Most of us feel like we don't have enough of it, and wish there were ways to make more time in our days.
Great news! You can!
With a little upfront effort and determination, you can not only have more time, but you can eliminate stress and save money as well! Time management is not impossible, and does not have to be a thing of the past!
Here are five ways:
- Be honest with yourself and do a truthful evaluation. How much time do you waste on the internet? There are so many social networks and sites that beg for our attention, it can become a real trap. My main problem was Facebook. Notice I said was. Getting my son off to school, it became very easy to sit with my cup of coffee, and catch up on what everyone was up to before "starting my day". The hard part was getting away once I started commenting on everyone's posts. Have you been there? Fortunately, I began to wean from it for various reasons, which you can read about here. I gained back a lot of time because of this one area! I am now controlling what was once controlling me!
- Get enough sleep each night, and go to bed at a decent hour. Another trap for sucking away time! How? Some of us are night owls, being forced to live in an early bird world! I'm almost 43 years old, and even when I'm dragging at 9:00 p.m., I still fight going to bed at 11 or 12! But getting to bed by 11 or midnight will help your tomorrows run better. Not enough sleep equals less energy and less mental focus, which causes your daily tasks to take longer, if they get done at all.
- Take care of the little things while they are little. Load the dishwasher right after dinner (or wash by hand, if you don't have a dishwasher), put away each load of laundry, put books back where you got them from. Sort through the mail regularly to throw out junk mail. Do laundry everyday/every other day. Freshly dirtied dishes take less time than dishes that we have to leave soak because of letting food harden on them for an extra day. Put-away laundry saves piles from being knocked over, or baskets that are clean from having other family members mistake the basket for dirty clothes, which then results in a basket that you forget what is clean in it. You save money when you aren't rewashing what has already been washed. And what about the kiddos rummaging through for their favorite shirts? You also end up with clothes that probably need thrown back in the dryer for a fresh folding, so that nobody looks like a wrinkled mess. Ever been there? Can you say "aggravating"? A book here, and a small pile of junk mail over there will build up to a messy house very quickly. And once it does, our brains hit overwhelmed mode, which makes the task seem too big, which saps our energy, and takes us longer to clean it up. It makes us want to take a Facebook break! Can I get an AMEN?
- Ironing more than one item per session. If you are like me, you have ironing that needs done on a regular basis. I iron my husband's and son's church clothes regularly, along with my own wrinkled things. Doing a week's worth of ironing at one time saves you time in having to get out the ironing board, heating up the iron, and putting the board away when finished, every single time you need an item ironed! It may not seem like much, but if you've never tried it, trust me! Once you go to the closet and are able to just grab your ironed item and go, you'll see how nice it is! If you run late regularly, this will save you a few minutes (especially if you have more to iron than just your own things!), and it will also reduce your stress level! I hate feeling rushed, don't you?
- Freezer cooking. This is a biggie! If you aren't a super organized person (which may be why you are reading this list!), it may take two or three days of a messy kitchen with tin foil pans and canned foods all over the counter tops, but this one is totally worth it! Buying everything at once saves additional trips to the store, which for me, always, ALWAYS results in my spending more on things I didn't even go to the store for! (Who is with me on this one?) It also lets you make the kitchen a total mess of dirty pots, pans, measuring cups and extra trash for a few days, as opposed to a daily thing! Once all meals are prepared and waiting in the freezer, all you have to do is remember to thaw them, and pop them in the oven in time for dinner! Sure, you will still have plates and cups to wash, but it will take much less time because of no pots and pans, etc. that need washed as well. Extra free time after dinner! Yay! Note: Freezer cooking seems like a daunting task if you've never done it. Start small-make a huge pot of spaghetti sauce, some chili, and one or two soups, and then divide each batch into family sized servings and freeze. Once you've accomplished that, search the internet for blogs and websites that give freezer cooking recipes. Or, you can find books on Amazon. Check out The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy ! Find a few you like and add them to your stash. You will be glad you did this! (Not to mention less drive-thru visits at McDonald's!)
What about you? Have you done any of these in your own life? And were the results worth it?