Career Productivity

13 Incredible Tips to Do More in Less Time

Imagine a life with just the right balance between work and play. “Sally” has that kind of life. Every morning, she wakes up refreshed and ready for the day’s challenges and opportunities. Her co-workers are amazed at her level of efficiency. “Sally” generally seems to have everything under control and a joy exudes from her. How does “Sally” manage to get so much done without looking ragged and frustrated? She has the same number of hours per day like you and yet, she gets more done in less time. 

“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” –Peter Drucker

You too can have a life like “Sally”. Instead of working longer hours; sleeping less; and sacrificing all your most valuable relationships, there are some practical action steps that you can implement to have a productive but satisfying life. Let’s look at “Sally’s” incredible tips to do more in less time. Some of her tips require pre-work, but it will be worth your savings in time, energy and of course, sanity!

Here are 13 incredible tips to do more in less time:

1) Buy in bulk.

If you were to calculate how much time it takes to go to and from the supermarket; in addition to the time spent searching for items; and them joining a line to pay for them, you’d realize that you spend hours per supermarket “run”. Instead, try to buy items in bulk and limit your trips to supermarkets, department stores, beauty supply stores, etc. This also includes shopping online because it can severely deplete your time if you’re not careful. Bulk buying will not only save time, but you can benefit from bulk discounts.


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For instance, I consume a lot of ground produce so I go to the local market once per month to buy items like sweet potato, yam, dasheen, and cassava for the entire month ahead.

2) Prepare and cook future meals..

If you’re a single professional whose aim is to give, save and invest as much as possible, then you may opt to cook your own meals. Cooking and baking can be very time-consuming and can also zap your energy. An alternative can be to set aside chunks of time dedicated to preparing several meals for the rest of the month.. 

For instance, when I return home from purchasing the ground produce (point 1 example), I peel, wash, cut, package, label and freeze. During the following week, I simply remove what I want and then cook or defrost it. This incredible little tip saves loads of time for the entire month. I also cook all my peas and beans and package them into smaller quantities (1-2 servings size) before freezing. 

Action plan:
  • Have a list of all the meals that you’d like to prepare for the month.
  • Determine which aspects of the meal can be pre-cooked.
  • Schedule time to cook and package them.  

3) Have an ongoing list of items to buy.

It’s frustrating when you’re at a department store and you’re trying to recall which items need to be replenished. A better way would be to devise a system of adding items to a list as soon as they finish. On my kitchen counter, I have a notepad that I use to record items that I need to purchase. I also use an app called “Shopping List”, which gives the option of adding different lists for the various stores that I frequent.

4) Invest in proper tools.

The right tools can save lots of time. Research which tools you’ll need to excel in your profession and have a plan to acquire them. If your line of work requires video editing, then you’ll need a computer with a powerful processor. On the home front, I own an electric pressure cooker which has multiple uses. It cuts cooking time in half, especially with beans.

5) Set up automated payments/transfers for recurring payments.

Depending on your country, you can either go to the bank to set up automatic payments or you can use online banking to accomplish the same purpose. For example, if your internet bill is the same amount every month, why should you join a line? That would work if you have a purpose of meeting new people.

6) Use online options to make payments.

A) Online banking

Recently, I had to make a payment for a service from a friend. My friend and I have two different banks. In the past, I would go to my ATM; withdraw the money; and then go to his bank to make a deposit. Instead, it took me less than two minutes to complete the transaction online

B) Company apps

Most established companies now provide their own apps to allow quick and easy payments by customers. Why not try that option?

7) Unsubscribe from marketing emails.

A discount is music to the budget-conscious woman. As such, you were willing to sign up for that 10% discount from a store that you like. You say to yourself, “for a 10% future discount, I can handle a little email marketing.” The next thing you know, your Inbox becomes swamped with emails from at least 10 different companies offering your dream vacation at a “steal of a deal” or the latest gadget that you only just realised that you’ve always “needed.” 

Even if you never succumb to their marketing genius, a lot of time is wasted reading, deleting, or simply taking up valuable space in your Inbox. Those seconds turn into minutes and over time, they add up. From time to time, I go through my Inbox and unsubscribe to anything that does not add immediate value to my life. It would have been better never to have subscribed in the first place. 

