If you saw yesterday’s free decluttering printable (31 Things to Declutter in Under 15 Minutes), you may be saying to yourself, “that’s great Carrie, but how on earth do I find 15 free minutes every day?” Or you might be saying “clearly you haven’t seen my sock drawer.” But if it’s the former, I wanted to share ten life-changing ways I’ve found extra time in my day. Some were really easy. Some were harder (sniff! My Facebook app!) but ALL bought me tons more time in the day. Do you agree with these ten timesavers?
Take the Facebook (or Pinterest, or Twitter) app off your phone. I found myself checking Facebook all the time– in line, waiting in the car line, during awkward pauses, even during dinner (!!!). I took the app off my phone a few months ago and haven’t looked back since. I can still check Facebook on my laptop, but I find that I don’t do it very often or waste as much time as I used to thanks to the next tip…
Write it down. Keep a list nearby so when you think of a task, you can write it down instead of getting distracted. This has boosted my productivity while I work by at least 30%. Instead of falling down the rabbit hole of email, texts or Hey Girl memes starring Ryan Gosling, now I jot down tasks that pop in my head and don’t think about them again until I’m finished with the task at hand. Then I focus on the next task and the next. BOOM! 15 more minutes that I would have spent trying to remember ‘now what did I need to do again?’
Batch prep your meals. Freezer meals are all the rage because they save SO much time and money. Since you’re already chopping and cooking, might as well prep a few things at once and save all that energy and dishwashing! Here’s everything you need to know about freezer meals– give it a quick read and save huge chunks of time!
Buy precut veggies and fruit. Seriously, you DON’T have to do it all. Making healthy meals is tough enough, buying precut or pre-prepped food will save you precious minutes in that endeavor. It can be more pricey, but when I have a busy week or am getting ready for guests I buy pre-chopped veggies or pre-cut fruit and save SO much time.
Put all your clothes out the night before. This has bought me more time that I care to admit. I actually lay out all the kids’ clothes for the entire week on Sunday night right after I fold the laundry. I can immediately see if someone needs socks and get the best chance of finding matching outfits. If I wait until morning, someone will be missing underwear or I suddenly realized someone else only has mismatched pants and shirts. Also it means no excuses for getting dressed for the gym– it’s all right there to greet me in the morning. No lost sports bras allowed.
Write out a schedule for your day. When I plan out my day, I write it down (yup, an AM list and a PM list) I group all my errands together to allow for getting more done in less time. Computer tasks are waiting to be knocked out in one sitting. Errands are scheduled in a specific order to take advantage of the best routes. No backtracking or timewasting allowed. Boo-ya! (do people still say boo-ya? No? Awkward.)
Find your time wasters. Since my time wasters (Facebook) may not be YOUR time wasters, it’s important to see where YOU are ‘wasting’ time. Spend a day writing down what you’re doing. You may be surprised that the ‘5 minutes’ you spend checking email first thing in the morning is actually 20 minutes. (BUSTED. This is totally what happened to me).
Batch process tasks like email. Instead of checking email all day long (and, if you’re like me, marking as ‘unread’ so you can respond later) definitely wastes time. I’m trying to check it twice a day and GET IT DONE instead of reading, marking, rereading, putting it off, etc. Same goes for laundry– yes, it’s probably BEST to do one load a day, but honestly I get it done so much faster if I do all my folding and putting away at one time. Do what works best for you, but I love ‘batch processing’ my tasks to save on that transition time.
Delegate. Or, better yet if you can, outsource. I’ve babied my kids a lot by doing things for them, which helps no one. By delegating more tasks to them, I save time (in the long run). Sure, having the kids put away toys takes longer than when I do it, but it does pay off now so I can ask them to do that while I make dinner instead. Outsourcing is huge for me. My solo time is very limited since my son is still in preschool and our schedule is all over the place. For the blog, I’ve hired outside help for certain areas so I can focus on doing what I love during my precious free time, like creating content. The time it saves me is priceless because I can spend it with my family!
Let it go. At the end of the day, is that one task reallllly that important? Can the laundry go unfolded today so you can read a book (or declutter your sock drawer?) I know I should put a lot of pretty photos in this post, but instead am belting out ‘Let It Go’ in my best Elsa voice and marching my way upstairs for a hot bath and some beauty product purging instead. I hope you’ll understand. 😉
Now that you have 10 ways to find ‘free’time, that list of 31 Things to Declutter in Under 15 Minutes doesn’t seem so ridiculous, does it? You CAN find the time, it may just mean being more mindful or getting rid of Facebook for a little while (SOB!)
If you’re NEW to the 31 Day DECLUTTER AND ORGANIZE EVERYTHING challenge, start here to get the deets and read all the posts! Don’t forget to check out my Organize Me Pinterest board for all things organizing (including links to all the posts in this series, how’s THAT for organization?!) Tons of other great ideas on there too.
So tell me– how do YOU find extra time in your day? And what would you do with an extra hour each day?
This post is sponsored by my Young Living business! 😉 Check out my essential oils page for more information on how you can get these amazing oils in your hands too along with helpful freebies, a gift from me, and tons of support: