Do you feel like you are always rushed off your feet with a never-ending list of things to do? You’re not alone. Many people find that their week is stretched to the limits and just about find the time to eat and sleep. Below are some of the things I do to save time.
I have recently started a new job which came with slightly longer working hours and a longer rush-hour commute. I quickly realised that I needed to find ways to free up more time, both in the morning and evening. Reducing sleep time may be the most obvious, but for me, cutting back on my already limited sleep allowance was no option. So what did I do?
Prior to starting my new job, I would cook every evening, which would take up to an hour. Now I plan what I am going to eat Monday to Friday and usually only cooking on a Wednesday and the weekend. Most foods will stay fresh for 2-3 days and taste just as good after being reheated.
On a Sunday, I usually cook two large meals so that there is enough for Monday and Tuesday. On a Wednesday, I do the same so that there is enough for Thursday and Friday. Not only does this save time by not cooking as often, it also saves time with the washing up. If you are fortunate enough to have a dishwasher, this time saving tip will mean less dishwasher loads!
I would recommend planning your meals using a free printable meal planning template. Stick it on your fridge so you know what is on the menu for the week ahead.
2. REDUCED LUNCH BREAK
On my working days, I never feel the need to take a full hour lunch break. I have usually eaten, taken a stroll and am ready to crack on with work after a half an hour break. This affords me 30 minutes of time which I can use to either come in later or leave earlier. Thankfully my employer is flexible.
I always choose to leave earlier so I can collect my son from nursery as soon as possible. I save time by leaving 30 minutes before the heavy rush-hour traffic.
If your employer is flexible, see if you can negotiate the amount of time you have for lunch so that you can miss either the morning or evening rush-hour traffic.
3. IRON FOR THE WEEK TO SAVE TIME
This is one of my favourite time saving tips. I remember having a conversation with a colleague, many years ago, about how she irons for the week. Back then (before I had my son) I saw ironing ahead as long winded and I couldn’t really be bothered!
Now I have a family, I see how doing one hit of ironing can save so much time. I iron a week’s worth of clothes on either a Saturday or Sunday and do not touch the iron in the week, unless absolutely necessary.
I save so much time by not ironing every morning. Just think how much time goes in to choosing an outfit, getting out the ironing board and iron, ironing the clothes and then packing away the ironing board and iron. Over a 7 day period, that is a fair amount of time. Would you agree?
4. BREAKFAST ON THE GO
In the morning, the one thing that takes my son the most time is eating. He can sit there for half and hour and only have taken one bite! A nightmare when you are on a tight schedule, which racks up the mummy ‘panic’ tone. I don’t want him to go out on an empty stomach but allowing him another half and hour for just another mouthful is not an option.
I tend to get him washed and dressed as soon as he wakes and then give him breakfast. If he does not finish his breakfast, I offer him something that he can eat on the go which is usually something like a brioche roll, breakfast bar or fruit. Also, depending on the time I drop him to nursery, he may be in time to have breakfast there. I don’t have much of an appetite first thing, so giving him several options keeps my mummy guilt (oh no, my son hasn’t eaten) at bay.
Try and get breakfast options that you and your children can eat on the go. Of course it depends on the age of the child. Maybe speak to your childcare provider and find out if your child can have breakfast there.
5. TIDYING UP
Finally, if you are anything like me, a messy home is a recipe for a messy mind. I like the place to be tidy as it helps me to feel free. But my son likes to use as many pieces of furniture and toys to construct (a bloody mess) his works of art. This can usually involve him ripping up paper, bringing kitchen chairs into the lounge, putting sofa cushions on the floor and a wide selection of his toys strewn all over the floor.
I try and tidy up as he makes mess but in all honesty, it is much quicker to do it once he has gone to bed. What would take me two hours when he is awake, takes me a quarter of the time once he is in bed.
If you can close your eyes and visualise a tidy home, do that until the kids are in bed! Then morph into a super fairy domestic Queen and tidy up as much as you can.
This will definitely save time.