words Al Woods
Living in a big city can be a blessing and a curse. For instance, your favourite shops are open later and transport links are more accessible but, with more people living on top of each other, there’s always going to be bigger queues, traffic, or train delays that have a wide-reaching impact. It can sometimes feel like urban life gives with one hand and takes away with another.
However, with a few small lifestyle adjustments, there are some ways you can fight back and begin to get the most out of your day. By adopting our four easy life hacks, you can get all the benefits of city living and start clawing back the time that it can take away. Read on to find out more.
Double up your fitness regime and your social time
A good gym session can be extremely satisfying, but it can also eat up an hour or so of your day. Instead, why not weave your workout into the rest of your daily schedule?
If you often meet up with friends to have a catch up over coffee or in the pub, you could switch up your routine and go for a walk or run together. This way, instead of consuming those calories, you will actually be burning them off. Planning on meeting up over the weekend? You can explore the city on foot, taking in some culture at museums, art galleries, or parks along the way.
Outsource your laundry
Laundry day is the time of the week that almost everyone is sure to hate, and we’ll bet that it always seems to take up more time than it should. In fact, the average Brit spends about 102 minutes per week doing the washing and 61 minutes per week ironing, according to research by London Cleaning System. So, just imagine if you could claw some of that time back.
Well, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it’s now more convenient than ever to outsource your weekly laundry. Many cleaners now offer a pick-up and drop-off service, so you don’t even need to worry about leaving the house. Going a step further, Laundrapp have created an app that covers most major cities in the UK and makes sorting your laundry as easy as ordering an Uber.
Master your transport connections
If you live in the city centre, there’s a good chance you rely on public transport to get around. While most systems will get you there quicker than trying to drive, you’ll often need to make a number of connections that can add precious minutes onto your journey. Plus, with many cities offering a variety of transport choices, it can be difficult choosing one that is the most time efficient.
Though most people won’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of their city’s transport, there are apps available that can make life easier. Citymapper covers several major cities in the UK (with more added regularly), and will help you to plan the best route and make all of your connections. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to shave valuable minutes off your day, as well as stay on schedule.
Cut the coffee shop line
Are you one of those people who just can’t start the working day without a caffeine boost from your favourite coffee shop? If you are, you’ve probably experienced the frustrating wait in the morning rush hour queues as people line up for their beverage. Some menu choices can take a few minutes to put together, so all it takes is a couple of people ordering a fancy drink to make you late.
Thankfully, more and more coffee shops are providing their customers with an option to bypass the queue. One example is Starbucks, who have a dedicated app that lets you pre-order and pay for your drink ahead of time, allowing you to walk in and pick it up. If you have a favourite coffee shop that you visit each morning, it’s worth asking if they offer a similar service — even if they don’t, there’s a good chance that they will if enough people show an interest.
Take our four life hacks daily and you will find more minutes in the day to be productive. Alternatively, you could just use the time to kick back and relax.