Do you, like me, feel that Daylight Savings Time was designed to torture people? Yeah, well … that special day we all agree to spring forward, lose an hour of sleep, and thoroughly confuse our body clocks is coming up on Sunday, March 10th.
I'll dutifully set clocks forward an hour as I go to bed that night, thus sentencing myself to several weeks of hearing the kids whine, "Why we gotta go to bed when it's blazing daylight outside?!" Preserving daylight hours, humph.
This year, though, I am motivated to preserve more daylight hours — for me-time. I've cooked up five ways to save time. Maybe then, I can do more of the super-relaxing-fun stuff I want to do this Spring, like take a hike, fly a kite, ride a bike … or just lounge in a hammock with a good book! Take a look:
1. Getting up. I hate getting out of bed in the morning — but at this make-or-break time of day, every minute counts. Noticing that I'm a fairly happy camper once I get in the shower, where can wake up gradually under the warm water, I put a second alarm clock in the bathroom! I can hear it from my bed, but I can't stop it. Once I'm up to turn it off, it's just as easy to hop in the shower as to sneak back under the covers.
2. Getting dressed. In the morning, my mind moves s-l-o-w-l-y. It can take 20+ minutes to decide what to wear! Investing a little time before bed is way better. When I pick out clothes the night before, I look good, feel less stressed, and have more time to troubleshoot whatever else is going wrong around here. In fact, teaching kids the same trick saves even more time (and drama). Done right, it can be a fun bonding time for you and your youngster.
3. Getting camera ready. Making myself beautiful was making me late — because my makeup was scattered hither and thither. So, I took the time to simplify. First, I omitted anything redundant, picky, or error-prone. Next, I tossed any bottle, jar, or tube that was just cluttering my counter, whittling down to essential stuff I couldn't live without. Finally — and this is key — I put it in a container where it all fits in the order of use. Now, everything that goes on my face has a grab-and-go place.
4. Getting breakfast. Are you a short order cook in the morning? I was, but I quit. First, I moved all the breakfast stuff in the fridge to a low shelf so my kids can get to it easily. I reviewed breakfast options with each of them, laid down the law about health requirements, and taught them how to make their favorites. Whoo hoo! Breakfast has become a self-serve meal — and I've gained several minutes of golden peace that I can use to plan my day.
5. Getting out the door. As clock ticks down to your intended departure time (and beyond!) do you find yourself stuck in a frantic search for the KEYS?! Argh! I've wasted so much time with this special brand of self-torture! Finally, a friend gave me a keychain with a clip — and totally saved my bacon. The clip keeps my keys visible. It unites my keys and purse like never before. It gives me a cheery "click" when I use it. The joy of leaving the house without hassle made it instantly habit-forming. Hooray!
I've got a good feeling that these strategies will gain me extra minutes — and extra calm — in my daily routine. How do I know? Because I've taken time to examine my personal time-sucks, and you can do the same.
Think through your day looking for repetitive behaviors and routines. What trouble-spots or crisis-points keep coming up?
Once you've identified them, brainstorm ways to minimize or avoid them. You'd be surprised at the difference simple, highly-targeted changes can make. Give it a try!
What are your favorite tips and tricks for saving time?
Michelle L. – Murphy USA Gas Gal
Michelle is a mom of two living in the heart of Texas. Managing a busy household, running a business, and trying to raise two well-rounded kiddos means she spends lots of time in the car. As a result, she’s developed an obsession with organization, efficiency, and most of all, finding ways to make family life more fun.