Show me a working mom, and I’ll show you someone who has less than enough time to get everything done in a day. With little ones underfoot, there are some days when relaxing is a foreign word that only exists someplace exotic. But in my own experience, I have found several time-savers that have allowed me at least a few minutes to sit before I’m off and running again.
1. Cook BIG.
Forget cooking just enough for one meal. What if you cooked dinner and the next night’s meal at the same time? Or better yet, keep a handy supply of freezer containers to store the leftovers for a different night instead of eating the same thing night after night. Or just cook an abundant amount of the meat and create several different meals. For example, if you’re making chicken consider cooking two or more whole birds. We’re talking chicken one night, tacos the next, enchiladas, the third, and soup the fourth.
2. Write your grocery list around your meal plan
While we’re on the subject of food, a time AND money AND calorie saving trick is to make a meal plan for the week, and then write your shopping list from it. Time will be saved because you won’t have to wander the aisles wondering what it is you need. And you will know what you are making each night for dinner instead of staring at the cupboard waiting for the view to change. Money will be saved because you will, in essence, be straying from impulse shopping. And that also saves calories as you avoid the foods that aren’t on your list, and stick to the foods you planned on eating each night for dinner.
3. Employ the kids
Yes, I know. Teaching kids to do anything takes more time than just doing it yourself. But think about this: If your kids learn how to do certain age-appropriate chores, they can TAKE THEM OVER. Just imagine your child putting away their folded laundry, taking out the garbage, cleaning up the cat box, watering the garden, and putting away the clean dishes. Sure, it takes time to teach them. But once they’ve learned, they can shave minutes, or even hours, off of your time dedicated to chores. Besides, you can’t do for them forever.
4. Make lists
Ok, be honest. How many times a day do you pause to try and remember what it is you have to do? How about the time that is wasted letting that to-do list run circles inside your head? Keep a notebook with you at ALL times and get that list OUT OF YOUR HEAD! Not only will you NOT forget what it is you need to do, you won’t be stressing yourself out by making sure that you remember everything. And let’s face it, as a mom there is a lot of things we have to remember. Plus, it feels really good to cross things off that list, and know that they’re done.
5. Don’t procrastinate
Before I start, let me admit something. I am the queen of procrastination. By default, this also makes me the queen of doing everything at last minute. But at times that I have bit the bullet and just took care of tasks as they fall in my lap, I find that I have more time than usual to do the things that I would have been doing in my procrastination time – surfing Facebook, reading a book, or just watching a movie. But this time, it’s guilt free. So do this – Wash the dishes immediately after every meal, or even while you are cooking the meal. Do a quick clean-up before sitting down on the couch. Wipe down the counters after the kids are done brushing their teeth. Put your clothes away as soon as you take them off.
What are some tips you have found that help you to save time during the day?