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Posts Tagged ‘Productivity’

The two things that I like to work on the most are saving money and saving time…..most single moms don’t have very much of either one to go around, so every little bit helps right?

I’ve already talked a little bit about ways I save money, so here come my ideas for saving time.

First of all, I like to do big projects in little steps…..if a project that I need to do around the house takes 2 hours, it will NEVER get done.  I can’t remember the last time I had 2 hours all at the same time, so I break things down into small 10 or 15 minute steps.  For instance, I love to make homemade cookie dough, bake and decorate cookies with Grace (baking is a great way to teach Science and Math while having fun.)  But I NEVER have time to make the dough, bake and decorate at the same time, so here’s how I break it into small steps.

  • Make sure I have the ingredients on hand, if not, buy them the next time I go to Wal-Mart.
  • That same week-Mix up the dough together (then divide into 2 parts, wrap in plastic wrap and foil, place in the freezer.)
  • The next week-Set out the dough in the morning, roll out and cut out shapes together, and bake cookies. (while they are baking, I usually make the frosting.)
  • The next afternoon-Decorate

Using this method, I get my project accomplished, but I also get the other things done that I need to accomplish that day.  If I had to do it all in the same day, I’d have to buy the dough or better yet, buy the cookies you just slice and bake…..but that’s no fun.  This way, we have fun without the project consuming our day. (plus, Grace doesn’t have the attention span to work on cookies for 2 or more hours at a time.)

I use the same method when I clean closets, one day, I go through Grace’s shoes, a couple of days later, I go through her toys, the next day I might clean out her clothes.  Again, I use little chunks of time to accomplish big projects.

Other things I do to save time is I ALWAYS have a Wal-Mart list.  When we’re low on something, it goes on my Wal-Mart list right away and I get it the next time I go (I only go to Wal-Mart twice a month.)  Otherwise, if it’s not on the list, I forget to get it and then I not only waste time, but I end up paying more because I’m not going to run to Wal-Mart for just one thing. (you can use this idea with any store.)

When I open the last of something, it goes on my Wal-Mart list.  This way, we never run out.

When I’m walking through a room on my way to the kitchen, garage, or laundry room and I see something that goes in one of those places, I take it with me so I don’t have to make extra trips through the house to clean up.

I put dishes right in the dishwasher…….they don’t sit in the sink until there’s a load ready, as I’m cooking or using dishes, they get rinsed and are put straight into the dishwasher.  As soon as it’s full, I run it.  This way, I don’t have to stand there and load the dishwasher. 

Anything that is going with me to work or church goes by the front door the night before, or if I can, I load it into the car the night before…..things I’m taking someone, things to go to the Post Office, my Piano Lessons bag, Library books,  etc….otherwise I’ll forget to take it with me.

Clothes get picked out at night before we go to bed, so we can get up and get dressed right away.  I’m not a morning person, so if I have to choose my clothes in the morning, it will take me an hour just to decide what to wear.

I try to work on several things at once, and I believe in letting machines do the work for you, so for instance, I’ll start the washer, start the dishwasher, and be printing out a report while I’m starting dinner, also while I’m cooking, I set the table, sort the mail and clean things up in the kitchen as I go.  Sometimes I also clean out the fridge while dinner is cooking.  You just have to make sure that you don’t forget the dinner!

I keep a litter bag in my car and try to throw straw wrappers and receipts I don’t need in it right away, I also use time waiting in line in the drive thru at the bank or when I’m ordering lunch to clean out my purse and throw away wrappers, receipts, notes, etc.

What are your favorite time savers?  Please share!

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