I like to think of myself as a semi-seasoned mom. With 2 kids ages 4 and 2, I’m pretty good at multitasking and shelving my needs. As is true with most parents, time is my most valuable commodity. An extra 15 minutes in the morning can mean the difference between a joyful sing-songy ride to preschool or one of whispered threats, tears and chaos.
Not that that’s ever happened in my family of course.
Below are my favorite time saving life hacks:
- Say no to things you hate. Not only will this save valuable time, but I personally find great pleasure in acknowledging that I hate something that everyone else seems to like. Flying high on self-acceptance I have the courage to say “Thank you but, no, I would not like to attend your themed potluck craft night Judy.”
- Learn to love “Frankenstein Meals.” This is the term we use to describe the night we heat up whatever is in the fridge. Okay kids, fettuccine with a side of chicken curry and scrambled eggs coming right up. Is it nutritious? Probably not. Is it good? Also, probably not. But my Frankenstein meals save me time cooking, shopping and meal prepping for at least one night per week. Bon appetit!
- Say yes to your kids. When it came to choosing battles my dad always said, “Is this the hill you want to die on?” Don’t pick a small hill. If asked to change the station in the middle of your favorite Kidz Bop song, just do it. Declining the request may result in some kind of pout, leading to a teaching moment, turning into a tantrum, resulting in discipline. Before you know it you have lost 45 minutes and tiny bits of your soul. Just say yes.
- Leave your phone in another room. I don’t do this as often as I should but this is a game changer. My smartphone and smart devices in general are a monumental time suck. I know everyone who truly matters can get in touch with me because they’re probably sitting on my lap. There’s nothing so important that I need to have my phone in my hand, at my side or in my pocket constantly. In reality, I know I’ll waste valuable time scrolling Instagram or seeing if Ryan Reynolds tweeted anything brilliant that day. Just set the phone aside. Ryan will still be sexy-witty tomorrow folks.
- Alter your idea of good hygiene. A little dry shampoo, some baby wipes, a squirt of perfume, and you just saved yourself 25 minutes of showering and hair drying. You’re welcome.
Most of us have seen the Pinterest lists of life hacks to save time and improve efficiency, usually involving a professional organizer and a label maker. Maybe in another life I would be able to retain and implement those kinds of tips. Until then, I have my dry shampoo and Frankenstein meals.