Time Is On My Side

If you work a full time week and feel like you just don’t have enough time to get shit done, you’re probably just using your time inefficiently. You don’t need a DeLorean to maximise your own time, just follow my handy hints to make the most out of your life!

heh, heh.

1. Hangovers should be on work’s time, not your own. I know, I know, all the good S Club 7 feat. Big Brovas gigs are usually on Friday and Saturday nights, HOWEVER we don’t always have “events” every weekend. How many times do you agree to meet up with friends for drinks, or get on the piss with your flatmates on a Friday/Saturday night because you have nothing else on? We are all seemingly hard-wired to only want to get wasted on nights where we don’t have work the next day. Here’s a secret; being hungover at work is not that bad. In fact, the more wasted/less sleep you got the night before, the faster the day at work seems to go! Many people hate their jobs already – so if you’re going to feel shit at work, you may as well do it in style! I’d much rather be hungover on my boss’ time than my own. There’s nothing better than being able to get up by 8.30am on a weekend and really getting the most out of your day, as opposed to sleeping in until 11, eating rubbish food and then watching cartoons for 3 hours because your lethargic ass just can’t handle facing life. For the record, this is only good if you don’t much like your job. If you are in your dream career, ie tattooing, then you should never show up hungover!

2. Time your chores accordingly. Often laundry takes around an hour between rounding up your dirty clothes and getting them onto the washing line, so while the washing machine is going, that’s the best time to do your other boring housework. Because its not like you can go out or anything until that washing is hung out, and there’s nothing more frustrating than getting comfy with a book/movie/video game, only to have to get up and hang out washing 45 minutes later. Depending on your washing machine cycle length, you can pretty much get any daily tasks done in that cycle, especially if you follow my guide to quick cleaning. In my washing machine time, I’m able to tidy my art desk, do any dishes and wipe the benches, clean the bathroom vanity and mirror, take out all rubbish, tidy the lounge/shared areas, tidy my room and make the bed, vacuum my art room, bedroom and lounge, and sweep the slate floors. It sounds like a lot of stuff, but the reality is, things don’t actually take as long as we think. We only perceive them to be time-consuming because we either don’t like doing them, or we often do them slowly and take frequent breaks to do other stuff. I get home from work at 5pm, and can have all of the above done by 6pm, with the rest of the evening to drive around in a car smashing peoples mailboxes!

3. Get your hair routine down to a fine art. If you’ve got long and/or thick hair, always have a shower and wash it after work, meaning that you can put it in a towel and then let it dry naturally for the next 4-5 hours, with a quick 5 minute blow-dry before bed. Then in the morning, just don’t get it wet in the shower. I’ve never understood those people who get up super early in the mornings and wash, blow-dry and straighten their long hair before work. NEVER! All they are doing is wasting an extra hour or more of their own time.

4. Getting ready for work is another thing that doesn’t have to take forever. Make-up is easy and should be possible to do in less than 5 minutes. Don’t wear foundation to work, this takes AGES in the mornings and 90% of people wearing foundation look stupid during the day, under fluorescent office lights. All I wear is a brown eyeshadow – find one that you can wear all over your lid so that you don’t have to waste time blending/changing brushes etc. Then, just add mascara. Eyeliner, blush and lipstick aren’t necessary for work. If you like lippy, put it on AT work. (In fact …. you can do allyour makeup at work! USING WORK’S TIME! Get to work, turn on your computer and while its loading, slip into the bathroom and quickly do your makeup!) Your hair doesn’t have to be perfect. Haven’t you ever heard of a “topknot” ? It takes 5 seconds and is supposed to be messy, and a quick swipe of lippy and some glasses can class that shit right up if need be. I don’t even do the topknot, mines normally lower, and I don’t give a shit because I don’t owe it to my workplace to have an amazing hairstyle. Think about your level of seniority, in your contract your hair only has to be clean and tidy, so don’t waste your own time trying to impress your co-workers, unless that stuff is really important to you, or unless you’re so important that you really do have to look quite flash for work. Think about how much time you really do spend in front of the mirror before work, it’s probably way more than necessary.

Seriously man, it doesn’t take very long to achieve this. Stop aiming so damn high for your 9 to 5er!

5. Another thing you shouldn’t waste time on in the morning is choosing your clothes. Ladies, if you work somewhere that you have to dress fairly nicely for, just buy a whole bunch of black skirts, white shirts, dressy tank tops, cardys, and cheap blazers. Then you can literally grab anything from your wardrobe and know that it already looks ok. For guys its even easier, just buy a shitload of black pants and random shirts. If you have a uniform, you have it easy! You’ll never have to waste time in the mornings putting any thought into what you wear again. Work isn’t a fashion show, you just have to look respectable. (Also, nobody at work cares if you’re wearing a $70 shirt from Myer or a $15 shirt from KMart, because nobody can tell the difference – don’t waste so much of your own money on clothes that you only wear to work).

