Looking for the 25th Hour? Our Top Time-Saving Strategies

time saving tipsDays at the office can be incredibly long — made only longer by the fact that there are still chores, errands, and other life issues to be dealt with. We thought we’d start an open thread by listing some of the things that we do to save time on life tasks, and then see what your thoughts are.  (Pictured:  Hungry Mouse Timer, available at Amazon.com for $8.)

Cooking.
- Plan ahead. Lately, we’ve been trying to save time cooking by only doing one order from Fresh Direct for the entire month.  We figure out what recipes we want to make/try, what ingredients we need, and order everything at once.  Then, we print the recipes (we tend to copy recipes into our Palm Pilot), staple them together, and keep that printout in the kitchen for the month.  (It helps to highlight any “fresh” ingredients that should be used sooner rather than later.)  When the FD delivery comes, we put almost everything into the freezer until we’re ready to use it.   (We’ve been enjoying crockpot recipes from Kalyn’s Kitchen, lately.)
- Have a snack mentality through the day — yogurt, cheese, nuts, fruit, so forth.  Our point isn’t that you should eat low-calorie foods (to each their own), but that you can save time by finding foods that are relatively healthy for you and easy to grab and go without a lot of prep work.  Focus on calcium content, fiber, and protein — make your snacks work for you.  Other times, we’ll bring “components” to the office — for example, a blue cheese that was not a hit a party (too strong) gets added to the plain spinach and tomato salad we pick up with the deli.  We save money, get the satisfaction of using a food we bought, and don’t have to slave over “lunch” in the morning. [Read more...]

Poll: How Far in Advance Do You Plan Your Outfits?

Reader L wrote in to us with an interesting idea for a poll — how far in advance do you plan your outfits? This is particularly interesting given that we don’t think our personal system has been working. Long ago, in our early 20s, we decided to let the “mood” of the morning decide what to wear each day — it seemed true! and right! and a lot of other things that now sound somewhat naive and overemotional. Whatever the basis for the decision, though, the practical effect of each morning is that, oh drat, we’re-running-late-yet-AGAIN and quick-just-grab-the-suit-or-dress-and-jacket and run out the door. (This seems particularly sad given that, you know, we write a fashion blog.) So we’re rethinking. Photo credit: Closet, originally uploaded to Flickr by Becaberry.

Readers, how far in advance do you plan your wardrobe? We’ve tried to hit broad strokes in the poll, but please tell us in comments why you’ve taken that particular plan of attack. Obvious things factor into the decision — the weather, what’s clean, what fits — but what else?

outfits