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A couple of recent threads have me curious about how other busy-to-the-point-of-absolute-insanity moms have adjusted their lives to fit in everything that needs to get done.  What are your best time saving tricks?

 

Mine: 

 

* Drive-through grocery stores.  The fee is waived if you purchase over a certain amount, and we always go over that amount.

* Tutor for my special needs child.

* Crock pot Tuesdays - No scrambling for food when I'm dead tired after teaching all day.

 

 

* A new one I'm trying out: Home-pick-up laundry service just for DH's work clothes that need to be ironed.  The jury is still out on whether the fee is worth it for this one, but it has been nice to give up the chore for a while.

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Use time confetti wisely and multitask where suitable.

For example, I run the washing machine while I have breakfast and hang laundry on the clothesline before leaving for work. I do dishes while waiting for water to boil and coffee to sit. I swiff while talking on the phone. 

 

Simplify meal prep. If it's not 30 minutes from prep start to table, it won't get done as a weekday meal.

 

Have less stuff. This eliminates decluttering and makes cleaning a breeze.

Edited by regentrude
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I started doing laundry once a week. It has been wonderful because since I know I'll only be doing it that day everything gets folded and put away. Because if it doesn't get put away that day then it is stuck in the laundry basket until next week. I use that day to clean the house as well. Every other day it take me 5 minutes twice a day to keep things straightened up.

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I started doing laundry once a week. It has been wonderful because since I know I'll only be doing it that day everything gets folded and put away. Because if it doesn't get put away that day then it is stuck in the laundry basket until next week. I use that day to clean the house as well. Every other day it take me 5 minutes twice a day to keep things straightened up.

 

 

I did this when I was SAHM full time.  It is my favorite way to do laundry.

 

Now I do it about 3 times a week. 

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More coffee and less sleep?

 

Honestly I don't even know how I am doing it all. I told my husband last night I think I am turning into a robot. I keep thinking somewhere, somehow, SOMETHING must give- this is completely unsustainable! And then I survive another week and start again. This has been going on for years. If I had four bathrooms again like I did in the past I would probably be having a nervous breakdown right now. Downsizing did help.

 

As I get older I realize part of it is temperament. Most moms I know are just as incredibly busy as I am, but they handle it better, lol... I greatly dislike being incredibly busy and I think I need more calm and reflective time than others. I have to be still more, and when that is gone I start to unravel. Some people are better equipped to handle being on the go, go, go and some even thrive on it (like my extrovert daughter). I feel like I am on the other end of that spectrum.

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More coffee and less sleep?

 

Honestly I don't even know how I am doing it all. I told my husband last night I think I am turning into a robot. I keep thinking somewhere, somehow, SOMETHING must give- this is completely unsustainable! And then I survive another week and start again. This has been going on for years. If I had four bathrooms again like I did in the past I would probably be having a nervous breakdown right now. Downsizing did help.

 

As I get older I realize part of it is temperament. Most moms I know are just as incredibly busy as I am, but they handle it better, lol... I greatly dislike being incredibly busy and I think I need more calm and reflective time than others. I have to be still more, and when that is gone I start to unravel. Some people are better equipped to handle being on the go, go, go and some even thrive on it (like my extrovert daughter). I feel like I am on the other end of that spectrum.

I'm right there with you. Today is an unraveled day for me. I simply haven't been able to manage this whole sahm thing today. So I'm forcing myself to take my cardio class in a half hour, read the kids to sleep and then go to bed and start over tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be a better day tomorrow but I dont feel like it will be. The stupid thing that sent me over the top and made me unravel, dh had no food to take for lunch! Food is evil!

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I'm right there with you. Today is an unraveled day for me. I simply haven't been able to manage this whole sahm thing today. So I'm forcing myself to take my cardio class in a half hour, read the kids to sleep and then go to bed and start over tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be a better day tomorrow but I dont feel like it will be. The stupid thing that sent me over the top and made me unravel, dh had no food to take for lunch! Food is evil!

Yes, food is evil.

