Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Time Saving Tips to Help You Maximize Your Time

Who doesn't love tips on saving time during your day? Time is something most of us wish we had more of. We have a list of things we need to get done and by the end of the day, we notice that only half of them got done. Time is also one of the most common excuses for why people don't eat right, sleep right or exercise. It's a big deal! And those are all important parts of your day. So, here are some great time-saving tips for you today.

Schedule: I've never been a big planner. I don't usually have lists of stuff that I have to do or time planned out for every little thing every day. But I do have a schedule for the week. I only have a few things that are set in stone time-wise like J and M getting to school and home again. I also make sure all of my laundry gets one all at once, two times a week.  As long as those things get done, the rest of my to-do list is on a "when I have time" basis.

Prioritize: This is probably the biggest piece of advice I can give when it comes to time management.  You make time for things that are important to you. Think about this: What is really the most important thing to do today? Whatever it is, try to focus on that thing first, then go to the next thing. You'll start to notice that you seem to have extra time in your day when you prioritize. You'll also start to notice that once you get yourself going and marking off your checklist, it will be so much easier for you to keep going. "A body in motion tends to stay in motion".

Along these same lines, try to maximize the time you have. Some things aren't worth multitasking with because they end up taking longer. But multitasking while you are running a load of laundry and baking bread for dinner (or cookies for fun, because that's more accurate) is a great way to use some extra time to get something else done. Just be sure to set the timer.

Organize: Make sure your house has a good organization plan so that when you're in a rush out the door, you always know where your keys and wallet are. You guys, one thing that has been really tricky about our house is that the storage is very dysfunctional and it's taken us 6 years to figure out any sort of system, but we are finally on to something.  You want to make sure you know where all of your stuff is, so when you need it, you can go grab it and get on the move again. When I'm worried about forgetting something I need to return, like a library book or a Redbox movie, I put it by my keys because in order to go anywhere I'll need those and when I grab them I know I'll see the movie and I'll remember to go drop it off on my way to run my other errands.

Don't waste time: Duh, this is a no-brainer. But it happens all the time. You think that you have two extra minutes before you have to leave so you can make that quick phone call. Before you know it, it's been 15 minutes and your friend is still telling you about the funny thing their kids did yesterday. Save those "to-dos" for last. If you leave for the bank two minutes early, you might get back early too and then you can make that phone call.

Pick and choose: Somedays we only have time for one thing. You can't be in two places at once, so don't agree to something you know you don't have time for. It's ok to say no to something that isn't on your to-do list. That being said, be kind to yourself and your kids, and be a little lenient on some things. It's good to be able to talk to an adult while the kids play once in a while.

Plan ahead: Everything goes way more smoothly when things are well planned in advance. Got to the grocery store with a list so you know exactly what you're going to buy.  Plan on at least one kid having a meltdown and pack a small treat or distraction so you can get the shopping done quicker without fighting a battle. Plan your errands smartly so you can save gas and time with less driving around. Make sure your potty training kids go to the bathroom before getting in the car so you don't have to make pit stops.

Phone-less time: This is a big one for a lot of people. Especially with so many different social media options out there.  Have a place that is just for your phone. Like I said earlier, our storage in our house is not very functional. I didn't have a special place for my phone until I made one with a shelf.  When I know my phone is becoming a big distraction. I set my phone up there and I don't go back unless it rings until I can get some things marked off my list.  When social media is becoming a distraction or a problem in any other way. I will delete the app altogether for a little while so that the temptation of looking at it, even out of habit, is gone.

Everyone has the same amount of hours in their day. If you do your best to be productive and do what you can to maximize your time, you won't be adding hours to your day, but you will be marking off more things every day!

What are your favorite tips for saving time or getting things done? 

What is your biggest time waster?

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