I’ll hold my hands up on this one. I’m still perfecting it because it works so well for me when I remember to do it (and if I’ve found the time to keep on top of my ever increasing laundry). Laying out clothes the night before (or indeed for the week) is a great way to save time rummaging in your wardrobe in the morning. I figure this is even easier to do in winter when you know it’s going to be cold. In summer it can be tricky planning a week ahead with our temperamental weather.

Reminder Triggers

I’ve been making bigger portions of evening meals so can feast on the leftovers for lunch the next day. With back-to-back meetings it’s nice to know I’ve got a healthy meal waiting in the work fridge. However I seem to have a nasty habit of driving half way to the office and realising I’ve left my tupperware at home. I’ve started putting my car keys on a hook next to the fridge so as I unhook them it triggers a reminder to open the door. No more trips to the vending machine.

This post is an update on my time management feature earlier in the year. It seems I need more and more tips to keep on top of everything. Any helpful tricks you use?