Time Savers: Finding More Time in Your Day

Do you ever feel that there just is not enough time in a day and you wish you could somehow find more time? Well, read on, perhaps these tips can help you find some extra time in your day.

Have you ever heard of multi-tasking? My daughters are always kidding me about my multi-tasking ability. I wear many hats in our family and in order to get all I have to get done in the course of a day, I often fall back on this wonderful idea to help me get things done. Multi-tasking involves doing several things at once. A typical multi-tasking event for me may be: doing a load of laundry with one hand while stroking a cat with another. While the laundry is going, I run upstairs to run some water in the sink to do dishes and at the same time use the sink sprayer to wash vegetables, for dinner, in the other sink. As I walk through a room I pick up things that are out of place as I go and toss them either where they belong or at least in the room where they belong. I am always looking for things that I can team up and do at the same time to save me time. I always have a magazine or book in my purse, so that if I find that I have time on my hands, like while waiting in line at the grocery store or bank, I can read a couple of paragraphs. I am a college student, so this comes in handy as I find that reading time is a precious commodity that I usually do not have enough of.

Set a timer, you will find that this little device works wonders for keeping you on track and motivating you to get things done quicker and you make more efficient use of time. When you hear the little tick tick in the background you are less likely to daydream. Knowing that you have a set amount of time to accomplish a task keeps you moving. When you use your time more efficiently, you end up accomplishing so much more.

Another way to save time is to find a way to delegate some of your chores. A son or daughter, or perhaps your spouse can help do some of your tasks. Do not be afraid to ask for help with some of the things on your to do list. Family members will often times find that working side by side completing a task together can actually be fun and may even bring a family closer together. I love washing dishes when my daughter is wiping them, by my side. We chat about silly things, or family matters, we sing the lyrics to a favorite song together. Doing chores together helps to pass the time and makes doing the chore fun!

Have a large project to do, like cleaning the basement and find that you tend to put it off because it seems like such a huge undertaking. A good idea is to break it down into smaller tasks and spread it out over a week instead of trying to accomplish it all in one day. In the case of cleaning the basement, on Monday you may want to pick up all the odds and ends that have found there way to the floor and put them where they belong. On Tuesday, sweep and wash the basement floor. On Wednesday, organize the storage bins and bookshelves making sure that you find places for all the loose stuff. Plastic containers with lids make good storage organizers. Thursday is a good day to clean the corners and walls, making any necessary repairs to cracks. Friday, wipe down appliances like the washer and dryer, furnace and water heater. There you have it, the entire basement is clean and you did not feel overwhelmed because you spread it over five days instead of trying to do it all in one day.

Stay organized, you will find that if you have a plan, or list, it will help keep away the procrastination goblins, that tend to steal away time from your day. I keep a TTD list (things to do) and take great pride in checking off items as I do them. It gives you a chance to pat yourself on your back as you get your list done, one item at a time. Reward yourself when you’ve completed your entire list by making a favorite snack, or reading a just for fun book, or watching a favorite television program. Planning out your day gives you direction and purpose and can keep you motivated. You can also plan your errands the same way. On Mondays look ahead at the week and write down all the appointments you have on the calendar for that week. Think about the other errands you need to do like banking, library, store, dry cleaners etc. and locate the errands that are near to where the appointments are and then schedule to do those errands on the same day before or after your appointment. You will save not only time, but gasoline as well. If you are shopping for specific items, instead of running from store to store looking for it, call ahead to see if certain stores have it in stock. You will find that a phone call takes less time and will save you gasoline as well. Each day look at your TTD and find the thing that you most dislike doing, and do it first, if possible. You have more energy first thing in the morning and you will find that if you get this unpleasant chore out of the way, the rest of your day will seem so much nicer, without something unpleasant lurking around waiting for you.

Time Savers

Air Dry Dishes instead of towel drying

Leave flatware in the dishwasher and bring the caddy to the table to set silverware

No need to iron shirts except the front, when you are wearing a jacket over them

Wipe down the stove as soon as you spill something, this will save you scrubbing later

Put a laundry basket in each bedroom closet for dirty clothes and do laundry basket by basket

Group your clothes in your closet by outfit and then as you wear them, move them to the back of the closet

Use a comforter on your bed, instead of a sheet and blanket, it takes much less time to make your bed in the morning.

Double recipes when possible and freeze the 2nd batch for when you are rushed and need a quick meal

Create a self-make snack area in the kitchen for the kids to go to when they need a snack.

A basket by the door to put keys, library cards, gas cards, swim passes, or anything else family members need to grab as they go out the door.

Keep a small notebook in your purse to jot down gift ideas as they occur to you, appointments, reminders or notes

Put a write-on calendar on the refrigerator (we’ve had one there for years) jot down items as you run out of them to start your shopping list, put family members appts and after-school activities here so others know where everyone is.

Don’t feel like you have to do all of these tips all at once. start by incorporating one tip at a time into your routine and before you know it you will find more time in your day to do things you really would rather be doing.

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