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How to make time for yourself in a hectic schedule

They say if you want something done, ask a busy person, but sometimes that busy person needs a break!

Try these simple time-saving, efficiency-increasing tips and make time for yourself to smell the roses this summer, or read a book – or just sleep!

1. Cook once and eat all week

Meal prep is a bit of a buzzword these days, often associated with the fitness industry and seems to consist mostly of tupperware containers filled with brightly coloured fruit.

But taking a couple of hours on Sunday evening to prepare the week’s meals can save time and effort throughout the week. Soups, casseroles and pasta sauces are all ideal to be made in batches and kept in the fridge or freezer to be reheated in minutes as needed.

Preparing lunches to take into the office also saves time waiting in sandwich-shop queues! Plus, it is cost effective to buy ingredients in bulk – and makes it less likely you’ll reach for takeaway menus when you can’t face cooking later in the week!

2. Shower and clean

Get into the habit of wiping down the shower and sink after each use and maintain a spic and span bathroom without having to set aside time to clean it.

3. Use the two minute rule

Whenever you think of a task that will take two minutes or less – such as putting the rubbish out or responding to an email – stop what you are doing and do it then and there. Putting off minor to-do items can result in them up more time and energy than necessary and make us feel as though we are forever playing catch up.

4. Remember to forget

Often, worrying about what we might have forgotten – or even worrying in advance that we will forget! – can clog up our mental energy and slow everything down. Take an hour or so to sit down and create recurring reminders on your phone for all your deadlines and time-specific tasks. These can be one off, or recurring, daily, monthly or even yearly. Then you can go about your business safe in the knowledge that you will be reminded of everything you need to do in plenty of time.

5. Double up

You will be surprised at how many tasks you can double up on – whether it’s brushing your teeth in the shower, tidying while searching for something around the house, or popping things in the post on the way to work. The key is planning – take a few moments before you go to sleep or as soon as you wake up to write down your priorities and must-dos for the day ahead, then look for opportunities to combine tasks and save time.