How to Hack your Errands
Hey guys, so this was the first weekend in a LONG time that I really didn’t accomplish much on the to-do list. I let myself truly relax and enjoy more time with friends and stay up late. I didn’t bother my boyfriend about shooting any pictures for the blog (I love you Craig!) and I took some time to smell the roses and celebrate birthdays and friendships.
Usually, on the weekend, I’m pretty focused on getting stuff done for work or the blog OR putting together playlists for my classes at Fly that I teach. I don’t want to make it sound like I don’t enjoy my weekends because I certainly do enjoy staying busy and working on things I’m passionate about. However, what always seems to take up way too much time are the errands that need to be run so that I can actually be prepared for my week. Luckily I have figured out a couple of ways to hack my time when it comes to running many of my errands. This blog is all about saving money but money EQUALS time, right? Some would say your time is even more important because it’s the one thing you can never get back.
Here are a few ways to save yours:
1. ORDER YOUR GROCERIES ONLINE AND PICK THEM UP: Serious shout out to my friend Madison who mentioned this is even possible to me while we were out getting a drink the other night. While I love going to the grocery store and perusing aisles for new snacks or drinks, it’s different when I have to go to the store and get everything I need for one week. It usually takes me an hour to get through the store (longer if I run into someone I know) and about thirty minutes to put together the list before I even go. I also somehow always end up putting together a new list every week, even though I typically buy the same things every week. My friend Madison mentioned that our grocery store here, Hy-Vee, has online ordering and you can go online, order your groceries, then go pick them up at the store. When you create an account online, you can save your weekly list, then pay online, schedule your pick up and then the store even has designated parking for you, so all you have to do is park your car, call the number on the sign and they bring your groceries out and put them in your car. It’s an additional $2.95 for the service and guys, Craig and I did it this weekend, and it’s amazing. I’m going to use it every single week now because I love that I can save my list, and then schedule my pick-up time. Here’s the link to Hy-Vee’s site, go check it out! I have a feeling I’ll also spend less MONEY if I have a pre-determined list each week too. =)
2. ORDER YOUR COFFEE AHEAD OF TIME ON THE STARBUCKS APP: I know I’ve talked about Starbucks on the blog before, but ordering ahead on their app is one of the best things I’ve ever discovered in my life. Usually, my work week is crazy and if I want coffee in the middle of the day, I have about 15 minutes to get it. What I usually do now, even in the mornings, is order my coffee ahead on my app, pop into Starbucks and grab it from the mobile pick-up area, and go on my way. I even love doing this after I work out on Saturdays and I’m headed home to shower and start my day. As soon as I get out of class, I’ll order the coffee while I get ready, then pop over and grab it when I’m done. I save 15 minutes a day with this simple trick.
3. ORDER GIFTS YOU HAVE TO GET ASAP:
For me, this is a time when I have MANY friends/family celebrating huge milestones in their life. Baby showers, weddings, bachelorette parties, and unfortunately, even funerals are events that I’m receiving invitations to at least once every two weeks. So, what I’m doing now, (this is honestly another tip from a friend) is ordering the gift IMMEDIATELY when I receive the invitation in the mail. As soon as I get an invite, I order the gift online and honestly, I look for any retailer that will offer free gift wrapping to make this even easier. Most of my friends are registered somewhere, so it takes about 2 minutes to find something they’ll like, pop in my info and then gets it sent to my house. Guys, this will save you so much time. You won’t have to worry about it last minute and trek out to a store frantically hoping to find something that wasn’t already bought. This is a great example of how to utilize the “2–Minute Rule” which is in David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, Part 1. He says, “If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now,” and I couldn’t agree more.
4. IF YOU HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE WHERE YOU’RE BOUND TO WAIT AROUND, ASSIGN YOURSELF A TASK:
There are a few places that I go that I’m always “waiting” when I’m there: my doctor’s office, the phone store, and the nail salon. It doesn’t matter how well I think I plan, I’m always losing 15 to 30 minutes by sitting around at one of those places I just mentioned, so the way I combat this is multi-tasking while I’m there. Haven’t looked at your bank account in awhile? Go through your checkings account on your phone and look for discrepancies while you wait. I’ve done that before and made myself money by finding weird charges or double tips from restaurants. Still getting way too many emails? Go ahead and unsubscribe from the ones you’re constantly getting alerts on. Thinking you want to take a trip somewhere exotic this summer? Set up Google tracking alerts while you wait so you can monitor prices (this is an amazing feature and probably deserves another post on its own). I’m sure you get the picture, but my point is, take advantage of the moments where you probably do want to be doing SOMETHING and make them count.
What’s funny about this post, is that it emerged out of a day that really sucked for me. I didn’t plan well and was rushing to get stuff done all day and at the end of the day, I thought to myself “how did I only run 4 errands in three hours?” Well, I sat in the Starbucks line for 25 minutes, went into the grocery store for over an hour, waited at the nail salon for 45 minutes and then forgot to pick up a friend’s birthday gift at Target. By the end of the day, I was tired and frustrated and I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to. So, here’s to more productive weekends, more time spent with family and friends and more lessons learned from time wasted. I hope these tips help you!