Part one of this series focused on prioritizing. Continuing with other thoughts I’m pondering on becoming less time-challenged:
Develop a Routine
I know, some people shy away from “the routine.” The word routine can be used to describe the mundane and boring. But think of your routine as the track on which your day runs. If I have developed a routine, everyone knows in advance where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing. I have far fewer interruptions when my children already know what is needed. Once my children are used to their routine, I find I do not have to constantly encourage them to complete their tasks — it has already become a habit for them to do so. For some families, a well-planned schedule works well. For others, a simple routine — this, then the next thing, then the next — is enough.
Plan Meals in Advance
This falls right in with my routine. If I already know from day to day what I will cook for dinner, it becomes a habit to check the menu, get the meat thawing, and prepare the beans or anything else that needs advance attention. We shop each week so I try to have a week’s worth of meals planned in advance. Others seem to do well with monthly grocery planning. Yes, life does intervene and barbecuing those steaks in the snow isn’t too appealing. But you can usually just swap a couple of meals. I’ve also found it helpful to always have ingredients for some quick favorites on hand. By planning in advance I save lots of time by avoiding staring into the pantry wondering “What’s For Dinner?”
Keep Up with the Clutter
One individual I know (whose identity I shall protect with my life) routinely leaves an item to be put away in a convenient location several feet away from the item’s actual home. While at first glance this may appear to be a time-saving gesture, it rarely is. When you get to be my age, remembering that you need to remove said item from where you left it and take it the rest of the way home is chancy. Then if you multiply that action by the ten or so times it occurs throughout the day, by the number of people in the house — you have a mess! On the other hand, putting things away when I am done with them and encouraging everyone in the family to do the same helps me keep up with the clutter. “Pick Up Around the House” can be scratched off of the priority list!