Ever since I moved to London two years ago, I have found that living in the big city is both exhausting and exhilarating. In the city that never sleeps, I have found somewhere that is awake just as much as me, sending me on a merry go round through urban living, as I navigate my way through a city that is always alive no matter what. Yet keeping pace in a city whose way of life is ‘relentless’ can be an exhausting feat to manage as I flit through meetings, events, deadlines and try and juggle an effective balance between work and play. At times I am drained by my daily routine, longing to sink my head into soft sheets and shutting the world out outside as I sleep into a sensual slumber, but instead I lie awake watching the clock go tick, tock, tick, tock. Life as an insomniac can mean that you are sluggish, de-motivated and fatigued on a daily basis, meaning that it can be difficult to maintain productivity and create a well-tailored routine in the big city. In fact most of the time I finish my days thinking that I have not been ‘productive enough’ or have not prioritized my time, as I glance forlornly at the large pile of deadlines, washing and to-do list that seems to go on for eons. I have always struggled with time management from a young age, and yet to others who see me as ‘organized’ it might come as a surprise that I am doing 10 things at once because I haven’t quite mastered the art of saving time in the big city.
My alter ego Maggie however has popped in at Faded Spring HQ to tell us guys and gals exactly how to make the most of our ‘days’ by focusing on managing our time more effectively, through tips like creating ‘to-do lists’, timing our phone calls and using dry cleaners to keep on top of our washing, especially if you are not the most avid cleaner like me. So what are you waiting for? Will you join Maggie and Me for some simple tips on learning how to save time in the big city?
1. Make Your Meals The Social Highlight Of Your Day
If you are anything like me then you probably spend the majority of your day dreaming about your next meal as visions of pumpkin curries swathed in rice puff up in a dream cloud in front of your very eyes. But if like me, you are more likely to eat food while working, then chances are-again like me- you won’t find mealtimes very relaxing. Which is why I have made a conscious effort to stop working when I eat lunch or dinner, so that I can have at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted Ru Paul’s Drag Race, while I chow down on some delicious home cooked food. And nine times out of 10 I will feel a-lot better, and more productive because I have taken time out of my day to not only give my body the nutrients it needs but also scheduled me-time in, to distract from my workload, even if it is only for a short while. For others, meals might be a great way to connect with loved ones, especially if you are with a family or friends, and need to unwind from all the work that is piling up on your desk.
You might choose to order pizza with your bestie and binge Gossip Girl, or perhaps The Inbetweeners is more your thing. Even if you pencil in time with your family, and you all bicker among yourselves, at least you can go back to your work knowing that you have had social interaction, which in my case can make me feel more human. After all we are social creatures by nature!
2. Invest in A Dry Cleaner To Keep On Top Of Overflowing Laundry (Dry Cleaners London)
If there is one thing I struggle with, it is the endless amount of washing piles that seem to sprout out of every single nook and cranny that I own. From dresses to skirts, no matter how much washing I seem to do, there always seems to be more just lurking around the corner. Whether it’s work or house maintenance, there never seems to be enough hours in the day and I am not the only one who struggles to keep on top of her cleaning chores. In fact did you know that the average person in London spends over one and a half hours each week on their laundry, including folding and ironing? With a dry cleaner like Sproose, not only can they collect washing from your home, but they will also iron your clothes for you, meaning that you have more time to do the things that you love and don’t need to worry about household chores quite as much.
So instead of bemoaning the endless washing and ironing that you have to get through, or lugging a laundry bag to a launderette, why not book a dry cleaning service to come to you? That way you can relax watching Bojack Horseman, instead of running round the house throwing clothes into the washing machine, while ironing what seems to be 100 shirts all at once.
3.Monitor Your Time And Prioritize Your Day
Even when you are working long hours, those hours are not necessarily spent being productive. For example let’s say you work a 12 hour day, just how many of those hours are you spending procrastinating by being on your phone, watching television or searching up random things on the web? It’s a good chance that you are procrastinating a lot more than you think, and that might be because your to-do list is ‘far too long’ or you have too many distractions close by.For example even though I need my phone for social media, I do get distracted by it when I am trying to ‘write blog posts’, which is why I will put my phone at the other side of the room, so that it is out of sight and out of mind, and that I can check it ‘once the work is done’. Because I always have a need to check my phone, what I do is check it after I have drafted the post, check it while photos are uploading after I have edited them, and then check it once the post has been published, meaning that I have little boosts to get me through a deadline without getting distracted.
In fact Tom Peters, a business guru has stated that it is so important to learn the art of monitoring our time, because ‘what gets measured gets done’. If you measure the time you spend you can identify areas where you can adjust and improve. Try measuring your time just for a week, or even a day. You’ll be surprised where you find pockets of poorly used time that you can reapportion. In my case this differs from week to week, but on days where I have been less productive I can glean that I spent too much time getting distracted by Netflix and my phone, meaning that I know I need to learn to apportion my time more effectively, to prioritize my day.
4. Schedule In Some Much Needed Me Time And Try And Rest, If Not Get A Better Sleep
I know that ‘getting rest’ is easier said than done, especially if you have insomnia like me and struggle to go to sleep at night. But what I will say is this, even if you do have problems sleeping like myself, at the very least you owe it to yourself to get some rest, even if it is just shutting your eyes, or taking cat naps. After all lack of rest will result in a lack of focus, which because I am tired all the time can mean that at times it is very difficult to concentrate or have the energy to do anything but lay in bed. Of course it goes without saying that having a good ‘night’s sleep’ is better than cat naps or a little rest, as solid sleep time enables you to feel less stressed, more energized and refreshed, ready to take on the world with large strides. Furthermore, the better the quality of your sleep, the more that you will be able to be productive during the day, which will leave you feeling less stressed as the evening goes on, and more relaxed, so that you can sleep better.
Alongside improving the quality of your sleep, it is so important to schedule in some me time, especially if you work long hours and have so little time before you have to get up again and watch the wheels go round. Whether it is 5 minutes or two hours, taking that little time out to separate from the work you had been doing previously, is another great way of de-stressing and winding down before bed. After all, your day should always belong to you, so even if you have children, friends and family, you still need to focus on yourself, for the sake of your mental and physical wellbeing.
How Do You Save Time In The Big City?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.