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After my day shift (getting disabled dd ready and on bus, homeschooling youngest), I realized that I really have another full shift of work starting at 2:15 until as late as 9:15 at night. It's different every day of the week and changes regularly, but it includes getting kids from school, taking them to & from activities, making dinner, getting disabled dd down for the night, and often picking up a kid at 9:00 which I hate (I want to be slowing down and getting ready for bed). Realizing I have a long marathon later in the day, I give myself permission to slack off for awhile after lunch. Naps are wonderful, but hard to fit in most days. But that's my ideal. Just recognizing that I have that long shift coming, I make sure I get some down time. And also everything does NOT get done everyday.

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Sounds counter-intuitive, but I simply must have 8 hours of sleep a night,or I will start to drag.  The more days that go by with less than 8 hours of sleep and the slower I get.  It can take me hours to do a simple task if I'm sleep deprived.

 

Food:  We eat the same 7 meals every week so there is no wondering what's for dinner.  The fastest things to cook are on Mon-Thurs.  Longer things on Fri-Sat when I have more time to cook them.

 

Grocery shopping is only twice a month.

 

My standards for cleanliness are pretty low.  Not horrible, ghastly bugs in the kitchen low (no!), but dust bunnies and unmade beds low.

 

Errands are run while the boys are at Karate.  

 

 

Lists.  If it's not on the list, I spin wheels. I have various lists I use each day.  When I see myself spinning wheels, I check the list and do the next thing and get back on track.

Edited by Garga
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I will say one thing that has really got me to stop wasting time is not making a long to do list. Every night I pick the 2 most important things to get done the next day and then do them before lunch. I do not look at my phone, so no emails, Facebook, the hive, etc. until those 2 things are done. I waste a lot less time in tasks that really aren't that important when I don't make a lower to do list. Sometimes my list will have 3 things.

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Food:

 

Even the kids have a meal they can make.

 

But I am doing more of the "simple" meal approach.  A meat, a starch, and a veggie.  In the summer, DH can grill a meat, I can pop in potatoes or rice in the rice maker, or pasta in the pot.  And either chop up or steam up a veggie.

 

Done.

 

Or pizza

Or cereal

 

Laundry:

 

Every man for himself.  Do your own laundry.  

 

Cleaning:

 

Everyone chip in and get a job or two

Vacuum

scrub toilets

clean countertops 

Dishes

 

HIRING OUT:

 

I have hired an organizer.  She is helping SO MUCH.  I really think once we are finished going through the entire house, it will be so much better to KEEP organized.

 

MOVING:

 

We are most likely moving, so I am purging.  Man, that is really helping.  And I plan to have very little left in this house or the next.  We know we are going to be downsizing to about 2/3, possibly even half the size of our current house (higher COL area) so purging is getting easier.

 

And I am not that picky.  It is what it is, it will never be perfect

 

 

 

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  1. Shower at night, wash hair in the morning in the kitchen sink. :-)

 

No outside activities during the week before 4 in the afternoon.

 

No doctors appointments, errands, anything outside the house, on Monday and Tuesday.

 

Field trips with others only on Thursday, my Official Field Trip Day.

 

All laundry and major cleaning on Fridays.

 

Kitchen cleaned immediately after every meal; no free-range eating in there.

 

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Sounds counter-intuitive, but I simply must have 8 hours of sleep a night,or I will start to drag. The more days that go by with less than 8 hours of sleep and the slower I get. It can take me hours to do a simple task if I'm sleep deprived.

 

Food: We eat the same 7 meals every week so there is no wondering what's for dinner. The fastest things to cook on on Mon-Thurs. Longer things on Fri-Sat when I have more time to cook them.

 

Grocery shopping is only twice a month.

 

My standards for cleanliness are pretty low. Not horrible, ghastly bugs in the kitchen low (no!), but dust bunnies and unmade beds low.

 

Errands are run while the boys are at Karate.

 

 

Lists. If it's not on the list, I spin wheels. I have various lists I use each day. When I see myself spinning wheels, I check the list and do the next thing and get back on track.

