How To Save Time And Energy
When you are not feeling well or are physically challenged, it is particularly important to save your energy and time. Following are a few tips to consider. As you will see, the first is to prioritize your activities.
- Simple organization can save valuable time (and money). For a simple method of getting organized, click here.
- Develop a good fiing system - particularly for medical bills and your copy of your medical records. (See "To Learn More.")
ASK WHETHER YOU ARE SPENDING TIME ON THE RIGHT THINGS
- Don’t invest time on subjects that you can let slide or irrelevant details.
- Are your goals still relevant? Your causes?
- Are still as interested in a subject as you were before.
PRIORITIZE YOUR ACTIVITIES
- Make a "to-do" list of the things you want or need to do today and for the rest of the week. Prioritize the list according to what is most meaningful to you. (Survivorship A to Z provides a Prioritizer which helps make your list. With the touch of a button, you can prioritize the list).
- Improving your health should be high on your list. In addition to adhering to your treatment or medication schedule, that also means eating healthy, being as active as you can, reducing stress to the extent possible and getting appropriate rest. Information about each of these subjects is in the documents in To Learn More.
- Setting reasonably achievable short term and long term goals can help set priorities. For instance, set 5 short term and 5 long term goals in each area important to you. For example:
- Your physical health. (set a goal for nutrition, a goal for exercise and a goal for rest)
- Your emotional health, including your support system of family and friends.
- Around the house.
PLAN FOR BEING ON HOLD WHEN YOU MAKE PHONE CALLS
- More and more we encounter mechanical prompts and the message that says something like: "We are experiencing unusually heavy call volume...."
- Alternatives that help include::
- Preplan to do something else during wait time. While what the "something else" is is up to you, it could be as simple as keeping magazines next to the phone.
- Use a speaker phone so you can keep your hands free to do that something else.
- Apps that call you back. For instance: FastCustomer App works through the prompts and calls you when it has reached a customer service representative. (available at iTunes and Google Play ). Also see: DialAHuman.com ; GetHuman.com, LucyPhone.com . These app get companies to call you back when a representative is available.
LEARN HOW TO SPEND LESS TIME WITH UNNECESSARY CALLS
- Sign up for "do not call" to keep most of the telephone marketers at bay.
- If you have caller i.d. on your phone, you do not have to answer unwanted calls at all.
- If you get stuck with a telemarketer, hang up while you are speeking and they are listening. They will assume the connection went bad and move on to the next call.
FRIENDS, FAMILY AND NEIGHBORS
- Ask friends, family and neighbors to do as many of your activities as they can. They want to help. You can ask in a considerate manner that will get done what you need while not inconveniencing other people. For example, try to coordinate what you ask of particular people with their own needs. If someone is going to the dry cleaner for his or her own clothes, it is easy to drop off or pick up yours at the same time.
- Think of any fees you pay people to help with day-to-day chores such as cleaning the house or taking care of the yard as an investment in your health.
- Don't forget neighbor's children who may be looking to make a few dollars doing chores or errands.
- If you are covered by health insurance, check your plan to see if it pays for people to help you. Some plans pay for non health related home care.
- Sit in the shower instead of standing. It takes less energy. Sitting may seem strange at first. There is no benefit from standing.
- Sit instead of standing in front of the mirror.
IN THE KITCHEN
- Save work when possible. For example, use paper plates if you don't have a dishwasher.
- Keep pots, pans, bowls and utensils you use most often within easy reach.
- Fill messy pots and pans with water as soon as you have finished using them.
- Clean pots and pans after food residue has softened when they are easier to clean.
- Cook more food than you need and freeze extras for another meal
- When you cook:
- Cook enough for several meals.
- Use healthy prepared meals and mixes.
- Freeze individual portions.
- Keep handy the foods, spices, cooking pans and utensils that you use most often.
- Use plates and utensils you can throw away rather than clean.
- Use electric kitchen aides.
- Use a dishwasher. If you don't have one, there are small portable dishwashers you can use while energy is low.
- Create a standard shopping list that you can check off the items you need to buy instead of creating a new list each time. Once the standard list is in place, you can make multiple copies.
- Shop on line or over the telephone.
- Ask that perishables be bagged separately so you can put them away without having to go through all the bags at once.
- Prepared food can be delivered to your home. For services in your area, contact your local disease specific non profit organization or the Eldercare Locator at www.ElderCare.gov
- Ask a friend, or consider hiring a personal chef, to cook meals and to freeze them.
DRY CLEANING AND LAUNDRY
- Dry cleaning and laundry can be picked up and delivered.
- Perhaps you can piggy back on someone else who is going to the laundry for his or her own clothes.
- If you do laundry, do small loads so you don't to do heavy lifting.
- Look for clothing that doesn't have to be ironed.
- If you do iron, use a leight weight iron. Sit rather than stand. Don't iron things that are usable without ironing such as sheets, pillow cases, towels, men's underpants.
- Drugs can be ordered from a pharmacy that delivers.
- Drugs can also be ordered on line for delivery to your home. (A 90 day supply is an easy way to save money when purchasing drugs).
- See the documents in "To Learn More" for information about choosing a pharmacy and about online pharmacies.
- Learn how to get into see a doctor on your schedule. See Getting Through To A Doctor On Your Schedule.
- Call before leaving your house to find out if the doctor is on time.
- Ask your doctor to call in prescriptions so you do not have to go to the doctor's office.
- Bank on line. There may be a small fee, but the amount of time you save is likely worth it.
AROUND THE HOUSE
- Use remote controls whenever possible - including the t.v., air conditioner and garage door. With some cars, you can even start your car automatically so it is warm or cool before you get into it.
- Use a cordless or mobile telephone.
- Consider sleeping on the ground floor if there is also a bathroom on that floor.
- Is there someone else to do some or all of the cleaning for you? A child? A neighbor? Friend? Relative? A religious or other organization whose members would split the housework between them?
- If all else fails, consider hiring someone. If money is a concern, use the person less than you would clean yourself. Perhaps this is a time for neat rather than perfect.
- Let someone else do the lifting - including taking out the garbage.
MOVING AROUND TOWN
- If you need it, get a handicapped parking permit. To learn how, click here.
- Use cruise control when driving a long distance.
- Malls and museums have wheelchairs available.
- Lighten whatever load you normally carry with you. Only carry bare essentials.
- Think ahead to combine errands whenever possible.
TRAVEL OUT OF TOWN
- Prepare ahead of time. Learn how, as well as additional practical tips about travel in the U.S. and abroad, by clicking here.
- Send luggage ahead. It may even be cheaper than paying luggage fees.
- Use luggage that has rollers - and porters or luggage carts whenever possible.
- If your flight is cancelled, rebook by telephone or online instead of standing in line.
PLEASE SHARE ADDITIONAL TIPS by email to: Survivorship A to Z
To Learn More
More InformationMedical Records 101 Setting Up A Filing System How To Maximize Use Of Home Health Aides Home Care Financial Considerations 101 Factors To Consider When Comparing Various Places To Purchase Prescription Drugs Drugs: Purchasing How To Choose A Pharmacist
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