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NOW LIVE! Podcast Episode 426: Day 9: How my Competitor Made Me $$$!
Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:NOW LIVE! Podcast Episode 426: Day 9: How my Competitor Made Me $$$!
The more complicated life gets and the more demands that friends, family, and work associates make on our time, the more important it is to find ways to keep our lives as simple as we can. By looking for and using hacks that make life's essential chores easier to complete, we have more time to do the things that we like to do and spend time with the people who matter to us.
These hacks vary from the sublime to the absurd. However, they all follow a common theme of keeping your life as simple and uncomplicated as possible.
First, there was Amazon Prime, which offered free two-day shipping as well as a myriad of other, no-cost benefits. Now, in selected areas, there is Prime Now, guaranteed two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of in-stock Amazon items for $7.99. Prime Now is available in 20 major metro areas at this time and is scheduled to launch in dozens of additional cities over the next 12 months. We needed printer ink in the middle of a big project and Prime Now had us up and printing again more quickly than if we'd run out to the big box store.
Why take the time to go to the store or re-order household items that you use on a regular basis? Essentials like coffee, toilet paper and pet food can be set up to be shipped to you in regular intervals, based on your past usage. We keep our office kitchen and cleaning cupboard stocked by using Amazon's auto ship service.
Magic Assistant is a virtual assistant app that connects with text messaging on your phone and provides such services as research, general office duties, travel arrangements and appointment scheduling and reminders. We use Magic as a virtual concierge for dinner reservations and theater tickets when we entertain clients.
Scripted puts you in touch with a pool of thousands of professional writers, editors and bloggers, all eager to add fun, well-written and grammatically correct content for your blog, your company website or even your church newsletter.
Another cool, time-saving app is Swipes, which lets you create easy, electronic to-do lists so that you stay organized and on track. We find starting each day with a to-do list helps us stay on track.
Find a strategy that helps you avoid long, time-consuming lines. Personally, I go to the person who is next in line and I offer to buy their meal/ice cream or whatever and then I order mine as well. It's money well spent.
If you hate shopping for clothes as much as I do, but want to look your best for work and play, then StitchFix is right for you. This service sends you a selection of clothing, shoes and accessories based on profile questions about your budget, lifestyle, personal taste and size. You'll be sent five items to try on in the privacy of your own home and you have three days to return the items you don't want in a postage-paid envelope. You'll get a new selection in the time frame that works best for you, from two weeks to three months. With StitchFix, you'll never have to worry about being out of style.
Planning menus, grocery shopping and prepping food for dinner seven nights a week can dramatically cut into your free time. Consider using a service like Blue Apron or Home Chef, both of which let you choose from a weekly menu and then will send you all of the ingredients (and the recipes) you need to create those meals.
If you make more per hour than you are paying your maid, hiring someone to clean and cook just makes good financial sense. Check local bulletin boards or classified or hire a service like Merry Maids.
Just like a maid service, you're losing money if you make more per hour than the person you could hire to do your laundry for you. If you can't find someone through word of mouth, consider LaundryCare. They'll not only wash and fold your laundry, but they pick up and deliver for free.
Another good way to avoid the hour or more each week that most families spend shopping for groceries is to have them delivered. Many local markets offer this service. In addition, national services, such as PeaPod, will deliver your order from their inventory of tens of thousands of items for a small fee. Most services will even deduct your manufacturers' coupons from the total. Although you have to pay to have your groceries delivered, you'll likely end up spending less, since you won't be tempted to splurge on point-of-purchase promotional items.
Think about how much time you'd save if you only ate breakfast and dinner daily. You'd also likely be healthier by avoiding high-carbohydrate lunches that many office workers ingest. We find we feel better, too, with fewer meals.
In Seattle, we have Uber Eats, a service that delivers restaurant food to your doorstep. There are similar services in virtually all major cities. Making use of them can save you the time you'd normally spend driving to and from a restaurant and waiting for your food to be prepared. We use this at work, too, to save time at lunch and to entertain guests.
Before electronic mail, there was an organization mandate that said you should never handle a piece of mail twice. Employ that same technique with your emails, filing, answering and filtering them for immediate action as soon as they arrive.
Finding extra time in your busy life doesn't have to be an impossible task. To stretch your day without feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, turn to automation, personal assistants and useful apps to do a large part of your work for you.
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