Streamlining can be the most effective way to make more time for other things. After all, saying yes to something means saying no to something else. In this day and age, we are all guilty of materials, clutter, and accumulating unnecessary things. So read on for some tips to streamline your life.
Yes, this takes time to do too, but after you are done you will a. Get rid of things that really aren’t necessary b. Have a clear picture of what you do need and have and be able to start small streamlining things.
#2 Organizing Your Stuff:
Now that you have decluttered, you will want to move onto organizing your things. Some tips for this are:
Start with the kitchen. Creating a “lid only” drawer, throwing away all those mix-matched Tupperware, and getting just one good set can be time-saving.
Move onto the living room where you may have countless DVDs taking up valuable space, or kids' toys that they’ve outgrown for years. Don’t forget the dog toy bin, throw away old toys that are half-chewed, bones, etc (the pieces can be harmful to dogs anyways!).
Next up are the bathrooms. Sounds funny, but just going through the drawers in there can be relieving. Throwing away old q-tips, hair ties, and the 15 half-used bottles of lotion you could donate or combine to save space and time while digging around. On a side note here too: downsize! You don’t need 5 bottles of shampoo in the shower, if you only have one choice in the morning then you’ll save a few seconds just eliminating the choices!
The bedrooms. No doubt our closets are littered with clothing we have probably never worn. Ever heard of consignment? Or donating? If you haven’t worn it in the last year, you probably never will… downside, donate and simplify in order to again, eliminate all those choices and streamline your morning routine. If you really want to go to town, I’d suggest categorizing your clothing. Long Sleeves, tank tops, short sleeves… and more. Really really want to go nuts, color code them too... Surprisingly this will save a lot of time without thinking about outfits too much! Don’t forget bookshelves, toys, and shoes.
Overall downsizing can help increase a bit of cash flow (have a garage sale, sell online..), provides fewer choices to get hung up on with time, provides more space to create a workout space, and fewer responsibilities with less stuff!
#3 Now that we’ve cleaned house:
Consider making a realistic schedule. No doubt we all have a ton of things to do, that we want to do, that we need to do… but prioritizing the needs over the wants but finding the balance amongst it all can keep us sane. First up with being efficient with time is setting a daily schedule. One in which has the same bedtime every day of the week. Yes, even on the weekends. Just think about the last time you stayed up way late, weren’t you sluggish, less productive the next day? Or pumped yourself full of harmful too much caffeine? Or on the flip side, you slept in so long you wasted half the day, then got behind on things, especially missing a workout or food prep for the week… snowball effect! Next chunk out your day (see tips below). And especially your mornings.
Set a bedtime (yes 8 hours or even 9 if you are an athlete are imperative)
Chunk out your day
Streamline your morning routine
Break Down Your Day
5 parts (this is just a guide, you fill in more details and arrange how you need too)
1. Early Morning-
a. upon waking up, 15 minutes yoga/walk and reflection, shower, breakfast, get to work
2. Late Morning- (for example)
b. Get the kids going on their homework
b. training at 3:00pm
c. follow up with kids to be sure all is done
4. late afternoon-
b. write down 3 goals for tomorrow
c. take the dog for a walk
a. implement sleep strategies
Improving your Morning Wake up Routine
Keep a sleep log and evaluate daily ( try to stick to the same schedule and shoot for 7-9hrs of sleep)
Move the alarm clock across the room (or set two!)
Get an evaluation by a sleep expert
Get some bright light first thing in the morning (can you set a timer for your lights to go on? )
Melatonin, teas, etc to help you sleep better
Stay away from screens at night or set to blue light mode
Find your “why”.. To motivate you to get up.
Streamline your mornings to be efficient.
Drink some lemon water upon waking up
No screen time until breakfast
Start with exercise
Eat a real breakfast
Set 3 goals for the day the night before. And nightly evaluate those goals and what worked what didn’t
Use some music to get you motivated or set your timer to blast out a motivational speech
Get accountability (have a partner?)
We all know how being prepared and unprepared feel. There can be a big difference between the two. So why do we constantly wing our days, set bad habits, and then blow it all off only to be disappointed in ourselves. I mean, realistically, nothing is ever going to go perfectly, however, if we are prepared well, we can adjust when those setbacks do happen and not spiral downhill. Prepping comes in all forms!
Meal prep- you knew this was coming. From writing out your grocery list (and really, pretty much have it on your computer to print out and make the small adjustments weekly and you are golden!) to prepping certain foods for the week ahead.
Schedule Prep- get a good planner! Write it down. Not just on the computer or phone (however it can be beneficial to add appointment reminders, timers, etc on these devices), one typically remembers better if they physically write it down. So take a look at the week ahead, schedule in all your personal to-do’s, family to-do’s, and more. This can give you a clear picture to seek balance amongst all the items. Pro tip: don’t schedule 2 workouts, work, child pick up, grocery shopping, a massage, or more all in one day! Be realistic. Do the grocery shopping and massage on your day off. Look ahead, will you need a sitter to go for that massage? Finally with the schedule, set a CEO day for you in order to actually complete this task of schedule prep. For example every Sunday at 1 pm for 1 hr I will do schedule prep.
To go Prep- Have a to-go bag ready, well … to go :) daily. This would include healthy protein bars, bottles of water, applesauce pouches ( I choose the baby food pouches over fresh fruit here because while driving, eating a rotten banana can suck). Maybe it has your gym clothes, extra snacks for the kids.. Etc. Pro tip: clean it out when you arrive home daily so you can prep it again for the next day right away!
Final thoughts- yes all of this will take a bit of time, especially at first, however, it has been proven that even taking 1 hr of prep time a week can save you 10 hours during the week... And your sanity :)