Life is messy, crazy, busy and magical. We all have the same 24-hour allotment in each day, but it is often difficult to make time for what we’d like to do. So here are some ways I have found to rearrange time for my favorite things:
Reduce and Simplify
Look at your daily routine and choose where you can eliminate the unnecessary clutter in your schedule. Decide what your priorities are and give yourself permission to say, “no” to the rest, or at least “not yet.”
Avoid Over-thinking and Over-planning
Don’t make things harder than they have to be by overthinking and worrying about stuff you can’t change. Somehow it will all work out. This includes comparing our first efforts to the honed, nearly-professional photos we see on Pinterest. Pinterest is a great place to find ideas but don’t spend your time and energy on perfection. It’s fun just to try and let your kids and grandkids try something. It’s the doing of things together kids crave.
Prioritize your to-do list
By prioritizing your list into must do’s, should-do’s and free time you might just find 10 whole minutes to yourself. That way you get done the absolute necessities and don’t have to feel guilty when you find that elusive free time, but then you might wonder what you’ve forgotten. Haha, sorry, just a little grandma humor.
Do your best to focus on one thing at a time. Don’t let yourself get distracted. I know what you’re thinking—most busy moms and grandmas juggle 3 or more things at the same time. Whenever possible, then, try to complete one task at a time doing your best. If you don’t have time to do it right, when are you going to have time to do it over?
Delegate age-appropriate chores whenever possible. When I went back to work full-time, we taught our 5 kids, when they turned 8 years old, how to do their own laundry. This is a survival skill they will be able to use the rest of their lives! At the age of 3-4 most kids can be given simple tasks. How does that save any time, you ask? It probably doesn’t at first, but it will later. Consider it an investment.
Make chore time fun
Turn chore time into a game or competition. Race against a timer to see who can finish small chores first and award a privilege or a fun family outing. This works on adults too. Set your timer for 15-20 minutes for each room or chore and see how much you can get done before the alarm goes off. You should still do it right or it doesn’t count.
Make a menu and shopping list. This is another investment of time but it sure beats standing in front of the fridge wondering what to cook for dinner. As soon as my Free Printable Library is built I will share my menu planner and shopping list with you.
Save time on meal prep
Use your crockpot whenever possible. Try make-ahead freezer meals. One cook day can yield a month’s worth of dinners that you can put in your crockpot.
2 frozen chicken breasts
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 jar salsa
Cook on low for 5-6 hours
Fill in your favorite tortillas
P.S. I also use crockpot liners to save time on cleanup.
Plan your errands and shopping trips
Group errands and shopping trips together. This saves time and gas. Make your menu and shopping list ahead of time. Group the items on your list by location in your favorite store so you’re not running back and forth (most of the grocery stores in Utah are huge).
Always keep your journal with you
Always keep your journal, a pen, and some sticky notes with you so you can utilize those small snippets of time waiting at the doctor’s office, or in carpool lines. The sticky notes serve as a reminder and a place holder in your journal if you don’t have time to finish your entry.
Forgot pen and paper? Never fear! You can put your whole journal on your phone. There are tons of apps for that. Be careful with that, though. I’m not comfortable writing down my secrets in an app that someone else owns. If your phone is password or fingerprint protected use the Notes app. It’s free.
One thing I’ve learned is that I will make time for the things I want to do most. By keeping journals at hand, investing a little time to plan, delegating, focusing, prioritizing and simplifying you can free up the time you need. You might not get to journal every day, but you will know what you want to do when the next dose of free time comes around.
Until next time, I’ll be journaling Always,