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8 Time-Saving Approaches To Everyday Tasks

Try these strategies for maximizing your daily efficiency.
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Waiting on Hold


“Grab a pad and test-drive all the pens and highlighters at your desk. Dump the ones that no longer work. I promise you’ve got a few.” 
—Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert and coach

Waiting at the Dentist Office


“Delete unused apps. You’ll free up memory and your screen will be much calmer and more orderly.” 
—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and host of the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Getting a Pedicure at the Nail Salon


“Pedicure time is primo card-writing time. Bring greeting cards, a list of people to write to, addresses, stamps. Forgo the massage chair; your handwriting will thank you.” 
—Elizabeth Grace Saunders, time management coach

Stuck in traffic


“Listen to an audiobook at 1.5 or 2 times the normal speed. Most audiobook apps offer the option—just look for the little 1x icon, and change it to a faster setting.” 
—Mastin Kipp, author of Claim Your Power

Drying Your Nails


“Using a high-quality quick-dry topcoat helps you get back to your life sooner. With regular nail polish, apply three layers of color, then use Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. It does the trick: After ten minutes, you should be able to—carefully—use your hands without smears.” 
—Allie Baker, 2015 NailPro Cup winner

Folding a Fitted Sheet


“The fastest way is to do it badly, in a big lump, which is what many of us do. But the fastest way to do it right is to match the corners, nesting the elasticated parts together, top with top and bottom with bottom. Lay it on a flat surface, and then fold again, creating a rectangle with all four corners together. The stretchy curved bits are flat now, allowing you to fold the sheet easily.” 
—Jill Cooper, co-creator of the blog Living on a Dime

Untangling a Necklace


“The first step is understanding how the knot formed, so reach for your reading glasses or a magnifying glass. You want to unknot from the most recent tangle, working backward. Insert a pin into the center of the knot and use a second pin to prize out the loop. If your necklace doesn’t have any porous material (a pearl, turquoise), you can even use a light lubricant like WD-40. Just don’t pull. If you’re pulling, you’re tightening the knots. If the chain is moving, you’re getting there. The best way to avoid knots altogether? Store your necklaces on hooks.” 
—Sarah Churgin, jewelry appraiser for Antiques Roadshow

Trimming a Cat’s Claws


“Most important: Don’t go it alone! It’s much faster if a friend helps. Get cat-specific nail clippers—the ones that look like little scissors with finger guards. While standing, have your friend hold the cat’s back against her chest; this way, she can steady its body when it starts wriggling. Then, put pressure on the bottom part of the paw to extend the nail. The pink part is where the blood vessel starts, so trim just up to that spot. Avoid cutting through the curved part of the nail.” 
—Allison Reddick, owner of RockStar Rover, West Hollywood

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