Thursday, November 4, 2010

Time-Saving Tips for Women

With Daylight Savings Time approaching this weekend, let's talk about some tips for saving time during busy days. What are the top time-related challenges you struggle with? How do you handle them?

I try to work efficiently by fitting small tasks into short "in between" times and by grouping errands by location.  I try to plan, plan, plan ... and prioritize, because I never finish everything on my list!  However, I've learned not to let taking care of myself slide off the list:  if Mom doesn't get time to decompress (through exercise, reading, or whatever it takes), nobody wins.

busy mom
image credit: Flickr user gwilmore
Recently, HealthyWomen ( http://www.healthywomen.org/ ) conducted a survey of over 1000 women to uncover their busiest hours as well as tips to help cope with the crunch. Their survey revealed that most women feel most pressed for time in the early morning hours of their day, from 6am to 9am and many report the biggest time pressures during early evening, from 5pm to 8pm., when many families are preparing for and eating dinner, as well as finishing up tasks from the day.

In the survey, these are the top three things women said they would do if they had more time:
  • Entertainment activities, primarily reading
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Engaging in physical activities or spending time outdoors
With the help of survey respondents, HealthyWomen compiled a list of the top 12 time-saving tips:

 Domestic Duties

1.  Make Fridays leftover night – you will clean out the fridge and save time and money.
2.  We know you want to be watching TV, but how about making that personal time a bit more productive? Use commercial breaks to squeeze in some of the end-of-day chores – sort laundry, start the washer, vacuum a room, unload the dishwasher, organize the kitchen counter.
3.  Sign up for free automatic bill-paying services for all recurring bills such as utility bills, etc. Then set up an online bank account for free, one-click payment of all other bills - saves time, postage, and gas!

Running Errands

4. Combine as many errands as you can into one outing – grouping them by location and reducing travel time.
5. Ask for help! Keep a list of your errands and an ear open in case your spouse, relative or friend is headed to the same place.
6. Ride your bike, walk or run to run local errands – eliminating the need to take time to exercise later.

Communicating with Others

7. Set a schedule and establish boundaries throughout the day. For example, at the beginning of each conversation, tell others how much time you have available. It’s as easy as saying, “I’m glad you called, but I’ve only got about 10 minutes to chat…”
8. Make email more efficient – spending the time to unsubscribe for all the junk emails will give you an inbox with just the information you want, and less time deleting the stuff you don’t.
9. Take public transportation to work, and use that time to read, update your to-do list, or answer personal emails.

Health and Beauty

10. Reconsider your definition of clean and don't shampoo every day - your hair will be healthier and shinier and your shower will be shorter.
11. Keep your period light – at least packing for it. Wear a menstrual cup all day and save time packing up other protection.
12. Tried and true – set your clothes out the night before. Women who don’t can waste time trying on different outfits or having to iron at the busiest time of the day.

What time-saving tips work for you?

Disclosure:  I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of HealthyWomen and Softcup and received a $30 gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

6 comments :

  1. You have some really great suggestions here ;)

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  2. I'm not sure I have anything additional 'cause you included ones that I use. :-) I already do #2. Not every time I watch TV, but during the times when I should be working or doing housework but I also need a break. I've been unsubscribing in my email (that one has helped a lot!). And I don't iron my clothes at all. LOL. I iron the kids clothes though. Oh, I style their hair the night before. If I don't get a chance to do both girls' hair the night before I try to do at least one. If it's a style that will get messed up during sleep then I tie a bandanna around her head.

    Great post!

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  3. I would add to that, get an easy hairstyle. Sometimes we spend too much time fixing our hair (at least I did). And be sure to exercise regularly to increase energy and help your mood.

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  4. Great list, and I'm glad I already do many of them. I would also recommend showering in the afternoons or evenings when we are usually less rushed and the house is usually warmer than in the mornings. The water in the pipes and in the heater won't be as cold too and will heat up faster for most climates. (Plus no grime from school or work will be going in the beds.)
    Each time you cook, make enough for 1 or 2 more people and freeze that for future work lunches. Or cook enough for two family dinners - eat one the same day, freeze one for one of those days when you are too busy or too tired to cook.

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  5. Great list, thanks for sharing it! I too try to prepare larger meals and extra rice, beans,or other sides that freeze well.

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  6. love this list
    thanks for sharing

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