Time-Saving Tips to Get More From Your 24

Genius time-management strategies that will make your day less crazed.

May 22, 2011— -- Defrost and Dash

Before you go to bed, mix up this energizing smoothie from Cheryl Forberg, R.D., author of Flavor First, for tomorrow's breakfast-to-go. Blend one cup of plain low-fat yogurt with half a cup each of frozen blueberries and blackberries, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of ground cloves. Make extra and freeze it in individual portions for the rest of the week. Each night, move one smoothie into the fridge so it can defrost as you sleep, then grab it on your way out the door.

Reroute Your Commute

To shorten your commute time by 10 percent, avoid time-consuming left-hand turns on busy two-way streets by taking right turns instead. "Minimizing left-hand turns reduces time spent idling at stoplights. Doing this shaved 29 million miles off UPS routes last year," says UPS spokesperson Dan McMackin.

Take Five

Focus on something for 25 minutes without interruption, then take a five-minute breather before diving back in. It sounds counterintuitive, but a pause can actually help you move faster. Taking breaks improves mental agility and boosts your output, says productivity expert Francesco Cirillo.

Shop Smarter

Screw spending hours digging through sale racks and hit up shopittome.com. Personalize your profile with your size and favorite brands (there are more than 700 options--everything from Levi's to Louboutins) and let the site do the legwork. It scours more than 200 retail sites and delivers a daily or weekly e-mail alerting you to steals in your size.

Use the OHIO Method

OHIO stands for Only Handle It Once--and it's the best way to tackle e-mails and voicemails. "Decide immediately what to do with each message the first time you look at it, so you won't waste time going back to it later," says organization expert Peter Walsh, star of Enough Already! With Peter Walsh. That means trashing junk mail, taking care of any two-minute tasks right away, and adding the more time-consuming items to your to-do list or delegating them to someone else.

Manage Drive-Bys

Keeping a spare chair and candy dish at your desk invites visitors to linger. Ditch the treats and pile your chair with paperwork when you really need to buckle down, says Jana Kemp, author of No! How One Simple Word Can Transform Your Life.

Burn More Fat in Less Time

Eight to 12 minutes of intense intervals can burn as many calories as 25 to 30 minutes of constant moderate-exertion exercise, says Jonathan Ross, American Council on Exercise personal trainer of the year and author of Abs Revealed. Pick your favorite cardio machine and do one minute at a high intensity (at least a 7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being all-out effort) followed by rest or a very low intensity (2 or 3 on the same scale) for one minute.

Move the Clock

Waking up a mere 15 minutes earlier pads your morning with precious time to leisurely drink your coffee as you open mail or pick out what to wear. To keep from hitting the snooze button, put your clock in the bathroom, says Kyle Pott, cofounder of Bowtie Hype, a personal productivity and goal-setting consultancy. You'll have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm, and hey, the shower's right there. Hop in!

Speed Things Up!


More from Women's Health:

Be On Time: How To Never Run Late Again

Make More Time For Sex

Easy Ways To Get More Sleep

20 Ways To Get More Done At Work