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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane


Unless you live on another planet, there are never enough hours in the day. But if you use these efficiency techniques, you can win that battle with time:

1. Always do at least two things at once. While showering, write a screenplay. While sorting laundry, invent a handy appliance for the home. While chatting on the phone with a dull acquaintance, take a nap.

2. Consolidate self-improvement routines. Exercise to learn-a-language tapes while watching watercolor videos. Not only will you save time, but you'll have thin thighs for that trip to Le Musée du Louvre.

3. Buy a speaker-phone for your kitchen. You'll be able to cook, vacuum, and knit dog-hair booties while you talk on the phone.

4. When you're in the kitchen, post reminder notes on the fridge. ("It's the laundry, stupid.")

5. Group chores alphabetically. If you have to go to the pharmacy, combine your trip with errands beginning with the letter "P."

6. Except for items with heavy late fees, pay bills no more than four times a year. Think of all the writing-stuffing-licking time you'll save. Not to mention your savings on stamps. And don't worry about forgetting a bill. They'll remind you soon enough.

7. Reduce the frequency of house-cleaning chores. Why vacuum twice a week, when you can do it once a month? Ditto for dusting. And if you wait long enough, your spouse may break down and grab a mop.

8. Cut down on other time-wasting tasks. Delete half your emails unread. And must you really bathe every day?

9. Streamline chores by eliminating non-essentials. If you never touch that crystal vase except to dust it, it's time to throw it out.

10. Speaking of non-essentials, get rid of your iron. If you don't, you'll be tempted to use it.

11. Unless you're expecting guests, forget about making that bed. It'll only get messy again. Besides, who's to know?

12. Disregard the concept of separating coloreds from whites. Proudly clothe yourself in pink.

13. Assign chores to family members, keeping their ages in mind. Ask "Is my spouse mature enough to take out the garbage?"

14. If you're sick of picking up after your family, keep a large trunk near the center of your home. It's a handy place to throw abandoned toys, dirty dishes, and smelly socks. And it can also double as an end table.

15. Do you waste time waking family members up? Hide their alarm clocks, forcing them to dive under the bed to quell the racket. This will also reduce dust-bunny build-up.

16. Capture small molecules of down time and do something useful. Those seconds in the elevator provide just enough time to compose a memo, read the paper, clip your toenails, or polish your shoes.

17. Car trips furnish a fine opportunity to catch up on chores. Crochet a sweater. Sew runaway buttons onto shirts. Polish your silver. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road.

18. Add efficiency to grocery shopping. While squeezing fruit, comparison shop on your cellular phone.

19. And while we're on the subject of supermarkets, don't forget those frustrating lines. Use the time to organize your purse. Simply grab an extra wagon and spread out your stuff.

20. Anticipate long waits and bring something to do. Let's say you're going to the doctor. Cut meal preparation time in half by taking along a knife, cutting board, and lots of veggies. Not only is this a good use of time, but it may hasten your appointment ... Just don't forget the onions and garlic.

I'd give you more pointers, but I wouldn't want to waste your time.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
1st Published Hysteria Magazine

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