5 Simple Things That Save Me Hours 

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Life is pretty chaotic these days. Every app wants to notify us, every email is marked as urgent, and schedules are bursting off the calendar. 

In fact, it seems that the default reply to ‘How are you?’ is more often than not ‘Oh, you know…busy!’.

But busy does none of us any favours. Busy is just a word to show off that we’re here, there and everywhere, supposedly doing something important. Busy is adding more and more, faster and faster. 

Busy isn’t living. 

The key thing to ask is, are you living intentionally? Is everything on your schedule really that important, or is it just a story you’ve told yourself, a badge of honour to prove to others that you’re doing stuff? 

By eliminating the things which aren’t so important in your life, you gain back something so precious that money can’t buy it: time. 

I’m not going to bore you by saying we all have the same 24 hours in a day, because you already know that. It’s all about the way you use those hours, and being intentional with everything you choose to do. Want a Netflix binge? Make it intentional and fit it into your schedule. Want to declutter your home but can’t find the time? Declutter your calendar first and find that hidden hour or two. 

Below are 5 simple things that save me time every day. But before you read on, be aware that these are things which I’ve found helpful in my life, and your time-saving ideas might look different.

I don’t wear makeup 

I’ve never worn makeup except for on very special occasions, and even then it’s a minimal amount. This isn’t due to minimalism, but because I’ve simply never had an interest in it. But even if you’re somebody who enjoys makeup, you can still save oodles of time by having a minimalist makeup routine.

I don’t straighten my hair  

I used to straighten my hair every day, sometimes up to twice a day, because I didn’t like how flicky and curly it got. Rainy days and humid days were the worst. But all that ended up happening was damage to my hair, and my bank account. Then I’d straighten it even more because the damage meant my hair became even frizzier. I wasted so much time and money on heat protectors, treatments for heat damage, split end fixes that never worked, and finally having to have the damage cut out. 

In the end I decided to embrace my natural look and stopped straightening. This saved me around 5-7 minutes every morning. That doesn’t sound like a lot until you realise that’s 35 minutes a week, and 140 minutes a month. 

It also taught me to embrace and accept the way I look, which has done more for my self esteem than any amount of heat styling ever has. 

I only own a few sets of clothes

Some years ago, Marks and Spencers released a study which revealed that the average woman spends 17 minutes going through her wardrobe each day, and the average man 13 minutes. That’s more than four days a year that can’t be regained. 

Owning fewer clothes doesn’t just save time but avoids decision fatigue. My decision-making energy is saved for the more important stuff in my life like crucial life decisions, which sentences to delete as I write, and how best to support the children I work with in my day job. There’s no trying stuff that doesn’t fit me or that or I don’t like. I can instantly find what I want and know what’s in the wash. 

Almost all the clothes I own work together, and as a result, I waste no time choosing an outfit. 

While minimalism did factor in me paring my clothes right down, I’ve never owned a huge amount, because like with makeup, I’ve simply never been interested in fashion. It’s not that I hate clothes; it feels good to wear something new sometimes or to discover a new favourite, but it’s definitely not important to me.

It takes me approximately 10 minutes to get dressed and have a wash in the morning, then I’m fresh as a daisy and set for the day ahead. 

I wake up early

I used to think I was a night owl, but then I practiced Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning and was blown away by how much easier I found it to write in the early hours. Nobody was awake to tear me away from a sentence, and by the time my family was stirring, I’d already done the most pressing stuff. It did come with its downsides such as feeling more tired in the evenings but the payoff was well worth it.  

I’ve since embraced early mornings as a regular thing and not only has it gotten easier, it’s been a game-changer for me. I’m often left with an hour to kill before I go to work, and there’s not as many urgent household tasks to take care of when I get home. I can take my time getting my toddler ready for her day which means she isn’t stressed and upset and actually gets to interact fully with me. 


Last but not least, living as a minimalist means all of the above, and that messes can be tidied away much easier. In fact, because our rooms are clutter-free, messes stand out more. The messes I’m referring to here are different from regular clutter because they are things we care about and use – they are usually just a sign that life is happening and the kids are being kids. 

Cleaning is also much easier and everything is set up to effortlessly support our family and our interests. There’s no friction to access the things that bring us joy or that will fulfill our lives. 

This saves so much time and stress!

Without minimalism, life would be cluttered and far more chaotic. I wouldn’t have discovered half of what I have about myself over the years, and I would still be chasing happiness through my collections. I would be frittering away my precious time on things that aren’t important. 

To save time you need to drop the busy label and look beyond it. Ironically, you need to spend time asking yourself some tough but crucial questions. 

Are you really happy with how you’re spending your time? If not, what could you change? What’s taking up the most time? How important is that thing? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you let it go? Is what you’re doing for you, or to please somebody else? 

Lastly, what will your life look like 10-20 years from now if you keep spending your time on what you’re doing now?

As Bruce Lee said, “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”


  • Kathleen Dike

    The five simple things that save you hours was spot on. I am a no makeup very short hair gal. My hang up is my love of clothes and sleeping late. However, I purchased the book you spoke of Miracle Morning and started reading it last night. Know that it is an on going process.

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