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As moms, we are often super busy managing the demands of our busy special needs families. We have a ton of roles in our house. We are a taxi, maid, accountant, mom, and wife just to name a few. We are always looking to maximize our time. When you don't ahve time for routines) and squeeze more time into every day.
What if I told you, that you don't need more time? What if I told you that you already had the time, you just need to find it? A new study shows you waste approximately 21.8 hours per week. What?!?!?! Seriously. This is why you don’t have time to pursue your dreams. This is why you don’t have time for self-care. This is why you are so busy. You have a part-time job just wasting time.
In this post, you will find 27 unique ways to save your time. These are tips especially for busy special needs moms like you.
Stop running around with your phone in your hand 24/7
The average person spends about 3+ hours per day on their phone. What could you do with 3 hours per day?
Schedule your week
Not scheduling your week, is like driving to a new place without GPS. You need to know where you are going so you don’t spend valuable time trying to figure out what you need to be doing. You can start scheduling your week with time blocking. Time blocking is the most efficient way for a busy mom who wears a lot of hats to maximize her time.
Get some boundaries
Getting some healthy boundaries in your life will save you so much time. You can tell people no faster. You can be the master of your own time. You can learn how to be in control of your own time instead of letting other people’s priorities interfere with your time. If you don’t know anything about boundaries, I highly recommend you get the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud. It is life-changing and so powerful. If you have never read this book, it is eye-opening for sure!
Say no and don’t be afraid
If you don’t want to do something, or you don’t have the time, just say no. You need to learn how to get better at saying no. Say no to things that will take you away from your priorities. I used to think I had to say yes to everything everyone asked of me and that just isn’t true. This is another concept taught in the book Boundaries. Remember when you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else. What do you REALLY want to be saying yes to?
Most people think multitasking saves them a ton of time, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Multitasking actually takes up a lot of time. Task switching (AKA multitasking) takes up so much time because you have to stop doing one thing and get zoned in on another task. After you finish that task, you don’t start off right where you left off on the other task, because you have to figure out where you left off. It takes a lot of valuable time to task switch. Not to mention, you can technically only do one thing at a time anyway.
Prioritizing will help you save so much time. This will also help you say no faster and easier. When you have your priorities in order, it makes it easier to figure out what you need to be working on. If your main goal this year is to de-clutter your house, then that’s what you need to be doing, not planting a whole new garden. You need to prioritize and focus on one thing.
Creating routines can save you so much time because you can be on autopilot. You don’t even have to think about it, you just do it. Think about it. You already have routines when you wake up. You might go straight to the bathroom and then get a cold glass of water before getting ready. Well, that is your routine. You don’t have to think about it. You are on autopilot. Routines help prevent decision fatigue. You really need to get some routines in your life to save a ton of time.
To all my control freaks reading this. YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO DELEGATE. Like right now. Delegate. Like, let someone else do something instead of you. You don’t need to do EVERYTHING. There isn’t a perfect right way to fold towels. I mean, if you don’t fold them a certain way, the towel police aren’t going to come to arrest you. Seriously, LOL! You don’t need to control everything. Just learn to let someone else help you and delegate.
Yes, starting will save you time. Quit contemplating doing something. Stop procrastinating. Just START.
Hey perfectionists!! Yes, I am talking to you. STOP. You don’t need to be perfect. Stop striving for perfectionism because it doesn’t exist.
Use a calendar app
Using a calendar app will save you time because you always have your phone with you. So, you don’t have to worry about leaving your calendar at home. Read more about how a free app called Cozi can help you keep your busy family schedule on track.
Use the 30 Minutes to a Successful Morning Checklist
Planning your day, the night before. If you need to take any extra things with you, go ahead and put them into the car the night before. We have a printable checklist called 30 Minutes to a More Successful Morning. In under 30 minutes or less, you can run through the checklist and set up your morning for success. You can get it free HERE.
Meal planning can save you so much time AND money. You will know exactly what to get at the grocery store and you can shop once a week instead of every day. You will also not get overwhelmed looking inside of your pantry trying to figure out what to cook. You can just look at your meal plan for the week and the decision has already been made for you.
Batching your like items will save you a lot of time. It will help you to do the same things together instead of wasting a bunch of time task switching. Batching in a nutshell, means you do all the like items on your to-do list at the same time. For example, if you have to pay bills, it is easier to pay them once per week instead of once per day. It might take 15 minutes total if you do it once per week instead of 5 minutes total per day for a total of 35 mints for the week.
