Time Saving Tips For Families…
Someone on the “Great Schools” website asked for help with saving time. This was my response to her. Thought you might find it useful too!
Routines are the key.
I keep a family calendar at home for the family to see/use as well as one I carry with me. My favorite calendar for the home is the “More Time Moms” calendar. It’s much bigger and has plenty of room and stickers for all our activities. I no longer settle when it comes to calendars. This one is worth every cent to me. Then I carry around a simple Weekly/Monthly Planner so I can jot down my (the family’s) schedule to take with me and be able to make appointments and plans on the fly while I’m not home.
Family members are responsible for putting items on grocery list as they know it’s run out. They do not get to treat Mom as the resident servant.
I am not a slave to my phone or my computer. Sometimes that means they get turned off.
I try to schedule everything just like I schedule meetings. Including time for me. Creating a “plan,” at least in outline form, helps me stick to everything I wish to accomplish.
Timers are my friend.
If I need to email instead of speak in person, I try to get to the point as quickly as possible as I find most people are drowning in work already. This saves me time because they will usually read it all in the first shot and are more likely to respond if I make their life easier too. Stick to bullet point type facts and support as necessary. “How to Get Your Point Across in 30 seconds or Less” is a great book to help with this!
Meal plans help me with shopping. “Saving Dinner” is a great book with grocery lists built in. There are internet services for this as well.
Computerized alerts are helpful to watch time or remember commitments too.
Send hubby “invites” at work to remind him of important school/family events/dates. You can do the same for yourself.
Kids must help with chores. Dishes have to be done daily and cannot be pushed to another day, so main focus is there. I break a lot of chores down into steps. Instead of someone always doing the entire chore from start to finish, they may help with one step of that chore. i.e. unload the dish washer, so later I can load it as I cook.
Baby steps help get things done. Remember the movie “What About Bob?” It’s amazing what you can do in 5 minutes.
FlyLady.net has a lot of great tips, but you have to be patient and stick out the first few weeks with the email reminders before you might realize their true value. You might also check out her great books “Sink Reflections” and “Body Clutter” whether or not email’s your thing.
Don’t over-think things. Sometimes adequate is OK and getting overly detailed and spending too much energy is counter-productive. (IOW, don’t be too perfectionistic.)
Clarify and stick to what’s important to you in life and what nourishes you and your family on the soul level. We are more effective in life with solid sleep, healthy diets and happy experiences and memories to sustain us. This takes investing the time into each of these. When we neglect these areas, we suffer and become less effective.
“Conquering Chronic Disorganization” is another great think outside of the box book on organizational tips. Some of our brains work better when we organize in alternative ways. Find what works for you and experience the freedom. Saves so much time using unconventional organizational methods that match my brain style. Same for kids. This is especially common with GT minds.
These are helpful resources that have made a difference for me. I hope they help you too.