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Diet & Nutrition

Get organised: seven ideas to save you time and energy

Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier
Even if you don't have a last-minute emergency, you'll be more relaxed if you know the extra time is there.
Settle for 75 percent
Perfectionism is a recipe for exhaustion. Tell yourself you'll be happy if you achieve near perfect 'scores' in your mind for activities — 75 percent right is nothing to be ashamed of. Do it, check it and let it go.
Group tasks
Pay bills at a single sitting. Iron clothes all at one time, check email at intervals instead of responding as each message arrives, and start banking and shopping on the Internet — you'll save up to a third of the time you normally spend on home administration.
Know what's for dinner
Have you ever stood at the fridge at 5:45pm and wondered what to make? Plan dinners for the week and then write a shopping list. Buy prepared ingredients: prewashed salads, peeled and quartered potatoes, and grill-ready chicken breasts cut cooking time to virtually zero.
Get rid of irritations
If there's something that annoys you every day, don't put up with it — fix it. If it takes you five minutes to find a pair of earrings every morning, get a jewellery organiser. Make lunches and set out clothes and schoolbags the night before.
Plug time leaks
Do more than one thing at a time. While watching TV, put photos in albums, fold the washing, sew on a button or give yourself a manicure. While commuting, listen to music or write correspondence.
Outwit housework
Close doors, decide which rooms and areas in your home are in constant use, and focus your energy on them. Be selective — only keeping furniture and decorations you really love means less stuff to clean.

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