health

Busy women share their top tips and time-savers.

Garnier
Thanks to our brand partner, Garnier

Let’s be honest: we’re all busy. That’s just life, and for most of us, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what fills your time, there are demands on our attention coming from all sides and at all hours these days. I’m no stranger to the morning rush out the door because I forgot to set my alarm amid the chaotic late evening thoughts racing through my brain.

We could all do with some advice from seasoned experts from time to time, so I’ve asked some of the busiest women in my life to share how they manage their busy lives.

Taylor Swift knows what's up. Gif via Giphy.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

A sentiment that runs through all the advice I’ve been given is quite simple: always try to think of ways to be more time effective. A great example was offered to me by a clever woman from the Mamamia office: prepare the ingredients for your work or kids’ lunches while you’re making dinner. Choose meals with similar ingredients or just make enough dinner for delicious leftovers.

When it comes to preparing for the next day, making lists of everything you need to do will also save time and help you stay on track. Being realistic is important here. I know from personal experience that excessively long lists can cause more heart palpitations than a double shot espresso. Include tasks that are achievable within the timeframe you have, and save everything else for a mega list, which can cover anything including the week ahead to the coming months.

Wash your hair at night.

I’m not suggesting you go to bed with sopping wet hair, but by forcing yourself to at least partially dry your hair at night you could free up some of your morning routine. I like to let my hair air-dry while I catch up on Netflix so I don’t have to spend as much time under the dryer.

Bonus: experiment with overnight curls to wake up feeling even more ‘done.’

Think of how much more you could enjoy your morning if you didn't have to multi-task? Take hair out of equation by washing it at night. Image via iStock.

Prioritise hydration.

Anecdotally, it seems many people struggle to chug down their required glasses of water each day. Try keeping a bottle of water beside your bed to stay hydrated first thing in the morning. You'll find it easier to wake up if you feel refreshed (no more cotton-mouth) and your skin will thank you.

Make the most of multi-tasking products.

If it’s not already a makeup bag staple, BB Cream is about to become your new best friend.

This little gem is a moisturiser, corrector, foundation and SPF 15 sunscreen all in one. Who knew flawless, glowing skin could be so simple? You might just save enough time to get both sides of your winged eyeliner even.

Cut down on time wasting products and go for the multi-taskers'. Image via iStock.

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Never underestimate dry shampoo.

Speaking of products that can save you precious minutes (or hours if you have long hair that takes forever to dry). Haven’t washed your hair in three days? No problem, your life-saver-in-a-can has got your back.

Time sink, thy name is smart phone. Image via iStock.

Avoid unnecessary time sinks.

Don’t let yourself get sucked in to the allure of screens first thing in the morning. At the very least, make sure you’re out of bed and dressed before you start scrolling through social media or open your emails. It’s just too tempting to stay in your warm bed when it feels like you have the world at your fingertips. Try saving your phone time for when you’ve arrived at work early, or just finished the school run. That much-needed alone time will feel all the more rewarding.

Only do what you absolutely HAVE to get done.

A wise mother once told me, “Y’all need clean undies, so wash the clothes, but stuff what you don't have to get done.” That sounds like sage advice to me. Your clean undies don't have to be folded into a drawer. In some cases, they may not even end up in a drawer and that’s okay.

"Simply put on some headphones, disconnect from the world and relax." Image via iStock.

Let it out and let go. 

Try journaling before you go to bed to allow your mind to relax. Anyone can benefit from a few moments of quiet reflection, so put away your phone and grab a pen and some paper that you have set aside for this purpose.

If you have a long commute to work on public transport, you might want to use this time to check your emails before you walk in the door. It’s also a great opportunity to switch off until your stop rolls around.  Simply put on some headphones, disconnect from the world and relax.

Lay your clothes out for the next day.

OK, full disclosure: I hardly ever do this, but it works (as usual, my mum was right). It’s well worth investing in a habit that could save you hours every week, even if it’s just a mental lay down of what you’re going to wear in your mind.

A quick check of the weather on your smartphone never goes astray in this process.

Be kind to yourself.

At the risk of sounding like a cheesy Instagram quote, remind yourself every day that you’re doing a great job. Because you are. Seriously.

Go on with your good self, girl. Gif via Giphy.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Garnier. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

How do you time-manage your beauty regime? 

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