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Beat the New Year blues with these time-saving hacks

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January is traditionally the time for making (and breaking) our New Year’s resolutions. The best promises – and the ones we’re most likely to keep – are those that offer a positive reward rather than those that deprive us of something we love. So instead of embarking on a diet, why not commit to healthier eating? And rather than vowing to spend less time on the internet, consider instead taking up a new past-time like singing, cycling or learning a language?

Whatever you decide to take up, or give up, make sure you also resolve to make better use of your precious down-time by following some of our time-saving hacks.

Cut down on cleaning

If you’ve already followed our plan for a clutter-free living space, you should be well on your way to a more manageable cleaning schedule. But if you find you’re spending far too much time keeping your home ship-shape, you might want to review your approach. Good Housekeeping recently published their suggested schedule for daily, weekly, monthly and annual cleaning tasks and the good news is that you probably need to clean a lot less than you think. Above all, make sure everyone who lives in the house is pulling their weight!

Take shopping in your stride

If one of your resolutions includes eating more healthily, you’ll be more likely to stick to your guns if you tweak your shopping habits. Take a quick half-hour each week to sketch out your main meals for the coming days. Use this to write a list of ingredients and place an online order so you’ll have everything to hand when you get in after a busy day and won’t need to reach for the takeaway menu. If you prefer to shop in person, sort your list into aisle order to save time (and distractions) when you’re in the supermarket. Oh, and double up on quantities when you’re cooking so you always have a meal ready to go straight from the freezer.

Make yourself a morning playlist

If you have trouble sticking to a morning routine or find yourself easily distracted, one fun idea is to create a playlist and perform one task to each tune – make breakfast during the first song, eat it during songs two and three, brush your teeth during the fourth song and shower for the fifth, for instance. If you have kids to chivvy, you could even give them their own playlist challenge!

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