Guest Post by Grace Vaughn
Being a single mom in and of itself is already a full-time job. Having to juggle between taking care of kids, going to work, chores, cooking, and personal time is very challenging. Only a single mom with great time management skills will be able to manage everything in life without going crazy.
Luckily, here are 12 helpful tips for single mom to save time.
1. Identify Time Wasters
One of the most underestimated and little-known ways to save time is to identify your ‘time wasters’.
Do you spend some time in the mornings trying to find your keys? Try nailing a key hook on your wall to place your keys on every time you come home, so you don’t spend time trying to find them.
Do you spend time at your son or daughter’s school parking lot, waiting to pick them up? Use that time to catch up on your favorite book or podcast.
Do you spend your time doing some things that aren’t truly productive? Like watching TV shows in the evening, or cleaning up after your kids’ mess? Try replacing your time wasters with more productive alternatives or delegating them to someone else (like hiring a maid).
2. Use Your Commute Wisely
Depending on how long it takes for you to get to work, people average about 20 minutes to 2 hours per day just commuting. (That’s up to 10 hours per week!) Just imagine if you used that time to listen to a podcast or audiobook. You could probably rack up on a lot more tips and tricks for single moms.
3. Get Groceries Delivered
It’s totally possible to get groceries delivered to your own home. Sites like Instacart can even deliver on 1 or 2-hour delivery windows (same day delivery). Just spend 30 minutes choosing what you need online and use the grocery delivery waiting time to clean-up the mess at home or getting the next day’s outfit ready for the kids.
4. Prepare Outfits the Night Before
This one's a biggie. Preparing your kids’ outfits the night before will not only save you time in the morning but will save you stress over the pressure of being late. Just pick out your kids’ outfits (and even your own cute casual outfit), and enjoy a stress- and worry-free morning.
5. Meal Prep on Weekends
Weekends are a great way to get caught up on all the weekday daily affairs. Cook meals on Sunday afternoons and save them in tupperware for the following week's meals. A bonus tip: give away extra cooked food to your friendly neighbors so they can return the favor to you!
6. Make Enough for Leftovers
Another option is to cook dinner in the weekday evenings and save the leftovers for the next day’s lunch. You can even repurpose them to make entirely new meals for your kids! For example, bake a rotisserie chicken in the oven right when you get home and serve it with rice for dinner. After supper, take the leftover chicken, add mayo and salt, and pack it into a chicken salad sandwich for the next day’s lunch!
7. Stay Organized
Have you ever spent time trying to find that one blouse, your daughter’s ballet tights, or your car keys? Take a weekend off and use that time to get your house (and yourself) organized. Organize the closet, drawers, hallway, living room, desk, etc. Then when you have to get something, you won’t have to spend time looking for it; you’ll already know where it is!
8. Consolidate Similar Things
Another tip that goes hand in hand with ‘organization’. When you decide to take that weekend off to organize your place, consider putting things of the same “subject” together so you can save time taking things out (i.e. sports uniforms and workout gear in the same drawer or umbrella and rain boots in the same corner.
9. Share the Workload
One great way to save time (and teach your kids valuable household skills) is to delegate (or share) the workload with them. Teach them to pick things up, sort laundry, or even have them help you spread peanut butter and jelly on the bread for lunch. They might think it’s boring or might not want to help with the household chores, so try making it into a game for them. “If the house stays clean for a week, then it’s ice cream for everyone!”
10. Write To-Do Lists
Have you ever had to think really hard about what errands you had to do? Save your mental energy (and time) by just writing them down in To-Do lists! Bonus tip: if you have a ton of items on your To-Do list, try scheduling them onto your calendar to stay on top of things and avoid overwhelm.
11. Batch Tasks Together
If you know you need to drop something off at the post office, and it’s on your way to your son’s school, drop it off after you drop your son off to school, so that you don’t have to take two trips out of the house. You could save the time it takes for you to get ready, get out of the house, lock the door, travel to the car, and leave the neighborhood. Batch your errands together to save time. Bonus tip: save even more time by thinking about where your errand places are and travel to the places in order of how close they are to you.
Saying ‘no’ to unimportant things will give you more time to spend on things that are more important to you. For example, don’t spend time fussing about how the milk spilled or how you’re late to your son’s game. Instead, spend that time apologizing to your son or cleaning up the mess.
And remember, these won’t do you any good unless you put them into action! Even if you try one tip per day… It’s better than reading this whole blog post and not implementing any of them.
Author Bio: Grace Vaughn is a writer and founder of OutfitIdeasHQ.com, a portal of fashion ideas, tips, and clothing advice. She spends her time writing educational lifestyle content and connecting with like-minded people.