I've done the same weekly menu before. It's the most mentally freeing and borderline glorious, magical time saving thing followed decluttering and organizing.

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Wait, so someone tell me more about this standardized menu.  Do you literally eat the same exact thing every week, or do you have a "chicken" day then a "pasta" day?  How does your family react to the predictable schedule?

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Wait, so someone tell me more about this standardized menu.  Do you literally eat the same exact thing every week, or do you have a "chicken" day then a "pasta" day?  How does your family react to the predictable schedule?

 

I have the same question. The ease sounds lovely but I think that much repetition might drive us crazy (if it's the exact same dishes every week...).

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Wait, so someone tell me more about this standardized menu.  Do you literally eat the same exact thing every week, or do you have a "chicken" day then a "pasta" day?  How does your family react to the predictable schedule?

 

I read about it in a book once. I got rid of the book (harmful, yucky marriage advice) but have a pic of the weekly meal planning suggestion. Ha!

 

"When I was a child, we always had the same food on certain days. Dinner was ready at 5 p.m.

 

-We always had peas, potatoes, and minute steaks on Monday.

-Meatloaf with sweet potatoes and coleslaw on Tuesday.

-Wednesday dinner was roast with mashed potatoes and green beans.

-Spaghetti and salad for Thursday evening, and

-Fish, chips, and salad on Fridays (the meal Jesus prepared for his company).

 

The regular dinner each weeknight made it easier for Mom to plan and buy the week's groceries. My dad would look forward to the meal he knew would me hot and waiting for him when he came home from work. The key is to plan. A grocery list with the week's meals well-defined is a very handy tool."

 

My family actually ate better when we did this because our meals were well rounded instead of no veggies because I ran out or whatever. :p No one complained anyway!

 

 

Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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We also have tons of food allergies, so honestly, we can't eat a whole lot anyway. Also, choosing favorites is key. What kid wouldn't want, say, mac and cheese every week. Ha!

Mine, oddly. They don't like grilled cheese either. Crazies.

 

Tine-saving for me is all about how I cook. We have food intolerances and allergies, so convenience food and take out are not our friends. I cook 3-4 nights a week only, making sure that I make enough for leftovers the other nights as well as leftovers for lunch for the adults. Practically, this looks like grilling 3 pounds of chicken and cooking 8 cups of rice one evening. This will feed us for two dinners and 1-2 days of adult lunches. Yes, my kids eat a lot. I make the veggie fresh every night, but this is usually steamed veggies or salads, so it only takes the time I'm already spending heating up the leftovers. I buy my meat in bulk and package it in marinades, crock pot mixes, and other easy-ish prep ways to make dinners mostly pull from freezer, thaw, cook.

 

I cook my own freezer convenience foods too. I'll buy 30 pounds of ground beef at Costco, then spend a few hours every few months or so making cooked meatballs, hamburgers, and my delicious veggie-loaded meatloaf. I make homemade chicken nuggets too.

 

I need to figure out a schedule for our food to make planning easier, but I can't ever seem to do that. I also need many more time saving ideas because I never have enough time :-).

 

Oh, one more time saving thing: audiobooks. I need to read to stay sane. If I have an audiobook, I can cook/clean/exercise and still "read." If only I could teach reading while listening to my own book. :-)

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Sleep. I must sleep between 7-8 hours a night. I am SO much more effective, even keeled and able to take on the day if I'm rested. When I'm tired, I just can't operate energetically at all, no matter how much caffeine I ingest.

 

Lists. I do a brain dump at the beginning of the week, to make sure I don't forget anything. Then I break the list down into what must be done each day. If I'm trying to keep track of a dozen different things a day, I can't stop the frantic, I've gotta move on to the next thing mentality. Then I miss too much of my life, hurrying, scurrying to the next thing.

 

And I'm trying to find a place of peace, even in chaos.

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I will say one thing that has really got me to stop wasting time is not making a long to do list. Every night I pick the 2 most important things to get done the next day and then do them before lunch. I do not look at my phone, so no emails, Facebook, the hive, etc. until those 2 things are done. I waste a lot less time in tasks that really aren't that important when I don't make a lower to do list. Sometimes my list will have 3 things.

