Just saved 9 days a year … you could too…

Just saved 9 days a year … you could too…

The start of my working life feels like a million years ago in technology terms. We sent snail mail, sat on incoming mail for a few days and then sent a snail mail response. Turnaround time about 7-10 days. Mobile phones were a large brick, coverage meant positioning your head at curious angles to hear the other person. Few people had them. Then came fax machines and we’d stand by the machine and pass pages through all day. No sooner did we start seeing lots of email, and response times meant that a person used to waiting a week would get uncomfortable waiting 10 minutes for your response. While pace became faster my working hours became longer. Enter husband and a few children and I thought I might just need to start living in a maddening sprint while playing a cruel game of twister.

So a number of years ago I needed some time recovery. I set out to see how many hours, days or weeks I could save by using resources in a more effective way. So what does it mean to create weeks of possible recreation time and how did I do it?

My outcome was to save time and resources, limiting the amount of extra spending. I also wanted to support the local stores near my home that I shopped at regularly because I like to support small businesses when I can.

I worked out including travel time that I spent 15 minutes per week on dry cleaning, 1 hour on fruit and vegetable shopping, two hours at the supermarket, 30 minutes at the butcher and bakery, and about 15 minutes at the pharmacy. This amounted to 4 hours per week including travel time. I like fresh and this means shopping more than once a week.

So I went to my local stores and I spoke to the owners and managers. The butcher, the pharmacy, bakery, deli, fish shop, the fruit and vegetable shop and the dry cleaner. I asked them if I could change my shopping with them and instead of visiting in person, calling or messaging them and would they mind delivering to my home at a time I would be there? They all agreed. They even decided to collaborate and assured me they would ask each other if they were heading in the direction of my home and could share the delivery. Even better they all offered to do this for free.

In addition to my local shopping routine, I also shop at a big supermarket. My son loves technology so in came the perfect solution to his screen time demands. I asked my primary school aged son to assist me in creating a comprehensive on line shopping list of everything we purchased from the supermarket. Any excuse to play with technology works. He is now involved with reviewing our supplies on a weekly basis and using an iPad to order items we are in need of. His reward being he can order one chocolate freddo frog for himself each week when he does the groceries. Bingo, the son orders, the supermarket giant delivers. Another two hours a week saved.

In total I have saved 4 hours every week. When ordering from my local stores I am multi-tasking because I am often watching my kids sport or in a queue, or waiting for school pick up or on a hands free call while in traffic. This process has enabled me to create a special community feel with the local stores I support and the service I receive is incredibly special. Small businesses need to know that they are supported by the locals. I wanted to prove to them that even though I needed to save time, they were still going to be my destination as much as possible.

What if you think this is a more expensive way of shopping? I need to share with you that it’s the exact opposite. Shopping in this way stops all manner of impulse shopping because you are not exposed to the temptation. You order what you need and the other stuff does not jump out at you!

I appreciate how overwhelming and busy life gets. So I hope you can see that it may be possible to save time in really fun ways while also supporting your community and creating stronger bonds with small businesses. You may be thinking you could do the same as I have and save a heap of time. The feeling is freedom. Time freedom. I’d love to find out how you go and how much freedom you create for yourself.


Madelaine Cohen Author

Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader, Certified NLP Trainer (ABNLP), entrepreneur and Master NLP Practitioner Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who choose to lead. Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing, executive coaching and healthcare. She takes a leading role in mentoring executives and training business leadership in large and small enterprises. Why? Inspire people to lead and together we can create lifetimes of health and happiness. To find out how you can lead with even more authenticity and ease, contact Madelaine through Lipstick Learning. Madelaine welcomes connection & networking so if you have something to ask or share, go for it.