30 Life Tips For Time-Crunched Parents
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If you are like most parents, you probably feel a bit pressed for time and are looking for ways to squeeze more time out of every day. We’ve got you covered with 30 life tips to help you maximize each day.
With six kids always on the go, these 30 life tips have made a world of difference for me.
Always keep an extra set of clothes in the car.
There is nothing that can slow down your day more than having a costume change in the middle of it. If you want to make sure to make your next destination on time, think ahead and always bring an extra set of clothes for your small children in the car. That way you can head up any accidents that would have you making a trip home
Use a tile.
A tile is an electronic device you can put on your keys or purse in case you can’t find them. It tethers to your phone and will send you a beep to help you locate your things, so you aren’t wasting time looking for lost stuff. Buy tiles here on Amazon.com.
Take your lunch.
Finishing a couple of things during a working lunch can have you ahead of schedule. (Bento lunch box shown above is available from Amazon.com).
Use online grocery shopping.
Using online grocery shopping such as Prime Now (available in select cities) is one of the best ways to save money and time. It will not only take minutes instead of hours; you won’t be tempted by impulse buys. One thing I love about it is that I can add things to my cart as I think of them, so I save time by not even having to write down a list. Plus you can shop on your phone, which means you can work on grocery shopping when you get a spare minute here or there.
Have people come to you.
There are all sorts of service people like music teachers and fitness instructors that will come to you. No time in transit is a huge saver.
Designate a place for your phone and keys.
If you have a designated place to put them, and follow through with keeping them there, you won’t ever have to run around the house searching.
Keep snacks in the car.
Nothing is more costly or time-consuming than taking time to run through the drive thru. Make sure to keep little snacks in the car to tide everyone over.
Have a cubby for everyone in the house.
Instead of each child throwing their backpack and sports uniform everywhere, let everyone have a designated space. That way you can have their uniform waiting once washed, and they won’t slow you down looking for their stuff.
Make several meals at once and freeze them.
If you are going to go through the hassle of cooking a casserole, make more than one at a time and freeze them for a later date. That way you can pull it out the next time you don’t have time to cook.
Use the quick cycle on your wash.
When doing laundry, use the quick cycle on your washing machine. Unless you have sports stuff or things that are highly soiled, it will take less time to do the laundry and put less wear and tear on your clothes.
If something is important put it in the car for tomorrow.
If you know that something is going to mess up your day if you forget it, then take time to put it in the car the night before.
Map out your day.
Instead of randomly running errands, have a plan in action so that you don’t spend more time in transit than necessary. Make arrangements to drop things off ahead of time or go to a different store then usual if you are in another part of town.
Lay out clothes at night.
Mornings are always full of mishaps. If you lay your children’s clothes out the night before, there will be no argument, and they should be good to go all on their own.
Park far and walk.
Stop wasting time circling the parking lot, park far, save time, and get some exercise.
One outfit rule.
Have a one outfit a day rule to cut down on time spent doing laundry.
Get up 20 minutes earlier.
Those 20 minutes can do wonders at keeping your day on track. (Go to bed 20 minutes earlier by cutting out time-wasters like excessive social media checking or TV).
Be realistic about time.
You aren’t a super hero, you don’t have to set the world on fire, you just have to be realistic with your expectations. Always over instead of under estimate.
Hire someone when possible.
If you can afford to hire someone to take something off of your plate, do so. Stop trying to drive yourself crazy doing it all if you don’t have to.
Learn to say “No”.
Know your limitations and learn not to overcommit.
Why have two birthday parties in March if you can have one. Combining events and occasions will free up your workload tremendously.
Why have two people going the same way, carpooling is the way to go!
Make your child commit to one or two activities instead of trying, and eventually quitting, more.
Find things close to home.
It is just as easy to find a dance studio in your neighborhood than to drive across town.
Share the load.
Don’t put all the pressure on yourself. If you know that your spouse can take something off of your plate, let them!
Have everyone do homework at once.
That way you can be there to help everyone at one time instead of being on call all evening.
Set reminders on your phone.
If you want to make sure you are on time, set reminders for yourself on your phone. An alert will keep you on task.
Set all appointments on the same day.
If you have three children who are going to need checkups or sports physicals, do it all on the same day. Same goes for the dentist and other necessary exams.
One dinner time, one meal.
Don’t be a short-order cook making ten meals, or at various times. Make a one dinner time, one meal rule, and let your kids work around you.
Ask for help.
Yes, this is a hard one. It is much easier to ask for help than to put so much stress on yourself.
Put shoes by the door.
Need I say more?
There just isn’t enough time in the day; that is something that, if you come to terms with, it will take a lot of pressure off to stop trying to be perfect. Do what you can, forget about what you can't and give yourself a break, you are doing the best you can.