 

Time management gurus say this is wise.

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I read about it in a book once. I got rid of the book (harmful, yucky marriage advice) but have a pic of the weekly meal planning suggestion. Ha!

 

"When I was a child, we always had the same food on certain days. Dinner was ready at 5 p.m.

 

-We always had peas, potatoes, and minute steaks on Monday.

-Meatloaf with sweet potatoes and coleslaw on Tuesday.

-Wednesday dinner was roast with mashed potatoes and green beans.

-Spaghetti and salad for Thursday evening, and

-Fish, chips, and salad on Fridays (the meal Jesus prepared for his company).

 

The regular dinner each weeknight made it easier for Mom to plan and buy the week's groceries. My dad would look forward to the meal he knew would me hot and waiting for him when he came home from work. The key is to plan. A grocery list with the week's meals well-defined is a very handy tool."

 

My family actually ate better when we did this because our meals were well rounded instead of no veggies because I ran out or whatever. :p No one complained anyway!

:blink:

 

Jesus ate French fries? I also wonder if that discarded book authors used the Authentic Biblical Recipe for her salad. :rolleyes:

 

Glad it worked for the author (and you!)

 

So, in an attempt to be helpful to the OP...

hmmmmmm I do plan dinners based on who will be home. On nights that we have late workers, rehearsals, etc. I make a meal that "sits" or waits well, not one that is complicated to serve or needs to be eaten immediately for example burgers and fries. Taco meat in crockpot with "taco bar" toppings waits well.

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:blink:

 

Jesus ate French fries? I also wonder if that discarded book authors used the Authentic Biblical Recipe for her salad. :rolleyes:

 

Glad it worked for the author (and you!)

 

So, in an attempt to be helpful to the OP...

hmmmmmm I do plan dinners based on who will be home. On nights that we have late workers, rehearsals, etc. I make a meal that "sits" or waits well, not one that is complicated to serve or needs to be eaten immediately for example burgers and fries. Taco meat in crockpot with "taco bar" toppings waits well.

Haha. She was referring to the fish. Jesus cooked and served his disciples a meal of fish.

 

Eta: and it was her mom (author is probably in her 70s) who did the weekly menu thing. Author didn't, as far as I know.

Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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And Our culture is so different than others in this regard. When my husband rented a room from a family in Mexico for 6 months, the family also included feeding him. He said they ate practically the same thing almost daily. Very little variation. And also personality comes into play with food. Some are more creative types and enjoy variety. My husband and I don't really care that much about variety and make about the same things all the time anyway! People are so different in that regard.

Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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Outsource what you can.

 

I get cleaning help a couple of times a week.

 

Arrange carpools for kids activities.

 

Find teachers who can come to the house or give skype lessons.

 

Let my mom handle algebra tutoring via Skype for my oldest.

 

I know someone who hires a driver for kids' activities.

 

Of course most of us have limited options and funds; we have to juggle and prioritize. I'm trying to prioritize my own sanity and health knowing that this crazy busy season with kids from infants to teenagers won't last forever.

Edited by maize
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Wait, so someone tell me more about this standardized menu. Do you literally eat the same exact thing every week, or do you have a "chicken" day then a "pasta" day? How does your family react to the predictable schedule?

I have the same question. The ease sounds lovely but I think that much repetition might drive us crazy (if it's the exact same dishes every week...).

I read about it in a book once. I got rid of the book (harmful, yucky marriage advice) but have a pic of the weekly meal planning suggestion. Ha!

 

"When I was a child, we always had the same food on certain days. Dinner was ready at 5 p.m.

 

-We always had peas, potatoes, and minute steaks on Monday.

-Meatloaf with sweet potatoes and coleslaw on Tuesday.

-Wednesday dinner was roast with mashed potatoes and green beans.

-Spaghetti and salad for Thursday evening, and

-Fish, chips, and salad on Fridays (the meal Jesus prepared for his company).

