3 WAYS TO SAVE TIME AS A MOM!
How to Save Time
We all wish we had more time. More time to relax, more time to get in shape, more time for our friends and family, and more time for ourselves. There are hundreds of ways to save time throughout your day. Invest a few minutes checking out the tips and advice collected here and start saving time today!
Saving Time at Work
Prioritize to focus on the most important tasks.Accomplishing the big items on the top of your to-do list at the start of the day can keep you from scurrying to finish them later. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, and you won’t have the weight of the big project looming as you handle smaller tasks later in the day, allowing you to work more effectively and save even more time.
- The most important tasks are not always the same as the most pressing tasks. If a routine document is due on your boss’s desk by noon, it may not be worth having it done by 11:00 if it means providing worse service to a client. Learn to differentiate between what’s urgent and what’s important.
Delegate tasks to other employees.In order to properly delegate you need to understand your strengths and those of your coworkers. Some people are great with numbers, others can write well, by identifying who has the specialized skills to complete a task you can save time and improve the quality of the work being done.
- Be authoritative, but not demanding when delegating tasks. Make the person you’re asking for help feel like an expert and praise their knowledge in the area.
- Remember, if you delegate tasks, you should be willing to take on a task from someone else’s workload from time to time as well.
Batch similar tasks together.Most people’s work day consists of ongoing small tasks that end up spread throughout the larger projects of the day. By grouping these together and handling them in bunches you can save a lot of time and do the work more efficiently.
- Instead of responding to emails every twenty minutes, set aside two larger chunks of time and handle all your emails in those periods. You’ll be more focused on your work without worrying about them
- Make all your phone calls in one go and get paperwork done in one sitting.
Have a consistent leaving time.Almost everyone arrives at work at the same time each day, but when people get busy they often stay late at the office to keep working. By the time they get home the day is almost over. Make a point of leaving work at a normal, not too late time. When staying late isn’t an option you’ll make the most of your productivity in the time you’re at work.
- Make it known throughout the office that you won’t be sticking around past a certain time by dropping subtle hints. Tell people about plans for the evening or warn them to get materials to you earlier because you need to be out on time.
Avoid unproductive meetings and conversations.Sometimes people at work just aren’t as efficient as you’d like them to be. Don’t let their problems become your problems. Be firm, and inform long-winded coworkers that you need to get back to work once they’ve made their point.
- Learn to say no. If you’re invited to a meeting and you don’t anticipate it’ll be beneficial, say you’re too busy, or you have other priorities that interfere with attendance.
- Suggest “dropping in” on a meeting to only catch the parts that apply to you or that you need to present. Your coworkers may not enjoy hearing “no” but they’ll respect your work ethic.
- If you must attend, set a fixed time for the meeting, maybe 20 minutes. Or, have the meeting in your office, where you’ll have a position of authority to call it quits when it needs to end.
Saving Time with Technology
Organize your email inbox.Modern email services offer a myriad of ways to maintain a clean and organized inbox. Utilizing your email provider’s filtering tools can limit the amount of time you spend scouring for a message and keep you from scrolling through a sea of spam. Gmail, Outlook, Mail.app and just about any other email service will have similar filters to help you save time.
- Keep spam email and chain messages from reaching your inbox by having your email provider instantly identify and delete them.
- Have your work related emails automatically sent to their own folder.
- Set up groups for any category you want, like friends and family, or social media updates. This way, you can find exactly what you’re looking for in no time!
Use keyboard shortcuts.They may not seem like much, but once you get the hang of them, or even just a few of them, the time saved will add up fast. Whether you use a Windows operating system or prefer a Macintosh computer, knowing the basic keyboard shortcuts and finding a few specific to your job will help you save time at work.
- Some of the most frequently used shortcuts for windows include: Ctrl+C (copy selected item), Ctrl+V (paste selected item), and Ctrl+Z (undo an action).
- For Mac users trying to perform the same shortcuts, replace the Ctrl key with the command key.
Limit your time on social media.It’s easy to get trapped in a social media tailspin, where one profile leads to another and another. There’s a lot on the web to take your attention away from the important things in life. Don’t let yourself be distracted. Set a daily limit to your social media use. Try to stick with only an hour, or 30 minutes a day. Set aside a block of time each evening, or a little bit during the work day as a break.
