12 Ways to Save Time | Time-Wasting Habits You Need to Quit (2024)

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Time-wasting habits can absolutely KILL productivity and daily success. We have all been guilty of most of these. But once we learn the best ways to save time, we can optimize our days and boost our productivity like CRAZY.

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I’ve been guilty of saying “there’s just not enough time in the day” as an excuse when I don’t get things done. But, in reality, there is plenty of time! I was just spending it on the wrong things!

Every day, I was spending HOURS on things that were entirely unproductive. Every time I give into these time-wasting habits, I was hindering my productivity, achievement, success, and happiness!

I never even realized how much it was affecting my life until I figured out these super simple ways to save time every day!

Once I figured out how to free up my time by dropping THESE habits, I am so much more productive and successful every day!

This post is all about ways to save time every day.

12 Life-Changing Ways to Save Time

1. Stop Mindless Scrolling

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I HAD to start with the most obvious time-wasting habit. You knew this was coming and, chances are good, you know that you’re wasting your time when you mindlessly scroll for hours. I won’t sit here and go on and on because I have full faith that you already know this.

I’m by no means lecturing you here… Heck, I have no room to talk! I love spending some time on Instagram and MAN, I can blow hours on Pinterest like you wouldn’t believe.

But, regardless of how ingrained this habit is, we have to admit that it’s a major time-waster. Instead, try setting a timer for your allotted “screen time” or try to save it for only a certain time each day (ie. after dinner scroll session). Dropping this habit will do wonders for having more time in your day!

2. Drop the Perfectionism

I am a recovering perfectionist and am actively working towards being a “good enough” type of person instead. It is HARD. Believe me, I know it!

But perfectionism, while there may be a time and a place, is one of the biggest time-wasting habits. Perfectionism seems to be hidden under the guise of productivity too, which makes it even trickier to realize that it’s actually WASTING your time.

Is lingering on one email looking for the PERFECT words really productive? No. Chances are good the recipient will barely skim it anyway. (Just being honest with ya!😉)

Is overanalyzing the lines and layout of your Instagram story really productive? (I’m calling myself out here) No. It’s not. No one will notice if your text is slightly off-center or your line is crooked. And, even if they notice, they don’t care!

But, guess what, you just wasted 20 minutes obsessing over getting it perfect! (Again, calling myself out, hahaha!)

Look, there is a time and a place for perfectionism. In a lot of situations, it can be a major asset to you. But when it’s not necessary, it’s just a major time-waster. You have got to take a step back when you’re giving in to your perfectionism and ask yourself if it’s really worth the time, energy, and effort. Finding that balance is everything!

3. Set Clear Goals

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How can you expect to achieve a goal that you’ve never set?

To me, goal setting is one of the main motivators in my day-to-day life. When I have clear goals set (I like to set S.M.A.R.T. goals), it makes it easier for me to get down to business. Making a concise step-by-step process is a major time saver when it comes to being productive and successful.

I will typically set long-term goals, monthly goals, and daily goals that all connect in one way or another.

Without having a set plan, it’s easy to waste a TON of time lingering between tasks, wondering what to do next, doubting yourself, and questioning where to go. When everything is clearly laid out and you have solid goals in mind, you’ll be shocked at the amount of time you can save reaching those goals.

{RELATED POST: How to Set Goals for Yourself}

4. Stack Your Tasks

Stacking tasks is a term that I think I came up with on my own, so let me explain…

Stacking tasks is a form of multitasking. Unlike some types of multitasking that can just confuse your brain and actually prevent productivity and waste time, task-stacking can be a MASSIVE time saver. Time-blocking can be super helpful in learning how to stack your tasks!

Basically, stacking tasks means that you organize your tasks in a way that minimizes “wait” times. With some things, there is an unavoidable time waste. Task stacking is a way to fill that “wasted” time with other productive things.

For example, let’s say your to-do list looks something like this:

  1. change my sheets
  2. wash my sheets
  3. grocery shop
  4. update my computer
  5. schedule a doctor’s appointment

Okay. So let’s task stack:

Strip your bed and start your load of sheets. Once that is going, start your computer update. While your sheets are washing and your computer is updating, put new sheets on your bed and make it! Now it’s time for errands… your computer may still be updating and your sheets may still be washing (or drying at this point!) but there’s no point in waiting around for a process you can’t speed up. Might as well spend that time checking off more to-dos. Run to the grocery store, call your doctor on the way. Chances are good you’ll be sitting on hold while you drive… but once you get to the store hopefully you’ll be through to the doctor’s office. Schedule your appointment, go in and grocery shop, and head home to your updated computer and your clean sheets!

Okay, so maybe that was a really roundabout way of explaining task-stacking, but hopefully, you get the point! Basically just make it your goal to fill all the time slots that you’re waiting on things you can’t make go any faster (washing clothes, sitting on hold, updating your computer). With that wait time, you can keep being productive. When you master how to stack your tasks, you can really make the most out of your time.

