Running Errands – Optimal Time Saver

Running Errands, Optimal Time Saver, Productivity, to do listNobody likes to run errands, but they are a necessary part of life. The key is to make them enjoyable instead of painful, while getting them accomplished as quickly as possible. The following are a list of helpful time saving tips to help you get more done in less time!

Time Saving Tips!

  1. Make A List and Keep It With You. How can you get something done if you don’t know what it is that needs to be accomplished. Making a list keeps your errands organized and stops them from being missed or forgotten. Keep the list on you so you can use it, mark off the tasks as they’re completed and add on the list as new errands arise. Always remember to prioritize.
  2. Have a plan. Never run just one errand. Group your errands by location and do a bunch at once. This will save you time and money on gas. Need to pick up milk? Stop at the bank and pick up the dry cleaning on the way.
  1. Location, Location, Location. You’ve heard this term for real estate, but it applies to your everyday life as well. This is more a proactive approach, but when choosing a barber, pharmacy, or any other service always look closest to home first. You will not always have this option, but take it if you can. Even if prices are a little higher you could recoup this cost in both time and money. Nothing close to your home? What about where you work?
  1. Take advantage of off- hours. If you have the ability run errands during the day (except on the weekend). Lines are shorter, parking spots more available, and sales people have more time to help you. If you work during the day go out during your lunch or your own off-time.
  1. Use the Internet. So many errands can now be completed online, including paying bills, shopping and more. No need to leave home. Use large online retailers like Amazon to find deals and have everything delivered straight to your door.
  1. Start Buying in Bulk. Having a surplus of supplies you use often (toilet paper, cleaners, dog food…) saves you from having to constantly replenish your cabinets. Better yet!! Wait to these products are on sale and then bulk up.
  1. Keep a grocery list with you. You can do this the old fashion way (pen and paper) or better yet use that technology you carry with you for a purpose other than video games and Facebook. I have a list posted on the fridge of things we need as we run out, but this list doesn’t help if I find I’m near the grocery store and don’t have it with me.

Microsoft OneNote – Has a great program or app that lets you keep track of lists both on your computer (like your calendar) and have access to it on your phone. You can also share it with your family giving everyone the ability to keep it updated. This is just one option there are many other apps to choose from.

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Run Errands Productively!

  1. Keep an “Errands Bag”. This bag has everything you need including your lists, bags, bills, stamps, envelopes or anything else you need for your errands. Keep it by the front door and bring it with you when you go out.
  1. Alternate Jobs with neighbors or friends. These can include babysitting the kids, car pooling the kids to soccer, walking your dogs, or picking up groceries. Alternating these tasks will save you both time.
  1. Make it Fun. Make one of the stops on your list a little treat for yourself, bring along a friend, or blast your favorite band in the car. Running errands doesn’t have to be stressful. Want quiet instead? Turn off the radio and have some quiet time alone.
  1. Don’t do it alone. There are two parts to this last tip.
    1. Split up your errands. This can be done between you and your significant other or you and your roommate in the most productive ways (location or time as mentioned above).
    1. Run errands together. These jobs may need to get done, but you need to spend time your family too, making errands a team effort can turn these annoying tasks into something enjoyable.

You may have noticed these two points contradict each other. Pick the one that works best for you.

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Did I forget anything? Let me know if there are any tips you’d like to share for running errands quickly and effectively.

“TO-Do List Image” courtesy of 89studio/
“Productive Couple” courtesy of ambro/
“Make a List to Save Time” courtesy of Stuart Miles/