If you missed the first installment, you can find all the tips here.
Continuing on. . .
Limit social media
Yeah, I know, it's a hard one. For me, as a stay at home mom, social media gives me some wonderful interaction throughout the day. But there are times when it causes distraction and ends up in wasted minutes (or hours).
It's up to you to figure out if you are using it too much. If it seems you should to be online less, set hours when you will check/interact on social media, or use it as a reward once certain tasks have been completed (but then it might be good to set a timer so the time doesn't get away from you).
If you struggle with keeping social media in check, try an app like Self Control or Anti-Social, which will block certain websites during whatever hours you choose, or even allow you to set up a time limit for those sites.
Use the right tools (when possible)
Image via Amazon/Kitchen Aid
Cutting bread with a butter knife takes a lot longer than using a bread knife.
Using a poorly designed dish drainer requires extra time cleaning up water that has leaked out the side (ask me how I know!).
A hand-mixer that shorts out every 30 seconds makes beating cake batter take three times longer than it needs to!
Those are some random examples (from my own life) that are meant to show just how much using the wrong tools, or tools that are not functioning well, can waste time.
A homemaker with the right tools can be more efficient.
Yes, we need to do what we can, and sometimes the budget doesn't allow for new tools when we need them. But I encourage you to see these as valuable and not just a splurge. Obviously we need to have discernment and not buy every gadget that promises to make our lives easier. You probably don't need a banana slicer (the reviews on this are hilarious), but a Kitchen Aid Mixer will allow you to beat the eggs and wash the dishes simultaneously!
Teach kids to help
So, yes, this will not time saving in the beginning, if fact, it might make things take longer. BUT! Before you know it, the kids will do some of the tasks you have been accustomed to, and then, you won't have to! Oh yes!
The first time I asked my daughter to make the corn bread while I did something else, I knew teaching her to cook was a wonderful thing! Not having to do everything yourself saves tons of time (and energy!)
If you need help teaching kids to cook, Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen, is an amazingly helpful resource.
Multitask – or not
Multitasking can be good some of the time. For example, listening to an educational podcast while you drive to the grocery store is a great way to feed you mind while doing a mundane task.
However, studies are showing that multitasking does not always equal productivity. In fact, it's often the opposite. Many times when we try to do too many things at once, those things take longer and are not done as well as they could be if we were focusing on them alone.
So, check in with yourself and see which tasks require more focus and strive to do those without multitasking.(Cooking dinner while doing P90X is not always the best. I've tried. It didn't work too well).
Learn to Speed Clean
Cleaning is probably my least favorite task. Of course, I like the results of cleaning. A clean house is a nice place to be. I just don't want to spend anymore time than necessary to get it that way.
One way to spend less time cleaning is to learn to speed clean. I'm still learning though this awesome little book: Speed cleaning by Jeff Campbell (his team can clean a house form top to bottom in 42 minutes!). The books teaches all the Speed cleaning techniques you'll ever need.
Even without speed cleaning techniques, one way I've been able to clean up in less time is to set a timer and try to beat it.
I've also challenged my kids to clean up the living room in one song. Which means we will turn on some fun music and all run around like crazy trying to get the living room picked up before the song is over. It makes for some laughs and also a clean room! Win-win.
Keep things where you use them, not where they “should” go
I usually charge my phone in the kitchen, so I keep the charger in a kitchen drawer. I also keep a few hair elastics in a drawer near our kitchen table because that is where I usually do my youngest's hair.
Finding ways to keep things where they are used will save lots of time. In some instances it may be useful to get duplicates of certain items to cut down on roaming around the house to retrieve things. For example, a squirt bottle filled with natural cleaner can be kept in the kitchen and also every bathroom. This will save more time than if you only have one cleaner.
The book, A House that Cleans Itself, has some wonderful instruction in this regard. Highly recommended!
I'm sure there are lots more time savers for busy moms.
I'd love to hear any suggestions you have!