Sometimes our days become too overwhelming. We get busier than we would like and feel like we are barely staying afloat. There are little things you can do to simplify your schedule and find more hours in the day to do the things you want to do. These are my secrets to a more productive daily routine. I have found that by doing these simple things, I save myself time and a lot of big headaches. They also make my day flow better.
This conversation was started by ShopSmarter.com. All opinions are my own.
Things to prepare over the weekend
1. Make freezer meals. Not much is better than coming home to dinner already cooked and ready to eat. Freezer meals are awesome for the nightly dinner rush. You can spend a couple hours on a Saturday prepping several meals for the week. Then, make dinner simple by just dumping your meal into the crock-pot and pushing start. You also get to avoid the question of “what’s for dinner”? No longer be worried about having time to feed the family on those super busy nights. It will also save you tons of time on dinner prep during the busy week.
2. Pair outfits on hangers. How much time do you and the kids waste a day standing in front of the closet deciding what to wear? Maybe your kid comes out like mine in swim trunks and a sweater. Take the time and guess work out of dressing by having matching outfits hanging together. When you’re putting laundry away, just hang the matching outfits together. Then, the night before, just pick out the outfit you want to wear the next day. Problems solved, and a more productive daily routine created.
Things to do in the morning for the day
3. Make a shopping list by section. How many times do you go to the store and start working off a list just to realize, by the time you get to the front, that you forgot something in the back? Make grocery shopping easier by creating your list by section. All the breakfast items together, produce, meats, etc. Then, you will be sure to be more productive in your daily routine and save time while grocery shopping.
4. Dinner prep in the morning. I don’t know about your house, but mine gets kind of crazy after school. There’s after school activities, sports, and church activities. Our family gets pulled in several different directions. If you can do most of the meal prep in the morning, during the more quiet hours, you will save yourself some stress later. This could even be simply dumping one of your crock pot meals in for the day and forgetting about it. This is definitely a great way to be more productive in your daily routine.
5. Plan errands by location. Ever feel like you are driving in circles? Well, maybe you are. When planning your daily errands, you should map out where you need to go. By driving out to the furthest errand first, then making your way back towards your house, you can avoid the back and forth driving that takes up so much time. You will also save money on gas and your sanity!
Things to do at night for the next Morning
6. Make lunches ahead of time. If you, the spouse or the kids take a lunch, make those ahead of time. I found what works for me, is after grocery shopping, I divide snacks and such into little snack size baggies. Then, when I’m packing lunches the night before, all I really need to do is make a sandwich or something. Then, the rest of the lunch is just grabbing baggies of things they want for that day. I do treats like Twinkies or cookies, fruits and vegtables, or other snacks like pretzels. The kids are allowed to choose one of each that they want.
7. Pick up the house nightly. Every night before you settle down for the night, do a quick pick up. Get the big toys and things off the floor, do a load of dishes, etc. That way, in the morning craziness, you won’t be tripping over things. You will also be able to find the things you will need for the day. Nothing is worse than that, “mom! I can’t find my shoes”! when you’re already running behind. It’s more productive and time-saving when things are in their place and you can start the day with a clean palette.
8. Shop online. Nowadays, you can buy pretty much anything online. The kids need things, the house needs things, and you spend your day running to a million different stores to gather everything. Not to mention, you probably have a toddler or two in tow. Save yourself tons of time and a huge headache by buying things online. Instead of packing up the cranky toddlers and trying to fight them all through tons of stores, just order what you need online. It’s like Christmas when the mailman brings your packages too. If you’re a little Scroogie and don’t’ like packages, or maybe just don’t like shipping expenses, you can always order online and pick up in-store.
Shopping online saves you a ton of time and money. No longer do you need to pack up all of the kids and try to schedule your trips around nap time. Now you can save that gas and shop from the comfort of your own home. Not only do you save money on gas and eating out (because let’s face it, if you’re brave enough to venture out, you have definitely treated yourself to something) but you can also save money by shopping through websites like ShopSmarter.
You’ve heard of those sites that claim you earn money back as you shop. Maybe you have even been a little curious about them. Well, it’s true. ShopSmarter offers 10% cash back on all purchases. This means, you log in through ShopSmarter and click on one of the thousands of online retail stores that you love to shop at. Then, you get taken to their store page and just shop like you normally would. As you buy things, ShopSmarter counts it all up and will send you a check for 10% of whatever you spend.
I know when I walk into a store, I’m not saving 10% on anything. You do when shopping through ShopSmarter though. The 10% is applied automatically after the retailer notifies ShopSmarter that the order was shipped. Then, every quarter, you get a check in the mail for your savings. If that wasn’t cool enough, ShopSmarter even has coupon offers. ShopSmarter members have access to exclusive savings opportunities, including free shipping, percentage off discounts and other retailer coupons listed right on the site.
Shopping online can definitely save you time. Especially with ShopSmarter’s Price Comparison tool. It’s so easy to get the best deal. Just type the name of the item your searching for in the search bar. The ShopSmarter search engine screens the inventory of every retailer in the network and shows you a list of all items that relate.
If 10% wasn’t great enough, several times a year, ShopSmarter sweetens the deal by offering 20% cash back. This holiday season is one of those times. ShopSmarter is helping you make the most of your holiday shopping. From December 16th-18th 2016, you can earn 20% cash back on all purchases made through your ShopSmarter membership. Don’t stress over crowded malls, holiday chaos, or crying toddlers (who saw you put that toy in the cart)! Shop from the comfort of your own home and enjoy those checks when they start showing up in the mail.
Find a routine that works for your family and stick to it. There are simple changes you can make to make your routine more productive. So, stop running in circles and wasting time on little things that aren’t working. Hopefully, some of my secrets to a more productive daily routine will be helpful to you and your family.