6. Food! Food need not be time-consuming at all! I don’t understand all the hype that says that you have to prepare all meals fresh from scratch in order to be healthy. A day of good food can be as simple as less than  5-10 minutes spent preparing each meal, no shit. I can eat a base of under 1500 calories made up of 50% carbs, 33% protein and 17% fat, with very little thought or effort (I’m not saying that 1500 calories is all everyone should eat in a day, this is just an example of how easy it is to eat healthy shit even if you’re lazy) If you look below, the most time consuming meal there is dinner, at a whopping 10 mins! 5 mins when you get home from work to put marinade and chicken into a tinfoil parcel, and then 5 mins to cook it a few hours later on a George Foreman style grill (the vegies go in the microwave for 3 mins, but that is done during the cooking of the chicken so doesn’t count). This is just a quick example of a day, by the way. If you use a nutrition scanner you can fiddle around with it to work out other kinds of meals. 

7. DISHES. Not only is all of the above extremely quick to make, its also incredibly light on dishes. For a day like that, I will only use a knife in the morning for my toast and making a sandwich for lunch, (I don’t use a plate for my toast, I just eat it over the bench and then wipe the crumbs up) a teaspoon for the soup and yoghurt at lunch (which often just goes into the work dishwasher) and a small plate, knife and fork, mini-tongs and a marinade brush for dinner. I drink water out of a plastic refillable bottle, and everything else is either fruit or out of a packet! STOP WASTING SO MUCH TIME MAKING FOOD AND DOING DISHES UNLESS YOU LOVE TO COOK!

8. Broadcast TV – it’s killing your time! I know many people have that Tivo thingy, however many people still watch regular broadcast channels. Every time you sit down to watch a show on, say, channel 7, you’re effectively blocking yourself out for a specific length of time, at a designated hour. If you watch a show at 6pm on the dot, you have probably also wasted the hour before it, saying “I won’t get started on xyz because Breaking Bad will be on at 6” – so you spend an hour messing around on Facebook or some such before the show starts. When that show runs from 6pm – 7pm, 20 minutes of that show are commercials. Therefore, you have spent 1 hour and 45 minutes of your time watching a 40 minute TV show. “But I love Breaking Bad” you say, “I need to watch it!” Yeah, me too – haven’t you ever heard of DVDs or downloading?! At our flat, none of our TVs are actually tuned in to any channels – although once, Nick did tune the lounge TV in to a channel for me so that I could watch a rugby game. We all love TV shows but we watch them on DVD, online, or legally downloaded. Besides, I am an impatient fuck who doesn’t like waiting a week to see if Hank and the DEA will find the secret meth lab under the factory, so I prefer to be able to watch more than one episode in a row. Better yet – don’t watch TV shows at all!

9. Write lists – seriously, have an ongoing list of stuff that you need to buy (not groceries, but everyday things). When it hits enough things to warrant a shopping trip, go and get them and take your list so that you don’t forget. That way you’re not making heaps of one-off trips to stores every couple of days.

I have entire notebooks just filled with lists, it makes me feel organised. Sorry about all the wanky varying-focus photos, I have been learning how to use my new camera and I’m quite bad!

Also, if you work close to stores, try to use your lunch break to get as much stuff done as possible. I think it sucks that you don’t get paid for your lunch break – in my opinion, it’s not *really* your own time because you aren’t able to use it as such – your employer essentially limits your personal time to the area that you work in. I can’t go and get pissed on my lunch break, because I have to come back to work. I can’t go visit a friend either – because by the time I get there, I would just have to turn around and come back. (For these reasons, I usually just don’t even bother taking a lunch break. What’s the point? All I do is sit there twiddling my thumbs – I’d much rather get ahead with my workload). Anyway, if you get an hour lunch break, fuck it man, take an hour and a half if it means that you can get a bunch of errands done that you won’t have to use your personal time for. They aren’t going to fire you if you were late back from lunch due to a “traffic accident” or something. There’s also nothing wrong with pretending that you were in the bathroom for the last 30 minutes trying to stem a random nosebleed (that way, you can join in and act all indignant with them!) As long as you adhere to your lunch length 90% of the time, you’ll be fine.

10. Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise! Nobody likes saying no to drinks with friends on a Sunday afternoon, but if it is the same mojitos with the same friends every Sunday, you can probably get away with bowing out just one time to focus on getting some stuff done. There’s nothing worse than feeling irritated all week because you have stuff to do, yet no time to do it in, when you could have done it on that Sunday afternoon instead of getting tipsy and discussing, well, not much really!

Anyway, I’m off to have drinks with friends

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxoxooxoxoxo

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