Working parents know there never seems to be enough time in a day, week or month! How can you squeeze a few more minutes out of each day? These time saver tips should help working parentss and anyone else who needs some extra time.
Use Your Kids
Involve and empower your kids. Even a child in Kindergarten can help prepare her own lunch, pre-plan wardrobe choices the night before. Not just for kids, preparing and planning as much as you can in advance is also a great strategy for working moms and all adults! Assign household chores to all family members and stick to them! Again, don’t let a child’s age trick you into thinking he’s not old enough to contribute. Even toddlers can put their toys away!
Use prioritization skills. Group tasks into A, B or C piles (real or electronic ones.) Work on finishing your A-list first. Yes, sometimes B or C list items suddenly get bumped up, but that’s ok. It gives you a focus and limits feeling overwhelmed and disorganized. The practice can carry over to your home life also. For example, cleaning bathrooms can sit in the B or C list, unless you’re having guests over, but taking your kids to extracurricular activities and feeding them always stays on the A list. There are only so many hours in the day, so taking a few moments for sorting through all your tasks and obligations actually helps create time when you recognize and accept not everything needs to be done right this second!
Dump the Instagram
Limit your social media time. For some, this is a tough one! Even if your job requires you to spend a lot of time on social media, there are still other things that need to get done, so schedule social media activity. Set a reminder hourly and give yourself ten or fifteen minutes to peruse your important channels and respond to priorities. Everything else can wait until you have a few minutes of downtime. Set up an electronic file where you can send all articles you want to read at some point. These are great for when you’re waiting for an appointment or meeting to start, or during a transit commute.
Hide Your Phone
Put away your phone before bed. Studies show you sleep better if tech isn’t the last thing you look at before you close your eyes, and better sleep means you’re less tired, so shut devices down at least thirty minutes before you plan on falling asleep. Less tired means more productive, and that’s a great timesaver!
Crock Pots Rule!
Use your crock pot or instant cooker to have meals ready in a jiffy. Alternatively, schedule a family time on the weekend or one evening a week to prep a couple meals together you can freeze and use on busy weeknights. If you’re preparing a meal fresh to eat immediately, double the ingredients and freeze the second half for another day.
Ignore your Email
Limit email overload. Emails can steal away your entire day if you read and respond every time your inbox receives a new arrival. Set a timer to check emails at a certain frequency (we suggest once every two hours) and then set a timer to spend twenty minutes responding to the most urgent ones. Designate your emails to A, B and C priority folders as well and spend a half hour each morning clearing out lower-priority backlogs.
There are very few household, grocery or apparel items you can’t buy online now, and doing it from your phone or laptop while you’re waiting for your child’s extracurricular activities to finish or during transit, commutes saves time and energy.
Work Out at Home
Even if you live next door to the gym, it still takes time to get yourself ready and get to the gym, but your appearance doesn’t matter if only you and a video game or phone app are exercising together.
Hair it Out
Try to avoid washing and blow drying/styling your hair every morning. It’s not really good for your hair anyway, so use a dry shampoo or wear an up-do or ponytail in between wash days to save the precious time you use primping your coiffure.
Yes, it’s sometimes a pain, but reaching for a clothing item or food in your pantry is always quicker if things are organized in a consistent way, whether it’s alphabetical, by colour or some other criteria of your choice. Teach your kids to do the same and you’ll hear a whole lot less “Mom, can you help me find…” which is a timesaver tip every working mom can enjoy!