An ideal week is so great for productivity. Your ideal week is basically where you decide ahead of time what day it would be great for you to schedule certain tasks. For example, you may try to get all of your errands done on the same day, or all of your phone calls taken care of on the same day. Or you may try to schedule your doctor’s appointments on one or two days per week. This allows you to tweak your schedule and figure out what works best for you.
The ABCDE method is a method of helping you prioritize your to-do list. It helps you figure out which items you still need to do and when they need to be done.
This one tip will probably eliminate a third to a half of your to-do list right off the bat. For real! You should totally check out the article.
Get a system for handling paper
If you don’t have a system for handling paper , then you totally need to read this article. It is the best way I have found to organize my paper and create a system for it, and I have tried A LOT of ways. This is the one that worked the best for me.
Let your machines work for you
I first heard about this from Lisa Woodruff from Organized 365 and its genius! Within a few minutes of starting your morning routine, make sure your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer are running. That way you are putting them to work while you are working on other tasks. Let them be running while you start on other things. You don’t have to stand around and watch them and babysit them, so it is the perfect thing to do right at the start of your routine. Put them to work and then work on the rest of your list.
Turn off phone notifications
I did this a few months ago and it is the BEST thing I could have done for my productivity. My phone dinged so much with notifications it drove myself and my husband crazy. You can Google how to turn off the notifications for your phone.
Delete time-sucking apps
You can go into your phone and figure out what apps you are spending the most time on and delete them. You can delete Facebook or whatever else is zapping your time and just check it once a day or so from your computer. You don’t have to have it on your phone.
From an iPhone, you go to settings, screen time, and then click on the arrow at the top of the page where it gives your time and it will break down your time per app.
Do easier stuff while the kids are awake
There are certain things you can do on your to-do list while your children are awake. For example, there is no possible way I could ever type up a blog post while they are awake.
That would be an absolute nightmare for real! But I CAN fold a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher while they are awake, and it would be a whole lot easier. I used to be so rigid and want to do things on my to-do list in a certain order. Well when you have two toddlers running around, it just can’t always happen like that. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
Wal-Mart pickup is AMAZING!! Seriously, if you don’t do grocery pick up you are missing out. I absolutely hate going to the grocery store. With the Wal-Mart app, you just add things to your cart at one time or as you need them, and they will save to your cart for when you are ready to check out.
Automatic bill pay
Automatic bill pay is the best thing since sliced bread. Seriously! I get almost all of my bills directly taken out of my checking account. They are just set up on autopilot.
I don’t have to worry about mailing them a check, calling and paying over the phone, or even paying through their website. It is great!!! You can also read more about automating your home here.
Save hard stuff for when your brain is at its best
If you have something that takes you a little more brainpower, then do it when your brain is functioning at its best. If you are a morning person, do the hard stuff in the morning. If you are a night owl, then do the hard stuff at night. My brain is freshest first thing in the morning, so that’s when I like to do harder stuff that requires me to think more like write blog posts, plan my day, daily devotion, etc.
I am in love with the Wunderlist app. It is so great. You can have as many lists as you want. You can share the lists with other users. My husband and I use this app for all of our lists. I love that you can have several lists going at a time. I batch my like items, so when I have time to make phone calls, then I just go to my phone call list and start dialing.
Do more at one time
Do more of the same thing at one time can save you a ton of time. Especially if you HATE doing it. LOL! For example, I cannot stand going grocery shopping, so I do it every other week. I just meal plan out two weeks and then pick up my Wal-Mart grocery order for the two weeks. Now, there is a happy medium, don’t go crazy. I tried doing grocery shopping by the month for about a year. Every single time I started the process of meal planning and then making the list, I would get a headache. I got to where I would procrastinate because it was so overwhelming.
So, know your own personal limits. Just do what you think you could maintain. You can also cook a double batch of everything at dinner (or more) and eat it again the following night. Just look at what you have on your list and see if you can double anything up.
Time management doesn’t have to be hard. Don’t go crazy and try everything all at one time. Just pick one or two things at a time and master them and then move on to some more items. Just pick the ones that will give you the biggest bang for your buck and then work your way down.
Don’t forget to grab the No-Rush Morning Checklist we mentioned earlier. It’s free and it will help you take your mornings from chaos to more controlled in just 30 minutes. Grab it free here or use the sign-up box below. It’s free so what are waiting for? Go get it.