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One thing I know for sure is that many mums feel like they never have enough time to accomplish their tasks. They would love to know how to save time. How do I know? I’m one of them!
Not too long ago I was lamenting about not having enough hours in the day to work on my ‘9-5’, as well as take care of my family, let alone look after myself. Self-care? “What’s self-care?” I’ve been asking myself lately.
But seriously, occasionally rushing to meet deadlines, a late finish at work here and there, or the odd beans on toast for dinner is excusable. But when you seem never to have enough time, something could seriously be amiss and would need to be rectified for everyone’s sake, especially yours.
Are you always wishing you had more time available to you? The truth is, you probably have plenty of time. You’re just not focused, and you’re not using your time wisely.
The fact is that everyone receives 24 hours each day, but some of us serially seem to never have enough time.
Below are seven reasons why people never seem to have enough time, and how to they can begin to save more time.
Why You Seem To Have No Time And How To Save Time
Some people say they thrive in ‘organised chaos’, and they probably do. They would probably thrive even more if they were more organised.
Apart from time-wasting, disorganisation can eventually cause overwhelm, which if not controlled can be detrimental to mental health.
When you’re not organised, everything takes longer than it should. You spend time looking for a pair of clean socks, your baby’s milk bottle, or those blinking car keys!
Disorganisation can even lead to late arrivals to places or missing important deadlines.
Here are a few tips to combat disorganisation:
- Give everything in your home a set place. Isn’t it a frustrating feeling that you should have left home 10 minutes ago, but instead, you’re frantically searching for your bunch of keys because you are certain you left it on the kitchen counter, but can’t find it!? If everything has its place, you will save time not looking for them.
- Have a morning and/or evening routine. I must admit, the recent pandemic discombobulated my routine somewhat. I’m slowly but surely getting back to my routine. Your routine can consist of prayer, meditation, journaling, going through your to-do list for the day or planning the following day. Whatever you decide to do as a morning or evening routine, could help you save time.
- Leave home 20 minutes earlier than you plan to. Sometimes you plan your journey and know the estimated time it should take you to reach your destination. Sometimes roadworks, traffic, or some other unexpected event can cause delays. Leaving home 20 minutes earlier would hopefully give you the buffer you need to get to your destination on time.
- Go grocery shopping with a shopping list. I can’t believe that for years I used to go grocery shopping without a shopping list! Having a shopping list will save you from repeatedly walking up and down the aisles as you remember what food items you probably need for the meals you’ll probably eat during the week. It will also help prevent you from reaching your car before realising you forgot to pick up some salt! Take the guesswork out of grocery shopping and take a shopping list with you.
To help me keep track of what I need to purchase weekly, I use a magnetic shopping list pad on my fridge. It saves me so much time because rather than thinking for too long about what I need to purchase for the whole week, or trying to remember what we’ve run out of, I can write things down as soon as know that I need it.
I’ve instructed my children to write things on the list when they notice things are running out or when they use the last of anything.
Be careful though, as I’m sure you can imagine, they may sneak in some sweets or other cheeky items on there!😃
This magnetic shopping list pad doubles up as a meal planner, which is great as you would be able to achieve two things in one; meal planning and your shopping list!
This involves doing things in the order of importance.
It should be, but for some reason, some people don’t rank things in order or importance and attempt to plough through everything. This could lead to a number of unfinished tasks, and worse, a detriment to mental health.
I for one can be guilty of this! I sometimes tend to have 1001 things to be getting on with on any given day, and sometimes I don’t prioritise my tasks, which leaves me flustered, and hot and bothered before the end of the day.
Think about your important objectives and all the different things you want to do and then figure out what is important to you. Before you begin any activity, ask yourself whether you need to work on that particular activity, or whether your efforts would be best suited to something else.
The Saving Mum Time Workbook includes a Prioritisation Worksheet, which will help you with prioritisation.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE ‘SAVING MUM TIME’ PRINTABLE
“Procrastination is the thief of time” is a true saying for many people, and certainly mums. It’s a wonder why we procrastinate really!
You know how it is; you know there’s something you need to do, but you just keep putting it off till later. That is until your deadline is around the corner and you frantically scramble to get that thing done!
Procrastination has negative impacts because it leads to poor performance, stress, anxiety, worry, guilt, and potentially physical health problems.
Procrastination is a lose-lose situation. You may find temporary relief from stress, but the long term costs far outweigh any short term comfort.
Dr. Neil Fiore ph.D in his book The Now Habit, states that the way you talk to yourself will help you to change your procrastination habits. This is not because a change in language alone will end all procrastination, but because how you talk to yourself represents the attitudes and beliefs that determine how you feel and act.
This is why affirmations are so powerful. You can choose to reinforce positive feelings of power and overcoming.
