If only it were possible to actually make more time! The things we would all achieve! As a busy full time working mum, I frequently lament my lack of time and wish I had more. It’s true that my full time job uses up the best hours of my life, but still there are tricks I have found to make me feel I have a few more precious hours. If you can’t make extra, you can save time at least.
There are things that I like to do rather than need to do, such as yoga, gardening, blogging and making extra money on the side such as going to boot sales and selling on eBay . If I want to do these things and have time to spend with my loved ones, I need to be organised and not waste any! These are my favourite tricks to save time:
1. Do the cleaning as you go along.
I used to spend the whole of Saturday cleaning the house. Now I clean a room or two a night during the week, which gives me a whole extra day a week! I also get the family to help – I don’t make the mess by myself.
2. Stop being house proud.
This relates to number 1. If you insist on perfection you will spend a lot of time trying to achieve it. This is unless, of course, you can afford a cleaner, in which case you can be as obsessively perfect as you like!
3. Train your family to be tidy.
If they put their clothes away on hangers or in the wash bin, tidy up their games, toys and books when they are done, rinse out the shower, make their own beds and wash up their cups and plates as they go then you won’t have to. We make a rod for our own backs when we let our families develop into messy monsters.
4. Batch cook.
If you are making a casserole, chilli, tomato sauce, quiche, meatloaf, etc, why not double or triple the quantities and freeze? It is really very little extra effort to make a large batch rather than a small portion of anything you can freeze.
5. Freeze your leftovers.
Not only does this reduce waste and save you money, freezing leftovers saves you time. You will have a frozen ready meal or two for when you need to eat and run.
6. Invest in a slow cooker.
Another money saver, as they cost very little to run, your slow cooker can also save you time. Throw some meat and veggies in before you leave the house in the morning and you will be rewarded with a delicious meal ready to hit your plate when you arrive home. You can find some yummy recipes, but it’s not rocket science and I tend to chuck in whatever is available.
7. Set up direct debits for all your bills.
There is enough paperwork to do without having to sit on the phone or go to the Post Office to pay your regular bills. This is also good for your budget as it ensures the essential bills are paid on time.
8. Give up ironing
This was an easy win for me as I HATE ironing! When you hang your clothes out to dry give them a really good shake. Hang or fold them as soon as you get them off the line. If you use a dryer they will tend to come out pretty much crease free anyway. All but the pure cotton garments will be good to go; I still iron these but deliberately buy few garments that are likely to get very creased. Don’t buy linen if you don’t want to waste time ironing it. Back to the perfectionist issue: underwear, towels and sheets do not need ironing!!
9. Plan your week’s meals in advance then do the shopping in one trip.
Repeated visits to the supermarket take lots of time and are likely to cost you more on impulse buys. Alternatively do your shopping online and get it delivered.
10. Use your lunch hour to keep fit.
A brisk walk or run at lunch means less time (and money) spent in the gym or exercise class. Freshen up with some baby wipes if you manage to work up a sweat. Alternatively, could you get up half an hour earlier and do a quick workout to set you up for the day? This is my preferred way to keep my fitness regime on track and save time. I go to work relaxed and full of energy as well, which is a bonus.
There are many ways you can save time. I hope you find my suggestions helpful!