 

The regular dinner each weeknight made it easier for Mom to plan and buy the week's groceries. My dad would look forward to the meal he knew would me hot and waiting for him when he came home from work. The key is to plan. A grocery list with the week's meals well-defined is a very handy tool."

 

My family actually ate better when we did this because our meals were well rounded instead of no veggies because I ran out or whatever. :p No one complained anyway!

We also have tons of food allergies, so honestly, we can't eat a whole lot anyway. Also, choosing favorites is key. What kid wouldn't want, say, mac and cheese every week. Ha!

I didn't start my same meals every week thing to save time. I have very, very picky eaters. And they were getting overweight from all the nuggest they were eating. See, I'd cook a nice dinner, and then they'd go and feed themselves toast and nuggets after gagging down one bite of my nice dinner.

 

So, I had to work very, very hard to find 7 things that everyone could eat. It took months. But finally I have 7 things we will all eat. I get tired of eating the same things and they probably do, too, but there are No Other Options for us. There are No Other Things to eat. So if they say, "Oh, I don't want the chicken tonight," I can say, "What do you want?" And there is literally nothing else they can eat, unless they repeat something from earlier in the week and I try to avoid that.

 

There are two extra dishes that I toss in from time to time: one boy likes X dish and one boy likes Y dish, but when I make X or Y, then the other boy has nothing to eat that night.

 

When my kids leave home, I'll be heartbroken. I know it. But I will NOT MISS dinner time when they leave. :). I can't wait to pull out my casseroles and soups again. I miss them.

 

 

In the meanwhile, eating the same 7 dishes each week saves me a ton of time: planning, shopping, preparing. It's an awesome side benefit.

Edited by Garga
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Bulk cooking. I only cook three days a week, two of them being saturday and sunday. But when I cook, probably two thirds of the time I make a triple batch. Since I use a food processor for chopping, it takes the same amount of time to prep 6 onions, 6 carrots and a bag of frozen peas as it does to prep 2 onions, 2 carrots and 1/3rd bag of peas. When I make soup I try to make at least 5 dinners worth (often split over two pots using whatever root vegetable I got on sale that week). So on workdays we eat from the freezer. Extra bonus, I currently have three weeks worth of meals sitting in my freezer should we fall sick or need to skip shopping due to a financial hiccup. 

 

Don't fold clothes. Seriously. Nice, going out stuff gets hung up, but day to day wear can be shoved in a cupboard. Folding is from the days of everything being cotton and needing ironing. Fact is, as long as you aren't totally crushing things under heavy weight, a large portion of modern clothing will remain fairly wrinkle free in my experience. On that note, washing once a week is helpful to me as well.

 

Multitask. If we watch a TV show my hands are usually busy doing something else that doesn't require eyes, so are my husbands. Even playing a board game, I often play monopoly while photographing items for my store. This morning I had three tasks on the go, all of which involved useless time waiting, so I was switching between the three every 10 minutes and achieved a lot. When I was studying last semester, I was usually prepping food for the dehydrator or working on something while listening to lectures. One of my classmates listened to lectures while up the top of a fruit tree picking. 

 

Either get cleaning help or have the kids doing real, significant chores. In our case, we have my brother and his girlfriend living with us right now. The massive different them cleaning the kitchen each night makes to our routine is surprising. I began doing the dishes around age 8 and my sister around age 6, so once my brother leaves we will probably work toward passing this chore on to the kids. Those evening hours are precious, an extra hour of evening time specifically makes huge differences. 

 

When you do give yourself time off, actually switch off and take a real break. Better to concentrate your work and leisure than to have both constantly overlapping. With both overlapping you'll feel as if you never get a break. When I am taking a break I take one fully and anything to be done can wait. 

 

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Just remembered: I'm sloooowly trying to branch out and have slightly different recipes on the 7 nights. We used to eat beef stir fry on Saturdays, but I've been trying to find a good roast beef recipe as well. (The first one was a bust so I changed it up, and it was still a bust. Will try another one in a couple of weeks.)

