In this case, listing certain habits to save time during the day is not intended to increase our productivity, but to be able to find space to prioritize emotional well-being. We have said it many times: mental health is taken care of from the moment we wake up, but the reality is that, sometimes, the frenetic pace that we carry makes us neglect it. Experts advise trying to schedule those self-care times to prioritize it and not leave it for the end – something that could happen in all probability if this priority is not granted. And the psychologist Marta Calderero reminds us how important it is to find those moments. “Many times that time is compromised by work demands, obligations, family needs, ailments and economic restrictions. However, studies show that if we spend time taking care of ourselves, we will have more balance in our lives and greater well-being, ”she says. For all these reasons, we have created this list of habits that help save time during the day so that we can take better care of ourselves and do other things that give us peace of mind such as reading, listening to podcasts, meditating, exercising or being alone to reflect.
#1. good night routine
Gwyneth Paltrow has told on more than one occasion that she tries to leave her clothes ready before going to sleep to avoid the doubt (and sometimes the stress) of deciding what to wear every morning. The expert in order Alicia Iglesias tells in her book Put your life in order, that the good routine of tomorrow begins at night. “To have a good morning you don’t have to focus too much on the morning itself. My proposal is to carry out a small night routine that will not take you more than 15 or 20 minutes, or less depending on what you do, if you live alone or if you have many children, ”she says. It is about picking up what has been thrown around the house to leave everything in place before going to bed; pick up the dishes for dinner, prepare everything that is needed for the next day (including breakfast) and, if you use an agenda or planner, review the tasks you have signed up. The golden rule is “avoid thinking in the morning. If you want to have a calm morning, you should let everything work automatically, so that the mind can wake up little by little”, adds the expert. To this we add another tip that the actress Marta Nieto gave us a long time ago: perfume her clothes at night because that way she gets the smell to permeate more.RELATED
#2. The Zadie Smith Rule
Carine Roitfeld once said that she didn’t like her makeup to be too elaborate because she preferred it to look like “I had more important things to do than look in the mirror.” And writer Zadie Smith that she had decided not to spend more than 15 minutes in front of the mirror, especially after noticing her 7-year-old daughter spending too much time in front of it. To this we add the benefits added by the psychologist Pilar Guerra Escudero: reducing the time spent in front of the mirror allows us to be more concentrated and increase self-acceptance because in some way the physical aspect is downplayed to prioritize other aspects of our well-being.
#3. Don’t look at the clock
There is more and more talk about how beneficial it can be to measure time with music sequences to avoid the stress generated by looking at the clock (and seeing that you are late). It is about calculating the time it takes to do things with a playlist so that each song is related to a moment in the routine. Another alternative is the trick carried out by the perfumer Alexandra Carlin: she has three hourglasses in the office (one of 15 minutes, another of 30 and another of one hour) to measure time in a more relaxed way. “They are better than a clock. They help me organize my time when I have a busy day,” she says.
#4. Analyze the order of things that are routinely done
“The order of the tasks influences the time it takes to carry them out. For example, it takes less time if you put the clothes away after folding them and if you fold them immediately after picking them up from the clothesline, because your head is concentrating on what you are doing”, explains Alicia Iglesias. This example can be transferred to many other routine tasks that we take longer to do because we believe that by doing several things at once we will achieve everything. It is preferable to do things one at a time because in multitasking the brain shifts its attention from one to another. The psychologist Laura Palomares, in fact, sums it up like this: “As much as I run and want to cover it, it is preferable to concentrate now, I am sure that I will face the next task in due course to the best of my ability.” And she adds: “It is convenient to slow down the pace when we see that we are speeding up thinking about what we have to do next.” In this way we send a reassuring message to our brain.
#5. Do not look at the mobile in the morning
In addition to the abrupt awakening that we can give our brain unnecessarily if the first thing we do is look at the mobile (and all the notifications), it has been proven that between 15 and 20 minutes can be lost reviewing things that were not important. Therefore, checking the mobile only when the morning routine has finished –better if it is when leaving home– allows you to save time in the morning and have a little more peace of mind.
#6. Sort to save time
Devoting a day to ordering drawers and other things that are used daily, saves a lot of time on a day-to-day basis. “If the objects we use frequently have easy access, our stress levels automatically decrease,” says Guerra Escudero. To which Alicia Iglesias adds. “Thanks to the order you know instantly where anything that comes into the house should be placed, so it is less difficult for your brain to color it in its place (if that place is well thought out) than to leave it anywhere. The key to the latter is collected in a phrase that is applied in another field of study, but that I have borrowed: Don’t make me think (Don’t make me think)”.
#7. stretch while making coffee
You can do it in bed – it’s an excellent way to activate our body after hours of sleep – but another alternative, as model and nutritionist Aida Artiles told us, is to do it while making coffee in the morning. “While I make coffee, which is one of the first things I do as soon as I get up, I do a couple of sun salutations (A and B), a couple of backbends (another yoga posture), a few back twists and…! ready!. Stretched out, I’m leaving, ”she says.
#8. French break
Mathilde Thomas, founder of the Caudalie brand, in her book The French Beauty Solution, reflects on how French women understand holidays. “We French have a different attitude about free time; we know that stressed, exhausted and frustrated workers are not efficient,” she says. For this reason, learning to do nothing during the holidays – with no plans or activities in sight – is her best formula for being more creative and productive the rest of the year. For this reason, taking advantage of weekends and days off to truly disconnect is another way to save time on a daily basis. Disconnect to reconnect.