We’ve all said it – “I just don’t have the time.”
This post looks at some simple and tested ways to save you time and help you use it more effectively. Some of what I am suggesting might seem a bit Stepford-Wifey to you, but trust me, it works. And it won’t cost you anything, in fact some of these tips might actually help save you some money.
1. Keep a yearly calendar – write down all of the families regular activities and add the new commitments as they pop up. This helps eliminate double up and will indicate when you should perhaps be saying “no” if things are getting too hectic. Tiny Me and Kikki K (and I’m sure there are others) make great calendars that you can personalise and keep track of all the family’s activities and commitments, as well as bills, birthdays, etc.
2. Meal plan – I do my groceries on the same day every week. The night before I sit down and meal plan. I use my calendar to note which meals I won’t be home for and I also plan any baking in advance. Here’s a little template I’ve created to help you get started. Printable: Weekly Meal Planner PDF
3. Use your meal plan to do a grocery list – this is so simple and it saves you time and money at the grocery shop. Only buy what you need for the week.
4. Daily planner – We’ve created a little daily planner to help you focus your day. We both find this planner really useful, particularly on our days at home where previously I would lose time being unproductive. The planner keeps me focussed and helps me achieve what I need to, as well as what I would like to. Printable: Daily Planner PDF
5. Weekly planner – A daily planner isn’t for everyone so we’ve also created a little weekly planner. The biggest tip with regard to managing your time through planning is to be realistic, be flexible and be kind to yourself if it takes some time to get used to. Changing your plans isn’t failing! Printable: Weekly Schedule PDF
6. Make your workspace childproof or better yet, work outside – If you need to work from home, and most of us do in some capacity these days, waiting until the small person(s) is asleep just isn’t feasible. Create a space that allows your child to have freedom and you to concentrate knowing that they are safe. Better yet, if you have toddlers or older kids, trial working outside where you can keep an eye on them. The fresh air will no doubt do you good too.
7. Time trade – Need to get your hair done or make a trip to Medicare and the bank? Or do you just need to go out for a walk and a coffee BY YOURSELF?! I hear you sister. Bring up the idea of time trading with a friend. This can be hard for first time mums (I’m only just comfortable with the concept) but it can open up time for you, as well as give you insight into what it will be like to have two or three kids one day!
I would love to hear your time saving tips and hacks. Or did you give these go? It takes about 30 days to create a new habit so don’t be hasty, let me know how you’re travelling in a couple of weeks and if the planners could do with some improvements.