Stop Waiting to Save Time
By Alice Oglethorpe for Sniffle Solutions
When you’re juggling work, household chores and a sick kid, it can seem like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. But don’t throw your hands up in defeat — the secret to fitting it all in is doing certain tasks or errands at specific times throughout the week. We turned to the experts and found out how to adjust your routine to avoid long lines and crowds, to help you get back home as fast as possible.
Go to the gym … on Sunday mornings.
“You’ll avoid waiting to use your favorite machines, since a lot of people go to church or use this time to be with their families,” says Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon and the upcoming book Your Pinkie Is More Powerful Than Your Thumb. And because you won’t be twiddling your thumbs while some guy finishes four sets on the pull-down machine, you’ll speed through your workout in record time.
Pick up groceries … early on Wednesday.
Not only is this when supermarkets are the emptiest, meaning no long lines at the check-out, but it’s also the day chains usually start their weekly sales. “The shelves will still be fully stocked, so you won’t miss out on the deal,” says Di Vincenzo, who also recommends avoiding Sunday afternoons. People often clip coupons on Sundays and shop for the week, so stores are usually packed.
Schedule a doctor’s appointment … at 1:00 in the afternoon.
You have better places to be than a waiting room, so show up right when the office reopens after its midday break. “Physicians see their morning patients before they go to lunch, so when they return, they usually have a clean slate,” says Michael Kaplan, author of The Best Time to Do Everything. “And you also miss the a.m. chaos, when people who woke up feeling sick get squeezed in.”
Go to the DMV … on Wednesday around 3:00 p.m.
“Many people try to get this errand out of the way during lunchtime early in the week or right before the weekend,” says Di Vincenzo. “But during the afternoon on Wednesdays, it’s a lot emptier.” And head there around the 15th of the month. Di Vincenzo says that many state workers are pressed with deadlines near the end or beginning of the month, so going to the DMV smack in the middle is best.
Go to the bank … 30 minutes after doors open on Wednesday.
“If you actually have to talk to a teller, try not to go on Mondays, when people take care of weekend business, or Fridays, which is when paychecks come out and get cashed,” says Kaplan. Why not go right when the doors open? Believe it or not, people are often waiting then to get in, so there’s an immediate line. Kaplan says to give those early birds half an hour to disappear.
Ship a package … half an hour after the post office opens.
Similar to what happens at the bank, Di Vincenzo says that people want to get this task out of the way and are there bright and early. Show up after that rush — but before lunchtime — and you’ll probably be able to walk right up to the counter.
Get your car repaired … first thing on Thursday.
“For some reason, auto mechanics are less busy on Thursdays,” says Di Vincenzo. “So not only will you be seen faster, but since the repair shop is so anxious for business, you might also be able to negotiate a better rate.” Drop your car off in the morning. “If it’s a more complex job and the mechanic needs a part, they can order it and have it included in their afternoon shipment,” says Kaplan. That means you’ll get your vehicle back sooner — so you can get on with your day.