I am always trying to find more time in my day.  While I can typically get everything done that I need to do, it’s the things that I want to do that are hard to squeeze in during my day.  I’ve recently tried these tips for saving time, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the time I can enjoy at the end of each day.

  • Don’t procrastinate.  The dishes will only be harder to clean once the food has been sitting on them for a couple hours.  This one has been hard for me, as I’m a procrastinator by nature.  But by washing the bowls and spoons, etc., that I used to prepare our meal while the meal is cooking, I cut down on the time I spend washing dishes after dinner.  And washing the dinner dishes when we get up from the table instead of just before bedtime is fast and easy; plus I don’t spend the rest of the evening dreading the stack of dishes in the sink.
  • Put things in their proper place as soon as you are done handling it.  Don’t start a pile – you’ll only waste time looking through it if you need something, and the extra time you’ll need to sort everything out when you do put everything away you could use to read Domestic Betty!  Institute a no-pile plan: when you handle something (anything!), put it away!  Getting laundry out of the dryer?  Don’t throw it onto the loveseat and walk away.  You’ve touched it – now fold it and put everything away.  The mail?  Don’t pile it up; open everything as soon as you bring it in the house, recycle your junk mail, file what is needed, and put your bills in whatever bill paying system you use.
  • Know what you have on hand.  This will save you time and money: you won’t waste time rummaging around in your pantry or running to the store for things you already have (a money drain, too).
  • Prepare ahead of time.  This is essential if you have kids.  Don’t wait until you need to be walking out the door to stock your diaperbag or the kids’ lunches.  I’ve even started cleaning out my diaperbag when I get home from an outing – it lightens my load of anything collected through the day, and I can restock diapers or emergency snacks at that time.  Then, when we need to head out the next time, I can just grab the bag and the kids and walk out the door.
  • Set a timer.  For chores, for naptimes, for TV time, for anything!  My children’s naptimes are precious times for me… I get to do what I need or want to do in relative peace.  I typically set a timer for 15 minutes and quickly do whatever cleaning I can do in that time.  It’s amazing what you can do in 15 minutes!  Then I have the rest of naptime to enjoy for myself.  Otherwise, I might just putz and procrastinate while trying to clean – not really getting anything done, but not enjoying myself either.  And naps… if I lay down for a short nap, without a timer (or alarm), it could easily turn into a 2 hour nap.  While I might enjoy a 2 hour nap, I typically have things that need to get done during that time so I can enjoy myself later in the day.

These are just a couple of many different ways to squeeze a couple minutes of time here and there throughout your day so you can kick back at the end of the day and do… whatever you want.  Even slipping into bed a bit early to get a full night’s sleep! 

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