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Most of us lead busy lives these days. Time is a precious commodity of which we never seem to have enough. Finding extra time in the day is like finding buried treasure. Here are some ideas to help you find a few extra minutes each day for some of life’s more pleasant things.

1. Make a to-do list each day. Much of our time is lost to being disorganized. Putting together a to-do list not only helps us remember all those little chores we need to do, it helps us organize them in the most efficient manner possible.

2. Save time on household chores by de-cluttering. Dusting goes a lot faster when you don’t have 1,000 knickknacks, and kitchen clean up is faster when you don’t have to work around a bunch of counter clutter. Give kids big, plastic totes for their toys. A quick swoop through the room to deposit everything into the totes makes clean up fast. Cut down bed making time by using a fitted sheet and a comforter instead of top sheets, blankets, and spreads.

3. Toss your junk mail right out of the mailbox. Precious moments get wasted reading through things in which we aren’t even interested. Postal intrusions are usually not worth the time that we spend on them.

4. Get Caller-ID for your phone. It will put you in control of your phone conversations by allowing you to call people back when you have time. Don’t want to talk to telemarketers? Just hang up the phone. There’s no need to be polite or rude, just end the call without a word.

5. Shop during off-peak hours. Midday and quitting time shopping will tax your energy and eat up your time. Instead, take advantage of 24-hour grocery and discount stores. Got insomnia? Who says you can’t do your grocery shopping at 2 am? You’ll be in and out in no time flat.

6. Pay bills by direct debit. Most utility companies will now allow this, and banks are happy to direct debit loan payments, mortgages, and bank issued credit cards. You’ll save an average of 30 minutes with this one tip.

7. Do a week’s worth of cooking on the weekend. Plan a menu for the week and include a shopping list. Get a food processor to save time on preparation. Have the convenience of fast food without the expense.

8. Cut down on the number of times per week you have to devote to laundry by getting extra sets of socks, underwear, t-shirts, and casual clothes. Teach the kids how to do the laundry and turn the responsibility over to them.

9. Avoid payday trips to the bank by having your paycheck direct deposited. Many employers offer this handy convenience, and those who don’t may be persuaded if you approach them with the idea. See if your bank offers online options to save even more time on transfers, reconciliation, and payments.

10. Try and make all appointments for the very first appointment of the day. The doctor, dentist, stylist, insurance agent, and school counselor will be available to see you right away, and you'll get these appointments out of the way early in the day.

Little timesavers add up to quite a bit once you get organized. The real trick is to use the found time for the things you want to do instead of piling more chores into the stolen moments. Give these tips a try and see if you don’t end up with more spare time!