5. Turn Notifications OFF

UGH! This can be so frustrating!

Sometimes I’m really in the zone, being productive, getting stuff done– and then my phone dings and it goes a little something like this.

Oh! An Instagram notification. I have to check.

Wait, did Becky get a new haircut? I’ll just look at her page. Is that a new boyfriend, Becky?!

And before I know it, I’m stalking Becky’s boyfriend’s cousin’s friend’s sister’s fiancé on TikTok. And an hour has gone by… WHOOPS!!

All because I was interrupted by one stinking notification!

I highly recommend turning off notifications entirely for apps that are super irrelevant to your life. As for the notifications that are valuable, I recommend silencing them while you’re working so you’re not interrupted or tempted to give in the other time-wasting habits (mindless scrolling!).

6. Plan Meals

Anyone else feel like you spend more time deciding on what to eat than you actually do making it AND eating it? I could debate about what to have for dinner for HOURS. Talk about a time-waster.

Planning dinners ahead of time (or at least having a solid list of meals to choose from) is one of my own time-wasting habits that I didn’t even realize was wasting time.

Once I started thinking and planning ahead for meals, the entire nighttime dinner process is so much quicker, easier, and more enjoyable!

7. Start Your Day RIGHT

Starting your day off on the right foot is one of the most important ways to save time. When you start your day productive, you are SO much more likely to keep that energy up throughout your day. Developing a solid morning routine that worked for me and my schedule has been essential for having more time in my days.

A good morning routine not only starts you off on the right foot, but it also allows you to start getting things done FIRST thing in the morning. The more you can accomplish in the mornings, the less you have to do for the rest of your day which leaves you with more time in your day! Heck yeah!

{RELATED POST: Productive 5am Morning Routine}


Lack of organization… talk about a major time waster!

Keeping yourself organized is one of the best ways to save time. There’s NOTHING worse than looking for something and having no idea where it is or what you’ve done with it. Ugh!

This honestly happens to me a lot. I’m kind of a scatterbrain when it comes to putting things in the proper location (or at least a location I will remember, haha)… but I’M GETTING BETTER!

I’ve started using a filing system for important papers that I need for work or school (using cute file folders has actually made this kinda fun). I have also been working on putting clothes away so I know where they are, keeping my computer files organized and labeled, and keeping track of all the things I have to do in my daily planner.

Organization can take many forms. It can mean keeping things in the right location, filing documents, or even planning your day. Whatever organization means to YOU, it is a major way to save time and energy. No more spending hours getting frustrated looking for the things you need.


Must-Know Tips for Planning Your Day for Success

9. Wake Up at a Decent Hour

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What better way to have more time in your day than to ACTUALLY make more time in your day, right?

Getting up just a LITTLE bit earlier (like even just an hour or two) can do wonders for feeling like you have more time to get stuff done in the day. Oftentimes, I do my best work right when I wake up. Sometimes I’ll have the house entirely to myself to just GET STUFF DONE. It’s crazy how much more you can accomplish and how much more time you have when you get up just a smidge earlier.

THAT SAID, you’re going to want to remember this next tip too…

10. Get Enough Sleep

While getting up at a decent time is an amazing way to have more time, it’s equally (if not even more) important to get enough sleep. I’ve mentioned over and over the importance of a good night’s sleep and I am about to do it again.

You can NOT expect to have a happy and productive day with an empty tank. Rest up and take care of yourself with lots of good quality sleep.

11. Cut Back on TV Time

This one is pretty self-explanatory so I won’t ramble on and on here.

Trust me, I love Netflix as much as the next girl. But when you aren’t intentional about WHEN you choose to kick back with some Netflix, it can be a crazy time killer.

But, don’t get mad at me yet… YOU CAN STILL WATCH NETFLIX. Trust me, I’m not giving up my shows that easily. I still watch some TV every single day and you can too!

If you follow these tips and develop your ways to save time, you will have PLENTY of time for fun and recreation… which means you can binge-watch all the Netflix your little heart desires.

It really just comes down to not letting it interfere with your work and your daily responsibilities. Maybe set some limits for yourself… a time limit for how long you can watch or set a certain time each day for “TV time”. Just don’t let it take over your day! It’s all about balance here.

12. Put Your Phone Away When You’re Working

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You may think this is similar to the “turning off your notifications” tip. In some ways it is, but this goes even further than that. I’ve found that in order to really optimize my time while working, my phone needs to be COMPLETELY out of the picture. Even if there’s no notification or outward interruption, I feel drawn to pick up my phone and start scrolling. Total time-waster!

This reminds me of when my professors in college would request that we put our phones AWAY rather than just setting them on our desks. Out of sight, out of mind! When you’re really sitting down to grind out some work, don’t waste time on your phone. Put it away!

Those are the 12 best ways to save time!

Now you officially know all my best girl boss time-saving tips! I have noticed my productivity skyrocket when I really make it a priority to make the most out of my time. I know you can too!

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