Have you heard that quote that about time being our most precious non-renewable resource?
Want to get more of it back in your life to create some margin and breathing room? Um, yes please!
I know you need this just as much as I do. I’ve got you covered with a quick FREE tool to help you find a few extra HOURS in your week to save in your bank. Cha-ching! Time is money, as they say. How much can you save up, if you really try? And what will you do with all of this new time…
Here are some of my favorite hacks that gave me more time to live life.
Get up early. #earlyriser
Sorry, night owls – this is my number one.
I’m typically up by 4:30 am to greet the sun, and have some ALONE time to get a few things done before the world requires my assistance; tidy up, put lunches in bags, load the dishwasher, fold the laundry, and have some devotional time. I’m also in bed by 10 always, so don’t feel too bad for me. It’s self-induced early riser syndrome.
Think about it though, an hour to YOURSELF in the morning; your coffee maker programmed for o’dark-thirty ready to greet you, your favorite podcast or music channel playing quietly…is it growing on you?
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 60 minutes/day = 5 hours per week
Wait, I know this is going to TAKE some time – not MAKE more time, but the energy benefits that you receive from spending 45 minutes performing a bit of self-care will pay off in droves later in the day.
For me, this means attending a group fitness class at my local fitness studio 4 days per week. I’m part of a consistent crew of early risers that take 5:30am classes. When I started taking care of myself, I not only reaped the rewards of less stress and better fitting pants, but I was also had more energy to share with those around me. i.e. work, husband, kids
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = - 60 minutes/day = - 4 hours per week
Kid Chores. #lifeskills
Not the ‘make your bed, pick up your toys’ kind – those are alive and well in our house too as general expectations – but we also have real, legit, ‘this would be helpful for our family’ – chores, like; unload the dishwasher daily, fold and put away your own laundry, water the plants, and set/clear the dinner table. We pay a weekly commission for the chores that are completed instead of an allowance. I play it off like we’re teaching them responsibility, and real-life skills, and the concept of “working” to get paid…but a huge part is also to help a Momma out!
The time savings for you isn’t a crazy amount – you’re pretty swift at these tasks, but the time savings will add up. And remember it’s going to take your mini-me twice as long to get said task done, but don’t worry – it’ll happen.
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 20ish minutes/day = 2 hours per week
Be the boss of your calendar. Make it work for you. Block your time for things that you know need to be done; like budgeting, meal prep, planning a date night with your spouse, a family adventure, cleaning the house, etc. This goes for work items too! You have to block time for yourself to prep for meetings, take action on the project, read and respond to email, and more. Once you give yourself an ‘appointment’ to get these tasks done – they won’t feel like surprises or frustrations that you have to squeeze into your day. They have a plan! And they don’t have to be rigid; so, you didn’t get to that all staff meeting prep today, that’s okay – slide it over to Thursday where you have 90 un-booked minutes and complete it then.
The key is to give yourself enough lead time before the task is due, AND enough time to complete it uninterrupted. The average time savings here is very much a guesstimate of how much you’ll be able to save by being a bit more efficient, and less frazzled when you don’t forget something.
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 30 minutes/day = 2.5 hours per week
Kid Activities #oneatatime
Limit your kids’ activities. I know that you want them to experience all the things – I do too! But not at the cost of my sanity and every last moment of my free time.
Let’s be honest the likelihood of us having an Olympic gymnast are slim to none and I’m pretty sure all of the sports careers out there have pretty short shelf lives.
I love introducing our girls to different extracurricular activities for their growth, team building skills, and sheer experiences but one at a time is our motto. Our kids pick an activity quarterly (give or take) and stick with it for a few months or a season before deciding to rotate and try something new. Gymnastics, dance, guitar lessons, volleyball – just one activity at a time. Which means one, maybe two evenings of your week are monopolized.
My time savings calculation took us from 2 activities per kid, per week down to 1 activity per kid, per week. Bonus points for you if you can get them to sign up for something at the same time, and then you rotate your parental watching duties.
