Five time-saving tips for busy parents
As a parent, you’re juggling taking care of your baby or child, with work, maintaining relationships and household chores.
As a result, spare time can be extremely limited. So anything you can do to steal back some of those valuable minutes is always worthwhile. These five time-saving tips will soon add up to give you some extra moments throughout the day.
1) Plan meal ideas and prep in advance
Whether you’re a first-time parent or this is your fourth, cooking for a family can be incredibly time-consuming and can use up a big chunk of your day. When you’re fitting in cooking around work and household duties, you don’t have hours to spend preparing meals for you and your loved ones, which is where meal prep can come in really useful.
Plan your weekly menus in advance, so you’re not scrambling for dinner ideas on the day. You can also try to set aside a couple of hours on a Sunday to prep ingredients or make meals you can freeze so that on busier days during the week you have meals ready to go that can just be reheated and served. This includes cooking baby food for the week and freezing it in ice cube trays so you can pop them out and heat up quickly for instant meals.
2) Take advantage of technology
Apps, gadgets, software – it’s all designed to make our lives more efficient. So, when you’re strapped for time, make use of it. Pay your bills online or set up automatic payments, order your weekly grocery shop to be delivered to your door and schedule appointments into a digital calendar so you can receive reminders and notifications to help you stay on top of your day.
3) Create dressing and changing stations
When your baby needs changing or you’re trying to get them dressed in the morning in the middle of your busy routine, having everything you need in one place so you can get the task done as quickly as possible can really help save time.
Keep a basket in the rooms where you’re most likely to change your baby, filled with nappies, wipes, and a changing mat, and another with a selection of neutral clothes and baby accessories that you can interchange to make outfits quickly so that getting your child ready takes a matter of moments. With everything close to hand, you don’t have to worry about moving between rooms to find the pack of wet wipes or trying to find a clean onesie for them.
4) Keep an essentials bag close to hand
Wherever you’re headed with your baby, from the supermarket to the park or visiting friends, it saves time to have a bag of essentials ready to go so you can leave the house knowing you have everything in one bag, whatever the day might throw at you. This should include the basics, such as nappies, bottles and muslin cloths, but also things to keep your baby happy and entertained such as toys and shelf-stable snacks.
Make sure that your essentials bag is always right by the door or stashed in the car so you don’t forget it, and that it’s always stocked with the items you might need in an emergency. From a change of clothes and a blanket to sun cream and a first aid kit, it will give you peace of mind and will save you time gathering these items every time you go out.
It’s never going to be possible to get everything on your to-do list done each day, especially when you’re juggling a newborn’s daily routine along with your own. Instead, prioritise two or three things that have to be accomplished that day and focus your efforts on those tasks – anything else can be counted as a bonus.
Those essential tasks don’t have to be lofty goals, and in the early days of taking care of your little one, it might be as simple as taking 5 minutes for a shower or putting a load of laundry into the machine. But by breaking down your long list of chores into manageable chunks, it will be much easier to achieve what you need to each day.
How can you save more time?
There are only so many hours in a day, but with a few time-saving measures and tricks, you can make the most of the time you do have to put it to better use.
Whether it’s cutting corners on certain tasks or maximising your productivity through multi-tasking and forward planning, every moment you can save is more time you can spend with your new addition.