Are you wondering how to save time as a busy mom? I think most of us are. Between juggling kids, work, extracurricular activities, and more, it often seems like there’s simply not enough time in the day to get everything done.
Luckily, I’ve come across some great tips and tricks that will help us busy moms manage our time so it doesn’t manage us!
Read on to discover 52 ways busy moms can save time.
One of the best ways to save time is simply to get organized. A lot of time can be wasted looking for the things we need. But with an organized home, it’s easy to find and grab those items. This also saves us a lot of stress!
See this great article for ideas on how to organize your home!
Pick out 14 pieces that can easily be worn together. Or set up a week’s worth of outfits so you can easily just grab what you need in the morning. Hang necklaces and bracelets on the hanger with your outfit to save time by not having to search for them on busy mornings.
Remove things you don’t need. And buy a simple handbag organizer to help you keep track of all your things. Then you won’t waste time having to dig through your purse to find your keys, phone, or lipstick.
Or, get this awesome light for your purse. I love this handbag illuminator because it automatically senses your hand and turns on, making it easy to find what you need. And it even doubles as a portable charger!
From the junk drawer in the kitchen to your makeup drawer in the bathroom, putting things in containers makes them easy to find, which saves you time. These handy organizers can be used to keep bras, underwear, and socks easily visible and accessible.
This is an easy way to keep track of all your important papers, schedules, to-do lists, etc. Now, everything you need is all in one place.
No more moments of panicking because you can’t find the paper with the address for your son’s basketball tournament!
Place it in a designated area in the house and whenever you come across something you don’t use anymore or an outfit the kids have outgrown, just put it in the bin. Once the bin is full, take it to your local donation center.
This trick helps to declutter your home while also helping those in need.
Caring for our homes can take up a lot of our day. Luckily, there are some ways we can save valuable time in this area of our lives as well.
…whether that’s having someone clean your home for you or hiring a handyman. There is no shame in hiring someone if you can budget for it.
We aren’t stinky middle schoolers anymore, so we can wear our clothes a few times before needing to wash them. Some experts claim we can wear jeans at least three times before washing them!
By not washing our clothes after only wearing them once, we save time, money, and protect our clothes from wear and tear.
And honestly, who is going to complain about doing less laundry?
Plan out what to clean each week/month. And plan it out so you are only cleaning 15-20 minutes a day. So perhaps on Mondays you mop the floor, Tuesdays mean vacuuming, Wednesdays are for cleaning the bathrooms, etc. Saturday mornings could be for tackling one deep cleaning area a month such as cleaning out the fridge.
Just come up with a plan that works best for you! This saves time because you know exactly what needs to be cleaned each day. And you will no longer feel overwhelmed thinking you have to clean the whole house all at once.
This way you don’t have to waste a bunch of time trying to sort through all the clothes on laundry day. You can just toss a load in the washer and carry on with your day!
Or save even more time by using a color-grabbing sheet and just throw all your clothes together in one load!
Wipe down the shower as you take a shower in the morning. And then quickly wipe down the rest of the bathroom before you finish getting ready.
Or when the kids are busy (and contained!) while playing in the bathtub, use this time to wipe down the sink and toilet. Dry off your kids and then use that towel to wipe down the floor. Throw it in the laundry hamper and BAM. You’re all done!
Another great time-saver is to spray the shower every day with a scale-removing cleaner. This helps cut down the time it takes to scrub the shower when you clean it.
After a long day of work, the thought of having to cook can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, there are lots of ways to help us feed our families while also saving time.
We all know we should eat healthier, but it’s hard to find healthy snacks that don’t taste like cardboard, right?
This is why I like Urthbox.
Urthbox is a monthly subscription program that sends you a box of organic, all natural, and non-gmo snacks every month. It can be set up for diet, gluten free, vegan, and classic diets. I love this because it helps me to make sure my kids with specialized diets are eating healthy and actually have great snacks.
Allow each family member to take a turn picking where to get take-out from. And then make it a family fun night. Spend the evening playing games or watching a movie together. All while enjoying your take-out food and forgetting about cooking!
Use paper plates and forget about dishes, too!
My favorite is Freshly. You choose your meals, then the company cooks and delivers them to you. When you want to eat, you simply heat one up for a great, healthy meal in just three minutes. I mean, you can’t beat that!
There are also other services like Hello Fresh where you receive a box of fresh ingredients, but you cook the meal. These services still save time since you don’t have to plan the menu, shop for food, or measure ingredients when cooking.
If available in your area, you can get your groceries delivered using services like Instacart or Shipt. Many of these services also offer auto-delivery options so that the same items you use most often are delivered every week. With Instacart, you can also do this with toiletry items, supplements, and more.
