Oprah sent me an email. Well, not Oprah herself – her network sent me an email. Oprah still has yet to realize how fabulous a friend I could be to her. I don’t know how many really tight gal pals she has in North Dakota, but I believe I would be a top choice for a week-long road trip adventure with her. No offense Gayle King but your road trip with Oprah would pale in comparison with the mischief Oprah and I could get into if let lose to traverse America for a week.
But I digress…so I got an email from Oprah’s network and it said, “Always Squeezed for Time? How to Get 7 More Hours into Your Day.“ Well, with a “to-do” list for today that has 18 hours of activities on it and which does not include in the 18 hours any time allotment for showering, dressing, eating, sleeping or using bathroom facilities this email certainly got my attention. I could sure use 7 extra hours in each day, so I checked out the link.
The article written by Kathryn Matthews was originally written in 2007 (mental note, one way to get more hours in the day is to recycle old articles – really Oprah – you, of all people, should be able to afford the time and expense of posting new articles). Anyway, here are the key strategies that the author focused on to get the beleaguered women in society their 7 additional hours :
Handle things once (saves 15 to 20 minutes). When it comes to e-mail, voice mail, or paperwork, take instant action—i.e., read, answer, delete, file—so you don’t have to come back to it. The accumulated time saved can add up to ten hours a month, says Jana Kemp, a Boise, Idaho, “time architect” and the author of No! How One Simple Word Can Transform Your Life.
Don’t listen to the news first thing in the morning (30 minutes). Depressing reports can distract you from efficiently accomplishing your a.m. routine—getting ready for work, feeding the kids, mentally preparing for a good day, says Los Angeles lifestyle coach Ruth Klein. If you really want to watch Good Morning America, TiVo it.
Make good use of waiting time (30 minutes). Don’t go to the doctor without taking something to do—work papers to read, stamped notecards to catch up on correspondence—advises Laura Stack, author of Find More Time. Bring a book or magazine to the bank; pay bills while on hold with a credit card company.
Think “half-time” (30 minutes). Arrange a carpool for your child’s ballet class or soccer practice, Stack suggests (that way, you’ll cut driving time by at least half). Wear a wireless headset so you can water plants or pick up toys as you talk on the phone. And, whether you’re cooking chili or baking cookies, make a double batch, freezing what you don’t use.
Be decisive and move on (up to 60 minutes). Every minute spent waffling can slow down your ability to take action, says Kemp. For example, rather than spending six hours researching the best round-trip airfare deal—only to save $25 in the end—give yourself 45 minutes to comparison price shop, then make a decision.
Lighten up on your cleaning standards (30 to 45 minutes). Aiming for “dirt removal” versus “perfectly spotless” can free up a lot of time. “In my house, I wipe down the stall after showering instead of doing a big thorough scrub every week,” says Stack. “Consider washable throw rugs rather than carpets that need constant steam-cleaning, and change the heating and cooling system filters quarterly to cut down on dust.”
Write it down (60 minutes). Constantly cycling through a to-do list in your mind hinders productivity and creativity, says Klein. Carry a pad or BlackBerry and jot down what’s got to get done, clearing your mind so you can come up with work solutions and new ideas more quickly.
Turn off technology during your high-energy time (90 minutes). Pinpoint the time of day when you are at your freshest, and remove all distractions, says Klein: For example, route all calls to voice mail and avoid your e-mail in-box. You’ll be much more productive.
Monitor time-sapping addictions (60 minutes). “Reducing your television-watching time by five hours a week adds up to 11 extra days a year,” says Stack, who also suggests setting a timer (no more than 60 minutes) for Internet surfing.
Seriously? I already do all of those things and more – I have a whole list of multitasking tips that go along with eating, brushing your teeth and sex as well (as if multitasking while waiting at the doctor’s office is cutting edge – really – weak and lacking creativity). I guess all I did by reading Oprah’s article is waste 10 minutes that I didn’t really have to give. If you keep this up Oprah I won’t have time to go on a road trip with you and if you miss out on that you’ll never know my sex multitasking tips. Now there is a timely article that begs to be written…I’ll see if I can squeeze it into my schedule.
Day four hundred and seventy-six of the new forty – obla di obla da