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12 tips to make the most of your day

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Does it seem like you're constantly trying to keep up with domestic duties, errands, relationships and your health? Maybe you feel like there is no time for the things you really want to do. You're not alone. In a recent survey of more than 1000 women conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Instead Softcup, women were asked which activities kept them from doing the things they wanted to do. Almost half of the women surveyed cited domestic chores (49%). A similar number (47%) cited paying bills or running errands. And almost a quarter of women (23%) included activities such as making phone calls, texting and e-mailing as significant time sinks.

"Whatever their obligations, women are coming up with creative ways to conserve their time and cut down stress," explained Beth Battaglino Cahill, executive director of HealthyWomen. "We asked the HealthyWomen community to give us their tips on saving time and selected the best tips to share so we can all try to find more time for the things that are most important to us."

From hundreds of submissions, HealthyWomen selected the top 12 easiest and most practical ways to save time throughout the day—and to take advantage of that extra hour of morning sunshine that comes with Daylight Savings Time. See the results below.

HealthyWomen's Top 12 Time-Saving Tips:

    Domestic Duties
  1. Make Fridays leftover night. You will clean out the fridge and save time and money. Rose T., Washington
  2. We know you want to be watching TV, but how about making that personal time a bit more productive? Use commercial breaks to squeeze in some of the end-of-day chores—sort laundry, start the washer, vacuum a room, unload the dishwasher, organize the kitchen counter. Isabel H., South Carolina
  3. Sign up for free automatic bill-paying services for all recurring bills such as utility bills, etc. Then set up an online bank account for free, one-click payment of all other bills—saves time, postage and gas! Dorothea S., Washington

  4. Running Errands
  5. Combine as many errands as you can into one outing, grouping them by location and reducing travel time. Julia W., Washington, D.C.
  6. Ask for help! Keep a list of your errands and an ear open in case your spouse, relative or friend is headed to the same place. Anonymous
  7. Ride your bike, walk or run to run local errands, eliminating the need to take time to exercise later. Rachel L., Georgia

  8. Communicating With Others
  9. Set a schedule and establish boundaries throughout the day. For example, at the beginning of each conversation, tell others how much time you have available. It's as easy as saying, "I'm glad you called, but I've only got about 10 minutes to chat..." Shannon S., Texas
  10. Make e-mail more efficient—spending the time to unsubscribe to all the junk e-mails will give you an inbox with just the information you want, and you'll spend less time deleting the stuff you don't. Marsha S., New Jersey
  11. Take public transportation to work, and use that time to read, update your to-do list or answer personal e-mails. Anonymous

  12. Health and Beauty
  13. Reconsider your definition of clean, and don't shampoo every day. Your hair will be healthier and shinier, and your shower will be shorter. Ute V., Florida
  14. Keep your period light—at least packing for it. You can safely wear a menstrual cup all day, which saves time changing and packing your feminine protection. Anonymous
  15. Tried and true: Set your clothes out the night before. Women who don't can waste time trying on different outfits or having to iron at the busiest time of the day. Deolinda J., New York

Read more about the survey and find out how women would actually spend their time if they had more of it by clicking here.

This content was developed with the support of an educational grant from Instead Softcup.