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Ways to save time

Always short on time? We've got a handful of tips to help you manage time better.

Pet care

  1. Remove loose hair from your dog with the upholstery attachment of your vacuum.
  2. For a quick dry-clean, rub un-perfumed talc over your pet's coat then brush it out.
  3. Train your cat to keep off the furniture by placing double-sided adhesive tape on surfaces. Cats hate the feel of it.
  4. Covering your cushions in aluminium foil will teach pets to stay off the sofa.
  5. If a bird has escaped from its cage, catch it by drawing the curtains and turning off lights. Birds don't usually fly in the dark.
  6. Stop a dog digging the same spot in the garden by scattering a crumbled cake of toilet freshener over the area.
  7. To discourage an animal from chewing its paws, fur or tail, paint the spot with oil of cloves.
Girl & Dog

Domestic dodges

  1. Have a theme for each day of the week eg, Monday is laundry day, Tuesday is for errands, and so on.
  2. Place an old sock on each hand and rub over the furniture for effortless dusting.
  3. Buy a squeegee with a long handle so you can clean the shower or bathtub without bending or reaching.
  4. Bypass ironing by hanging up clothes, spraying wrinkles with water and leaving to dry.
  5. Store your knick-knacks in a cabinet so they don't need frequent dusting.
  6. Multi-task - clean the shower while you're having one and wipe the sink while you're brushing your teeth.
  7. Keep disinfectant wipes handy around the house to give fridge handles, doorknobs, the phone and light switches a quick wipe.
  8. Spray lemon-scented furniture polish in the air to instantly freshen up the room.
  9. Clean for a few minutes every day instead of a once-a-week onslaught.
  10. Doormats inside and outside every entrance will prevent dirt being traipsed around and cut down your cleaning time.

Morning minutes

  1. Have a shower before you go to bed.
  2. Decide the night before what you want to wear on the following day.
  3. If you take your lunch to work, prepare it the night before while you're making dinner.
  4. Pack your bag the night before you go to work.
  5. Keep your wallet, purse and keys in a bowl by the door so you don't lose them.
  6. Have umbrellas, bags, schoolbags and coats by the door for easy access.
  7. Leaving an hour earlier could halve your commuting time.

Blitz odd jobs

  1. Allocate a weekly power hour to complete as many five to 10-minute tasks as possible, such as paying bills or making quick calls.
  2. Arrange for automatic payment of regular bills.
  3. Ditch travel time and queues by banking online.
  4. On the first of every month, send cards to everyone who is having a birthday that month.


Online order

  1. Use the internet at your local library. They usually limit time and it's free.
  2. To avoid getting sucked in online at home, set an alarm to go off an hour after you log on.
  3. Steer clear of gaming sites.
  4. Limit emailing to 15 minutes per day.
  5. Restrict replies to a few sentences.
  6. If you have a one-line email, put it in the subject line.
  7. Reply to messages immediately, so you only have to read them once.
  8. Discourage friends from sending time-wasting jokes and chain letters by not responding to them.


Beauty fixes

  1. Shave your legs only once a week during winter - no-one will know.
  2. For cracked heels, mash a banana and massage it into the cracks. Leave for 10 minutes, rinse then moisturise.
  3. For long-term heel care, soak your feet in the juice of six lemons for 15 minutes then rinse off. Do this weekly until the cracks disappear.
  4. Mineral-foundation powders can do the job of concealer, foundation and translucent powder all in one.
  5. Classic red lipstick gives lips an instant boost.
  6. To prevent dry skin, put a glass of water by your bed to rehydrate the atmosphere as you sleep. Also drink lots of water.
  7. To brighten dull skin, mix 2 tablespoons each of water and baking soda. Massage in and leave for three minutes, then rinse as normal.
  8. Apply two very thin coats of nail polish to cut the drying time.
  9. Get rid of a pimple fast by dabbing toner on it, then cool and reduce the bump with an ice cube wrapped in a tissue.
  10. No time to pluck eyebrows? Comb brows upwards and fill in sparse areas with a brow pencil.
  11. For a fuller pout, mix a spoonful of olive oil with a pinch of salt and spread lightly on your lips.
  12. Use a face mask on chapped and dry hands, it will regenerate dry skin.
  13. Rub grated lemon zest on your teeth to whiten them.
  14. To get out those last dregs of mascara, pop the tube into a mug of hot water for two to three minutes. It will become liquid again.


