Living the cosmopolitan lifestyle is not as easy as it looks. There’s hardly enough time to get ready in the morning or watch Last Week with John Oliver, let alone go to all the restaurants, bars, concerts, museums, and baseball games that you had planned on. Every minute counts, so here are nine ways to create time so you can explore the city you love.

  1. Healthy but quick: You want your food fast, but eating fast food will send you to an early grave. Some days ordering-in is unavoidable. Fortunately there are a wide variety of food delivery options out there —Munchery, Seamless and Eat24, to name a few–for every urban palette. So make sure you have saved your favorite orders from your go-to restaurants in your favorite app. If you don’t want to live out of a food carton, though, try buying a slow cooker. Prep the ingredients and come home to a house that smells like your mom’s been slaving over the stove all day.
  2. Make exercise easy and predictable or it won’t happen: With the best of intentions, people swear they will work out during lunchtime or at the gym two subway stops away. Inevitably, work gets in the way and you don’t do it. Instead, plan to exercise when you won’t be bothered, preferably first thing in the morning, and someplace convenient, right near home or work. Also, if paying a trainer or working out in a group will make you feel more invested and improve your chances of working out regularly, sign up, there are plenty of options.
  3. Make the most of your commute: A huge advantage many of us living in the city have is that we get to take a train to work rather than sitting in traffic in a car. Use your time wisely. Draft your emails, review reports, or get your leisure reading in. Avoid the siren song of your smart phone apps.
  4. Groceries on demand. If grocery shopping is a pain, there are plenty of grocery delivery options like Instacart.
  5. Avoid the thronging crowds: Timing is everything. Some places are super popular for Sunday brunch. You’re not going to want to show up at 10 AM with a group of four on a Sunday. Why fight to get a reservation at that great restaurant near your office during the week when there are plenty of tables available on the weekend? Be smart about where you go and when. Going on Open Table or SeatMe will do the trick.
  6. Don’t clean your own apartment: Simply put, cleaning an apartment is a major time suck. There are plenty of people and services available to clean your place for you at a reasonable price. Your time is more valuable than spending it on your hands and knees picking something unidentifiable out from the grout between your bathroom tiles.
  7. Know your public transit system or master map apps: While cabs and the apps you use to hail them are great, taking a cab during rush hour is usually a waste of time. The train is usually the better way. In this day and age there is no longer any excuse for being at the mercy of taxi availability. Pull out your smartphone, find out what trains you need to take, and get there.
  8. Book in advance and set calendar reminders: Don’t get caught unprepared when the weekend comes. Think ahead and make reservations at that restaurant or get tickets to that concert so that you can actually do what you want as opposed to doing what is available. If you can’t go, the reservation can be cancelled and the tickets can be resold.
  9. Get a virtual assistant: Do you really have the time to be online searching for a new apartment, booking a doctor’s appointment, or figuring out what gift you should get for your niece’s birthday? Have a virtual assistant do it for you instead.