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Blog: Making the most of your Time
Time Savers II

Two weeks ago I wrote about various ways to save time. This seems to be a FAVORITE topic given the time of year. I thought I'd expand upon this topic as it related to the holidays.

One time consumer I talk about endlessly with my clients is mail. The volume of mail people receive these days is outrageous. You can reduce the amount of mail you receive and get control of junk mail by talking to any one of the following groups:
  • DMA Mail preference service: PO BOX 9008 / Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
  • Stop Junk Mail Association: 800-827-5549
  • Private Citizen: 800-CUT-JUNK
  • Consumer Research Institute (Stop The Junk Mail Kit): PO BOX 612/ Ithaca, NY 14851
  • www.greendimes.com (my favorite option!)
And, while were on that topic I'm sure you've noticed the number of catalogs coming to your mailbox has increased in number. Don't pile them up thinking you'll flip through them unless you have a gift idea in mind or you really have the time to look at them.

Next, there is the issue of buying more wrapping paper than you need because you don't know what you have. Take 5 minutes to assess what you have before you buy. Save yourself time and money. You don't need a sixth roll of wrapping paper with snowmen.

Make a list and refer to that list for holiday shopping. Keep it with you when you leave the house so if you have 30 minutes to kill before a meeting or in between picking up the kids, you can pick up something on your holiday list. Your list (I use Excel) should include the person, gift idea, budget, actual amount spent and a ship date if you are sending it so it will arrive on time.

If you don't have a lot of time to buy gifts in stores, buy online. This is becoming an incredibly efficient way to make gift purchases. You save on gas, parking stress and you know if what you're buying is in stock. Consider making more purchases online than in store than you did last year. Look to make sure the website you purchase from is encrypted to protect your credit card information.

Finally, this is the season to mix and mingle. If you get a lot of invitations to various holiday parties don't say yes to all of them if it means being double booked every weekend between now and New Years. It's okay to say 'no' and select only a few to attend. You will leave yourself very little time to enjoy your holiday season if you are perpetually 'in route' to the next party. Spend quality time with the people you want to see and make the most of your holiday time.

posted on: 11/28/2007 9:30:00 AM by Brita Bolane
category: Time Management

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Making the most of your Time

by Brita Bolane

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About Brita:

Brita Bolane is the President of pare it down, inc. a professional organizing service in the San Diego area. Brita helps people streamline their lives through residential organization and time management consultation. Brita's first introduction to time management was when she attended college on a full atheltic scholarship (volleyball). She went on to play professionally on the beach and in Italy. Today, Brita is a business owner, wife and mother and understands the challenges of keeping a busy schedule and an organized life.

Brita's Website:


Time Savers

  • evite
    If you don't have time to get traditional invitations out in the mail, this is a great resource for quick internet invitations. They also have information and suggestions on entertaining.
  • shutterfly
    Digital, it's the way to go. Sites like shutterfly help you organize and arrange photos without having to print them first. They offer free, unlimited photo storage and if you do want to print pictures, you can print them to your local Target store. In addition, you can create wonderful gifts for family and friends in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Sunday
    Sunday is a virtual assistant service. Depending on how busy your life is, this could be a useful service and a real time saver. I love the concept but have not tried it yet.

Resources for Life

  • Martha Stewart
    I am a long time fan of Martha Stewart. Her website, magazines and TV program offer so many different and fun ideas. It's inspirational on many levels.

Tasty Treats

  • TasteSpotting
    Interesting site that people can post food ideas and blogs, recipes or places to buy the best tasting treats. The pictures are mouth watering!

Technology to love

  • oovoo
    I'm a big fan of face to face or internet to internet phone calls. Our family does this and it's amazing how much more you get out of the call when you see the person you're talking to. oovoo is a free service you can download to your computer that let's you have video converstations.
  • skype
    skype is an internet based phone service that let's you call computer to computer for free! Who doesn't love to talk for free?!

Books I Love

  • The Success Principles
    Jack Canfield is the cocreator of the Chicken Soup for Soul series. This is his book on how to achieve your goals in an effective and measurable way. I really like this book
  • Getting Things Done The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    Author David Allen provides a great approach to managing all your to do lists and how to focus on the most important tasks each day.
  • The 4-Hour Workweek
    Timothy Ferris writes a revolutionary book and makes you rethink how you use your time.

Related Products:

Triple Bel Timer

Bubbles for Busy Moms

Time Management Case Studies

Simplify Your Time

Time Control Training

The Calendar Planner

Time Management

ILY Quartz Analog Alarm Clock

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