If you’re looking for a simple formula to streamline family life and create more time for fun things, lean a little closer.
A little basic structure and some time-saving hacks will set you on the path to much less stressful days in a trice. Not only that, some sneaky extra hours to spend with your nearest and dearest will magically appear in the process!
Here’s five simple steps to gain that time without losing your mind …
1. Schedule, schedule, schedule
Save time by avoiding procrastination and making much smarter plans to get things done. Scheduling tasks and events logically avoids wasting time and stops you racing around like the proverbial headless chook after you drop the kids at childcare.
Very often, tired parents are operating in survival mode or a little too overwhelmed to think ahead. Make it a habit to pop all your tasks and events into a calendar and sit down once a week to look at overall getting-things-done strategy – and snaffle yourself some extra hours. Create a daily task list to refine things further and hop to it in newly efficient style!
Top tip: We love Google Calendar for scheduling as it’s easily shared with other family members and syncs easily to your phone.
2. Shop online
Not only is shopping online brilliantly executed from the comfort of your own couch, possibly in your pyjamas, it also means you don’t ever have to drag cranky kids to the shops or deal with mid-aisle meltdowns. Plus you can browse a huge selection of options, compare prices and have your shopping delivered right to your door.
Whether it’s a gorgeous new outfit or groceries for the week, sorting it online saves you time and money – that you can spend on and with your favourite people instead!
Top tip: Check out Next for a brilliant and affordable range of fashion for the entire family. They’re Britain’s number one clothing retailer for good reason – they’re stylish, easy and have super-fast shipping. Plus they sell these cute bunny suits!
3. Make meal plans
Save time, money and your sanity by forward-planning your family’s eats for the week. Yes, it might take you 20 minutes to come up with the perfect balance of snacks, lunches and dinners, allowing for everyone’s particular quirks, but that’s time well spent.
Planning ahead gives you a little road map to help cook your way through the week, plus it means you make better use of the food you buy, banishing food waste once and for all.
The time you used to spend wandering the aisles at the grocery store can be spent doing much more brilliant things with your kids and partner (or even … alone! Yes!)
Top tip: Plan ahead and meal prep your baby or toddler’s snacks in air-tight containers or zip-lock bags so they’re easy to grab on your way out.
4. Budget smartly to cut costs
Maximise your money by taking a serious look at what you’re earning and where it’s going. There are several great finance apps like Acorns AU and PocketBook, which securely connect to your bank account and sort your transactions as they happen.
Once you know what’s going where, you can make some smart decisions about where you’re overspending (often due to be exhausted or overwhelmed) and how to reign it in. This leaves you with more money in the coffers, more options and less stress about out-of-control spending.
Having your finances at your fingertips (in your phone!) also means you’re not wasting quality time with bank statements and boring spreadsheets AND you can generate reports at the press of a button at tax time. Genius!
Top tip: Check the App Store for money tracking tools AND apps that help you squirrel away savings for coveted things (like that pamper session you deserve!).
5. Deal with domestic tasks daily
Chipping away at your household chores really is the key to stopping it all snowballing into a worrying list of to-dos.
Make your very best effort to get the whole family into the habit of:
- Helping make the beds each day
- Loading dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher
- Putting washing on at the same off-peak time each day (when there is a full load)
- Packing up toys before you leave the house
- Removing all belongings from the car every time you arrive home.
- Give the nursery and bathroom a speedy once over each morning
- Tidy messy benches and tabletops as they happen
- Choose one day a week to get the floors done
- Keep a ‘donation box’ handy to cycle unwanted goods out of the house and to the charity shop.
- If budget allows, hire a cleaner to pop in once a fortnight or once a week – to really lighten your load.
Top tip: Buy all-purpose cleaning products to keep your house fresh and free of sticky little fingerprints!
A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to smoothing out life’s bumpy edges and making things run a lot more seamlessly. And there’s no time like the present to get going and launch into a much less stressful, much more fun times focused life.
This is a sponsored post for Next