If the days are flying by and you never feel like you get enough done, then you might want to make a few adjustments to improve how you use your time. Don’t worry that doesn’t mean that you need to give up the activities you love doing. Instead, it means that you have to be smarter about time-management! If you’re not sure where to start, these ten tips will be a great start for you.
1. Prep the Night Beforehand
If tomorrow has a lot of appointments, then why not save yourself a hurried morning by spending a half-hour tonight preparing for what is to come? For example, you can make the coffee ahead of time.
Another idea is to lay out the kids’ clothes the night before (as well as your own outfit for the office or home). And give them a bath in the evening, so this is one less thing to do in the morning.
Also, make lunches for the children the previous evening. Just don’t forget to grab them from the fridge before heading out the door in the morning!
2. Put the Essentials in One Place
If you are always looking for your keys or wallet, that can slow down your day considerably. It will also give you a headache.
Save yourself the stress and time by setting a certain place to put these essential items, such as a tray in the hallway. Or, keep them in a bag that hangs from the doorknob of your bedroom.
3. Use Apps
There are countless apps to make your life easier as a parent and save precious minutes in the day. For example, recipe apps let you quickly filter for recipes to meet vegetarian needs or for dishes that feature your child’s favourite type of pasta.
4. Online Coupons
Check savings sites too for deals on things you would be buying anyway. You’ll save money at sites like Sign Up Offers while also saving time as you can shop online without having to travel by car to a physical store. There are also discounts only available online.
5. Say ‘No’ When You Can
You already have a lot on your plate, and things aren’t likely to change anytime soon. Avoid overextending yourself by saying “no” to some of the things asked of you.
While you won’t want to say “no” to every volunteering opportunity, for example, you could pass on a few of them so that you can have a few restful evenings at home. If something is important, then make it so, but you can’t do that when you agree to do everything asked of you.
6. Reach Out for Help
No one expects you to do everything yourself. If you have a partner, they will want to help, especially with caring for the kids. They likely just don’t know how you need them to assist you.
Be open and honest with your partner about what you need and when, whether it is picking up the kids in the family car from sports activities or making dinner a few nights a week. Also, take any trustworthy friends or extended family members up on their offer to clean the house or grocery shop.
7. Handle Mail as It Comes
All too quickly mail starts to pile up on the table. Rather than putting it off, deal with the envelopes as they come. Toss the ads you don’t want and file important documents right then and there.
Then you won’t spend time thinking about what there is to sort or just moving around the envelopes on the table. Today is the day to start this new habit.
8. Pack Snacks in Your Purse or Car
A protein bar stored in the car or your purse is handy to have when you need a quick bite on the go. It’s much more convenient than going through a drive-through window as there’s likely to be lineups. Plus, the snack you packed is cheaper and likely healthier than the food you would line up to get that day.
9. Use Baskets
A great way to organize things is by using baskets. Fill them with items that belong together or are similar. Put tags on the front of them if they’re on shelves so that you can see at a glance what is inside without having to take each of them down to see for yourself.
For example, put toys in one basket and sewing items in another. It’s easy to grab the items from these storage areas and then they’re always in their place so you won’t be searching for items endlessly.
10. Make an Extra Few Servings
For dinner tonight, make a few extra servings than needed. Then freeze the extras. Having these ready-made meals in the freezer will be handy on those days when you are extra busy.
Another time-saving tip in the kitchen is to choose proteins that cook quickly, such as cod and flank steak. Don’t be afraid to alter the recipe either to use what you already have in the fridge or cupboard to save yourself the time going to the grocery store.
While ten tips were promised, here’s an extra tip. Rather than worry about things that might or might not happen, let it go. You could spend a lot of time wondering about things happening tomorrow or in the distant future, but that won’t change things. Instead, focus on what you can control.
Using Smart Strategies
As you start to use one or more of the suggestions above, you will find it easier to remember to do them regularly. Whenever possible, ask others in the household to help with chores, and remember it’s okay to say “no” to everything you are asked to do.
You also don’t have to make an amazing meal from scratch every night; it’s not worth the stress that puts on you, and no one expects that of you. When you save time, you keep your sanity, so it is worth using these strategies. Save time and experience less stress too!