Need More Time? Quit Doing These Five Things

As I shared Monday, we all have the exact same amount of time each week.  As I’ve struggled to add hours of rehab time for my knee to an already full weekly calendar, I’ve frequently felt like I just need more time.

I can’t get it all done.

(The really comforting thing?  No one else can either.  NONE of us get it ALL done.  Some people are just better at getting the visible stuff done.)

5 things to quit doing

For the past month, I’ve been logging an average of two hours a day at the gym trying to recover from knee surgery.  (It’s working.  I can now walk for over a mile without limping.)  I still dislike to sweat.  There are a ton of ways I’d rather spend two hours a day.  But for now, this is what I have to do if I don’t want to walk around limping and feeling like someone’s great grandmother.

I added a 14 hour a week commitment to what felt like an already full calendar.  That got me wondering what fell OFF my plate.

What did I quit doing to find time for two hours a day at the gym?  The answer may surpass you.

Five Things to Quit Doing when you need more time

1.  Quit playing Candy Crush.  I squeeze in a five minute iPhone game while I’m standing in line or waiting for my kids.  But when my calendar got crunched, I just didn’t have time to play word games with friends.   If you can’t give it up entirely, try tracking how much time you’re spending and then cut it in half.  (I’m estimating I freed up an hour a day right here.)

2.  Quit sorting socks.  For some reason, I feel like a better wife and mother knowing that every pair of socks in the house is perfectly matched and tucked neatly away in the appropriate sock drawer.  Unfortunately, my boys’ socks are a challenge to match up because every pair of a 6-pack of socks has a different colored sole.   Their socks are now also the same size as MINE.  I bought 24 pairs of identical socks. Instead of matching or sorting, I toss the socks in a bin in the laundry room.  Both boys know where it is.  Sometimes I use “their” socks and sometimes I don’t.  (I still can’t believe I spent 2 hours a week sorting socks.  Yikes.)

3.  Quit cooking every meal from scratch.  I’m still cooking.  I’m still using real food from the edges of the grocery store (and the bulk bins).  I’m just not starting every meal like it’s the first time I’ve cooked.  I don’t start each and every meal from scratch because I’m always using something left from a previous effort.  When I make spaghetti sauce, I make double.  When I’m sautéing onions for tacos tonight, I’ll sauté enough extra to use in tomorrow’s soup.  When I cut up my salad for lunch, I cut what I need for dinner as well.   My best guess is that the 5 minutes extra effort I spend cooking ahead saves me an average of 15 minutes at the next meal.  (I’ll call it 2 hours a week.)

4.  Quit leaving the house empty handed.  I spend about 30 minutes a day in car line.  At least once a week, I spend an equal amount of time waiting for my husband.  If I forget to bring a book or project with me, I end up surfing the internet on my phone.  It’s not hard for me to turn that same amount of time into reading time just by leaving a book in the car.   (Time found? At least an extra hour a week with my nose buried in a book.)

5.  Quit doing your kids’ jobs.  My boys are capable of doing an impressive number of household tasks.  When my knee was at it’s worst, I had them doing 90% of the laundry (they didn’t put it away), unloading the dishwasher, loading and starting the crockpot, taking out the trash, and even bringing me a snack from the kitchen.  At the time, I didn’t have many options.  I was forced to make the investment in training them.  I was forced to live with the results.  It taught me a huge lesson on just what my kids were capable of doing.  After that initial investment, I’m continuing to reap the benefits.  I’m guessing they save me about two hours of work each week.

If you add it up, that’s 14 hours.

five things i quit doing to find more time each week

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. I really need to work on number 5 on your list! I also love your idea for prepping for the next meal while preparing the current one.
    Jean recently posted..Coupon Collector No MoreMy Profile

  2. This is just AWESOME. And so true. Time suckage is the bane of my existence.-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted..You Ate WHAT?!?My Profile

  3. Bejeweled. I delete it from my phone but then I put it back. Then I delete it and then I put it back. I am playing it less but it really needs to go.
    Patty recently posted..Overcoming OverwhelmMy Profile

  4. I am Working hard on the first point on your list Susan, But the Cany crush is so much fun that i can’t resist playing.

  5. I am Working hard on the first point on your list Susan, But the Candy crush is so much fun that i can’t resist playing.

  6. lol i always leave the house empty handed, great tips!

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