By Sophie Ryan, iSelect Spokesperson Most of us could do with some extra savings…
Life in general can become incredibly busy, overwhelming and sometimes there is simply not enough time in the day! Whether you’re a mum, a student or work full time (or even mix of all of these!) I have some handy time saving hacks I do and swear by to help you out! Some of these may seem obvious; but start implementing them and see how much more productive you become! I also have a FREE downloadable to-do list template to help get you organised!
So check out all my tips below and feel free to comment the tips you use to help you!
Set A Weekly Cleaning Schedule that Works for you!
A cleaning schedule is not one-size-fits-all. Everyone lives differently, has different homes, families and therefore you need to create a a sustainable cleaning schedule that is achievable! In saying that, if having a cleaning schedule is likely to make you feel overwhelmed it might be worth giving it a pass, it really depends on the individual! For me, I like to set daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks to complete so I never have to think about what needs to be done around the house. It also helps me keep on top of those never-ending tasks like washing!
Personally I like completing small cleaning tasks each day so I don’t have to spend a whole day each week doing a huge clean. So besides the daily tasks (wiping kitchen bench, basic tidying, clean up toys etc) I set two tasks a day. For my cleaning schedule click here
I use my Cleaning Planner Magnet everyday! Having it out on the fridge really helps me ensure everything gets done and also helps get the family involved! Click here to check it out and use my sneaky code BLOG15 for 15% off my products!
Prep Food Where Possible
This is a huge one for me. Every Sunday I prep my overnight protein oats for the entire week (I refridgerate three servings and freeze the rest). Mornings are crazy enough, and I find if I don’t do this I can forget to even eat! By prepping certain meals, servings and even pre chopping fruits and vegetables for the following days it can save you so much time! I like to pre-chop carrots, capsicum and zucchini for example. Food preparation can take up a huge chunk of your day, so think where you can save time with this.
This leads to my following tips.
This is super important for busy families and is an absolute god-send for budgeting! By preplanning your weekly dinners and meals you can figure out exactly what you need to buy, and this will help reduce waste. I usually base my meal planning around dinners and leftovers for lunch the next day. Once you have done this for a few weeks you will get into a meal planning routine, and it will get easier and easier. If you’re stuck for ideas Pinterest has MILLIONS of easy meals you can look up! A great way to stick to your meal plan is getting a whiteboard in the kitchen and writing down lunches and dinners that are planned for that day. I love the weekly planner whiteboard from Kmart. It is perfect for this!
Meal planning will save you extra trips to the shops and reduces overspending. Which leads me to my next point!
Grocery Shop Online – Once A Week
If you can do this online- BONUS! If online shopping isn’t your thing, thats fine! Once you have competed your meal plan for the week, write down all the items you need. Make sure you plan for snacks also. Then get your shop out the way and thats it.
Use your Slow Cooker
Speaking of meal planning; I love to utilise the good old slow cooker. We all know the evenings can be a bit crazy; picking up the kids from school, babies witching hour, and of course we have a full bedtime routine ahead of us! So having to fully prepare dinner on top of all of that can be pretty overwhelming. On my busiest days I try to plan a slow cooked dinner. This means in the morning, before I head out the door I throw some meat, sauces and stock in the slow cooker and by the time the evening hits I have a delicious slow cooked lamb roast, chicken curry, pulled pork or chicken all ready to go! This also means leftover meat for lunches and dinners the following day. Here are a few of my slow cooker meals:
Schedule a Load of Washing for Early Morning
Now I know this tip may only work for some people, depending if you have a washing machine with the ‘delayed start’ function. A couple of times a week, the night before I throw in a load of washing and set the delayed start so it starts washing in nine hours. Then soon as I get up, before the kids wake up, I hang out the washing and thats done for the day. If you don’t have a delayed start function you could still pop your washing powder in there, ready to go and then just turn it on before you head off to the park and once you’re home its ready to be hung up.
Make the Tasks you Dislike Bearable!
I do this by putting on a podcast or listening to an audiobook. This is handy for those who have been wanting to read a book or listen to certain podcasts but never have the time- we know its possible to get tasks done and listen at the same time! For those who aren’t keen on this, put on some music to pump you up (well as pumped as you can be while you fold the washing!).
Create Functional Spaces
If you follow me on Instagram you would know I LOVE having functional, organised, spaces. Think of how you can make your life easier and quicker by having areas of your home that are organised, and easy to keep clean. For example in my pantry I have everything in labelled tubs such as “Kids Snacks”, “Easy Meal Kits”, “Cans” etc. This means everyone in the home knows where to put what, and it keeps the space clean with zero mess because everything has a place. Another example is Harpers’ hair stuff- I keep everything in a large IKEA container; this stops hair brushes, bows and tiny hair elastics floating around the home because they have their own place. I get asked a lot if my organisation has much upkeep and it doesn’t at all! It is a system I’ve put in place and it stays that way (except for obvious stuff like toys etc).
Labelling and organising everything by likeness makes everything so much easier to find and tidy up. I use custom labels by Little Label Co and you can get tubs from IKEA or Kmart.
Now with functional spaces you don’t have to go to my level, but I figure why not make it look good too!
Get up an Hour Before the Kids
This will be something that depends on your own situation and your kids. This is something I do because I hate waking up to two kids crying and nothing ready! I wake up about 30-45minute before Willow so I can make Harpers breakfast, check any urgent emails, hang up washing etc. I find being semi-ready before the kids are up makes the mornings run a lot more smoothly! If this is something that doesn’t work for you; thats fine! You could instead think of things you can get ready the night prior to make mornings run more smoothly!
Don’t Always be Available!
Silence all social media notifications during the hours you are working, completing tasks or doing housework. How many times do you find yourself getting distracted because you saw Tammy Hembrow got a new car or Susan from HR wants to chat on messenger.
This is such a simple step but you will notice instant productivity if you do this. This is something I have done for a long time now, mainly because being a blogger I get ALOT of notifications, emails and DM’s daily. I allocate time once the girls are in bed to reply back to as many messages as I can, and spend my blog work hours doing emails. It really is all about allocating the time and completing tasks one by one. Minimising distractions around you will boost your productivity by a mile!
Always Have A To-Do List
This is one thing I make sure I always do! Personally, having to remember every single thing I have to do makes the incomplete tasks seem even more overwhelming. Not to mention it can be stressful trying to remember absolutely everything! What I like to do is have my lists in categories! For example it could be House, Kids, Work, Health etc. Then to ensure I’m productive, I complete one item from each category every week!
I have created for you all a FREE downloadable Categorised To-Do List! I made a few different ones with different headings depending on your situation- or you can just print out the blank version and fill it in yourself! Tag me using your new tips and to-do Lists!
To Do- List (Working Mum Version)
I hope these simple but handy tips can help you utilise your time more efficiently and make daily life a little more stress free! Please tag me if you use any of these tips or my to-do lists! Also let me know if you would like more downloadable content!