Let's Connect:


daily looks

Time Saving Hacks For A More Efficient & Productive Year!

January 12, 2018


Erin Schrader

If you are anything like me [for starters, sorry] but secondly, if there is one thing you feel like you are always short on and never have enough of, it’s time. Every day I wake up and I think “how can I actually accomplish everything I’m hoping to in these short 14 hours I have today?!” More than ever, call it the curse of a new year, I’ve been on the hunt for ways that I can save some of that precious time and become more efficient in areas that often suck up a lot of those minutes, hours or heck, sometimes days. It’s not always easy to form new habits, but it can often be some of the best changes you’ll ever make. If you too are hoping to get some of your life back in 2018, here is a roundup of ideas from the LIY team with things that we either do now or are looking to implement this year! Hopefully, one or twelve of these ideas will resonate with you and leave you with a few extra hours each and every day to sit back, relax and sip that rosé. And if none of this helps, consider checking out this Pinterest board we created with tons of other ideas as well!


  • First up, one of the BEST things I have invested in over the past month was a Roomba vacuum. I was a huge skeptic and petrified that we would be the next victim of a viral video where dog poop is spread all over the house thanks to an automatic vacuum. Thankfully, no poop smears yet and would I go as far to say it’s been life changing? Yes, yes, I would. We have it set to run every single day at 10 am and it goes all over the house from hardwood floors, to tile, to carpet, rugs and everywhere in between with no problem. I love that it gets under the couches and bed as well. Once it’s done it finds its way right back home to its dock and voila, I didn’t have to vacuum myself to get a clean floor! Magic, really.
  • Fluff your clothes in the dryer for 2-3 minutes before hanging to dry. This will get the wrinkles out of many items without shrinking them and will hopefully save you from taking the time to iron!
  • The night before, get your kiddos outfits out and ready including shoes as well as your own! You may want to opt for two outfits for yourself just in case you change your mind [a woman’s perogative] or in case the weather changes! This will save you so much time in the mornings and makes for one less decision you have to make before coffee.
  • Turbie Twist – Put this on after a shower while getting dressed, doing makeup, household chores, etc. Cuts down on blow drying time and helps give your hair extra shine!
  • Shower Cap & Dry Shampoo — It takes me so long to wash, dry and style my hair, I do not have the time in my week to do it every day! Instead, I use a shower cap to do a quick body shower in the morning, and dry shampoo is a lifesaver for someone like me who gets greasy hair after a day or two. Using these two items saves me hours every week!


  • Do as much as you can WHILE making dinner! Dirty items go right into the dishwasher when done which reduces cleanup time later. During the downtime of waiting for the meal to cook, prep for the next evening’s dinner, wash dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher, pack the next morning’s lunch for you and/or kiddos!
  • Invest in an Instant Pot or other kitchen products that cut your time way down [we love these microwave baked potato pouches!]
  • Meal plan a month (or week if that’s too daunting at first!) at a time! Make sure to include recipes early in the week that you can use to complete meals throughout the week, for example: Make a chicken dish on Monday, throwing in a few extra breasts to be used for a recipe using cooked chicken later in the week (chicken and noodles, casserole, chicken tacos, etc). If I know we have a busy evening during the week, those are my “use leftover ingredients” night because the meal is already started! Also when it’s all planned out in advance, no running to the store for last-minute ingredients!


  • Spend a few moments at the beginning of the day thinking about what needs to be done throughout the day and make a prioritized list. Less wasted time throughout the day wondering what to do next! Narrow down your top 3 MOST important items that need to get done and focus on those FIRST.
  • You know how all of the great thoughts come at the random times? [A lot of things occur to me while drying my hair or while in the shower for some reason!] When you think of a random task that needs to be done today, tomorrow, next week- write it down right away! Whether you’re a notebook/planner/app person, getting things down (noting the day you should work on them) while they’re fresh in your mind will make sitting down each morning to prioritize your list a little easier!
  • Use Wunderlist – This app for your phone or desktop can help organize your t0-do lists, assign tasks to each, input due dates, create packing lists, grocery shopping lists and so much more! The LIY team uses this for EVERYTHING and it’s such a life-saver!
  • Set a timer! This has been one of the most helpful things I have done for when it comes to staying focused and on task. I will set an alarm on my phone for an adequate time to finish the task and then once the timer is up I know it’s time to move on. This will almost create a competition within yourself to make sure it’s finished before the timer goes off. This also works really well when cleaning your house, dinner prep, etc!


  • Set your prescriptions to autofill and send you text reminders with Walgreens or CVS apps.
  • Consider purchasing Amazon Dash buttons for your most commonly used household items and place the buttons next to where those items are located. As soon as you see you are running low, simply click the button and it will reorder more for you! Genius, really.
  • Order your new license plates online. No one likes going to the BMV and if there is one place that takes up our precious time, it’s there!
  • Order your groceries online – Many grocery stores are offering pick up or delivery options for people willing to order their groceries online. This is usually for a minimal cost, and can save you hours each week! Try your local grocery stores, or online delivery services such as Farmbox [produce] or Brandless [non-perishables & household items].

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We would love to keep this conversation going on other ways that you save time throughout your day and make your life easier. Drop a comment below on additional ways we can all increase our rosé hours 😉 Happy efficient, easier and productive 2018!


share this with your best girlfriends:

Read More

All of my favorite at-home hair care and styling products!

Read More

Sweatshirt [true to size] // Shorts [size up, wearing in medium] // Sneakers [true to size] The results are in, and these Amazon shorts are a WIN! We tried ’em from size XS to Large [in all the colors of the rainbow], and over and over we’re giving ’em nothing but raving reviews! Take a […]

Read More

My favorite beauty must-haves, all in one spot!

Read More

From tasty snacks to easy, ready-to-make meals, we’re sharing our favorite Delicious and Healthy Foods from Trader Joe’s.

Oldies but Goodies

Check Out These

The newsletter you actually want to read.

signed, sealed, delivered.

© Living in Yellow. Site Credits.