Do you ever think about setting better habits to create efficient time?
Before having kids I remember I always felt busy, my schedule was packed and I didn’t have time to add on any more tasks. (or so I thought) Fast forward to today with two little kids running around and I am feeling like we are constantly busy from sun up to sun down. I often wondered what I even did prior to having kids. What did I do with all that “free time”. Anyone else feel this way??
It only took me several year, but I have finally made the connection that time wasn’t the issue. The problem was that I was not prioritizing my time wisely, or making and creating efficient time. Today I wanted to share 7 Small Changes for Creating Efficient Time that has helped me to stay organized and overall leave me feeling like I still have time left in the day to do something for me, or spend more quality time with my children.
You can see what a typical day looks like for me and some other ways to stay organized in my latest Newsletter HERE.
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7 SMALL CHANGES FOR CREATING EFFICIENT TIME
1- Set Timers and Alarms on your Phone
It’s all about setting alarms and timers on my phone for mastering efficient time, for me. I set timers and alarms for so many tasks multiple times a day. Some I have it set up as a weekly alarm, and others I change out the time each day. I included this as number 1 of the 7 small changes for creating efficient time because it truly is so impactful.
My day starts with an alarm to wake up and get out of bed. I set alarms 10 minutes before conference and business calls. 5 minutes before needing to run out the door to an appointment or pick Edison up for school. A morning and evening alarm as a reminder for Lucy to take her medicine, and even mine too. I even set an alarm for the time I roughly need to jump on my phone and post on Instagram.
Before going to bed I usually pull out my calendar and see what is on the agenda for the next day, then I go plug in the exact times for each event that I need to be reminded. I always make sure to change the label so I am not having to guess why my alarm is going off again.
The reason I prioritize my day around alarms is so I am not focusing and taking time away from my kids or any other distraction I am having. I have done this for years. It makes me more present in the moment. I find it most helpful on the days I am not home, if I am out running errands and not paying close to the time, a simple alarm gets be back on track!
I love to utilize the timers on my phone, or if I am home, our Alexa device.
We use timers constantly with our kids. Timers for cleaning up toys, the house, and even for TV and screen time.
Mom Tip: Use the “sleep” option on your TV when your kids are watching television. That way you aren’t the bad guy turning off the tv right at your kids favorite part of the show. I love that our tv has a 10 minute option. I will warn Edison that I am turning on the timer and walk away. He gets a 1 minute warning that pops up letting him know the TV will be turning off soon. He has yet to get upset with me for the TV turning off. Before we figured out this method, he would loose his mind if I would walk over and turn off the TV myself. This solution has worked wonders for us.
Another reason I love using timers is to time how quickly I can achieve a task. For example, getting ready for the day, washing the dishes, cleaning the entire kitchen, vacuuming the house, cleaning up the kids rooms, etc. Each task alone feels like such an ordeal, and a huge time suck. But if you have ever actually timed yourself getting ready, you will probably be surprised that it didn’t take as long as you assumed it would.
2 – Use Subscription Services
Boy do subscription services save me so much time! Which creates less time running from store to store grabbing the items that could easily be sent to my house every week, month, or even several months apart.
We love using Amazon Subscription services and have things like toilet paper, paper towels, medicine, food products, dog food, cleaning supplies, diapers, wipes and SO much more all on a monthly schedule.
With Amazon subscription services, you can easily switch out your delivery time before the item ships, in case you are leaving out of town for a long period of time, or sometimes when you didn’t use all the items you ordered yet.
You honestly won’t find me running to the store just for “one” item anymore!
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3 – Use Apple Pay or Store Apps for Checkouts
Using Apple Pay or Store Apps for Checkout seems simple right? Yes, but in the long run it can save you so much time!
I recently started to utilized the Target app for my checkout. You can go ahead and plug in any coupons prior to going to the store to save extra money, but what I love is that I don’t have any extra steps. It is quick and easy. Plus, no more touching the gross buttons and pens on the keypad that everyone else is touching.
If you aren’t using Apple pay, you should be! Both Brandon and I use it and it honestly has saved us time, and saved us alone in emergencies. If you ever forget your wallet at home, don’t even fret. You can use your Apple Pay from your phone and still checkout at the store or gas station. Most places are now accepting Apple Pay which makes it a no brainer to set yours up to save time in the long run.
4 – Write Out To-Do Lists the Night Before
If you are someone who likes checking things off any to-do list, (like me!) then you will have try writing out your to-do lists each night before going to bed. This allows you to only focus on that list for the day. Done and done. It allows your time to be prioritized, and most of all, it’s the best feeling being able to see the progress you made in just one day. Plus the satisfaction of crossing off those to-do’s!
I also have a to-do list for the week. Labeling every day of the week with bullet points for my to-dos. Doing this makes it feel less overwhelming compared to one big long list. Instead maybe 4 or 5 items each day.
5 – Food Delivery Services
We have been using food delivery services for the last 4 years off and on. We are currently using Home Chef, but in the past have used Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. We love that we can switch between different companies for a change up in recipes.
This has easily become such an easy way to create efficient time because it cuts out several hours throughout the week trying to decide what to cook for dinner, what to buy at the store, and searching countless recipes online. Instead, ALL the hard work is done for you. Food is delivered to your home once a week. It’s up to you to decide how many meals you would like per week, we usually stick with 3. The rest of the week we will either eat out, eat leftovers, or simple meals from Trader Joes.
6 – Dedicate 20 Minutes a Week to Complete Mundane Tasks
Do you ever have tasks that sit on your to-do list for weeks or maybe even months?! I know I do, or at least did. After listening to a podcast (that I can’t even remember which podcast) something stuck with me. The podcaster challenged the listeners to dedicate only 20 minutes or less a week to complete those mundane tasks. Pick a reoccurring day, and sit down and look at that list of to-do’s that you keep putting off and just DO THEM!! Cross them off. You will feel so much better and end up saving more time and sanity, instead of staring at it for months.
These mundane tasks could be anything like scheduling doctor appointments, calling that friend you keep saying you will call. Even cleaning out the linen closet, tackling the mess in the garage, or vacuuming out the car, just to name a few.
By dedicating a small amount of time for those tasks staring at you, you will eventually free up for more time in your schedule to do something you would rather be doing.
Another way of looking at some of these mundane tasks is asking yourself what is important and what is urgent!
7 – Consolidate Errand Locations
This might sound like a no brainer. But it took me years to finally switch pharmacies! I was wasting so much time by going out of my way to run across town to our CVS. I was constantly having to run a separate errand. As moms, you can probably relate, always thriving to keep errands simple with kids.
It finally dawned on me that there are more than this one CVS. So why not, transfer our prescriptions over to a local Target location. A store we go to at least weekly. Saves me a separate trip, and time unloading the kids.
Just last week I finally decided to switch grocery stores. It is just up the road from my previous one so I never thought it could make such a big deal, but this location offers more food options and surrounding businesses. There is a local shipping store that I could drop off packages to, instead of having to make an extra stop a few miles away at my normal post office I was going to. Again, less time unloading kids from the car.
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I hope some of these 7 SMALL CHANGES FOR CREATING EFFICIENT TIME help you out! Even if it is just a small change in your day to day schedule, the impact is huge!
I would love to know of any of your small changes for creating efficient time??