 

Sundays is baked chicken or maybe chicken thighs in the crock pot. But I'm taking this slowly so that my picky eaters don't suddenly go off of a food they used to eat.

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I assign a chore to each day, both for me and my two older kids. Because I don't feel overwhelmed about what to do, it's quick to just do what's written down when I have a moment. I've adjusted this until each chore works well for its assigned day.

 

We have a rotation of about 10-12 meals that work for us (allergy-friendly, whole food, everyone likes, simple to prepare). I have a one-page weekly planner and every Saturday or Sunday fill in the meals were having based on activities that week. It means our grocery list is almost always the same (quick shopping!), but we also don't get quite so bored with the meals because they switch out a bit from week to week. Long-roasting and crock pots meals are my friends​.

 

I do one day for laundry wash/dry. The next day, the olders' job is to sort it into baskets and fold/put away their own. That leaves me much less laundry to fold. I try to keep kids' clothes to a minimum (just over one week's worth) so that it doesn't get overwhelming.

 

I have one day for library and one shelf for library books. That entirely changed our rush-about-to-find-books-and-get-tons-of-fines system. 😒

 

I keep on going lists on my phone for birthday ideas, extra errands, etc. This means I can make a stop when it's convenient and I can pick up bday gifts without needing a special trip.

 

Naptime/quiet time and bedtime are consistent and not negotiable.

 

Regular donations of things we don't need. Less clutter saves so much time. Right now we are in a stage that feels so stuff-heavy, though (baby + toddler + craft-making olders).

 

What I need to improve is my sleep. I'm not good about putting down the book and going to bed. 😑

 

Doing these things make it manageable, but often I still feel that everything will come crashing down if I don't keep moving or if I'm handed on more ball to juggle. Thankfully, this hasn't happened yet. I think it's just part of the stage...

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Not to step on Ellie's toes, but this works very well for me, with my long, thick hair. Especially in winter. Washing at night in the shower means taking time to dry it or sleeping with wet hair. Washing in the morning lets me air dry it while I'm busy doing other things. (Plus, it saves my hair from heat damage.) Takes maybe five or six minutes to wash and condition, another two or three to towel dry and comb. Blow drying takes at least thirty-five.

 

I get that hair washing in the evening does not work - but why don't you combine that with showering in the morning and save the evening shower time?

 

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Haha. She was referring to the fish. Jesus cooked and served his disciples a meal of fish.

Eta: and it was her mom (author is probably in her 70s) who did the weekly menu thing. Author didn't, as far as I know.

Haha I know... this line just made me laugh somhard

"-Fish, chips, and salad on Fridays (the meal Jesus prepared for his company"

 

It just reminded me of way too many people I've known who are certain that the Only Truly Biblical Way to do things is by some relatively modern standard, such as suits for men, classical music and hymns written 1,600 years after Jesus' time, and now French fries and probably a basic tossed salad.

 

Which brings me to another timesaver: Don't waste years of your life true to force yourself into someone else's standards. Whether it be how to live out your faith, or cook for your family, or decorate your home, or plan your day.

 

Even with the "best" advice on efficiency, I found that trying to go against what naturally worked for us ended up wasting more time at best, or frustrating everyone, especially me. For us, the exact same DINNER plan every week served promptly at 5:00 could never ever work. But planning a week's worth of meals and lunches based on scheduled activities, then only shopping once saved 1-2 hours each DAY!

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I am very curious: how does that save time? Washing hair while showering would be quicker.

What am I missing here?

 

I don't want to go to bed with wet hair. I shower at night, which means I can get dressed right away in the morning. Then I can quickly wash my hair after breakfast.

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Stay off the WTM boards! :svengo: :svengo: :svengo:

And the internet generally.

 

Reread Margin by Richard Swenson every few years.

 

I use time mire wisely when I categorize things using the important/urgent grid.

 

Also, keeping some seasons less busy than others as a recharging time. Summer is much less busy for us, but also has less routine. The sunshine, flexibility and easy meals refresh me. No sports for my kids in the spring b/c we save time for yardwork, walks and outdoor play, Easter, and all the end-of-year festivities.

