Welcome back to Time Saving Tuesday!
Have you ever had those days where you could hear yourself say, “I wish there were more hours in the day, or I could get such and such done if I had just a little more time”? I certainly have! Actually, my to-do list for today is pretty long. *sigh*
Well, I’ve found a few things that have helped in along the way.
1. Get up Early
It doesn’t sound like a whole lot of time, but just an extra 30 minutes can help you jump start your day, and give you a couple spare minutes to get out the door instead of rushing, and hurrying your kids. It can make for a more peaceful morning for everyone, and can set the tone for the rest of the day. Remember to keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish so you stay on task and don’t just lose that extra sleep. If you are more of a night owl, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier. That extra sleep can help you to be more productive. Use your most productive time of day to get things done. For me, I am a morning person, so I get my important tasks done then. I save the other stuff for the afternoon. Schedule your day for what works for you.
2. Stay Organized
Notice I didn’t say, “Get organized?” That is key, but once you have yourself organized, figure out what works best for you to stay organized. Remember, staying organized isn’t just about getting rid of old bills and receipts, it’s about knowing what to keep and how you are going to make it easy to find when you need it. This will save you a lot of time everyday even just going through your daily mail. You will know what needs to be kept and filed, and what can be immediately tossed. Don’t let mail get stacked up to deal with later. Don’t be afraid to toss something. That goes for online mail as well. Don’t let your inbox get bombarded with messages. Unsubscribe, delete, and really pair down those messages. With today’s technology, it’s generally pretty easy to replace something that you may need. When was the last time you really needed something you threw away anyway? If you are questioning something, put it in a pending file to check on in a week or month. Decide then if you really need it. Make sure you help your kids to stay organized as well. This will save both of you time!
Sometimes this is easier said than done. Remember it’s only productive if the things you are working on together aren’t imperative. Putting away laundry and listening to that saved bible study CD can be multitasked, where working on your budget and making dinner while helping kids with homework may be counterproductive. You get the point. Giving your full attention to one important task at a time is always more productive that trying to do it all at once, time saved. Plus, you won’t have to go back to fix mistakes that you made along the way, time wasted.
4. Enlist Help
As much as we like to think we can do it all, and no one does it as well as we can, this super-mom mentality is not productive or effective. We can’t do it all efficiently all the time, and it doesn’t help our kids when we don’t teach them responsibility and let them do their part around the house. So when you look at the dusting job your 6 year old just did, just remember it may not be as good as you would’ve done, but it’s a little extra time for you to get other things done (as long as you don’t go back to re-dust!!) 😉
5. Slow and steady wins the race
This is the same idea as with multitasking. When you are working on an important task, slow and steady wins the race. It’s not efficient to rush through something only to find out you missed something along the way or made a mistake that will cost you even more time to fix. You can work fast when cleaning your house or making dinner, but when it comes to paying bills, making out your will, or doing something else that is of utmost importance, taking your time is key.
6. Limit your electronics time
Have you ever researched something online, read through Facebook, or checked those tweets? A few minutes can easily lead to an hour or more if you’re not careful. Keep yourself in check, limit your time on electronics, and you’ll find you have more time for other things.
7. Master to-do list
I love lists. They help me get things done, and I can look back at it to see all the things I accomplished. The key is having a realistic list. Having too much on your daily to-do list can seem daunting and overwhelming. It will bog you down. Instead, have a master to-do list that can be a mile long with everything that needs to be done. Then, have a daily to-do list that only has 3-4 items on it. Conquer those, and then you can hit up the master list. This way, the most important things get done first instead of the easiest things done first. Make sure you schedule your day to fit in those 3-4 items, or you will find yourself running around in circles figuring out what to do next.
8. Break it down
If you are avoiding that huge, daunting project, just break it down. Instead of “Clean out garage,” break it down into, “organize sports equipment and wash cars” one day, and “put holiday stuff away, organize tools, and sweep garage” another day. It will help you stay focused and will save you from going from one thing to the next, and not completing a thing. Also, work on these projects early so the rest of your day will go smoother. Getting those hard tasks done first makes every thing else seem easy!
9. Schedule, schedule
Once you have your master list and daily to-do lists, schedule the times for each project. This will give you a general idea of when you’ll be done with each project or task. This will help you schedule your day, and you’ll have an easier time saying “no” to something else that comes up when you know you won’t have time.
10. Give yourself grace
If you have done everything you could to gain a little more time in the day, and it still doesn’t happen, give yourself grace. You got a lot done no matter what, and there is always tomorrow. Don’t use this as an excuse to get lazy though, just a reminder that life happens and it’s ok to have days that it doesn’t all get done.
You can check out more time saving tips here!! I would love to hear how you gain more hours in your day!! I can use all the help I can get! 🙂