From booking a wax to ringing up a builder, we reveal the right time for every task
Here, MICHELE O’CONNOR asks those in the know to spill the beans so that you can find the best time to . . .
1 — ARRANGE A WAXING APP
Mid-morning, according to the Research Institute of Sports Sciences at Liverpool’s John Moores University — because it will hurt less.
During the night your body releases natural opiates into the bloodstream, so by morning you are less susceptible to acute pain.
By the afternoon, you are more mentally and physically alert — and so are your pain receptors.
2 — BOOK A DRIVING TEST
Those who do their test in the evening are most likely to pass.
Sixty-five per cent of those who undergo the ordeal between 7pm and 9pm succeed, versus 48 per cent who take it between 11am and 1pm.
The second-highest pass rate comes in the 9am to 11am slot, according to data from the DVLA released by insurance company Dayinsure. So much for the theory that it is best to avoid taking a test at rush hour.
3 — BUY A TRAIN TICKET
“To get the best deals, book 12 weeks early, as soon as Network Rail releases tickets to get the best deals,” says Jasmine Birtles, financial expert at MoneyMagpie.
But she adds: “Surprisingly, some advance tickets are actually still available at a reduced rate even on the day of travel, so it’s worth checking.”
And there’s a sneaky way to be first in the cheap tickets queue if you know when you want to travel. Put your journey details into the Trainline’s ticket alert system and you’ll get an email when advance tickets for that specific journey go on sale.
4 — TO HAVE SEX
In the afternoon, around 3pm, says Alisa Vitti, hormone expert and author of WomanCode.
She says men’s oestrogen levels are highest at this time which means they are “more emotionally present” during sex.
5 — BUY A CAR
Savvy shoppers should time new car purchases for February and August, before new plates are introduced, according to whatcar.com.
Looking for a used car? March and September are the best times, because of part-exchanges from people who have bought new plates.
And nearer the end of a month is the best time to hit the forecourts as sales people will be keen to meet their targets — particularly mid-week when it’s quieter.
The season is also worth considering. Buy 4x4s in the summer and convertibles in winter. Meanwhile, the launch of a new model will often offer discounts on older versions.
6 — VISIT THE GYM
“The quietest times are weekdays between 9.30am to 11.30am and 2pm to 4pm, and Sunday evenings after 5pm,” says Marvin Burton, master trainer at Anytime Fitness (anytimefitness.co.uk).
He continues: “These are great times to visit if you want free reign of the equipment or feel any trepidation about crowded gyms.”
And if your gym is in the city centre or within walking distance of office developments, avoid the middle of the day during the week when workers squeeze their workouts into their lunch breaks.
7 — TO WORK OUT
Sun fitness editor and personal trainer Jenny Francis says: “If you are looking to lose weight, studies suggest that working out in the morning, before you have eaten, give the best results. This is because you utilise fat reserves and speed up the metabolism, leaving the body primed for a day of fat burning.
“Working out too close to bed time can be a bad idea as your body needs time to cool down.
“All that blood pumping around your body could mean you struggle to sleep and could wake up with stiffer muscles than if you have a bit of time in between exercise and sleep.”
8 — ARRANGE SEEING YOUR GP
Mondays and Fridays are generally the busiest days, so you’ll have more luck if you call in the middle of the week.
If it’s not urgent, wait until the morning rush has died down and you’ll get through quicker — plus staff will know about last-minute cancellations so might be able to find you an appointment sooner.
9 — PURCHASE SHOES
“In the afternoon”, says podiatrist Michael O’Neill of fixmyfoot.co.uk.
He explains: “Feet can swell by a whole size during the day so it’s best to buy shoes in the afternoon or later in the day rather than in the morning to ensure the best fit.”
10 — GO TO THE SUPERMARKET
8am or 8pm on weekdays are the quietest times, though if your local supermarket has 24-hour opening and you can’t sleep, the middle of the night will be the quietest time of all.
And for the best bargains? Jasmine Birtles says: “The hour before closing is a good time to snap up ‘display- until’ items that haven’t shifted.”
11 — SET OFF ON A LONG CAR JOURNEY
“Leave shortly after 6am before the roads get clogged up with rush hour traffic,” says Edmund King, AA President.
But not much earlier. He explains: “Our circadian rhythm dictates that we feel sleepiest between 2am and 6am and then again in the early afternoon.”
12 — PURCHASE A FLIGHT
Research from comparison site Momondo found it is generally best to book 60 days ahead.
Meanwhile, Tuesdays and after 6pm in the evening are generally the cheapest times to fly, while Saturdays are the most expensive.
If you can be flexible, use comparison sites, such as Kayak, Momondo and Skyscanner, to check prices on different days and at different times to see if you can cut the cost.
13 — FIND BARGAINS ON EBAY
“Between 9am and 11am on weekdays,” says Jasmine Birtles. “This is usually when there are fewer bids and final selling prices are lowest.”
She adds: “And don’t bid too early. Hold your nerve until the last minute or get a free bidding service, such as gixen.com, to do it for you.”
14 — TO MAKE MONEY ON EBAY
“Schedule the auction to end on Saturday, Sunday or Monday evening between 8pm and 9pm, advises Jasmine. The auction site is busiest at these times so you’re likely to get more bids and sell at a higher price.
15 — GO CLOTHES SHOPPING
“Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days of the week for retailers so head to the shops mid-week when it’s always quieter,” explains Craig Phillipson, managing director of Shopworks retail consultancy (shopworks.co.uk).
He continues: “The high street gets busier at lunchtimes, so mornings are better — as near to opening as possible. But bear in mind that, while Monday mornings may be quiet, stores are unlikely to have replenished stock after the busy weekend so you’re more likely to find what you need on a Wednesday.”
16 — BOOK A BUILDER
“Eighteen months before you want them to start work,” advises the Federation of Master Builders.
“Good builders get snapped up well in advance, so book early particularly if you want work done in the spring or summer months.”
17 — BAG A TABLE IN A RESTAURANT
“Between 5pm and 7pm,” says Jasmine. “If you’re off to the theatre or cinema, eat out beforehand rather than after.
“Many restaurants now offer early bird offers and you’ll get the exact same meal for up to half the price.
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