- Consider following fewer people on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media forums. That way there’s less to consume.
- Take small steps to avoid social media. Don’t use it while you’re eating, or while you’re in bed.
- Encourage your friends to limit their usage, too. You’d be surprised how quickly you find other ways to stay in touch.
Watch less television.Sitting on the couch staring at the television can be relaxing after a long day, but it’s not a productive use of time. Eliminating your TV exposure will help you save time and make the most of the time you have. On the extreme end, you can cut your cable subscription. This will save you money and free up a lot of time. Or, take smaller steps, like only watching your top one or two favorite programs each week.
- Take advantage of recording technology and save time by skipping commercials during the shows you can’t live without.
- Multitask as you watch. Sometimes a show doesn’t demand your full attention. Try tidying up or exercising as you take in some television.
Saving Time at Home
Cook more efficiently.People spend much more time than necessary preparing meals, so how you go about cooking can make an enormous difference in the amount of time you save each day. The first thing to consider is to grocery shop with a plan. Make a list of all the items you need, and stick to it. Try to shop when it’s not peak hours, and have a plan for all of your meals through the week, including lunch and dinner. This way you won’t have to spend time picking up individual items for certain meals later on.
- Make large portions of your favorite meals and save them. You can enjoy your favorites as leftovers later in the week without spending any time cooking again. Pasta dishes, soups, chili, and stew usually have recipes that call for big batches.
- Keep a bowl on the counter when you’re cooking to use as a temporary trash can. You can save a lot of time cutting out the constant trips to the garbage by tossing it all at once at the end, and it speeds up cleaning!
Save time when cleaning your house.Cleaning can seem like an endless task, as new messes are constantly made and dust continually builds up. Tackle the task effectively, though, and you can save time and have a tidy house. One great way to go about this is cleaning in short bursts. Spend no more than ten minutes picking up clothes, dishes, old newspapers, etc. and put them in their place. Do this everyday and you’ll avoid having to spend a large chunk of time doing deep cleans. Remember, a place for everything and everything in its place. Follow the saying to stay organized and you’ll save time by never having to search for your keys amidst a mess.
- Work from high to low when performing more detailed cleanings. As you clean from high places dust will settle on the ground. Do the vacuuming last.
- Clean as you go. Whether it’s waking up and making the bed or wiping up spilled spices as you cook, staying on top of cleaning on the fly will save you time down the road. This is especially useful in the kitchen and bathroom, where getting to spilled products or ingredients before they dry and harden can make cleaning much quicker and easier.
Handle your finances all at once.Paying bills and making banking transactions can be complicated and time consuming if not done right. By sitting down and taking care of all your bills and finances in one go, you can avoid confusion and keep yourself from spending time fixing mistakes later.
- Consolidate your bills as best you can. Contact your utilities providers and see if they have any options for bundling payments. This is common with cable, phone, and Internet providers.
- Sign up for automatic bill payments. Many institutions have this option and it can free up a lot of time and eliminate stressing over missed deadlines.
- Find out if your employer offers direct deposit and sign up if they do. One less trip to the bank!
Start your day with an efficient morning routine.Don’t make the mistake of missing sleep by having a disorganized morning. Take simple steps to get your day going by planning your outfit and making lunch before bed. Consider taking a quicker shower and making a less complicated breakfast. A quick granola bar doesn’t take anytime at all.
- Take advantage of an automated timer on your coffee maker to skip the hassle of setting it up in the morning.
- Ignore technology while you get ready. Don’t check emails until you get to the office, they will only distract you. And don’t use a snooze feature on your alarm clock.
- Open the blinds and bask in the natural light. It’s good for your brain and your circadian rhythm to expose yourself to sunlight as part of waking up.
- Wear a watch and be aware of how long you spend on certain tasks. Set time limits.
- Keep a log of how long you spend doing certain things, then identify activities that eat up your time and work on shortening them.
- Set deadlines so you don’t spend too much time on any one task.
- Don’t procrastinate.
- One of the worst ways to waste time is redundancy. Focus on what you’re doing and avoid having to repeat the same process twice.
- To find the fastest line at any large event or venue, choose the line with the most children. Groups with children often go through as one group, so the line will move faster.
Sources and Citations
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