I’ve read a lot recently about people struggling to find time in their daily schedule to do the things they have to do and do the things they want to do. I felt this way not too long ago about finding time to blog. Seemed like I was always writing at the last minute and that was putting undo pressure on myself. I implemented several of the helpful tips that were mentioned in the comments of that post and am happy to say they have really proven to be helpful. Thanks readers!
I don’t like the feeling of being under pressure to get things done. I’m big into scheduling because I like my activities and responsibilities to seamlessly move from one thing to the next. I think having a schedule helps maximize time even if it does not always flow exactly like I hope. Sometimes life just gets in the way and you have to adjust.
Still, I’m always looking for opportunities to pack more into a day without overloading myself. I’ve come up with some ways to do that around the house and in my life. I’ll admit, some of these may just be psychologically saving me time. (In other words, they don’t save a great deal of time overall but because of how I implement them in the daily schedule, I think they do.)
So here are my tips to save time with tasks and do more with your life:
#1 – In the kitchen:
a. Crock pot meals. You still have to prepare the meal in the crock-pot and that does take time. However, nothing beats the feeling of coming home after work and being able to give the kid’s rumbling tummies food right when you walk in the door.
b. Cook in bulk and freeze. I do this a lot with soups and pasta, like lasagna. Make double or triple the portions and freeze what you don’t use for later meals. It’s a great time saver to pull something out of the freezer that is already made.
c. Have someone grocery shop for you or have food delivered. There are people who will take your list and do the shopping for you. And there are many services where you can order your food online and have it delivered. (I’ve never done this but am really intrigued as grocery shopping with four kids is, uh…well…you know.)
d. Talk with your spouse or kids over dinner. Instead of individual evening sessions with each member of the family, talk about the day’s activities as a group over dinner. This has so many benefits, as it brings the family closer together by communicating with one another. It also allows children to listen to adults talk about appropriate grown up stuff and they get a sense of how mom and dad are handling life’s challenges.
#2 – Cleaning/House maintenance:
a. Get the kids involved. This one is huge! Kids need to learn responsibility and work ethic and what better place to start than in the home under your tutelage. We have 41 different chores spread out (age appropriately) among our four kids, including the oldest two (12 and 10) doing their own laundry. They’ve been doing that since age 8.
b. Hire someone. If it fits into the budget, hire someone to clean the house on a weekly basis and hire a yard service. We have done both of these on several occasions and it was well worth the money. It’s great on a 90 degree summer’s day knowing someone else is responsible for cutting the grass and trimming the shrubs.
c. Don’t neglect it until it gets real bad. I have found when I let things pile up, it takes more time to weed through the mess once I finally get to it. Plus, I feel overwhelmed at the scale of the mess I’ve created for myself and I spend too much time just figuring out where to start on the project. This is one area where a schedule can really help manage tasks throughout the week so you don’t get behind.
#3 – Learning to multitask. I’m not incredible good at this but I’m trying to get better at doing two things at once. Here is what I’ve been trying:
a. Reading blogs and commenting while watching sports or waiting for dinner to cook.
b. Listening to podcasts while I clean, fold laundry or drive in the car.
c. Write or outline a blog post while waiting at the doctor’s office or at a busy restaurant.
Time is a limited commodity. Try some of these out and see if they work for you.
Let’s help each other out now. What great time saving tip can you share?
Prior Post: Land of the Free Because of the Brave