A Man’s Guide to Streamlining Your Life and Having More Time for the Stuff You Love

You know how it is: After you come home, make dinner, tidy the house, and take care of everyday tasks, there’s hardly enough time left over to watch an episode of Game of Thrones before you drop into bed so you can do it all again tomorrow. Weekends are filled with yard work and social engagements, and you find yourself wondering where all your time is going. But you’d be amazed by all the time you’re actually wasting on a daily basis. In this quick and easy guide, we’ll show you a few ways that you can streamline your life and stop wasting time so that you have more time at the end of the day to do the things you love.

Keep Your Toiletries Together

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? If you’re like a lot of guys, your morning routine looks something like this: You wake up and shower. Then, you fish through bathroom drawers and cupboards looking for your hairbrush, your comb, and your shaving supplies, slowly taking care of your needs, only to get to work and realize you forgot to put on deodorant.

By keeping your toiletries together in a dopp kit under your sink, you eliminate the need to remember anything in the morning. Simply pull out your toiletry bag, use what’s inside, and then tuck it back where it goes. This tiny step can speed up your morning significantly and make you feel more prepared for your day. This, in turn, can increase your productivity for the rest of the day. It might also mean that you don’t have to get up quite as early in the morning, which can allow you to stay up a little later in the evenings.

Stop Waiting for Things

Picture this: You’re done getting ready upstairs, so you head downstairs. You start your coffee brewing and throw some toast in the toaster. What do you do next? If your answer is that you wait for your toast and coffee to be done, you are wasting your valuable time. Whether it’s a coffee maker, a toaster, a microwave, or the fax machine at work, you shouldn’t spend your time waiting for a machine if you can help it.

Instead of waiting for things to finish, use that time to accomplish a task you’d otherwise have to do later. The three minutes it takes to make toast, for example, is the perfect amount of time for swapping a load of laundry around, wiping down the counters, or sweeping the kitchen. When you stop waiting around for things to finish and instead find ways to be productive with that time, you save yourself several minutes each day. Two minutes here and three minutes there might not seem like a lot of time, but it definitely adds up through the course of your week.

Order Your Groceries

If you stop for groceries on the way home every night, you are wasting a lot of time. Most grocery chains, including places like Target or Walmart, have the option to order your groceries ahead and pick them up. While there’s usually a fee for this service, the fee is often less than you’d pay on impulse buys while in the store anyway. Meanwhile, ordering your groceries ahead forces you to meal plan, since you only want to pay the service fee once in a week. Meal planning, in turn, not only saves you time each day since you don’t have to think about what to cook, but it also saves you money since you’re not as tempted to order take out food because cooking seems too daunting a task. And anything that can save you both time and money is a win in our book!

Have a Place for Your Essentials

How many times have you spent the morning overhauling your home in a search for your keys or your wallet? Chasing after your essentials wastes your time, and it also leaves you playing catch-up for the rest of the day. If you’re five minutes late to work, you feel compelled to stay an extra five minutes at the end of the day. That five minutes turns into ten or twenty if you start a project, and suddenly your evening has gone out the window.

Instead of risking this happening to you, choose a designated spot for all of your items to go at the end of your day. Place a valet tray there to catch your items, and make sure it’s someplace convenient for you. For example, if you tend to drop your stuff right when you come in the door, leave your valet tray on a table right inside. If, on the other hand, you tend to do it when you change clothes, you might be better off having the valet tray on the end table in the bedroom. The key is to do what works for you so that you actually use the valet tray.

Have Plans for Evenings

How much time do you waste debating with your spouse what you want to watch? Instead, spend a small chunk of time on Sunday planning out what you want to do with the week, and put those items in your planner. Maybe you’ve both been wanting to watch a certain movie. Pick a night when you’ll want to do that. Shows that come out at a certain time each week are a given, but go ahead and write them down as a reminder to yourself. Planning your evening out, while it seems like it takes the spontaneity out of the night, means that you’ll spend less time discussing what to do with your evening and more time actually doing it.

When you’re in the thick of a busy lifestyle, it’s hard to see areas you could improve. The truth is that we all waste time on a daily basis. By focusing on moments when you’re wasting yours, you can reclaim your day and have more time to do what you love.