“Yes, at home or on the job, Dad was always the efficiency expert. He
buttoned his vest from the bottom up; instead of from the top down, because
the bottom-to-top process took him only three seconds, while the top to
bottom took seven. He even used two shaving brushes to lather his face
because he found that by so doing he could cut seventeen seconds of his
shaving time. For a while he tried shaving with two razors, but he finally
gave that up.”
–Cheaper by the Dozen, Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Finding Hidden Time
While I don’t suggest that you be as extreme in your routine as the dad from Cheaper by the Dozen, but there is a great lesson here. By analyzing your daily tasks you can eliminate the unnecessary and develop new routines aimed at finding hidden time in your day. By combining tasks, you can find minutes if not hours in your day. I’m not talking about returning e-mails while driving your children to school, but if you walk the dogs in the morning walk by the mailbox then instead of driving to it later in the day. Do some calf raises while washing the dishes, or lunges while vacuuming. When playing hide ‘n’ seek, I suggest hiding in an area that needs some tidying up. My son has found me “hiding” in many a closet rearranging.
Developing a New System
How do you go about developing your new systems? For one week list everything you do and everything you wish you could have done. At the end of the week review the lists looking for items that can be eliminated, delegated, or combined. Get creative! Combine watering the garden and throwing the ball for the dogs. Defend the neighborhood from dragons while weeding. The time is hiding you just have to find it.
How do you add time to your day? Let us know in the comments below.