Take Care of All Those Grown-up Errands in Less than 12 Hours
Work + Life Balance

Take Care of All Those Grown-up Errands in Less than 12 Hours

by Kit Warchol
Photos Tonhya Kae | November 16, 2015

WHO WANTS TO SPEND ALL WEEKEND RUNNING ERRANDS? HERE'S HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF 12 HOURS TO ENSURE YOU'LL HAVE TIME FOR SUNDAY BRUNCH. 

Please say this isn’t just me: I will do anything to avoid getting my oil changed, washing my car, or scheduling my annual physical or dental appointment. It’s not that I don’t believe I need to do these things, but I get selfish about my free time. Who wants to spend all weekend running errands when there are mimosas to drink and holiday movies to see?

There’s something to be said about proving to yourself that you’re a grown-up, though. When your mechanic gives you the go-ahead for another 10,000 miles or your doctor emails to say you’ve got a clean bill of health, you think: yes, I am in charge of my own life—and I'm rocking it.

So rather than avoidance, the key is to hack the system as shamelessly as possible. By packing everything into one Saturday, you’ll take care of all those disdained errands for the next few months before your evening plans. Imagine tucking into those Eggs Benedict on Sunday, accomplished and carefree.  

THE NIGHT BEFORE

It’s Friday so we’d never dream of telling you to stay in, party girl. But between work and dinner, make sure to pack the following in your car:

  • laptop or iPad
  • cell phone charger
  • snacks
  • reading material
  • grocery list
  • any dry cleaning
  • sneakers

And don’t forget to set an alarm. You’ve got an early call tomorrow.

8:00AM - OIL CHANGE

Chances are your mechanic opens at 8AM. Setting an alarm for 7:15 on a weekend borders on sacrilege, but remind yourself that you can sleep in as late as you like tomorrow and get there by 7:55. It’s unlikely more than a couple of other people will show up this early so you’ll also be first in line. Ask your mechanic to tell you when he thinks he’ll be finished and make sure they have your cell on file.

8:15AM - CALL YOUR MOM

This is where your sneakers come in. If there’s a cafe in walking distance (ideally within 1-2 miles), get going. As you walk, call at least one of the following people: Mom or Dad, your grandmother, a long distance friend, or your accountant. By the time you get there, you’ll have exercised and crossed multiple outstanding calls of your list. Congrats, you’ve earned that espresso.

8:45AM - PAY YOUR BILLS

Get settled at a table, pull out your iPad or laptop, and answer any personal emails you’ve been putting off. If you’ve been avoiding updating your website portfolio or LinkedIn, go for it. Pay any outstanding bills online.

Oh, and need anything from Amazon Prime (think: cat food, shampoo, winter socks)? Order it now while you’re thinking about it.  

9:15AM - CATCH UP ON MUST-READS

Spend the next 20 minutes reading any articles you’ve bookmarked and looking up any recipes you might want to make later this evening. Pick dishes you can make in larger batches (soups, lentil salads, tagines) to get you through next week. Add any needed ingredients to your grocery list.

9:35AM - YES, YOU DO NEED TO DRY CLEAN IT

Call an Uber or Lyft to take you to your 10:30AM dental, doctor, or eye appointment. The upside of an early Saturday morning is that rates are low and cars are readily available. On the ride over, text anyone you’d like to make plans with next week and ask your driver to stop by your local dry cleaner.

10:15AM - MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DENTAL APPOINTMENT (AND THE WAITING ROOM)

Check in with the receptionist, then pull out your reading material. Chances are you’re behind on your book club reading or last week’s New Yorker so get going. Text a friend you haven’t seen and see if they’re available for lunch.

NOON - TAKE YOUR LUNCH

Whew. Now that you’re satisfied that either your:

a. teeth are cavity-free

b. blood pressure’s spot on

c. vision’s perfect

...call your mechanic. If they’re finished with your tune up, call another Uber and pick up your car. If not, kill some time by heading on foot to the nearest drugstore to pick up any toothpaste, deodorant, or Maybelline mascara you need. Then break for lunch alone or, if you lucked out, with your long lost pal.

1:30PM - OFF TO THE WASHES

Did the auto place clean your car for you? If not, head to the nearest gas station that offers an auto-wash so you can fill up your tank and give your car a quick rinse. Go ahead, treat yourself to the $10 Platinum Wash. It needs it. And yes, you should spend 5 minutes vacuuming the bagel crumbs out of your seat crevices. 

1:45PM - BRACE YOURSELF FOR TRADER JOE'S

Time to buy your groceries. Avoid impulse buying anything that’s not on your list so you can get in and out as rapidly as possible. Head for home.

2:30PM - PREP YOUR WORK LUNCHES

Start roasting some vegetables or make a quick lentil or chicken soup for the week ahead. Make a big batch of quinoa, farro, or other whole grain to use in salads and as sides for lunch and dinner. Chop up ingredients for salads to take as work lunches and put them in separate containers in the fridge.

3:45PM - RAPID-FIRE CLEAN

You’re now going to clean your house or apartment for 15 minutes. Yes, that’s it. Set a timer, and make it your goal to do everything you can in that window. Make the bed, wash and put away any dishes in the sink, wipe down countertops, vacuum, organize any items taking up counter space, hang up clothes in your closet. Then quit.

4:00PM - TAKE A BREATHER

Take a 30-minute cat nap or just take a load off and watch some Netflix. We all deserve a little break. 

4:30PM - FINALLY DROP OFF THOSE DONATIONS

One last trip to drop off any bags of old clothes you need to take to Goodwill. If you have a dinner or party to go to tonight, stop somewhere for a bottle of wine, flowers, or a nice, stinky cheese.

5:00PM - YOU'VE EARNED SHOWER TIME + WINE

Head back home to shower and change before your completely stress-free evening out. Pour yourself a glass of wine if you feel like it because well done. 

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What daunting errand or task did we miss?