(This blog post was first published on June 24th, 2020)
Time Saving Hacks - Life Tips
1. Sleep for Health - I can do that with my eyes closed!
Whether you are a night owl or an early riser, your body's need for sleep is an absolute fundamental need for your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. In January 2015, the National Sleep Foundation, released new research into how much sleep we need each day based on our age. Their report includes that too much sleep and be just as ineffective as too little sleep. they go on to say that, if you are sleeping outside the recommended range for your age, you could either be experiencing a medical problem, or if it is from your will you can cause yourself health problems. Check the table below to ensure you and your family are getting the best amount of sleep for your age. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010) Figure out a bedtime routine that works for you. Get rid of screen time, whether it is meditation, prayer, journaling, music, books or just relaxing in bed with someone special; training yourself for sleep is one of the best ways to stay productive.
2. How to Productivity
This works best after journaling your activities for a week or so. Take note of what you do in 2-hour chunks throughout the day. When do you hit your meh? WE are all different? Some of us are just waking up at 8am while others are ready to call it a day at that time. So be MINDFUL of what works for you. And plan to take 50 minutes to dedicate to getting tasks done without distraction. Then reward yourself with a stretch, a walk, a snack whatever will keep you moving forward and accomplishing more. Again this is what works for you! If this is hard for you to do BOOK TIME WITH ME TODAY so we can discuss and strategize a plan forward that will work for you!
3. Shared Shopping List
Oh Google, you are a friend indeed! Google Keep is a free app that allows you to manage lists that you might need to share with other family members. Oh yes, the grocery list. "Mom, can you add peanut butter to the shopping list?" if I had a dollar for every time that I heard that!!! But this is amazing, my husband might need to stop at the store on his way home from work. He does not need to call or text me to see what we need, the list is a live document and is always being updated by everyone in our family, so he knows what to get without interrupting my workday. It is magical to have grocery items magically appear at home. If your spouse, partner, child, friend, or housemate does not normally shop you may need to be brand specific when you start, but it gets smoother the more you do it. Get Google Keep here
Sure Alexa, scheduling a delivery service or your smart fridge can help you, but again I like to be creative in the kitchen, so I like to add things to my list with spontaneity. But this improves my organization and keeps me focused on the important tasks. You can also create additional lists like birthday or Christmas gift ideas!
4. Family Calendar
We have come a long way coded chart on the fridge! I use Google Calendar but there are many out there. Everything from doctors' appointments, hair cuts, teeth cleaning, zoom meetings, school performances and events are all on our google calendar. With 2 adult children outside the house and two active teenagers, one with their own car we need to know who is going where and I would be lost without it!
5. Organized Pantry
I do not meal prep, too much anyway. I love fresh produce and meat so meals can be created with flair in our home rather than mass-produced. However, clean clear containers to replace store packaging allows for easy visibility and access makes grabbing those items a snap. They stay fresh longer, I can easily see when stocks are low and there is no "Why do we have 3 open bags of flour?" mommy moments! Perhaps you do not have teenage bakers in your home where that can be a problem. Everything from pasta and rice, flour, sugar, crackers, dried fruits, and nuts, all the way down to cake sprinkles have their container and space in my pantry. Life is simple when it is organized!
6. Focus Journal - track what works and what doesn't for you
We all know when we are there, whether you are standing at your work screen blankly, standing in the fridge doorway, or making another cup of coffee, the midmorning or afternoon slump kick in. If you don't know exactly where it is, simple fix, jot down what you do in your day for a week. Need help keeping track? Shoot me a message and I will share some journaling tools for free! Work when you feel good and can be productive. By working when you feel good, you will feel more accomplished proud and feel good about it; creating a win for yourself will allow more wins to follow in your day!
7. How to Make Work Go By Fast (parenting winning hack too)
Race yourself! Oh, I learned this one as Mum and it works to this day! Need to get the kids to pick up their toys, clean the house on Saturday morning, or get some reports written for work? Set the timer for 50 minutes and race the clock. Why does this work so well? It is all about psychology, kids are not pushing back against you they need to race the clock, or you are not pushing away from the to-do list but are racing against. And here is the ting, time does not care if the kids are complaining, it keeps going. So when the kids' toy room got out of control, I'd prepare them like this,
"We are going take 30 minutes to clean this room and if everything is put away when we are done we can have some ice cream!"
Now in reality did not always have ice cream, but a reward helped. And when the inevitable break down came, perhaps you have a child that melts onto the floor and refuses to do anything. Don't engage the emotion! Just respond with, the timer is still going whether you like it or not, this is not about Mum/Dad/Aunt/Babysitter/Grandma/Grandpa this is you versus the clock and the longer you lay there, the more the clock is racing ahead. I would usually use the stove timer (kids can not reach it and turn it off, choose a non-threatening, clock, or even tell Alexa or Siri to set a timer for you, race them!) so if and when the resistance came I could send them to the kitchen to check the clock.
"Who can go and check the timer for me?"
Little feet scamper off and run back, "15 minutes to go!!!!!" remind them "Time is not going to stop let's beat the clock and get it done!" By creating a sense of unity and purpose against time and not you or the task, you create a winning environment for everyone and get a lot more done.
8. Closet 101
If you are not a fan of organizing, it is OK this is simple and fun. If you can sing "One of these things is not like the other" you can do this!! It does not need to be picture perfect just a simple system that works for you.
9. Delegate and Say Thank You
It is great to ask for help, to work as a team to divide and conquer! I recently injured my right hand and the laughs we have shared as a family as a result has been amazing. I am so grateful for a ponytail or help to apply sunscreen not even to get into the meals that have been created without my assistance. It is just fun to let go and be grateful for the moments that we get to share. It is these simple moments, that build memories trust and strong relationships so do not be afraid to share the load.
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