Hi guys! I had so many requests to share this post and I am thrilled to be able to do it today! I get asked all the time how we get so much done. Well, on Periscope, I have shared some of my favorite tips to save time and how WASTING TIME is basically the opposite of SAVING TIME. We all want more time for our family, our hobbies, activities, and for ourselves and if we can eliminate the WASTE….then you get more time for all the fun stuff! I hope that these are helpful – obviously you can apply these theories to any area of life but I am really focusing in today on how to apply these “areas of waste” to our homes and as home makers.
WAYS TO WASTE
5 simple ways to stop wasting time and get the most out of every hour!
- OVERPRODUCTION & UNDERPRODUCTION – We are people that produce. We produce food, waste, mess, laundry, dishes, etc. The key to saving time and resources in production is to make JUST ENOUGH. Do not overproduce or underproduce!
- We as moms overproduce all the time. Parents overproduce by repeating an action twice or three times. Creating without a need is not helpful. If clothing is not dirty – do not wash it. Check clothing and put them back in the drawer if they aren’t dirty. Just because something was worn, does not mean it is dirty. When it comes to food, produce the exact amount you want and can consume. I realized that my family does not eat leftovers three days in a row. I was overproducing the food we needed. Such a waste! This means you must know yourself. If you are not a leftover kinda family – don’t make enough for leftovers! For us, that means we make one plus one….enough food for dinner and then to feed us the next day for lunch. This method has helped me save time because I then can make dinner KNOWING that lunch is taken care of for the next day. Portion planning helps save time because it takes the guess work out of what we are eating NOW and LATER plus the time that I would have spent the next day in preparing food. Check it off the list! If I made three meals in one – it would be a waste for us because we tend not to eat that much leftover of the same item.
- Underproduction is the same. This is where you must know yourself. Producing more and freezing food is a great option. But if you never use the frozen items, it is waste. Know what you like when it comes to production…grilled chicken can be cooked and made into numerous different meals – chicken salad, fajitas, italian dishes, etc. So I do not hesitate to produce the entire family pack (or two) and get all that cooking out of the way. It saves me time later and since I am doing a mass amount, it helps me save time doing dishes, etc. Does that make sense?
- WAITING – If you are waiting on someone or someone is waiting on you….that is a waste of time. If you are waiting on a process or waiting on a task to be done….that is a waste of time. Reduce your wait, increase your time.
- One thing you can do is plan plan plan. Sometimes you can get trapped in a waiting game….you can’t paint that bathroom until the floor is tiled….so plan a time to tile that floor. Get a master calendar! This has helped Jeremy and I so much. You want your calendar to become a master list – so that you can plan everything from meals to activities to special events to tasks for that day. On Etsy, they have amazing calendars and planners. If you are an electronic person, try Google Calendar or Evernote or a planning app. If you can plan accordingly, you will be READY for tasks and when they are done, you know that you used every day to the fullest.
- If you are a new mom to home-making, the house work can slap you in the face. I was wasting time because I would walk into a room and see a mess on the floor and then I would go to put the remote away and find a drawer all messy so I would dump out the drawer to find a hair band so I would go into the bathroom to put it away and end up scrubbing the sink. (sound familiar to anyone?!) When the end of the day came….I still had a messy floor, still had a dumped out drawer and the sink was still dirty. The house work can be overwhelming and WAITING on finishing it is a huge waste of time and really demoralizing. I use the THREE LIST….it’s basically where I write down three things I must do that day. These are my most important things to do in that day. Three items is not as overwhelming and you know that when you accomplished them, you can move on mentally and feel like you did your most important tasks that day. For me, it would be something like “switching up LJ’s clothing to the next size”….it doesn’t matter if I have to sneak into his room after he is asleep in his crib to get it done….or “cleaning all the toilets”…not the sinks or the tubs or the showers….just the toilets and when it is done, I move on to number two.
- Do not waste time waiting for “the right day”. Adopt the mentality of I WILL DO IT NOW. My mom always use to say, do not wait to do things tomorrow that you can do today. I would be like WHATEVER MOM….but really there is truth in it. If I have a moment of free time to start and complete a task…I should do it now. It might be as simple as making the bed. So find out what is really important to you and know that doing that task now will feel so good later. Maybe you really like a clean kitchen but just never have time to really clean the floors….go do that now. Putting things off is mentally wasting your time. A list is helpful but only if you actually DO the things on it.
- TRANSPORTATION – moving things from A to B can be a huge way to waste time. I realized I wasted a lot of time going up and down stairs putting things away. So I put a laundry basket on the bottom of the steps and when things need to go away, I put it in the basket. When it’s nap time, I take it up and put it away.
