Make it snappyThese shortcuts will slash precious time off repetitive, monotonous tasks, freeing you up for more important things. 

COOKING

Going their separate ways
Separating egg whites from yolks can be tricky. Just place a colander over a bowl and crack the eggs into them. The whites will pass through the holes, leaving the yolks intact in the colander.

Mash in minutes
Making mashed potatoes? They cook a lot faster in the microwave. Place three, washed, peeled and quartered, medium-sized potatoes in a microwaveable bowl, and add a few tablespoons of water. Microwave on high for about 10 minutes or until tender. Then simply mash them with a fork.

 

WORK

Web watch
Block websites that hinder your productivity. Leechblock, a free add-on to your Firefox browser, Freedom (for Mac and PC, starts from US$10 or S$13), Nanny for Google Chrome (for Google users) and Self Control for Mac (free) are a few applications you can install to block access to pre-determined sites for a certain duration to help you prioritise your time.

 

CLEANING

Get a no-polish shine
Add one tablespoon each of salt and bicarbonate of soda to a glass of water and soak your sterling silver jewellery in it for 10 minutes. It’ll look new again. Just rub the jewellery dry before storing.

A speedy clean-up
Treat grimy areas like the kitchen or bathroom sink with a homemade paste made from equal parts baking soda and water. Leave it for 10 minutes, after which, the scum and grime will be easier to remove.

 

TECH

Fast fingers
Do you text the same phrases to people several times a day? Use the text expansion feature on your smartphone to let you create typing shortcuts. For example, instead of typing “I’m on my way”, you key in “omw” and the phone will automatically expand it. Blackberry offers Autotext, the iPhone has Textexpander, while Android phones use Textspansion.

Make it personal
Locate membership card details, PINs, passwords and account numbers quickly with EWallet. This nifty and secure iPhone and iPad app (US$9.99) stores all your important information in one place and brings it up for you with just a few taps. Android users can try mSecure (US$9.99) and Blackberry users might like Ascendo Datavault (US$29.99 for the Blackberry and Desktop bundle; also available for iPhone and Android phones).

 

This article was first published in Simply Her July 2012.