Edited by ScoutTN
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I'm slowly learning to just let some things go. I write out my lists (mostly on weekends when I have time for chores) and heck, if I don't vacuum this week then the vacuum will just have to work harder next week. (More of a sanity-saver than a time-saver). 

 

I've also dropped my standards for what constitutes a good dinner. Planning meals seems largely counterproductive for us. I could browse recipes, make sure we have the ingredients, and decide what nights I will cook whatever, but if it gets to that night and no one's in the mood for it, or I just can't deal with cooking that night, all that time was wasted. So I keep some ideas bouncing around, cook extra when I cook, and enjoy leftovers until they're gone. I keep frozen vegetables handy, and they are a great side dish for just about anything. Scrambled eggs are quick and the body doesn't care if it's dinner instead of breakfast. The goal is to feed the family, and not every meal needs to be a big production. 

 

I also try to shower and shampoo at night. Then I don't need to use a hair dryer in the morning, just a curling or straightening iron, which I'd have to use after blowdrying my hair in the morning anyway. 

 

I just did a very thorough cleaning of my two youngest kids' rooms. As KonMari would put it, very few things in there sparked joy. I've done similar cleanings in the past but this was especially thorough and I probably donated or tossed about two-thirds of their toys, books, and clothes. It was time-consuming to do, of course, but every little thing I've had to do in their rooms since then has gone much quicker. If I have to help one kid get an outfit together for the day, or put away laundry, or help them find a toy, it all just happens so much more quickly because I can walk in, grab what I need, and leave. No more digging through piles or tripping on stuff or getting sidetracked to put something where it belongs. And there is a major added benefit in that my mental energy isn't completely drained by just walking into their hordes.

 

I go to a gym that has tennis lessons for my older kids, and I schedule my workouts around their classes. This has the added benefit that I get to the gym on some days I would otherwise skip because I just didn't want to go. 

 

This is a weird one maybe, or might seem like common sense. I actually don't mind shopping most of the time because I like to see what's on sale or new, and I usually get to go alone so it's a break from the family. But it can be time-consuming, so I'm learning to put off shopping trips for another week. I tend to be obsessive about not running out of things, so if I'm getting low on paper towels I used to run out to Target to get those and whatever else was on my list for the next time I was going there (not urgent needs). Now I try to decide if I REALLY need the paper towels right now, or if we'll make it through the week, or if I should just pick up a roll at the grocery store, where I have to go anyway. Usually I can just wait until the next week and get everything on my list all at once. (This is good for the bank account too). 

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One of my time savers is to never run one errand by itself, unless it's dropping off or picking up a child.  I combine errands as often as I can.  It wastes time to go out for just one thing and come back.  I try very hard to time any shopping trips with the times I have to transport a child to or from dance.  Added bonus is that the kids are not with me when I shop, and that saves me money because they're not asking for things. 

 

I wash my hair only once a week.  This saves me a LOT of time (and water).  Very thick and long hair that takes five minutes to wash and condition, and at least 20 minutes to pick through all the curls afterwards.   I wear it down for a day or two, but then spend the rest of the week with a messy bun or in a claw.  I hardly ever use product so it isn't *really* dirty and in need of washing.

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I do as much of my shopping online as I possibly can. I went through the house and made a list of all the products that we regularly use, including paper products, health and beauty items, pet food, cleaning supplies, pantry goods, and household maintenance items (furnace filters, batteries, etc.) Then I put as many of those items as I could on my Amazon Subscribe & Save list. Anything that isn't available through Amazon, I order from Boxed, Walmart, or Vitacost. Our pet food and kitty litter is auto shipped monthly from Chewy.com.

 

Now, when I go grocery shopping once a week, I only have to get produce, dairy, and frozen items, and it goes so much quicker.

 

I would love to have a grocery store in our area that delivers or gets your order ready for you, but we're out in the boonies and no such thing is available here. 

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