- Stop moving things around and move them OFF. Clean those flat surfaces. Our brains process CLEAN as flat surfaces so get your basket once a day and move all that clutter into the laundry basket and put it all away. Do this once a day!
- Clean in the morning. Don’t vacuum late in the day! Don’t do heavy cleaning later in the day! Why in the morning? Because later in the day your kids get fussy…so in order to be the best version of you with your kiddos, you will need all the patience and energy you got….cleaning and fussy kids are a sure fire way to go crazy! Also you have more motivation in the mornings.
- Herding is your best friend especially when you have kids. Who has little ones that are like energetic little tornados? They go from room to room creating more and more chaos leaving you in a heaping ball of tears. Well….this is why herding is so great. You can allow time in each of their spaces (playroom, living room, kitchen, etc) and when you enter a room with them, make sure you leave that room better than you entered. Maybe it is playtime – set them up, and clean the two windows in the room…then when play time is over, clean up the clutter and herd to the next area. I use the word herd because ALL THE KIDS NEED TO BE IN ONE SPACE. You can not possibly clean, play, put away and watch the kiddos if they are all over the house. Also – this is a great opportunity to teach the little ones that you leave a space cleaner than you found it. They will watch you clean those windows and you know that more is caught than taught.
- UNNECESSARY INVENTORY – having too much stuff takes up mental energy and physical energy because it means that you have to care for more stuff. I am not saying that you need to get rid of kiddo #3 because that is when you lost your grace….I am talking about the stuff in your house. the non-living stuff.
- Discover the uniform – we came up with a uniform for stressful times (getting ready for church mornings make us lose our Jesus, amiright?!) and it helps us stop wasting time. We know exactly what we are gonna wear in the mornings on school days (Will does get his all-important freedom of expression on Fridays and when he gets home!) and on Sunday mornings. We discover that we all thrive with boundaries in our family and our version of a uniform helped us.
- Meal Planning – crockpot to make sure you are no waiting (a cardinal time-wasting sin) and what days you are eating out and what you are making so that you can shop accordingly. The pantry is busting at the seams usually but we say we have nothing to eat. If you know what you have PLANNED to eat, the time is not wasted on pantry hunting.
- STUFF STUFF STUFF – I have hoarder tendencies. I know this. So this is very hard for me. But really all that STUFF means that I have to care for it. In order to take care of the important stuff, sometimes that means purging the unimportant stuff. If something is stuffed in a box not being used….it probably is not important. I am not saying that you have to toss every thing in your closet…I’m just saying that purging clutter or giving it a new home in a NEW HOME is a gift to you. No longer do you need to dust it. No longer do you think about it and sometimes that mental clarity allows for BETTER THINGS to come into our lives. I truly believe that God blesses those who tightfistedly holds onto clothing that does not fit. – said no one ever
- ACCOUNTING FOR EACH MOMENT – Being a stay at home mom or a stay at home dad or just a stay at home person is truly a very difficult job. We have to care, clean, feed, survive and we don’t have a lot of encouragement or big words in our day. So accounting for each moment is hard. But if you look at it through the lens of a “managing each moment” framework, then you might be able to come up with a schedule, solutions to your most difficult moments, and ways to save time.
- Claim lost moments – we all have lost moments….maybe it is an hour you have to sit in your car everyday while waiting for school pickup….maybe it is while the kids are in the bathtub. You can claim them easily and readily. Think of ways you can combine tasks to claim those lost moments and turn them into USED moments. Maybe it is doing site words with your preschooler while they bathe. Maybe it is writing all your thank you notes in the car. Maybe you can do computer work with Chickfila’s wi-fi while the kiddos eat and play. Find little ways to save a minute or two and you will realize how much MORE you can do and how much waste you will save.
- Use technology to your advantage….first and foremost, if you are wasting time on social media, there are apps to help you do less of that. But there are also ways to use this techy world and save time – order groceries online, have diapers delivered, maybe skip eating out that week and use the money toward a groupon for a house cleaning! Nothing makes a person more productive in decluttering than hosting someone who will look into closets and under beds.
- Recharge – planning for each moment means that you are gonna schedule in recharge time. Whether that be gym time, a date night or a movie with your girlfriends, it is important to schedule that moment! It can help motivate you and encourage you to actually clean that sink full of dishes.
I hope this is helpful to you and I hope that you know that EVERYONE feels overwhelmed. We live in a fast paced world where everyone feels the need to DO IT ALL. It is not about doing it all….it’s about doing our best! You can feel very happy with a hard day’s work – I know that I feel most happy when I tried hard and got SOMETHING done.