31 Comments

  1. I copied J Money’s “No coffee till real work” hack a couple months back. It’s had a big impact on my morning productivity. I’m no longer tempted to drink coffee in the morning and “catch up” on the news. Now if I want coffee, I have to also start some sort of “real” work.

  2. I’ve been working to do ONE THING AT A TIME at work. If I find myself clicking away or trying to read another e-mail while I’m writing an e-mail I stop and try to refocus

    • One Tab for Chrome saves me on the daily. The story of my life is “too many tabs all the time” whether it’s on a computer or me trying to do 97 things at once. Part of it comes with teaching. It’s hard to do any one singular thing when there are 30 kiddos. But when I’m lesson planning or working on my blog, I love One Tab!

  3. Oh I am working so hard on the I’m sorry thing – ESPECIALLY to opportunities that I know aren’t a good fit, or one-on-one time with people who aren’t my people, if that makes sense. I love – and am so stealing – those phrases!

    • It makes me feel like I’m softening the blow. Interestingly, though, is that I’m not sure people actually care. It’s probably me making a bigger deal out of things than I should per usual!

  4. One tweak I’ve made about apologizing is not qualifying the statement in any way. If I say “I’m sorry, but…” I’m detracting from the apology. Maybe this is the opposite problem of over-apologizing, but I’ve learned to avoid it!

  5. Errands can take so much time! I try to combine them with each other and with work too, and a great day is one when I don’t have to leave the house at all, except on foot to take a walk 🙂
    As for “I’m sorry,” I try to be really careful using it with people I care about, but with people I don’t know well (or who I know are trying to take advantage of me or my time), it’s often the quickest, easiest response. I don’t want to give them the time and energy it takes to come up with something better because I don’t want to give them my time and energy–period.

  6. One change that I have made is cutting out the phrases “I’m too busy” and “I don’t have time.” I think it’s important to recognize that ultimately what we do with our time is our own choice. If I don’t have time for something it is because I am choosing to do other things.

    Changing my mindset forced me to figure out that I was “too busy” for some things that should have been high priority while still making time for things that didn’t really matter. It helped me to rearrange my time to better match up with my priorities.

    • Love that, Matt. I wrote a post a while back about “I don’t value that right now.” It’s a much harsher way for me to confront my priorities and not make excuses!

  7. I love this! I think the idea of combining car trips is fantastic. I tryyyy to do this, especially when I run errands during the weekend, but I’m sure I could do better at it. We have two vehicles (one of which is a not-very-fuel-efficient truck), so our monthly gas cost is around $80 – $100. It sucks because Mr. Picky Pincher is commuting in our least fuel-efficient vehicle. Womp womp. Our focus right now is on eliminating our student loans, but later we can hopefully revisit the transportation issue.

    I think it’s also important to minimize saying you’re sorry. I’d also add that it’s important to not feel obligated to give people an explanation for everything. For example, I wasn’t able to go to a coworker’s birthday lunch due to a prior commitment. Instead of apologizing to the event organizer, I simply said I couldn’t go and left it at that. I don’t owe explanations or apologies to people if I haven’t done anything wrong.

      • I have something in the same arena as this, when I know I am right I will use “Probably Not” instead of a flat out “No” Or “I think so” even though I know what to do.

        Like I am hedging against myself, but in turn appear like I don’t have a strong thought either way. I have been making increased efforts to stop – don’t want to be a fence sitter

        • Ahhh, yes! That’s tricky. I agree about avoiding the fence sitting. But I try to be diplomatic and polite. Sometimes that backfires, though!

  8. kim domingue

    When I was working, I tried my best to tack on an errand at the end of the work day so that my two days off weren’t filled with them. Now that I don’t work outside of the home, I commit one day of the week to errand running. I map out my route so that I’m basically traveling in a loop. I put two fairly large ice chests in the trunk of my car. I fill empty 2 liter soda bottles with water and freeze them and pop 2 of those in each ice chest before I leave. That way I can stop at grocery stores on my loop and not have to backtrack or zigzag back and forth. It works well for me. All errands are run and groceries are bought and I don’t have to go back to town for another week, lol! I usually fill up the car once a month unless we’ve gone somewhere on the weekend.

    My car is twelve years old and has about 78,000 miles on it. We take, on average, three trips a year in it. The hub’s truck is sixteen years old and has about 71,000 miles on it. It’s used for work and trips to the lumberyard basically. It has made a few trips out of state over the years to haul a large item to or from somewhere but not many.