Rapid relaxation

  1. Take a deep breath of fresh air and breathe out slowly. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Close your eyes and recall a moment of relaxation and happiness from the past.
  3. Imagine your favourite cartoon character explaining why your problem should not be stressing you out.
  4. Light a candle with a soothing scent.
  5. Play relaxing music and close your eyes.
  6. Go for a leisurely 10-minute walk.
  7. Turn to prayer or meditation.

Work winners

  1. Arrive at work early when there are fewer people to distract you so you can get more work done.
  2. Create a daily to-do list for yourself.
  3. Prioritise your list in order of importance.
  4. Complete your to-dos, crossing them off as you go along.
  5. Re-prioritise as new projects come up.
  6. Tidy your desk before you leave and prepare work for the next day.
Woman at work

Kitchen quickies

  1. Use a slow cooker to ease the evening rush.
  2. Have several chopping boards on hand to save chopping, cleaning and chopping again.
  3. Kitchen scissors are great for snipping herbs, slicing pizza and cutting chicken quickly.
  4. Cleaning up is faster if you spray all your pans with non-stick spray before baking.
  5. Funnels make the job of pouring bulk items into smaller containers faster and much less messy.
  6. Measure and heat milk or butter at the same time in microwave-safe measuring containers.
  7. Arrange your pantry so everything is visible.
  8. To easily remove food burnt onto the oven, sprinkle with dishwashing detergent, cover with damp paper towels and leave for a few hours.
  9. Use disposable plates and cups for nights when you don't have time to do the dishes.
  10. Wash up as you cook so there is less to do after your meal.
  11. Double quantities as you cook, and freeze half for a future meal.
Organised Pantry

Hair in a hurry

  1. Grow your hair long so you can put it up. Long hair looks presentable with a quick ponytail and a pretty clip.
  2. No time for a shampoo? Tie your hair back, pull forward as much of the front section as you like and wash that bit under your sink tap. Dry as usual.
  3. If your hair has gone mad and you don't have any serum, tame it with a tiny blob of hand cream.
  4. For instant wavy hair, tie slightly damp hair in a bun and set with hair spray before blasting with a hair dryer.
  5. Do your own highlights. Put a dab of facial-hair bleach onto a toothbrush and stroke it through your locks. Wash out when developed. Practise on a small section first!
  6. To give hair instant oomph, rub a bit of sculpting wax between your palms then scrunch up the roots.
  7. Neutralise hair turned green by chlorine by rubbing in tomato sauce and leaving for 10 minutes.
  8. Cut blow-drying time in half by blotting excess water from your hair with a thick towel.
Brushing hair

Flash fashion

  1. Update your old coat or shirt by changing buttons for some funky ones, or sewing an unusual trim onto the pockets.
  2. For dull-looking patent shoes, pop a bit of Vaseline on a face cloth, rub it over and buff to a shine.

Pretty Garden

Easy gardens

  1. Replace lawn with another type of ground cover such as woodchips or paving to cut down on mowing.
  2. Plant a fragrant ground cover such as wild thyme between brick pavers so weeds don't take over.
  3. For no-work flowers, fill an old bathtub with water and put in water lilies or small floating ferns.
  4. Plant perennials that grow easily in your area.
  5. Cut out hand watering by installing an irrigation system. This will also save water and money in the long run.
  6. Outwit weeds with dense planting. Use lots of mulch and plants with large foliage to shade the ground beneath them.
  7. Keep a ready-to-use spray weedkiller and insecticide on hand to deal with problems as soon as you spot them.

Whiz kids

  1. Teach your kids to lay their clothes out for school before they go to bed.
  2. Soup and toast make a quick and easy dinner when time is tight.
  3. Shower with your baby. They love it!
  4. Allow one extra activity per child rather than spending your day toting kids from one activity to the next.
  5. Teach your children how to prepare meals.
  6. Get the kids to do two quick tidy ups every day. Make a game of it by timing them and seeing how much they can get done.
  7. Shop once a week. Make a list and stick to it. If you can, don't take your kids. It'll be quicker and you'll buy less!
  8. Don't fold laundry. Give each family member a basket and sort clean clothes into these. The kids can learn to fold their clothes and put them away themselves.
  9. Let your children work out their own disagreements - unless violence is imminent.
  10. If the kids get chewing gum stuck in their hair, soak it in cola until it comes loose.
Kids brushing teeth

Do you have any other fantastic ways to save time? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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