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As a mom, I always feel busy. There just never seems to be enough time in the day. If I spend time with my boys, then I am neglecting the house. If I spend time by myself then, I am away from my kids. Am I the only one who suffers from major mom guilt??
I love my boys and I love spending time with them, except maybe when they are fighting or whining, then I’d rather be alone on a deserted island somewhere. But my busy mom life made me realize that I don’t get to spend as much quality time with my boys as I would like everyday.
I needed to spend less time on life’s daily chores, so I could spend more quality time with my kids.
I needed to find more minutes in the day! It would be hard to find hours but minutes I could do!
Then, I could use all those extra minutes with my boys!
Time Saving Tips
#1 Always Plan Ahead
Planning ahead in all aspects of life is the number one time saving tip all moms should follow. When you are in the moment with your kids, a lot of time gets wasted trying to make a decision. Too many options give kids the chance to argue over a choice possibly leading to a melt down. If a decision or plan is made ahead of time, the kids will know what to expect and start to look forward to the decision. All the planning doesn’t have to be done by mom, give your kids a chance to make their own choices, just do it ahead of time:) Some examples where planning ahead becomes an absolute time saver include selecting a restaurant to dine at, choosing an outfit to wear to school, and even deciding which ride you will visit first at the amusement park. Having a plan helps avoid arguments and lengthy discussions with your kids, which ultimately robs you of your valuable time.
#2 Just Do It Now
Try to avoid making physical to do lists! Some people make very long detailed lists of things they need to accomplish. Think about how many precious minutes you’re wasting just by sitting down to write that list of tasks. In the few minutes it took to make that list, you could have easily accomplished one or two things on it. It only takes a minute to make a phone call or send a quick email. It only takes a minute to refill the soap dispenser or change a light bulb. I’m sure sometimes a to do list is necessary, but try to leave the little things off and just do them at the same time you realize it needs to get done.
#3 Deal With Papers As You Receive Them
How many of you have a big pile of papers that need to be dealt with and sorted? When you finally sit down to go through all the papers, a lot of valuable time may be lost. It could take close to an hour to go through a big pile, but if you deal with them as they come in that hour will no longer be wasted. For example, when you bring in the mail read your letters, put the bills by your checkbook, and toss the junk. Also, after you pick the kids up from school, empty their backpacks as soon as you get home, sign everything and return it to their folder right away. If you want to keep any of their school work place it in a designed spot, not in a pile to be dealt with later.
#4 Always Think Two Meals Ahead
Just as it was important to plan ahead before an outing, meal planning will save you a lot of time. I’m not just talking about dinner either. Deciding which meals you plan to cook for dinner is very important, but you should also think about breakfast and lunch. You don’t have to make a weekly list, but you should think ahead. I like to think two meals ahead. While the kids are eating breakfast, I’m thinking about dinner plans and any necessary meal prep. Also after dinner, I like to pack school lunches for tomorrow and decide what we will eat for breakfast. Planning meals helps to avoid wasting time standing in front of the fridge wondering what you should make.
#5 Eat With Your Children
I tell my kids that our house is not a restaurant where everyone gets to choose their own meal. Preparing different meals takes up way too much time! Do yourself a favor and only cook once. Plan a meal that is kid friendly, but adult approved. And if you are preparing something for dinner that the kids might not like, then at least make one side dish you know they will enjoy. If your children eat early, why not join them, you can always have a snack later in the evening. A family dinner is a wonderful time to bond with your children and discuss their day. If there is no way you can eat early with your children, then at least cook a family friendly meal for them and save your plate for later. Only cooking once is a great time saving tool.
#6 Prepare For The Mess
Kids are usually messy and being ready for that mess will save you time. When it comes to cleaning the house here are a few of my time saving tips. Run the dishwasher in the morning after breakfast. You will save time in the morning if you don’t have to unload the dishwasher. Also since the dishwasher is still dirty, you will have room to move those breakfast dishes out of the sink. Another time saving tip is to keep a container of disinfecting wipes on top of the toilet. The wipes will come in handy for a quick clean of the bathroom. Doing a daily quick clean will make deep cleaning much easier and less time consuming.
#7 Keep Shoes By The Door
If you have kids, then keeping shoes by the exit door of your house is a great time saving tip. Kids are always losing things, and shoes aren’t an exception. I keep a big basket right by the door. As soon as my boys get home their shoes go right inside the basket, this way we know just where to find them. It also helps keep my house clean:) Check out this post I wrote about the perfect place to store your children’s socks! Keeping shoes by the door helps us avoid wasting time on a shoe hunt.
#8 Set A Timer
Setting a timer when working on certain tasks will help you avoid wasting precious time. A big time suck can be using social media. While social media is fun, it can be very time consuming. There have been many times I sit down to check my email or browse pinterest only to realize a whole hour has gone by! Yikes! If it is a busy time of day, then setting the timer for 15 minutes will help you stay on task. Use a timer whenever you think you may get lost in a project or activity, this will help you save time so you can accomplish more throughout the day.
#9 Shop Online
Shopping online will help you avoid the need to run errands. Spending your day running errands with the kids isn’t always fun. Sure you can make it enjoyable, I love wandering the aisles of Target, but not with the boys. If my kids are with me, then I would rather use the time to play with them or plan a fun outing. I feel like you can buy almost everything online. I love you Amazon Prime! Heck, I even order my groceries online and have them delivered! Figure out which stores you shop at and make a plan to visit them online. This will save you plenty of time avoiding errands with the kids in tow.
#10 Utilize Time Spent Driving In The Car
As a mom, we spend a lot of time in the car shuttling kids to and from school, playdates, and sporting events. If the kids are in the car with you, utilize this time to bond with them over mutual music choices or stories from the day. The boys and I love to listen to the podcast Wow in the World! I learn something new every time we listen! If you are in the car alone, instead of chit chatting on the phone, use this time for yourself. Listen to a good audiobook, sing along to your favorite songs, or even enjoy the silence:) I wrote a post about 30 things every mom should do for herself each month! Look forward to enjoying your hours spent in the car. Even on the busiest of days, you will still have this precious time.
I hope you will find my time saving tips useful in your own life. How do you save minutes throughout your busy day? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Children grow up so fast and as parents we want to enjoy every minute with them Before They’re Grown!
*Photos by Kaboompics