    The other small thing that has saved me a lot of money is line drying our clothes and towels. I’m lucky enough to have a laundry room large enough that I can hang a load of clothes in it to dry. It’s just the hub’s and I so I run a load every two to three days. If my kids were still home, I’d be doing a load every day! I will put things like jeans in the dryer with a steam ball to “fluff” them for about 7 or 8 minutes because they are a little stiff from hanging to dry. But most things don’t even need that. This has reduced my electric bill by a shocking amount. I had no idea that dyers ate up that much electricity! Plus, my dryer should last much, much longer!

  9. Oh gosh! Car sisters – mine is of a similar age and I have about 27,000 miles on it lol. Other than when I was commuting for the last year, I usually only put one tank in a month, sometimes two if we go to my parents’. I have still been trying to combine errands a lot by only having N excursions a day and trying to keep them close together, which has been really helpful on my time efficiency.

    • Total car sisters. Even if a store if only ten minutes away from our house, it’s amazing how quickly little trips add up in terms of time. And the parking lots this time of year. Ahhh!

  10. One tank of gas in November is fantastic! I like to come home at day’s end and not have to leave the house for errands either (though sometimes we do have evening activities).

    I’m guilty of “I’m sorry” – it’s a work in progress. One shift I’ve made over the past few years is rather than say “I can’t afford it”, I say “I don’t spend money on…” or “I choose to use my money for ___ instead of ____”, particularly when I’m talking to my kids about money (because “I can’t afford it” is, typically, not accurate).

    • I love that one, Amanda! My husband corrects me all the time. “We can afford it, you just don’t want to.” Ha! He’s not wrong.

  11. I like that! I used to group all of my errands into Saturday afternoon. I would blog and pay bills and do any paperwork in the morning, and then get all things in order by the early afternoon. These days I can’t do that exact thing anymore so I organize my weekdays to contain as many chores and errands as possible, to reduce the scutwork we have to do on the weekends.

  12. One tank of gas in a month is really great! While I don’t have a commute, my wife and I definitely try to group errands together to save both time and gas.

    Now that we’ve rejoined a gym, we try to make that our first activity of the day. That way there’s no time for excuses or other commitments to get in the way.

    • I’m right there with you Gary about the working out (and I’m actually with Penny on the gas too!) We try to go early in the morning so the rest of the day is open and there are no excuses. Boy is it hard on cold, snowy mornings though! I think we filled up once in November – but it might have been late October too. Benefits of working a block from school…

  13. Secret Retirees 2018

    Per usual I can TOTALLY relate to this post. I ALWAYS apologize. I even counseled my staff to do so with clients a few years back. I still can’t help it. I’ve actually tried to change lately as well, but it just seems rude to me. I’m sure it isn’t but it doesn’t feel right.

  14. Love that you’re finding success in combining trips! One of the many money-saving lessons my dad taught me early was to do exactly that. In the past few years, I’ve tried to replace as much of my “weekend driving” with biking, and that drops my transportation costs even more!

  15. Mr. Smith and I were just discussing how much less gas we have to buy these days, now that he’s not working much and I work from home one day per week. Every little bit helps!

    I’ve been trying to shift away from being “productive” as much as possible each day, to spending some time relaxing when tired and giving the kids more attention. We’re doing an advent reading calendar with books from the library. The other night I just sat and colored with my daughter (no multitasking) and it was really nice. I had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t be in hustle mode 24/7 . . . especially with the twins in my belly stealing away so much of my energy 😉

  16. I can totally relate to getting things done more productively rather than lots of little tasks spread out over the week. After feeling burned out at the start of November I promised to take one day per week where it was nothing but relax time, I feel much better for it and I’m actually getting more done and making better use of my time on the other days!

  17. Cutting down on driving is HUGE! props! And yes, I definitely need to learn not to apologize when I shouldn’t… and perhaps need to learn to apologize when I should. Ironic?

  18. Barb

    I’ve quit Instagram as I used to waste hours looking at what other people posted. I don’t use Facebook except to check schedules and sign up for events for a couple of groups that use only FB. I still follow a number of bloggers but I’ve lately been rethinking that time commitment too. Financial and simplicity bloggers don’t have as many “giveaways” or “blog-hop” posts as some of the quilting bloggers that I follow do. I’ve unsubscribed to a number of them lately and am being more discerning about who I invite into my inbox. It is very easy (for me) to get to the end of the day and realize the bulk of what I have “accomplished” is that I read about someone else’s life and work! 😳

  19. My little adjustments included streamlining some processes at my business so I can handle what my clients’ need faster and with less hand-holding from me. One fewer email a week is appreciated since I’m at my other job 9-5.

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