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Make the most of every minute! 15 time saving "life hacks” for every day

by Yvette Maurice

We’re all guilty of wasting a bit of time here and there but if you’re really feeling the pinch and need to get more done, there are 15 ways you could snatch that extra time out of your schedule. Here are your life hacks!


Life gets busier and busier! We all feel time poor and there seems to be an endless number of conflicting commitments that we need to attend to every day. Each of us is guilty of wasting time, sometimes on things that won’t necessarily add much value to our lives; could your time be better spent?

We’re here to help! Here are 15 ways you can become more productive – today!

The top 15 time wasters:

1. Going for coffee – for the third time today!

Australians consume 2.9kg of coffee per capita annually, compared with just 0.6kg 50 years ago.  We are spending more and more time away from our desk (and our other tasks) getting that “cup of joe”. Cut back from three cups per day to just one and save yourself a cup of time!

Productivity Life hack – save 5 to 20 minutes every day

2. Shopping online for things you don’t need

During the last two years, over three quarters (76 per cent) of Australia’s 15.4 million internet users made a purchase or order over the internet, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Cut up that credit card and save both time and cash.

Productivity Life hack – save 15 to 45 minutes every day

3. Photo taking, organising, uploading, and posting

Last year, one billion phones with cameras were sold around the world; and more than one-third of the earth’s population owns a digital camera. Every two minutes, they snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800s. Put a lid on your camera and save valuable time!

Productivity Life hack – save 20 minutes every day

4. Poor meal planning

In Australia, we spend an average of two and a half hours per day eating and drinking, 50 per cent of which is done while doing something else, like watching television, driving or working. By getting organised and doing a weekly meal plan and shop, you can save a big bite of time.

Productivity Life hack – save up to 1 hour every day

5. Watching TV and movies

It’s official, According to the ABS, Australian adults spent an average of 13 hours a week watching TV. While television can be a great resource for education, relaxation and entertainment, most of us would admit that we spent too much time watching TV. Tune out and save time.

Productivity Life hack – save up to 2 hours every day

6. Looking for lost items

In the US, about 12 000 laptops are lost each week and 113 mobiles are lost or stolen every minute (that´s 6780 in a single hour!). The figures in Australia may be similar on a per capita basis. The solution? Keep your things organised and make sure everything has its “place” and save valuable time.

Productivity Life hack – save 10 minutes every day

7. Chatting and small talk

A recent study by the team at the University Of Michigan discovered that friendly, social interaction can boost our ability to solve problems, just as well as “working on a crossword puzzle.” However, people in Australia spend up to an hour each day with unnecessary chit-chat. Button those lips and get some time back!

Productivity Life hack – save 10 to 30 minutes every day

8. Email

You knew this one was coming, didn’t you! Some research has found that email takes up 28 per cent of the average worker’s day. Can you believe that this means it’s the second-most time-consuming activity we do? Check your mail at set times only and open up minutes and hours of time!

Productivity Life hack – save 30 minutes to 1 hour every day

9. Meetings and appointments

We all have to go to meetings and appointments but demands from outsiders can take their toll if you don’t learn to say “no” occasionally. Make sure every meeting you attend will have actionable outcomes and isn’t merely a waste of your precious time and energy. Set reasonable objectives and clear up your calendar!

Productivity Life hack – save up to 50 minutes per day

10. Not able to delegate

Here’s the solution to the family commitment problem – learn to delegate! Can Junior pack his own sports bag and can the admin assistant at work help you organise your contacts list? Let go and hand over some of the tasks you’ve been holding on to – start out with just one small task!

Productivity Life hack – save just 10 minutes per day (or more!)

11. Commuting

It takes (on average) 27 minutes for Australians to get to work. However, for 17 per cent of us, our daily commute takes longer than 45 minutes, says a study by office space provider Regus. Ask your boss for a flexible working arrangement and save yourself time and money commuting – even one day per week.

Productivity Life hack – 10 minutes to 1 hour per day

12. Social media

People aged 18-64 who use social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day on their various platforms, according to new research by Ipsos. Female networkers spend 40 per cent more time daily with social media than men (3.6 vs. 2.6 hours) Log off and save a huge chunk of your day!

Productivity Life hack – casual users: 10 to 45 minutes per day. Social media “addicts”: 2 – 3 hours per day!

13. Lack of organisation

In a recent poll, 73 per cent of respondents said disorganisation was an issue they deal with in their workplace. “To put that into perspective,” they say, “a manager with a salary of $50K could potentially cost the company more than $11K per year in wasted time and effort.” Get organised and save valuable time and money!

Productivity Life hack – 20 minutes per day

14. Procrastination

“Australia is well known for its relaxed culture and high quality of life,” says Survey Compare. “However, according to the ABS, we are a nation of procrastinators.” Research compiled by the ABS reveals that on average we enjoy 5 hours of free time daily. Get cracking on your projects and hack this time back!

Productivity Life hack – 30 minutes per day

15. No plan

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” And consider this quote from Eisenhower: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Plan your day, your life and your career or studies and get ready to flourish!

Productivity Life hack – LIMITLESS!

Top 3 tips for being productive, and staying productive

  1. Learn your working style

  2. Eliminate distractions

  3. Set a time limit and stick to it!

Another potential solution?

Studying to further your career or personal goals might help your emotional wellbeing and professional progression. Open Colleges offers a range of nationally accredited and general interest courses that suit all types of adult learners. Study online while keeping up with your other tasks – it’s the ultimate Life Hack!

If you’re looking to save time – a flexible, online course can be done in conjunction with your current job, or around your family or personal commitments.

Search over 100 online courses here and make the most of every minute!

5 Responses

  1. Me says:

    So … just don’t have fun, and you’ll be fine scheduling every second of your day.

  2. Garry says:

    thanx for the time saving tips. Meal planning is a big one for me (or lack of it).

  3. Lach McLean says:

    Thanks for these tips. Thought they were excellent and definitely helpful. The thief of time will get you every time if you are not alert.
    The old spiro pocket notebook with your prioritized tasks for the day is still the most effective for keeping me on track and focused. Much better than alerts on phones / computer.

  4. Peter says:

    You have given up much of the enjoyable things in life to save this time, so what do you do with this extra time you saved? I organize my time so I get more time for to do most of the things listed in this article.

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