I rarely have enough time to do everything, so what can I do that I’m not doing already? I think I am good at managing my time, but am I? How to save time? I have been having a think and came up with the following list. Some of these things will involve an investment of my time to start with, but should save it in the end.
How to save time
1. Iron as few clothes as possible. I already do this – I shake out my laundry and hang it really straight, then fold it or hang it straight away. There are a few cotton items that crease quite a lot that I do iron, however.
2. Don’t spend too much time on the internet! It is very tempting, so I am trying to allow myself about an hour a day tops. Half an hour of that goes on my blog, which I usually do at work in my lunch break.
3. Plant up perennials in the garden, preferably those that spread a bit. This will cut down on time spent weeding! This is a work in progress as I can’t afford to spend lots of money on plants, and I am still learning what is good to plant and grow from seed cheaply.
4. Do less laundry. I used to throw everything in the wash at the end of the day, even if it wasn’t really dirty. Now I check, sniff and put it away if it can do another day. I need to make my daughters do the same as sometimes they seem to change every half an hour and stick their barely worn clothes straight in the wash bin!
5. Batch cook – make double the chilli or bolognese, casserole or pie and freeze half for another day. I definitely need to do this more as I don’t like ready meals.
6. If you are going out for an errand, think about what else you can do whilst you are out. This has the added bonus of saving on fuel and cutting down on journeys. I need to work on being more organised for this one.
Cheating is OK
7. Cook from scratch if you can, but cheat whenever you need to!! I am thinking here of Knorr’s marvellous Flavour Pots, which very quickly make a nice meal out of meat and some veg, but also Aldi’s stir fry sachets, the odd bolognese sauce jar, Chicken Tonight casserole sauce, etc. I don’t use many convenience foods as they are expensive and full of rubbish, but there are some notable exceptions that are definitely worth a try.
8. Lower your standards! You don’t have to clean the skirting boards every week, for goodness sake. As long as everything is basically clean, that is good enough.
9. Tidy up as you go along. It is so much quicker to do a brief clean if you don’t have a load of clutter to clear up first.
10. Get the family to help you. A woman’s work never is done if she has to do it all herself. I am the worst for this – I get so fed up with having to nag the troops into action I figure it is easier to just do it myself. BIG MISTAKE.
11. Don’t waste time procrastinating. If it needs doing, just get it done. I have to give myself a good talking to on this one as procrastination is a particular skill of mine.
12. Plan all your meals and be ready with something suitable for those nights when you know you will have no time. Make a shopping list based on this plan, and buy everything you need in one trip a week to the supermarket.
13. Stick to your shopping list and don’t get waylaid by ‘bargains’. This saves you time AND money.
14. Research and grow plants that need little maintenance and watering.
Don’t waste time queuing
15. If you need to go to the supermarket or the shops at the weekend, go early, beat the crowds and save time waiting at the till or to get into or out of the car park.
16. Create a folder of healthy, quick and tasty dinner recipes. As Shirley Conran used to say, ‘Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom’!
17. Have a routine. If you know what you are doing when, you don’t waste time trying to work out what you need to do next.
18. When you are watching TV, do something else as well. File your nails, pluck your eyebrows, mend an item of clothing, answer your emails, knit or crochet something.
That is all I have time for….I would really welcome your tips on how to save time!