I don’t normally write posts like this but, as a new blogger, I am starting to feel the need. There is an ever growing need to spend more time each day on the blog whilst there is a homelife that needs to be run as well. Sometimes, this has been quite overwhelming and normally results in staying awake for more hours than I should do. So I started to think about some simple ways to save time each day.
Something had to change! I had thought for some time that perhaps, as a family, we were not quite as ‘efficient’ as we should be and a lot of time was wasted doing things that could be done with a little more ease. At the end of the day, we all have a number of machines around us that do things for us. Like, washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers etc etc.
Now, I am sure that it has occurred to most people (hadn’t to us) that most of these machines, if we can call them that, have timers on them. Quite simply, this is so that the machines can do things whilst we are not around. Genius! That means, that all I need to do is load them up, set the timer and off we go. When I get back at the end of the day, jobs done! This alone has saved tonnes of time.
So if you are looking to save some time in the day or perhaps you are just looking at ways to be more efficient in life, here are some easy ways to make a quick start.
Believe it or not, this wonderful addition to the home that turns dirty dishes clean again, can give you a lot of time back over the week if used in the right way. One thing that we are guilty of is putting it on at strange times of the day – like the morning. However, we have found that loading it up in the evening and letting it run over night is by far the most efficient way of cleaning the dishes. We also found that emptying the dishwasher in the morning also saves time as it is ready for the busy dinner schedule in the evening. By putting it on overnight, it also means that you can rest in the evening and not have your bed time held to ransom by a dishwasher! Once you are into this routine, it really does make logical sense.
Meal planning is very important. I’ve been guilty in the past of shopping for the day. Whilst this is great because I have fresh food each day, it costs more and takes more time – two things to avoid! Not to mention that no cooking can start until I am actually home. Needless to say, this had to stop and we had to pick up a better routine. We’ve been saving recipes into bookmarks and notes now for some time so it makes it a lot easier to pull out the food that we want for the week. And once you get used to it, it is actually quite nice to know what you are going to be having in the evening. If you want to go one step further and put your meal plans on the wall, check out this chalkboard for the kitchen.
Following meal planning, it quite naturally leads into ONLINE SHOPPING. It’s moved on a lot from where it used to be a few years ago. There are so many supermarkets now that offer home delivery, you will not be short of choice. Generally, the dates on the products are good too – they have to be otherwise you wouldn’t use them again. If you are lucky enough in that your list doesn’t change from week to week, most also offer an option to duplicate the previous shop – making it super quick to get to the checkout!
Deal with the morning the night before
This is very important to me. I don’t just have myself to deal with, I also have to get the toddler out of the house too! Some days this is easy and other days, not so. It needed a change in tact. So now, I get all of my clothes ready the night before and also lay his out on his chest of drawers when he goes to bed. For one this saves him choosing the clothes (some outfits can be, lets say, interesting) and also makes it super speedy to get him ready. Another must for the night before is to make sure that all the bags are packed for the day ahead. If you often feel yourself stressed in the morning, this really does make a difference!
Do washing every other day
Ok, so sometimes this isn’t practical! But, I always find that doing wash loads as and when there is a wash load to do is a lot easier than it consuming the weekend. Plus, if you are limited on space to hang the washing up, doing little and often will help ease that problem. Not to mention that the house always smells of fresh laundry!
Do the important things first
This one is more to give you mental capacity to get through the day. We all know that our heads are filled with ‘jobs that need to be done’. However, most of those jobs really don’t matter if they are completed today or in the next week. Although, on the flip side, we know that there are jobs that we really ought to be getting on with now. Believe me when I say that if you get the ones that ‘really do need doing’ out of the way first, the mental pressure that will be lifted from completing them will make you feel so much better. Good way to get into the habit is to start by writing a list each morning of the jobs that must be completed – limit it to 2. This ensures that the goal remains achievable.
Limit your time watching TV
Who can’t resist a good binge on Netflix? Guilty! Since Netflix is just so easy to access now (apps in the TV) it is really easy to burn 3 hours of the day binging through the latest series that you have found. Think how much time you would have to do other things like going to the gym, hobbies or self development if you cut out even just an hour a day. There is an awful lot you can do with 7 hours a week (it’s basically a day at work!). What also helps is turning off the auto play function so you actually have to press play to watch the next episode. Amazing what difference it makes when the decision is down to you!
Create a shared calendar
We love our Apple products and one of the benefits of that is the shared calendar function. Whilst we each have our own calendars for work appointments, being able to put things into the family calendar ensures there are no ‘crossed wires’ later down the line. These calendars also become extremely useful when it’s the season of kids birthdays!
Pick up the phone
With all the technology around, it is all too easy to pick up the phone and send a text or an email. However, when you actually think about it, sometimes it is easier to pick up the phone. The problem with texts and emails is that you need time to write it, the other person needs time to reply or ignore it. By which time you could be a day or so down the line. What I find more frustrating is that sometimes you need that answer to answer something else. Might as well just pick up the phone! Its good to talk!
Make use of commuting time
Commuting time is, in some cases, lost time of the day. However, you can change that! If you are trying to learn new skills or follow a certain topic, there is a wealth of information out there in podcasts and learning courses. With a little preparation, these can be downloaded to your device and played without the need of cellular access. Similarly, if you have a long commute by car, a podcast would be the perfect companion for your journey.
If you have any other time tips that work for you, we would love to hear about them.