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 60 minutes/week per kid = 2 hours per week
Consider commuting by train or bus, even just a few days a week. This may seem counterintuitive – it usually takes a bit longer to commute with the masses than it does on your own, depending on where you live. BUT it frees you up to do other things that you would have had to do later; i.e. checking social media accounts, reading a book, finishing your Amazon order, reading emails, etc. AND did I mention that alone time is good for your soul? Obviously, alone time surrounding by strangers but nobody has ever interrupted me and asked about snacks, where their reading log was, or if they can use picture filters on my phone while I was on the train. Just sayin’. Bonus – I get about a 7 minute walk in each way from the station to the office. Steps, check!
My commute by train takes me an extra 10 minutes each way, but I get 20 minutes each way for those mini tasks, so I’ll split the difference with my time savings calculation.
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 20 minutes/day = 1 hour per week
Daily Laundry #hatelaundryless
Do laundry daily; not all the laundry – just a bit of it. Every day. That way it isn’t this epic ALL afternoon or evening task. It’s just 10 minutes a day. Monday – start the washer with a load and move to the dryer. Tuesday – fold that load out of the dryer, after a quick fluff. Wednesday – put that load away, and start the kids’ load of laundry for them to DIY fold later in the day. Thursday – start the process over again. P.S. I hope you don’t fold your underwear. That’s a waste of time. And I’m not sure that we’d be able to still be friends…
Time savings calculation as if you spent 2 hours on your laundry pile on a Sunday afternoon and took it down to 10 minutes a day.
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 1 hour/week
Meal Prep. #mommode
Took me awhile to embrace this kitchen batching madness. If you have a chance to batch and prep some dinner items, make a crockpot full of something that will last for more than 1 meal, do it. Do you freeze a loaf of PB&J’s? If not – you should.
Freezer PB&J Instructions: Make sure your peanut butter is all the way to the edges, and your jelly only sits on the PB not directly on the bread (this is key to avoid soggy sands). Fold in half. Shove in sandwich bag. Place individually wrapped sandwiches in a freezer bag, in the freezer. Game changer for kids’ lunch prep.
And next time that you make a batch of waffles on a Saturday morning, double it and toss those bad boys in the freezer too. Boom. Breakfast of champions. Check out my method for batching our breakfast and lunch items weekly that we’ve dubbed “Mom Mode.”
Even if you only prep or batch 2-3 meals per week by simply doubling up, you’re still saving yourself the headache on those ‘free’ days.
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 1 hour/week
Hire it out. #housekeeping
Let’s face it, there are people out there that specialize in that task that you dread, and you may find that you are willing to pay them for the time that it would take you otherwise. For me, it’s house cleaning. I used to spend the better part of 3 hours every other week cleaning bathrooms, floors, and pushing dust around – and I missed out on time with my family. I now pay a service to come in every other week and take care of it for me. It’s my favorite day!
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 1.5 hours/week
Did these ideas spark others for you? Something unique to your situation…do you have ideas on how you can gift yourself more time? Write it down and make a plan. Oh, and will you send that time hack my way too!? Comment below!
BONUS! Dry shampoo. Get some! Skip washing your hair every day, and move to every other day. I hear it isn’t good for it anyway –and nobody can tell the difference! Dry your roots with your hairdryer, which addresses the grease or sweat. Don’t miss this step, or the spray won’t do it’s thang. Spray on the dry shampoo. Brush and fluff and go. *boom*
AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS = + 20 minutes/day = 1 hour per week
My average time savings comes to a whopping 15 hours per week, so I have plenty of time to deduct the workout time of 4 hours, giving me a true gift of time totaling 11 hours. 660 minutes of margin and breathing room on evenings and weekends to focus on my family, take adventures, dream big, and squeeze in a weekend nap. 😉
What could you do with your newfound time savings? Download the FREE worksheet here.
Thank you for joining me on my journey to influence.
Thank you for joining me on my my journey to influence.
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