We’ve all had those days where it seems like 24 hours just isn’t enough – we have so much to get done and just not enough time. Am I right? Since becoming a mom I’ve felt that feeling about 10X over. I want to enjoy every moment of the day with Mia, but I also have to get a ton of other things done as well, so any chance I get to save some extra time is crucial. I’ve put together a list of my favourite time-saving hacks to help you make the very most of the time you have each day. Some of these I’ve been doing for years while others are new to me but have made a huge difference, ESPECIALLY since becoming a mama.
Slow cooker meals
This is a newer one for me. After I had Mia I decided to get a slow cooker and set up meals in the morning, while she napped for longer stretches, so they’d be ready in time for dinner. GAME. FREAKING. CHANGER!! Of all the recipes I’ve tried, I typically spend 10-15 minutes max setting everything up and then it just cooks itself so I don’t have to be in the kitchen for over an hour cooking at the stove. I totally recommend investing in one of these!
I genuinely love going to malls and browsing through the aisles, but it sucks SO much time out of the day! For maybe the last 2 years or so I’ve very heavily relied on online shopping to get everything done. I get all of my monthly cleaning/laundry/wellness supplies delivered straight to my door from Young Living, and I get just about everything else from Amazon Prime (same-day and next-day delivery are a God-send). I also tend to buy most of my clothes online now from stores that I’m familiar with the sizing so I can pretty accurately guess my size without trying it on. Nowadays online grocery shopping is becoming more popular, and while I haven’t tried it just yet I have tried meal delivery services such as Hello Fresh and absolutely loved the convenience of it!
P.s. if you are doing online shopping, sign up for a Rakuten account and get a certain percentage of your bill back on each purchase. I’ve gotten back over $400 so far just on purchases that I would normally make anyways. Money back just for shopping? YES PLEASE!
Prepare the night before
I try to get things ready the night before if I can so that it saves time the next day. This can be prepping your bag for work, getting the kids clothes laid out and ready to go, filling up the coffee maker so all you have to do is turn it on in the morning. Honestly, it may seem like you’re wasting precious time in the night but it can be done very quickly and saves a ton of time the following morning.
Tidy up every night
Ever since I’ve been home on mat leave I’ve become slightly obsessed with cleaning. I do a complete once-over every night and tidy up anything that’s out of place, so cleaning on the weekend mostly just consists of dusting and sweeping. It takes all of about 5-10 minutes each night which saves a ton of extra time, because for me it takes absolutely foreverrrrr to get my cleaning done once things have piled up.
Use to-do lists to stay on task
I LOVE using to-do lists because it helps me to know exactly what I need to get done and to stay on task rather than wasting a ton of time on other things that I really don’t need to be doing.
Prep meals ahead of time
As someone who absolutely loves cooking, I have to admit that it just takes up way too much time! In addition to using a slow cooker, I also like meal prepping (prepping full complete meals for lunch/breakfast) or just preparing ingredients for what I’ll be cooking ahead of time. Such a huge time-saver and it helps free up some extra time to spend with the family instead.
Streamline your morning routine
Mornings are a challenge for me and I find that if I don’t get out of bed almost immediately, I can end up wasting a whole lot of time scrolling through my phone from the comfort of under my blankets. Not only that, the rest of my morning tends to be lazy as well which ends with me taking a super long time to get anything done at all! Lesson: get out of bed right away and stick to your routine so that you can be awake, alert, and productive.
Take advantage of travel time
If you drive to work each day, you can totally skip this and jump right to number 9. But if you’re like me and spend time travelling to work on public transit each day, try to take advantage of that travel time rather than letting it go to waste. Smartphones give us access to do a whole lot of things from wherever we are, so use them! Send those emails that you need to get done by the end of the night, pay the cable bill online, make your grocery list for the week. OR pull out a book and read, spend some time journaling and use that time for self-care (because I think this is also a super important part of the day as well!).
Use an Amazon Echo or Google Home
I have to admit that I’m sometimes a little creeped out by the fact that these devices listen to our conversations all day, BUT they also come in handy. While I’m getting ready in the morning I can simply ask what the weather is, the latest news updates, etc rather than having to get out my phone or tv and look it up myself.
Learn to say NO!
Last but certainly not least, learn to say NO when you’re just too busy. You don’t have to commit to things that fill up every minute of your day. YOU have the power over your schedule and YOU can say no to doing something so that you can instead spend that extra hour or two with your significant other, your friend, your kids, or just by yourself.
Spending less time on chores and other things is so important so that you can make the most of each day and fully enjoy time with your loved ones, so I hope you find these time-saving hacks useful. Let me know what other hacks you use to save time below.