|What would I do |
Everyone is busier than ever these days. We’re connected 24/7 to our devices, so we rarely have an opportunity to be blissfully unaware of our obligations. Plus, we’re all trying to balance busy schedules with family and/or free time, while not letting any of the balls we’re juggling drop. Personally, I’m trying to manage a family that includes two teenage boys who take challenging classes and participate in multiple sports, plus my husband’s frequent business travels and the needs of our rescue pets. Then there are my jobs: I teach fitness classes every morning, teach a writing class in the evenings, and somehow find time to write romance novels for a New York publisher.
It’s a lot to balance, and I’m always looking for ways to save time. I’ve become very efficient through the years—doing two things at once is my specialty! So I was inspired by the Dollar Shave Club’s "Shave Time/Shave Money" motto to come up with a post dedicated to the ways I shave time off of the stuff I have to do to make time for the things I want to do.For me, trips to the grocery store are the biggest time suck. My boys eat a ton, and I always seem to forget something. That’s where the Dollar Shave Club comes in, because razors are not something on my radar when I’m shopping for lunches and dinners for everyone. But three out of four of us in this family shave--with the fourth to likely start soon--so it’s a literal pain when new blades are needed and the package is empty. I’ve linked the website—you can get new razors monthly, or every other month, for as low as $1.00…one less thing to think of!
But, the grocery store is inevitable, and I really try to minimize the amount of time I spend there. I write my list beforehand, organizing the order in terms of the layout of the store aisles. I also keep a recipe box of coupons filed in the same order. That way I can quickly pull out what I need to save money! I also check the store’s website for the weekly sale items and try to plan meals around those offers.Making dinners is another task I try to approach with as much efficiency as possible. I purchase value packs of meat whenever possible and prepare several meals at once. For example, I’ll cut up chicken breasts into smaller pieces, store them in a ziplock bag, and add a marinade. I freeze that for a future date, and as it defrosts, it marinates. Then I do one of my quick go-to meals for that night…one of my family’s favorites involves just putting sliced chicken breasts in a baking dish, smothering with bar-b-que sauce (I use Stubb’s – all natural and no corn syrup), and baking. Easy! I can throw some foil wrapped potatoes into the oven a little earlier as well to have everything ready at once.
The crockpot is also my friend. Another favorite involves putting chicken breasts in along with a jar of salsa in the morning. By evening, you have Mexican shredded chicken to use in tacos or on nachos. You can see some of my time-saving (and fairly healthy!) recipes on my Pinterest board.For makeup and skin care items, I look for items that do double duty. For example, my foundation is a tinted, mattifying moisturizer that contains sunscreen. I get coverage, sun protection, and shine control all in one. I brush on loose mineral power that minimizes lines and absorbs excess oil, sweep some bronzer or blush over cheekbones and eyes, and add lip balm that contains both shimmer color and SPF. Ready to go in less than 5 minutes! For my husband, I get the Dr.Carver’s Post Shave, as it serves as an aftershave, a moisturizer, and contains antioxidants to fight aging. Some of my favorite products are on my Health and Beauty Pinterest board.
I also spend A LOT of my time acting as a chauffeur for my kids. When they are actually in the car with me, I use the time to get conversations going. But of course that’s only possible for one direction—otherwise it’s just me in the car, headed to pick them up, or driving back home after dropping them off. Since I absolutely love to read, I decided to use that time to find another way to enjoy books. My to-be-read list is enormous, so any book on the list that’s available as an audio download comes with me in the car. That means I’m reading one book at home and listening to one book in the car, but as I said, I’m used to doing several things at once. Often I’m reading up to three books at the same time. Studies have shown that reading is one of the best stress-reducers there is—what busy mom doesn’t need that?
|My favorite reading spot...can't |
you just feel the stress melting away?