3 Ways to Find More Time for Yourself

Want more time for yourself? Personal organizing expert, Lisa Menees shares 3 surprising ways you can do just that!

Is the chaos of everyday life draining time you’d rather spend having fun with family, enjoying hobbies, or just reading a book in a quiet spot? You’re not alone! I hear this a lot. 

Regardless of whether you’re a career exec juggling work, travel, and family… a busy mom keeping everyone’s activities and schedules running like a well-oiled machine… or you’re one of the many superwomen doing both, time is the most precious commodity we have today.

As a professional organizer, my mission is to help clients get results that make a real difference to their lives. While feeling more CALM is something people often notice first when we finish a project, MORE TIME is the surprising outcome that probably makes the biggest impact!

How? The less time it takes to make decisions about where to put things, and where to look for what you want, the more you have for yourself. I know it may seem like that’s only minutes shaved… but those minutes add up. 

According to studies, it can take 25 minutes or more to regain focus after a distraction. (Plus, creating “the spots” for “the things” helps your family find them too. Just imagine not hearing “where’s my….?” 100 times a day?!)

3 ways to get more time for yourself, pronto!

1.Trim daily time-burners.

What do you find yourself taking the most time looking for? Start with just one type of item, and commit to creating a designated home for it. 

If remembering to put it there is like water in a sieve, set an automatic reminder on your phone to “put the thing in the spot” when you get home! 

  • Keys and mail? Set up a small desktop organizer , or a wall-mount variety (especially great for keys!) to hold bills you need to pay, or letters someone else in the family needs to read. 
  • Kids’ shoes, gloves, hats? Set up a box just for them in the mudroom or near the entry. You’ll be amazed at how this tiny step can slash out-the-door time.
  • Pantry items? Group “like with like” – think: coffee/tea station; store all condiments together; same for pasta fixings; baking ingredients; breakfast foods (consider putting these low down if you have young children, so they can get their own – another time saver!). You get the picture.

Desktop organizer

Wall mounted organizer2.Keep a running shopping list.

According to The Motley Fool, the average person makes a grocery store run 1.6x a week, drives 4 miles to get there, and spends 41 minutes each trip (that’s average; how about you?). This is just grocery trips, my friend; where else do you go multiple times each week? 

If you want more time for yourself, trimming the number and length of your grocery (or other routine) runs, and even how you do online grocery shopping, is a good place to find it.

I know you think you’ll remember all the things you’ve run out of, need for a recipe, or that someone asks you to pick up as you head out the door or create your online cart, but let’s be real: your mind is jam-packed with things to remember.

  • Set up a family shopping list – use your Alexa, a Google Keep list, a Notes document, or whatever tech tool your family can all get on board with. If you’re less tech-y, tack a paper list up in the kitchen. Just put the thing you think of on your list immediately!
  • Or, load items right into your virtual shopping app as soon as you think of it. Favorite your favorites. Even if you have to wait at the online pickup line, you’ll have that time for yourself: listen to music or a podcast, do a puzzle, write cards, draw, tell jokes with your kids, read a book, or start writing a book!

3.Do it now.

You may think this tip is cheating, and in a way it is. But it’s also the single, universal, most-effective hack I can share. Once you make it your mantra, you’ll quickly see how it helps give you more time for yourself. 

When you’ve finished with something, or you bring something into the house, put it away. Do it pronto, before your brain can think of those dreaded words, “I’ll just put/leave it here for now” 

Seriously – that’s one of the biggest time killers ever!

It may take you between 10 and 60 seconds to put the thing in the place it belongs. But habit has turned us into people who pile. 

We pile things together to “save us a trip” or to “deal with it later.” How many times have you gone up the stairs or from room to room, passing right by the pile of things to shift? Just think about how many different types of piles you have in your home right now. Papers, clothes, craft items, kids’ toys, dog or cat toys, dishes, the list could go on… Pretty soon you’re wasting your precious life in ways you didn’t want to.

So if you really want more time for yourself, do it now as often as you possibly can. 

Lastly, take a minute to do my 10-question Organizational Style Quiz so you can start to know your style better. Once you know your style, you can choose products and set up systems more likely to work with you, vs you having to rewire your brain to work with the system.

And if you really want to find more time for yourself, or more room in your home, just call the lifesavers at SOS by Lisa. In-person or virtual, we’ll help you Sort, Organize, and Simplify your life, faster and with less stress!

SOS by Lisa | Professional Organizer, Home Organizer
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