Rather than looking at your task as a monolith, break it down into small tasks. In other words, rather than telling yourself that you have to, or should do certain tasks, you tell yourself that you choose to.
- Replace “I have to do the washing up” with “I choose to do the washing up.”
- Replace “Redecorating my house is such a huge task” with “I can paint one small area at a time.”
“It is not discipline, willpower, or pressure from others that facilitates adherence to a challenging course of action. Rather, it is the freedom to choose among alternatives, the personal commitment to a mission, and the willingness to take responsibility for the consequences of our decisions that steels the will and emboldens the spirit.”
~ Neil A. Fiore
Hands up mum, do you pride yourself in being an ‘excellent multitasker’? I used to pride myself in being able to do many things at once, but not anymore.
Multitasking is defined as performing two or more tasks simultaneously. It can also involve switching from one task to another or performing a number of tasks in rapid succession.
Research has found that multitasking is actually less productive. Some may beg to differ, but I have found it to be true in my case.
Instead you could:
- Plan your day the night before. Assess the items requiring your attention. Keeping a schedule of your daily tasks and obligations will help to minimize your stress.
- Prioritise your daily tasks. Using the prioritisation worksheet in the ‘Saving Mum Time’ printable, dump all your ideas, and decide which tasks to complete. Compile a task list, putting the most important time-sensitive tasks first.
- Try Calendar blocking. I’m not sure how old the idea of Calendar Blocking is, but I learnt a very effective way of doing this from Ken of The Humble Penny, and it is an absolute time-saver! Having trouble focusing on your project? Block out time on your calendar (I use Google Calendar) for it as you would a meeting. This way you are more likely to get it done in one go.
- Take breaks when you need them. Don’t be afraid to take a break if you need one. Over-working can reduce your productivity and lead to stress and poor mental health. You could stretch for a few minutes, take deep breaths, or a good ol’ sleep if you need to, to help you recuperate.
- Delegate. Get those kids involved! As well as teaching your children responsibility and organisation skills, delegating will free up your time to do other important tasks. The Kid’s Chore Chart in the ‘Saving Mum Time’ Printable is a perfect tool to help you delegate chores to your children and help get them organised.
The internet is amazing; the worldwide web of connections and all of that!
However, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably signed up to 1001* email lists and you probably have installed on your phone, one of the many apps that allow you to send free messages, videos and make free calls! All these notifications can be distractions which would limit your productivity.
*Whilst I’m not sure how many email lists I have signed up to, I would hope for my sake it is not as many as 1001!
It’s easy to get carried away with reading and responding to emails, or catching up with friends and family on the phone. Instead, set time limits and stick with it. I find it useful to use the timer on my phone to limit myself to specific. But of course, I would have to leave my phone on aeroplane mode, otherwise, those notifications!
To help you limit those phone distractions when trying to get some work done, you could try using one of these versatile, sand timers.
These sand timers will help you avoid distractions that could occur if you used your phone as a timer.
They are very practical and can be used to time all manner of tasks. They can help you with your time management as well as help you teach your children important time-management skills.
Waking Up Late
If anyone knows me, they know I love to sleep. I know some of the detriments to our precious bodies if we don’t get enough sleep.
However, I also know the importance of waking up early, or at least earlier than everyone else at home.
Unless you’ve got an infant or toddler whose poor sleep patterns mean you don’t get enough sleep at night, getting up thirty minutes to an hour before your children will give you time to plan your day before the hustle and bustle begins.
I’ve tried going staying up late to get things done, and while I do manage to get things done at night, I have noticed my level of productivity is not the same.
I’m not a morning person so I understand the uneasiness that may arise with the thought of waking up early.
To combat this, try to go to bed an hour or two earlier than usual, and begin waking up earlier. You’ll be amazed at the amount of work you can get done before your children wake up.
Have you ever been ploughing through something for what seems like a few minutes, only to find out you’ve been at it for hours? It’s easy to go through the day without tracking what you’re doing.
You need to track your time if you easily get distracted while doing things. Tracking exactly where your time goes will help you become more aware of what you’re doing, and help you become more productive.
You could use good ol’ self-discipline, a journal or you could use an app to help you track your time.
I recently started using Toggl, but there are many other time-tracking apps you could try.
When you track how you spend your time each day, you’ll be able to dedicate appropriate time to your passions, self-care, your loved ones, and other important matters.
To help you track your time, the ‘Saving Mum Time’ printable includes a time-tracking affirmation worksheet.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE ‘SAVING MUM TIME’ PRINTABLE
Make the most of your time by prioritising, removing distractions, and creating extra time buffers in which to get things done. You have all the time you need, if you’re willing to make the necessary adjustments to yourself and your life.
You have 24 hours each day. Ensure that you’re using them wisely!
What are your current time-saving practices?
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- 11 Practical Ways To Stay Positive Every Day
Please share this post if you found it useful, and stay uplifted.