8) Invest in clothes that require no ironing.

My favorite clothes, which are the ones most worn, are those that require no or little pre-care. Wool, lyocell, silk, denim (some people iron them, but I don’t), cashmere, knits, and spandex are good examples of wrinkle-resistant fabrics.  Another trick is placing your clothes on hangers immediately after using a clothes dryer. Additionally, if you line-dry your clothes, you can use hangers instead of clips (where applicable). When they are dry, you simply transfer them to your wardrobe without the need for ironing.

9) Have a dedicated place for everything that you own.

Lots of time can be wasted when items cannot be found quickly. Let everything have a home of its own. For you to easily recall where your items are stored, place items where they “naturally” belong or what makes good sense to you. An example would be placing all your stationery items in a drawer or container. It will make a world of difference in your level of efficiency. In order for this to be maintained, you need to return items to their correct places after their use.

10) Group tasks by similarity and location.

Having a written to-do list will help you to effectively do this. For example, if you need to write several letters, set aside time to write all of them in quick succession. Also, as you go through your list for the week, you observe that four tasks are to be done at the bank. Your next step is to ensure that you make all the necessary preparations to make one trip to the bank during that week. Poor planning will always result in time wastage. The same goes for errands in a particular part of town. Try to maximize your journeys as much as you can. 

11) Have a “Don’t Forget” Shelf or Basket by the Door.

This little system will help you to remember to take important items with you. It might be a book that you must return to the library; the “thank you” gift for your friend; your mother’s casserole dish that she lent you and the like. When you have systems like these, you’ll make better use of your time.

12) Maximize waiting time.

I had a friend who would always walk with her ‘thank you’ cards, stamps and envelopes. Whenever she had to spend time waiting, she’d pull out her stock and get “cracking.” I usually use my “waiting” time to write a blog post. If you want to spend more time with your best friend, why not “kill two birds with one stone” by doing brisk walking together?

13) Restrict your emails, messaging and social media interactions to pre-set times.

Most of us don’t realise how much time is eroded when we allow constant interruptions of messages and social media posts. I did a short course on LinkedIn two years ago on productivity. The tutor recommended setting predesignated times for responding to emails like every three hours. I tried it with emails and messaging and I was able to get more work done throughout my day. Even the type of work you deliver will improve if you gave it focus. Removing the notifications might ease the temptation.

Related articles:

9 Tips to Prevent Burnout

10 Ways to Realistically Achieve Work-Life Balance

5 Proven Steps to Get Your Busy Life Under Control


With so much to do, you need to maximize your time like “Sally”. Realistically, this delicate balance is only possible if you guard your time and spend it on the best activities. Remember, you cannot say “yes” to any and everything. You’re a human being and not a machine. Therefore, you need to work smarter and not necessarily harder.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Some incredible tips to get more done in less time are buying in bulk; preparing and cooking meals for the month ahead; having a “running” shopping list; investing in proper tools; setting up automated payments/transfers; making payments through the apps of service providers; unsubscribing from marketing emails; buying wrinkle-free clothes; organizing all that you own; grouping tasks according to similarity and location; having a “don’t forget” area; maximize waiting time; and limiting and restricting response times.

Which tips might be useful for you? What other tips can you share with us to do more in less time. I look forward to hearing your gems of wisdom and experience. Let’s create a community of learning together

If you’d like to receive more tips on living a life full of meaning and a vibrant relationship with God, I’d like to invite you to subscribe. When you do, you’ll receive your free gift of the “Know Yourself” questionnaire immediately in your Inbox. Also, feel free to send me an email. Tell me about yourself and your singleness journey. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by!


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With love,


Recommended resources:

“The New One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson 

“First Things First” by Stephen R. Covey

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  1. Angelisa

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Ever feel like you don’t know what a godly man is looking for in a wife? Our Irresistible Godly Woman Checklist will give you clear insights so you can stop guessing and start preparing … while reaching your full potential as a single Christian woman.