There never seems to be enough hours in my day, week or month. I am always seeking new ways to manage my time better so that I have more time for family and fun. Here are my top 6 ways to stop wasting time and begin saving time with a little organization.
Tip #1 – What’s For Dinner
Time Waster: You hear those words, “What’s for Dinner?” You look at the clock, it’s 5:00 pm, and you begin planning what’s for dinner, only to discover you are out of one item for each last minute meal idea you have. Now what? Call Mr. Pizza Delivery for the third time this week?
Time Saver: Plan your meals ahead.
Step 1: Create a master meal list and choose from it as you plan.
Step 2: Plan out your meals for the month according to your calendar – simple or Crock-Pot meals on busy days, big family dinners on nights everyone will be home to eat, etc.
Step 3: Inventory what you have on hand, then make a shopping list and shop once or twice a month. This will not only save you time, but money. Also, shop your local warehouse once a month vs.weekly to save money.
Now when it is 5:00 pm you will be ready to answer the BIG question, “What’s for Dinner?”
Tip #2 – On The Go Bag
Time Waster: Do you find yourself sitting at Dr. Appointments, dance lessons, swim lessons or other waiting situations with nothing to do but watch the clock tick away and your to do list growing?
Time Saver: Use a tote/book bag to take a long those projects, books to read , bills to pay, notes to write or other items on your to do list that you can accomplish while waiting. I also have a tote bag that I place items in that I’d like to read or projects to work on that are NOT time sensitive so that it is always ready to go for those times I have not gotten my to do while waiting bag packed.
Tip #3 – Organized Receipts
Time Waster: Are you tired of digging and scrambling for that lost receipt to return that unwanted item you recently purchased ? Possibly never finding your receipt and now being left with an item you don’t want or need?
Only to become a Time Waster as we search and look for our lost receipt.
Today most of our local stores such as Target and Toys-r-Us make it difficult to return an item without the receipt.
Time Saver: So I have a GREAT way that I keep my zillions of receipts each year organized…with 5 kids it seems receipts can pile up quickly.
My Time Saver solution has been that each year I purchase a Cancelled check file from my local office store. I then file each receipt in alphabetical order.
Now when I have a return to make I can quickly retrieve my receipt and have a no hassle return.
Tip #4 – Organized Schedule
Time Waster: Have you ever drug three kids across a parking lot in the rain, up an elevator, down a hall, and in the door of your doctor’s office, only to find out you have arrived a half hour late to your appointment and now have to reschedule? But, you’re positive they told you 10:30, not 10:00! Or, maybe your days seem to fill up one by one, and your calendar seems to be out of control, never having any down time, never having time to prepare for the commitments you have made, never enough time for your family or for you?
- Use only ONE calendar/planner.
- Check your calendar/planner daily. I use daily pages to keep track of where I need to go, what I need to do, who I need to call, even what is for dinner that night.
- Look at the BIG picture – don’t say yes or schedule something on your calendar just because the day is free. Look at your entire week to see how it will affect your week by adding in one more thing.
- Learn to write BIG in your calendar it will give you the gentle reminder that day is full.
- Carry your calendar/planer with you so that when in need you can quickly refer to it.
- Write everything down – do not rely on your memory.
- Mark off days/time for family, friends and you.
Tip # 5 – Paper Organization
Time Waster: Do you have piles of loose papers such as recipes, magazine ideas, school letters/papers, holiday ideas, house decorating ideas, travel papers, etc.?
Time Saver: Create information binders for the various subjects of the piles of paper that need to be organized.Some ideas are:Kid’s Binder: Sections for weekly teacher letters, upcoming field trip information, sports team lists, PTA notes, various information papers and letters from your children’s activities, school directories , etc.
- Christmas Binder: Sections for gift lists, holiday cards you have received and sent, holiday recipes, meal plans, decorating ideas, gift ideas, etc.
- Meal Planning Binder: Sections for recipes, meal ideas, meal plan/calendar, shopping lists, coupons, etc.
- Home Decorating Binder: Sections for each room of the house, to-do lists, ideas, paint samples, places to shop, etc.
What papers do you need to bring organization to? Create an information binder for them!Using binders not only organizes your piles of papers, it also creates a simple place to find information you need.
Tip # 6 – Monthly Budget Organization
Time Waster: Do you spend wasted time creating monthly household budgets only to turn the calendar to a new month and realize you once again over spent. When you have full access to your bank account it is hard keep to a monthly budget.
Time Saver: Limit your access to your bank account by placing your monthly budget for groceries, gas and other expenses on a Visa Prepaid card that keeps you from overspending your monthly budget. Set up Direct Deposit onto your Visa Prepaid card with these simple step by step instructions and begin saving money and time.