Tips for Finding an Extra Hour

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We all want to spend as much time as possible with our children. Kids grow up fast and whether you’re at home or working I bet you wish you could spend a little more quality time with them.  I try to do at least one activity a day with my daughter along with reading and playing, sometimes this is difficult to achieve with all the other responsibilities.

Which brings me on to my tips.  Tips for freeing up the time to spend doing these activities and spending quality time just playing.  Some may not suit you, but implementing only one or two could save an hour.

It always seems hard to make that extra hour, in between, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the practical side of parenting.  Here is how I (apart from keeping a less than immaculate house) manage to make that extra hour.

Online home delivery

Not only saves time but money too.  You can save around two hours plus a week doing food shopping online and having it delivered.  It costs around £4.99, but in my experience you can save that, and much more,  by simply not being in the shop to be attracted to ‘extras’.

Cut down on TV

A while back, I was feeling really stressed out and becoming easily aggravated, seemingly at nothing.  I started having the TV off a lot during the day, I noticed it made a big impact on the way I was feeling.  The constant noise and distraction meant that I was never really focussing properly on anything and it was taking me twice as long if not longer to get things done.  Now I only have the TV on for about two or three twenty minute periods during the day.  Noticing how much of an impact it was having during the day, we have started having the TV off a lot during the evening too, only really having it on when there is something specific we want to watch.  I’m not sure exactly how much time this is saving, but, I do know that I am more productive and less stressed.  It takes a couple of days to get used to, but I bet after you have done it for a week you won’t go back.

Get up 1hr before the baby/kids

I used to do this a lot when my daughter was younger and demanded a lot of my time.  I’m not talking about getting up an hour earlier to clean, just get up and do the things you want to do for yourself, check email, shower etc… This saves time later on.  There is more incentive to getting up and having ‘me time’ than there is getting up to clean…which you will have freed up time to do later.

Clean the house in the ads

This is an unusual idea but I find it works as you work faster in small bursts.  Basically as soon as the ads come on during any programme, I get up and do a bit of cleaning.  I’m not joking…you can get a serious amount done if you are quick.  This is what I can do during an ad break (one during each ad break…obviously!)

Quick tidy of livingroom

Wash half the dishes

Get a washing in

Put dishes away

Fold washing

Clean toilet

Tidy kitchen

So with four breaks in an hour long programme, that’s a fair bit of cleaning. I never waste time watching ads!

Get out early

Roads and shops tend to be quieter earlier in the morning, the earlier the better at the weekend.  Wheras I find mid-morning is the quietest time during the week.  Avoid traffic and queues at all costs.

Multi-task

Do two things at once.  Eat lunch and check emails.  Feed baby and watch favourite tv show.  Iron and listen to a podcast. 

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