It's a rare day that I don't fall into bed thinking about how busy the day was. I sometimes ask, what am I doing wrong? But when I talk to friends, they all say the same thing: life is busy, it's impossible to get everything done!
I refuse to accept this. There must be ways to save time and still enjoy life without it running us all ragged. So I polled some friends and got some great ideas. Then I tried them out. Read on to find out which tips worked for me - and can work for you too!
How do you save time? Tell us for the chance to win a $50 gift card to either Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts (winner's choice!) and a cute kitchen timer. Plus, submit an easy recipe for a bonus prize. If we use your recipe in an upcoming blog post, we'll send you a $25 Amazon gift card to say thanks!
Most experts say that if you are doing two things at the same time, you are not doing either of them well. I beg to differ. On tasks when my brain runs on autopilot, I'm much more efficient when I multitask. For example...
Make a boring chore fun and you'll want to get to it, like ironing while binge-watching TV or cleaning the bathroom while listening to a podcast.
Exercise with a friend: you'll be getting healthier and finding out the latest gossip. Schedule in a weekly time on your calendar and you'll be more likely to stick with it.
Use waiting time, like your train-commute or your kid's gymnastics class, to cross a few things off your to-do list, That quiet time is perfect for finding dinner recipes, ordering groceries online, or doing vacation research. Alternatively, save that time to catch up on social media, and then resist checking your Facebook feed the rest of the day.
Plan for the unpacking while you are shopping: When unloading groceries from your cart to the conveyor belt at checkout, group them in order of where they go in the house, so they get bagged in that order (dairy together, fruit together etc). Then the groceries are easier to unpack when you get home.
Put it in Writing
- It's so easy to get overwhelmed, thinking about all of the things that need to get done. When that happens, I force myself to write down everything that is spinning in my head. Most times, this list is not as bad as I thought it was, and sometimes I can cross a couple of them off the list in about five minutes. Seeing it in writing can be the kick I need to de-stress and get things done.
- Figuring out dinner is one chore I dread. So I learned to spend a few minutes on Sunday morning making up the menu for the week, before going grocery shopping. That way, when I come home from a long, busy day, and I am too tired to decide what to make for dinner, I already have a plan and the ingredients ready.
Save Time With a Timer
Reminder: My kitchen timer gets a lot of use, but not just for cooking. It's the perfect way to remind me to get things done. For example, I put it on when I throw in a load of laundry so I don't forget to put the wet clothes in the dryer.
Deadline: Timers are also a good way to create an artificial deadline, like when I'm going through the pile of papers my kids brought home from school. I just put on the timer and try to get it all done in 5 minutes - it forces me to make decisions more quickly and keep me focused.
Note: Make sure the timer is in another room and doesn't stop beeping until you manually turn it off. Is it annoying? Definitely. But does it force me to stop what I am doing and change the laundry? Yes.
Throw It Away
- Put an empty box at the bottom of your closet. As clothes don't fit or you decide you don't like them, just throw them right in there and donate the box when it is full. That way, you won't have to sort through things at the end of each season.
- Don't guilt yourself into keeping everything your kids have signed their names to. Keep one spot in your house to display artwork, like the mantle or a shelf. At the end of each month - or when the space is full - take 2 minutes (use the timer!) to clear it out. Throw most of it in the recycling can. Keep only what is really meaningful. If you make sure each child gets just one plastic tub for keepers, it will help you make better choices about what to save.
Let It Go
What's your favorite tip to save time? Tell us for the chance to win a $50 gift card to either Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts (winner's choice!) and a cute kitchen timer!
Bonus: What's your favorite quick-fix food? If we use your recipe in a future newsletter, we'll send you a $25 Amazon gift card!
There are three ways to enter:
Comment below and tell us about your favorite way you make life easier. Also, give us your best easy recipe!
Tweet about the giveaway: Click HERE to Tweet: “Check out #SheSpeaksTips to make life easier & enter the @SheSpeaksUp coffee gift card giveaway! bit.ly/2vgbyG8"
BONUS (worth 5 entries!): Post on Instagram: Take a photo of your favorite time-saving tip in action. Tag #SheSpeaksTips, #SheSpeaks and #entry
*One lucky commenter, Tweeter or Instagrammer will be chosen at random to receive a $50 gift card to the winner's choice of either Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, plus a Hitechway Cute Digital Count-Down Up Kitchen Timer. Giveaway is open through August 27th, 2017 to U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. Entrants must be a member of SheSpeaks. If you are not a member, click here to join. Winner will be notified by email.