Shoestring Savings - Everyday Time Savers

Oh my goodness how time can get away from me. My goal is to post twice a week on Shoestrings End and here I only posted once last week and this week is almost gone. My excuses are: that I've had a wonderful time visiting with my parents who have braved chilly North Idaho in exchange for hot hot Phoenix and my son is getting ready to travel to another country and my brain is too crowded right now.
Since having enough time to get everything done seems to be an issue with me lately, I thought that I would post on a few Shoestring time saving strategies for everyday life; time savers that I have done, that I should have done, and that I will be doing.

Plan ahead: I have such a hard time getting things together when we have to go somewhere. When the kids were little I always put their school clothes out, prepared their lunches and made sure that everything was in the backpacks ready to go the night before. It always made our school mornings so much more pleasant. I need to adopt that strategy for myself. So, I will plan my wardrobe ahead of time. That way I will not be standing in front of my closet 10 minutes before it's time to leave yelling that I have nothing to wear. I will also anticipate my needs for the day and put my purse, cell phone, keys, water bottle, etc. on the table ready for me to grab as I run out the door.

Multi-task: If I think about it, I really can organize two or even three things (three things are really my limit) to get done at once. For instance, while the coffee beans are roasting I can start a load of laundry and wash a few dishes. While I'm coloring my hair, I can clean the bathroom and fold laundry or give myself a pedicure. While I'm talking to my good friend on the phone I can run a dust rag over things and straighten the living room. The secret to multi-tasking, for me any way, is to keep the tasks somewhat related. If I'm doing a household something I pair it with other household tasks. If I'm working on something professionally oriented then I pair it with professional tasks that will move me ahead on my to do list.

Cook double recipes: It makes sense that if I'm already making something, I may as well make twice as much and save the rest in the freezer or fridge for another meal or lunch the next day. That saves future cooking time.

Store cookie dough in the freezer: We like cookies at my house but I find baking an entire batch of cookie dough to be very time consuming and I don't always have the time to devote to it. Making the dough, though, is very quick. So, we make the dough and then just bake one sheet of cookies. The rest of the dough we roll into a log and wrap in wax paper and a freezer bag. That way, the next time we want cookies, all we have to do is preheat the oven and slice and bake. I'd always rather have fresh from the oven cookies at coffee time.

Learn while I drive: I spend so much time in the car. It's easy to relax, listen to music and let my mind unwind and often that is exactly what I should be doing. But car time is also a great time to learn something new - Listen to a book, memorize scripture or music or lines for a play, play a language CD and learn a new language. My husband checked out a learn Swedish CD from the library and we listened to it in the car. We didn't really learn much but we had a great time trying and laughing at our terrible Scandinavian accents.

Make lists: I am by nature a list maker. Lists help me to keep organized and keep my brain from being too cluttered with helpless oh-my-gosh-what-do-I-do-next thoughts. When I make my list I prioritize and mark what tasks can be combined. At the end of the day I congratulate myself for completed list items and just move the unfinished tasks to the next day's list. The key to list sanity is to not hold on too tightly but to let go of things that just wont get done and, most importantly, to be flexible. Life is full of changes that invade the list. Be ready to put the list aside and play in the sunshine if that's what the day requires.

A few ways that I save a little time here and there. What are your time savers?

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Janelle said...

I eat my breakfast and drink my coffee in the car on the way to school. That way I get a little extra time to sleep or get some last minute stuff done before I have to leave for the day.

kay said...

I can't waith to share this one with my friends.