(A few months ago I started examing how to grow as a wife and mother. The conversation begins here in case you missed it.)
We’ve been talking about time management. Having a plan is key. But, part and parcel with planning is having systems and routines in place that are quick and efficient. Over the coming month, I’m going to endeavor to present 50 Ways to Streamline Your Life. I hope to suggest answers to the basic question:
How do you streamline or simplify your tasks so that they take less time?
1. Have a plan. Figure out what you need to do in any given day, week, or month, so that these things don’t slip your mind. It’s all to easy to get distracted, so keep track of all the things on your plate. It’s helpful for me to write these out the night before. The mornings can get crazy before I know it, making it hard for me to think straight. I regularly use my household notebook as well as daily, weekly, and priority planning sheets.
2. Start your morning in a peaceful way. Get up early enough so that you don’t feel like the day is happening to you, but that you are meeting it (and the children) head on. While the house is still quiet, make a hot cup of tea or coffee, turn on your favorite music, read Scripture, pray, watch the sunrise. Refresh your spirit, even if it’s for a few minutes. Then, tackle that list.
3. Do as much the night before as you can. Lay out clothes and shoes, set the table for breakfast, pack lunches, collect homework, coats, etc. Performing these tasks at night can save you lots of hassle come morning.
4. Simplify your wardrobe. The fewer clothes you have, the less you need to keep track of. Maintain classic pieces that mix and match so that you always look polished. Consider reducing the number of different colors you wear so that you have a better chance of coordinating. Balancing Beauty and Bedlam has started a series on building a core wardrobe on a budget. Great concept! Set yourself up to look good without a lot of fuss. It will save you time and you’ll feel good about your appearance.
5. Develop a laundry system that works for you. Are you a once-a-week wash and fold kind of girl or would you rather do a load a day? Experiment with different schedules until you find one that works. Then stay on top of it.
6. Even if you’ll be home at noon, make lunch the night before. Meal prep can take such a huge bite out of your day. You don’t want to stop in the middle of a project to fix lunch. A pre-made salad bar is a fantastic way to go. It will make the day go so much more smoothly.
7. Carpool. If you know that friends or neighbors are going the same place as your kids, talk with them about setting up a carpool. Not only will you save on fuel and money, but you’ll save some precious minutes getting other things checked off your list. Just don’t be a mooch, make sure you do your share of driving duty.
8-50. To be continued….
Part Two is here.
Got a great trick for streamlining your life? Share it with us!