Learn How to Get More Time Out of Your Day!
As a busy mom do you find that there is never enough time in the day? Learn some time saving tips in this article.
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From the article:
Double up on meals.
On days Leni doesn’t have to head to a set, she could make large portions of meals (lasagna, soup, turkey meatballs) to freeze. On harried nights, she can spend less time cooking and have an extra half hour for work, if needed.
Learn to single-task.
Leni is a talented multitasker (flipping fish with one hand, checking her phone with the other), but ironically that’s slowing her down. Every time we shift gears, we lose valuable time refocusing, says Jeff Brown, Psy.D., a cognitive-behavioral psychologist at Harvard Medical School and a coauthor of The Winner’s Brain ($15, amazon.com). (One University of California, Irvine, study showed that it can take an office worker almost 30 minutes to get back on task after an interruption.) Leni will probably get more done—and feel less crazed—if she banishes the laptop during dinner prep and eases up on the BlackBerry. “For every e-mail, there’s a link to chase or a reply to craft,” says Brown. Leni could designate two half-hour periods in the evening to return work e-mails (one early, one right before bed to handle replies she may have received in the meantime). A kitchen timer can keep her honest. She could also use her lunch hour (when she has more energy) to catch up on phone calls.
Leni is a perfectionist who prefers to do things herself. She’ll have more freedom for the things she wants to do if she can unload some work responsibilities to her website employees. Max can help out around the house, setting the table, putting away laundry, or getting Roxy’s pajamas on. Rodney can become responsible for after-dinner cleanup. “Things might not get done the way Leni would do them, but they will get done,” says Hannah Keeley, a personal coach in Richmond, Virginia, and the host of the reality TV series Hannah, Help Me! “Leni’s new mantra should be, ‘Sloppy success is better than perfect failure.’ ”
Back away from the washing machine.
Esti’s daily laundry habit wastes water and time, says Laura Stack, the author of Find More Time: How to Get Things Done at Home, Organize Your Life, and Feel Great About It ($14, amazon.com): “Unless her kids are mucking out horse stables, their jeans can make it through more than one wear.” If Esti can cut laundry to two or three times a week, she’ll save hours. (The same holds for ignoring a little dust or a drawer that sticks.)
Plan outfits for the week.
Esti’s kids can choose seven outfits each on Sunday (Chaim may need a little help) and tuck them into a hanging sweater organizer labeled with the days of the week. “Giving her children more independence in dressing themselves will minimize Esti’s morning battles,” says Stack. It will also help the kids establish a routine (clothes on and teeth brushed in eight minutes or less, for example). Esti and Avi can reward them when they stick to it—or dock privileges if they don’t.
Order groceries online.
Peapod.com delivers in LaWanda’s area. She can plan meals for the week, make a list, and order without dragging Rayshawn to the store. That will also save time and money during the week, when the pair often eat out because there’s not much food in the house. “And don’t overthink dinner,” says Laura Vanderkam, the author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think ($26, amazon.com). “A sandwich or an omelet is fine. You don’t have to channel Julia Child.”
LaWanda loves to help people out. She can spend hours tutoring a neighbor’s son in algebra. “It’s hard for me to say no,” she admits. Keeley says, “Being the one to save the day is rewarding, but LaWanda can’t afford to do that. She needs to learn to say, ‘I’d love to, but with my schedule the way it is, I wouldn’t be able to give this the attention it deserves.’ ” That strategy might save her enough time to cram all her studying into Monday through Friday.
Consolidate the calendars.
Multiple organizational strategies breed chaos, says Keeley. LaWanda should hang one big calendar in the kitchen—something she can see without turning on the computer (and e-mail)—and record all events and deadlines on it. On the go, LaWanda can jot down information in a small notebook or enter it into her phone. “But as soon as she gets home, those details need to be immediately transferred to the wall calendar so she won’t lose track of things,” says Keeley.
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