Homeschooling, sewing, craft projects with the kids, knitting, baking, cooking from scratch, keeping a clean home, adventuring, friends, etc etc etc. I get a lot of emails and messages asking me how I get it done, and the answer isn’t magic. Good friends that see my life on the daily ask, my own mother wonders, and it’s funny because I am far from superwoman, I swear.
It is all about time management, and there are four things I notice I do very differently than people who say they don’t have enough time. Hopefully this can help some of you that are feeling overextended.
1. Being disorganized
This should be a given. You’ll never lose 10 minutes of your morning running around rushing to find your keys if you put them in the same place every time you come home. Every time. If you always open, deal with, and file your paperwork when you get it (mail, papers from school / work / doctors / whatever), you’ll never have to search for an important piece of paper because you’ll know exactly where it is. People save themselves about 2 or 3 minutes by stashing a form from their doctor in the kitchen drawer and then lose 15 minutes or more when they need it a month later and have no idea where it is. If you are digging out from mass disorganization, this will take time and not be fun, but the first time you need something and you actually know where it is, it’s like angels singing.
2. Errand running
I know this is huge because of all the red shopping cart pictures in my Instagram feed. I haven’t been to Target in almost three years! I haven’t done grocery shopping at a grocery store in almost as long. I don’t really dislike going to stores, but there isn’t room for it in my life on a regular basis if I want to handle everything else going on well. (Note that I said well, because I can go grocery shopping with my kids, come home and throw frozen dinosaur chicken in the oven and call it a day. I don’t think that’s handling it particularly well though.) Pretty much everything you need you can order online for about the same as you can get in the store, I know this because I do it. With Amazon subscribe and save you don’t even have to order it, you just set it up and don’t worry about it anymore. I know that a refill of Windex, two bags of gallon zip bags, soap, shampoo, bubble bath, toothpaste, etc etc is going to show up once a month without ordering it. Ok so that part is kind of like magic. School supplies, birthday gifts for friends, appliances, kitchen gear, toys, clothes, shoes, whatever. Sometimes things are a little more expensive but sometimes they are way cheaper so I feel like it balances out.
I know grocery delivery isn’t an option everywhere, but it is available in many cities and people just don’t know about it. With services like FarmBox and The Farmer’s Market Fairy, even farmer’s market day can come to you (though I do like to go in the summer when we are less busy).
3. Social media time sucks
I know there are people that suggest deleting social media apps from your phone so you will not be tempted to use it throughout the day, but that’s sort of like going on a diet and declaring you’re never eating a carb again. You can have Facebook on your phone without being on it all day. There is just one rule really, respond to the notification and get back to the task at hand – do not hit the newsfeed and lose 15 minutes of your day. When your day is done and you have nothing else pressing, you can scroll through the newsfeed and read it all at once. You can turn off your Instagram notifications and just check it when you have a few minutes to respond to comments if you want, but most of the time, it’s a notification that someone ‘liked’ your picture and there’s no need to open the app and check which one, right?
4. Not having some kind of chore system
I don’t know if my OCD is showing with this one or not but there are so many chores that get forgotten about because they typically don’t need to be done very often so they end up never getting done. It isn’t until you notice the buildup of dust and cobwebs in your vents that you finally clean them, but it’s going to take twice as long (at least) because they are so gross. Make a short routine of things to do each morning when you get up and each evening before you go to bed, typically once the kids are in bed, that hits the major areas. There are tons of chore systems you can put in place in your life or make up your own. I do a modified version of Flylady, but you can use whatever you want, just make sure you use it. Otherwise, an hour or so of dedicated cleaning every day turns into losing your entire weekend when you have to play catch up later.