Oftentimes there don't seem to be enough hours in any particular day to get things done. It can't possibly just be that way in my house, so if you're nodding your head, keep reading! I try to think of time savers as I go along, some of them work, some of them not so much. Don't worry, I'm not going to share the failures, only the successes!!
1) Don't waste a car trip! I try to come up with all the little trips that I need to do and get them all done at once. I have to haul 3 kids up and down a flight of stairs each time I go out to run errands or whatever, so this is quickly becoming second nature. You'll get everything done and out of the way in one big "adventure." If you start with the furthest place first, you'll be working your way back home and hopefully saving a little gas that way too!
2) Organize! Whether it's your desk, your kitchen, your entire home, a little organization will keep you from saying, "Now where did I put that??" We've all been there. If it has a "home" and it's always in it's "home" then you'll always know where to find it! You won't have to waste time searching the whole house just to find whatever it is that you've misplaced.
3) Don't just wait! If you're stuck in the doctor's office waiting room, bring something along to do! Maybe you can use your phone to check your online banking, pay a couple of online bills, do the little things you may not remember to do until the last minute.
4) Use the "OHIO" method and "only handle it once." Be it junk mail, magazines you're not actually going to read, whatever it is. Decide what you're going to do with it and move on, don't let it clutter up your counters and then have to take time again later to go through it.
5) Do some once a month cooking! Even if you don't want to do an entire month, look up come recipes and spend one day cooking up a storm. If you take time one day to do it, toss your meals in the freezer and they'll be dinner time savers for the days that a meeting runs over, traffic was terrible, or you just lost track of time. You can eat something healthy and home made and not just order in some pizza or fast food!
6) Keep track of what you're running out of. Make a shopping list and check it twice! There's nothing like going to make dinner and realizing you forgot a key ingredient when you were at the store earlier in the day. We've all been there. A little extra time making sure you have everything will save you having to run out again later!
7) Set out your clothes (or your kids!) the night before. Make those decisions when you're not half asleep and trying to figure out if this shirt matches those pants. It makes it easier and faster for kids to get ready in the morning too! Have everything together, pants, shirt, socks, shoes. Then nobody will be running around looking for that missing shoe when you're trying to get them loaded into the car for school.
8) Teach your kids to keep their school things together and organized. Much like tip #7, if it's all together and ready the night before, it will make morning that much better! No more searching for the missing permission slip or trying to figure out if the dog really DID eat the homework.
9) Shop online. At night. In your pajamas. Yes, really, it's much more relaxing and it's a lot easier to compare prices. Most places offer free shipping and you can usually return anything that doesn't fit (or isn't what you thought it was) to your local store. It will most likely save you money too, because you won't be impulse shopping quite as much when you aren't dealing with bored kiddos!
10) Relax! It doesn't sound like a time saver, but you'll be less stressed and less likely to make a silly mistake if you've taken a moment to breathe and think things through. If you don't goof up, you won't have to take the time to fix whatever mistake you may have made because you were in a hurry.
I hope some of those may be helpful to you! What are your favorite ways to save time? I'd love to hear them, I'm always looking for new ways that I may not have thought of and I'm sure other readers would love to hear them as well!
Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.