Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


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Tips on Tuesdays…Speed Shopping

While we’ve probably all heard of speed dating and maybe some of us have even experienced it, Speed Shopping is not quite the same.

Basically – Speed Shopping is shopping done with speed and purpose.  Well, maybe it is more like speed dating than I realize.

The keys to speed shopping are to get in and get out of the grocery store quickly, without spending any more time or money than necessary.  There are some key components to speed shopping:

 

 

 

  • Make a list – – whether you have a standard list of items that you check off as your run out or if you shop from a weekly menu – make a list of all the items you will need from this one shopping trip.
  • Arrange the items on your list in the order of the store.  Most likely, you shop at one or two regular places, so you are familiar with the store layout.
  • Shop at one or two regular stores so you become accustomed to the store lay out.
  • Time yourself on the first run through.  This will be your “control”.  Challenge yourself to cut a set number of minutes from each future grocery store visit.
  • NO SHOPPING!  And by this I mean, there is to be no dilly-dallying through the aisles, looking at new products.  Save those excursions when you aren’t “speed shopping”
  • Wear uncomfortable shoes or don’t wear make up.  When you are uncomfortable or self-conscience about your appearance , you’ll be apt to get in and get out.
  • Organize coupons in order of your list.  Place a *** next to items on your list that have coupons and then when you are waiting in line, find said coupons.
  • Take the kids.  Nothing says get me out of here more than kids in the grocery cart. (I have kids, so I can speak freely on this topic.)

Speed Shopping is for regular and routine trips to the grocery store.   Give yourself more time every once in a while to explore the store for new items.

Today’s question – do you say “in line” or “on line”?  Also include what part of the country you reside.  I never heard “on line” until I met a friend from New York….being from Texas, we always say “in line’.

Happy Tuesday!

~Amy 


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Word Up Wednesday – Disposable -v- Discretionary Income

Many times people use or hear the term “Disposable Income” and think – this is all the money that people have leftover to do whatever they please.  Play money.  Not play money is the Monopoly sense….but money with which to play.

This is, however, incorrect.  Disposable Income is that income that is earned minus taxes.  So basically – disposable income is take-home money.

Within Disposable Income all your expenses need to be accounted.

On the contrary – Discretionary Income is all the leftover money that one has after taxes and expenses have been taken out.  

Discretionary income = (Gross income – taxes – necessities)

From both a personal and business standpoint, it is important to acknowledge both incomes.

For personal:  Your disposable income needs to include things like food, mortgage, cars, utilities…all your normal expenses.

Then after all those are taken out – you can budget things like vacations, gifts, fun stuff from the discretionary income pile.   $$$

From a small business owner aspect….you need to realize which income stream does your service or product fall into for your clients or customers.

It is pretty sweet if you are in the disposable income side.  But don’t take that for granted.  You need to keep yourself in a status that makes your service or product a “need” in their eyes.

If you happen to fall into the discretionary income part…that’s not a bad thing. People spend a lot of money of things they don’t technically need.  And just because times are tough and people are cutting back, they aren’t cutting back on everything.  Just make sure you are offering your service or product to the best of your ability, which will make it really hard to cut out of your customer’s lives.

Happy Wednesday!

~Amy

My eBook – Making Time for Dinner, Time saving tips for on the go families is now available  for Kindle on www.amazon.com  And for a limited time, it is free for Prime subscribers.  Please check it out and leave a review!


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Not Me Monday – A No-Do List

Happy Monday Morning!

Today’s edition of Not Me Monday is all about creating a No-Do List.  What is a No Do List – – well, you’ll have to read to find out more.

I love this author’s idea of creating a list of things to not do.  I think from a time management perspective…this is just as important as creating your To-Do List.

I love her first two items on her No-Do List.

1. Don’t watch reruns

2. Don’t waste time online.

But like she mentions in the first part of the blog….this list is personal.  And I like that she says it is not a negative thing…in fact – it is really quite the opposite.

This could be a fun exercise – – what would you put on your No-Do List?  Take a look at your biggest time wasters…can you “not do them” this week?  How about just one… what would that be?  Share it in the comments section – – we can get some inspiration from each other.

Hope your day is a great one!

~Amy


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Word Up Wednesday – Out of Office Assistant/Reply

Do you ever get those auto replies that say something like

“I’m out of the office this week, I’ll be in touch with you when I return.”  

This auto reply function on your email server has become named the “Out of Office Assistant” and that my friends, is today’s Word Up Wednesday!

This auto reply is very helpful for people who send and receive a lot of email.  It is a courtesy  for those on the sending end to be notified that you are planning on being away from your normal routine for a set period of time and when they can expect to hear back from you.

This function is available on most email servers and to use this option isn’t limited to only professionals or small business owners.  I suggest setting it for your personal email as well.

A couple of key points to remember:

  • Turn it on – it is important to set it up as you are planning on being away.  Maybe you are going on vacation, a business trip, a conference or maybe your week is just full of meetings that are keeping you away from your normal turnaround rate.
  • Turn it off. Once you have returned back to your regular routine, be sure to turn the reply off.
  • Don’t over explain where you will be.  You don’t have to say “I’m getting crown put in on my bottom, left molar and I usually take a couple of days to recover from any dental procedure.”  TMI!  Just state stimply…”I’ll be out of the office from this date to this date.  I’ll return your email as soon as I get back into the office.”
  • But do offer a contact of someone in your office who is covering for you if this is necessary.
  • Consider giving yourself an extra day to catch up upon your return.  By saying “I’ll be returning on Monday and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get back.” implies that you’ll get back to them Monday.  Give yourself a little time to catch up on details that happened while you were gone instead of promising an immediate response.  You won’t be able to give an immediate response to everyone.

People appreciate quick responses and we’ve come to expect it.  The handy Out of Office Assistant relieves the issues of “I haven’t heard back from Tom.”  This will keep your clients and customers satisfied and takes the stress off of you of having to be available 24/7.

What’s your experience with using an Out of Office Assistant?  I’d love to hear if you love it or never use it – – and why.

Happy Wednesday!

~Amy

PS – do you love inspirational quotes as much as I do.  Subscribe to my ” a minute, a thought” blog for a once daily, positive message.  It helps set the tone for your day.  This month we’re doing all Buddha quotes.


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Tips on Tuesday – – The case for a clean closet

Here’s a question for you….how clean is your closet?

One of the biggest things I like to talk with people about when trying to find more minutes in their day is the importance of having organized systems.  When you are organized it not only takes less time to find things, it is less stressful on your mind.  What do I mean by that?

Well – it is simple – which of these pictures is easier on your eyes?

OR

 

I hope you picked the second one.  The second, cleaned version, is so much easier on your eyes and your mind.  Instead of mentally having to decipher what’s going on in that mess of a space in the first picture, the second photo is calming.

I personally find I can’t work – be it in my office, the kitchen or my car – if the areas are trashed.  I find it too distracting, too maddening to sort through papers and piles to find a clear space to work.  I notice my focus isn’t as clear and I easily get discouraged or overwhelmed.

If  you are struggling with everyday tasks and finding yourself always wishing  you had more time or were more focused to get things done…try clearing your workspace…even if it is just moving the piles off to the floor for a bit.  Test this idea and see if that doesn’t also clear your mind.

Need help setting up a system to stay organized?  Let’s talk.  I’d love to help!

~Amy