The old saying goes, “Time is money.” So, why waste it?
To me, one of the biggest time wasters is waiting in line. In my struggle for work life balance over the years, I quickly realized I’m all about shortcuts. Why wait in line when you don’t need to? By using a few apps, I have gained back hours of time by eliminating long waits. Here are a few I can suggest.
Coffee: Why wait in line at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts when the brands’ apps let you order your drink ahead of time and pick it up when you arrive. The apps are easy to use and once you order your favorite drink, the apps remember and offer you the opportunity to re-order the same drink next time. So easy!
Grocery Deli Orders: At the grocery deli, you can easily waste a good half hour waiting to be called and then starting the process of having your meats and cheeses sliced. You can cut out all that wait time if you go on the Publix app and do easy online ordering. You can even order a sub online, made just the way you want. The best part is you can program in your nearby Publix location so when you order on a regular basis, your order goes right to your neighborhood store. I’m pretty sure other grocery stores offer the same service.
Restaurants: I hate waiting for an hour for Sunday brunch as my stomach growls. Restaurants like First Watch (which also operates The Egg & I, The Good Egg and The Breach Company in 26 states) allow you to put your name on the waiting list prior to arrival. When you download the mobile app for iPhone or Android, it will allow you to check wait times and add your name to the list before you arrive.
There also is an app called NoWait, which has partnered with Yelp. Let’s say you’re standing around waiting for a table and you are debating whether to head to a different place, but worried there may be an even longer wait. This free app alleviates some of that frustration by telling you the wait times of nearby eateries. The NoWait app has thousands of chain and independent restaurants in its directory, and they’re expanding. Still, not all restaurants in every city participate but many of my favorites do.
Theme Parks: Don’t even think of venturing to the Disney Parks unless you use the My Disney Experience App. You can make dining reservations, find character greeting locations and most important, use your FastPass sign up to cut out the wait for popular rides. You can also go on the app to get wait times for attractions and showtimes for fireworks and parades. If you use it wisely, you can save yourself a headache and tons of wait time in the park.
Medical treatment: There’s nothing worse than sitting for hours waiting for a doctor and constantly looking at your watch. More doctors offices are using an app that provides the wait time before you arrive and sends you a text or automated call when it’s your turn. The app is called WaitList Me. It’s definitely worth finding a doctor who offers this service. Lots of hospitals offer apps that give the wait times in their emergency rooms. Those apps can be huge time savers when needed.
Delivery: By now most of us know about delivery apps like Amazon Prime and Walmart, which can save time and cut out waiting in check out lines by getting products delivered to you quickly or by shopping for you and having your products waiting for pick up.
Movies: Why wait in line at the movie theater or get there early to get a good seat when you can use apps to buy tickets ahead of time and choose your exact seat. Many of the theaters have their own apps, the Paragon Theater by my house does, but there also is the Fandango app. What I like about Fandango is its favorites system is simple and straightforward. You can designate certain theaters as your preferred destinations, buy your tickets with a few clicks and arrive at theater minutes before the movie starts.
Every day there seems to be more apps coming out to make our lives easier. If I missed some of the favorite apps you use to cut wait times, please share in the comments below. Let’s all put that saved time back into something productive — or maybe just plain fun!