Tips for Easy Living

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Simple ways to find more time in your day

Workdays have a way of flying by, and many men and women find themselves wondering where the time went at the end of a typical day. A workday filled with meetings and the obligations of a career is only half the story for working parents, who upon leaving the office must manage the obligations of their families.

With such hectic schedules, it's no wonder so many working parents find themselves wishing there was more time in the day. While there may be no way to make a day 25 hours long, the following time-saving measures can increase the time you have to unwind and relax at the end of the night.

* Save those leftovers. At the end of a good meal, leftover food will either find its way to the garbage can or be wrapped up and stored in the refrigerator. Men and women looking to save time should embrace the latter approach to leftovers, turning them into an extra meal for later in the week. Saving and reheating leftovers from just one meal per week saves the time it takes to prepare and cook a fresh meal while providing a welcome weekly respite for the family cook from the chore of making dinner.

* Make better use of your lunch break. Men and women who aren't accustomed to working lunches can use their daily lunch hour to run errands. While using a lunch hour to pick up some dry cleaning or visit the grocery store to get something for that night's dinner can save time, even those errands that don't require leaving the office can be tended to during your lunch hour. Use your lunch hour to pay some bills and balance your checkbook or email your child's teacher about an upcoming assignment. Tackling such errands during the daytime can free up more time to spend with your family at night.

* DVR your favorite television programs. Many households have embraced the DVR, which, along with streaming, has revolutionized the way we watch television. Rather than sitting down on the couch to watch your favorite shows when they initially air, use your DVR to record them and watch them when you get the chance. This can make your nights less hectic as you won't be hurrying to complete chores before your favorite show airs.And recording your favorite shows also allows you to fast forward through the commercials, saving you roughly 15 minutes for every hour of television you watch.

* Exercise in the morning. Devotees of the morning workout often note how working out in the morning does wonders for their energy levels throughout the day. But working out in the morning also frees up time to tackle household chores or work projects in the evening. Of course, that extra time in the evening also can be used to unwind and relax from a long day at the office.

Many men and women find themselves pressed for time as the week progresses. But there are several ways to make more efficient use of your time and enjoy more free time as a result.