7 Tips to Streamline Your Weeknights

Meetings, errands, carpools... the work week tends to be a big blur, which leaves you tired and exhausted come Friday night. Instead of letting the work week grind ruin your weekend, try some of the easy tips below to streamline your weeknights. Your sanity will thank you!

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"If you walk in the door decompressed, it gives you a jump-start for the rest of the evening," says productivity expert Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management from the Inside Out ($15; amazon.com). Do you take public transportation home? Resist the siren call of email and try a meditation app, such as Insight Timer, Calm, or Stop, Breathe & Think (all free on iTunes and Google Play). "Call a friend or loved one, listen to music—any activity that breaks you out of your normal train of thought should help," says Morgenstern. "One client found it effective to set his relaxation intentions on his way home from work. He'd tell himself, 'I want to enjoy cooking with my partner and make sure so-and-so does homework, but I'll ask in a gentle way,' and so on.". Photo: Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Meetings, errands, carpools... the work week tends to be a big blur, which leaves you tired and exhausted come Friday night. Instead of letting the work week grind ruin your weekend, try some of the easy tips below to streamline your weeknights. Your sanity will thank you!

Exercise in the morning

You might not be a morning person, but getting your workout done before the day begins, frees up a couple of hours in the evening. Having trouble getting out of bed? Check out my tips for becoming a morning exerciser.

Cook dinners with leftovers

In order to streamline weeknight dinners, I often cook meals that produce a lot of leftovers, such as crock pot dishes or casseroles, so I have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. After a long day, I love being able to simply reheat a meal for dinner.

Schedule one TV night

Sitting in front of the "boob tube" is a major time-suck. So instead of wasting hours watching TV, I record all of my favorite shows on my DVR and then plan one night each week to watch all of them. Instead of watching a couple of hours of TV every night, I save time by watching them all together, which tends to be a lot more relaxing because I can really unwind when I know I have a few of my favorite shows to watch. Plus, fast-forwarding through the commercials saves me time too.

Designate Sunday as your "beauty" night

On Sunday night, I like to do all of my time-consuming beauty routines at the same time, instead of individually to save myself some time mid-week. For example, I will deep condition my hair while giving myself a manicure.

Reserve Wednesday or Thursday as your errand day

Errands always pop up for me during the work week. Instead of trying to fit in daily errands, I make a list and tackle them all on one day (before or after work or on my lunch break). I usually pick Wednesday or Thursday, when my errands have started to add up, which also frees up my weekend at the same time.

Clean for 5 minutes each night

Everyone has 5 minutes to spare, right? You might not think five minutes of cleaning or tiding your house will make a difference, but, trust me, it does! Set a timer for five minutes and then pick up random things around house, sort through mail, load the dishwasher, wipe-down the counters in the kitchen, etc. These little tasks really add up and save you time when the weekend rolls around.

Do a load of laundry mid-week

I hate wasting my weekends doing laundry, so I try to fit it in during the week. Mid-week, I'll wash, dry, and fold at least one load of laundry and then save the rest for the weekend. Every little bit helps!

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