While helping the family is important, learning to say No can help a busy mum or dad stay at the top of their game.
Between pursuing a career, doing household chores, raising a family, running errands and maintaining some level of sanity, there’s no denying that being a woman can be particularly chaotic.
So you don’t have to come up with a 25 hour, we’ve got 10 ideas to help free up some of your valuable time, so you can spend it doing what you love.
Busy women often:
- Plan ahead – Having to go the supermarket several times a week is a big waste of time. Plan a week’s worth of meals and stick to one trip to the grocery store each week. Set aside some time on a Sunday to plan meals, it will be well worth it! Plus you’ll probably end up saving money. Or to make life even easier, shop for groceries online. Some supermarkets have an online option available, as do companies offering local produce such as Aussie Farmer’s Direct (link: www.aussiefarmers.com.au) or Food Connect (link: www.foodconnect.com.au).
- Freeze emergency meals – Freeze a few meals to have on hand when you have to work late, get stuck in traffic or know it’s going to be one of those days when you can’t be bothered cooking! This way you won’t have to fall back on last minute unhealthy take-away or toasted sandwiches (though they’re not too bad every now and then!).
- Two words – slow cooker – One of the best inventions for busy mums, and a perfect kitchen tool for the coming cooler months. The slow cooker allows you to make soups and stews without fuss. Simply throw in the ingredients in the morning and dinner will be ready by the time you get home.
- Delegate – Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to do everything yourself! Why not put the rest of the family to work with the household chores? Jobs like emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, making beds or emptying the bin can easily be assigned to your little helpers. Not only will it lighten your load, but it will teach your kids about responsibility and gives them lifelong skills. Some families like to give an allowance for completing their chores, but you could also show your thanks with other things that don’t cost a lot of money, such as going to the park for an extra hour on the weekend, or perhaps reading them an extra story before bed.
- Wake up a little bit earlier – We struggle with this one, but if possible try and wake up 15 minutes before the kids to find some much needed peace and quiet before kicking off a hectic day.
- Get ready for the morning the night before – Save time in the morning, by getting more prepared the night before. Lay out your kid’s uniforms, pack lunches, load up school bags and set the table for breakfast – we’ve had some suggestions to have bowls and spoons ready to go so all kids need to do is pour cereal! By doing a little bit extra the night before, you can avoid some of the chaos in the morning. You might even be able to ask one of the kids to help with this task.
- Set up a car pool – If you drive the kids to school, why not look at organising a car pool with parents in your area for the school run or extracurricular activities? This can be hard with a lot of neighbours not socialiSing as much as they used to, but it can be a great way to build a support network amongst busy parents.
- Pay bills by direct debit – Gone are the days where you have to go into the post office to pay every bill. Save on time and reduce stress by setting up a direct debit for some of your bills such as your phone or electricity.
- Squeeze in some exercise at random moments – Do some pelvic floor exercises or butt clenches while driving, do some crunches during ad breaks or dance around the house while cleaning. Every little bit counts! Incidental exercise throughout the day might just be enough to ease any guilt you might feel about not exercising as much as you did perhaps before kids.
- Learn to say no! You don’t have to be a superwoman and volunteer for every committee or attend every event for everyone. Decide what is really important to you and your family and make these things your priority. Try not to feel guilty about saying no to everything else.
What are your time saving tips?