Even if grocery delivery services don’t operate in your area, many stores (like Walmart and Target) are offering curbside pickup. You can order ahead and then just drive up to the store and a kind employee loads your food into your car. So easy, right?
Make one week’s worth of one type of smoothie in your blender, pour into containers, and freeze. Before you go to bed, pull one container out and put it in the fridge. It will be thawed out and ready for you to drink in the morning.
OR, pack the ingredients for your smoothies in containers. That way you can just grab a container, throw it in your blender, and voila. You just saved some precious time while also making a healthy breakfast.
And for your kids, you can create a tray of healthy snack options they can easily grab and eat in the morning or after school. (See tip #11)
Steaming vegetables? Steam twice as much as you need and then save half for dinner tomorrow night. Cooking chicken? Make a double batch. Use half for chicken, rice, and vegetables tonight. And then use the other half for a casserole later in the week.
Use a food processor to make chopping veggies a breeze. Or use a slow cooker so all the cooking is done for you while you are living your life. And because you are only using one pot there are less dishes to worry about as well!
I love this slow cooker because it is programmable! You can set it up before bed or when you leave the house in the morning so your food cooks for just the right amount of time.
Another option is to use a pressure cooker. These handy appliances allow you to throw everything into one pot and cook a meal in 70% less time!
Talk about a major time-saver!
Even using a handy tool like this automatic pan stirrer with a timer can go a long way in saving you a few minutes while cooking.
These vegetables are always fresh when frozen and are already prepped for you. Frozen veggies are healthier than canned and easy to use.
It’s a great way to give your family the vegetables they need without spending a lot of time prepping and cooking.
We’ve all been there. It’s a super busy day and then one of your kids informs you that they just used up the last roll of toilet paper.
Now, on top of your already overflowing schedule, you have to run to the store as well!
Why not make a designated area in your house for storing extras of these must-have items? Items like napkins, ketchup, and coffee (yes, this is a necessity!). Then whenever someone grabs an item out of this designated area, it can be added to the next grocery list.
This way you never run out!
Put up a dry erase board by your designated area to make it easy for family members to add the item they are taking to the list.
Kids tend to eat up a lot of our time. And while we love our kids, we also would love to spend more time with them rather than cleaning up after them. Here are some great mom tips and tricks to save time while enjoying your kids.
If you have young children, this is a great time-saver. You can use old bed sheets or old towels for this. Then when the kids are done eating, you can just scoop up your drop cloth, shake the big food chunks into the garbage, and then throw your drop cloth in the laundry.
This is a great educational program for younger children between the ages of 2-8. It offers activities in reading, math, social studies, science, and art. Their progressive activities help your children learn and grow. And because the lessons are delivered in formats like games, videos, songs, puzzles, books, and printables, your children will absolutely love it! They can even earn tickets and rewards. It’s a great way to keep your kids entertained while you get some things done.
Give your kids chores to do! They need to learn how to do these things for themselves anyway, so why not take a little bit of time to teach them. And then enjoy having less on your plate in the future.
Even young kids can help empty the bathroom trash cans or put the silverware away from the dishwasher. Older kids can be taught to vacuum, wash dishes, or clean a bathroom. Use a chore chart to keep track of what everyone needs to do.
When your kids misbehave, what if instead of putting them in time-out, you made them polish the furniture?
After all, their craziness costs you time, so have them help you regain some time by doing a chore for you. This is a great way to implement consequences while also crossing things off your to-do list!
This will help grow your relationship with your children while also keeping you from feeling guilty later when you have work to do and they need to entertain themselves.
If you know another parent whose kid is also in soccer, why not split the responsibilities of getting the kids to practice? Maybe you take both kids to practice and the other parent brings them home. Or one week you drive, and then the next week the other parent does.
This is a great way to save both of you some valuable time!
Here are some more great tips and tricks we can use in our personal lives to organize our time!
Like a babysitter info sheet, how to use the TV for guests, or pet sitters. Or you could even create a grocery list for those items you get every week so you don’t have to write them down over and over. And you can make the list based on how you walk through the store (Fun fact: the best approach is to walk around the perimeter of the store first and then grab things from the aisles in the middle if you need them).
This will help save you time and keep you from grabbing extra items, too. (Or just have your groceries delivered. See tip #14)
Type up the lists in either a spreadsheet or word document. Then print off extras to have on hand.
Even 15 minutes can make a real difference in how much you get accomplished in the morning. And making your bed first thing makes you feel empowered since you have already accomplished something!
Think about how much time we all spend in front of the TV each week. Is this really a productive use of your time? Why not just pick one or two shows to watch each week, and set them to record so you can skip the commercials? Or watch while you’re exercising? This can save you lots of time.
Or you can change the way you entertain yourself. The Masterclass program is an online program that has courses taught by professionals. It’s a fun way to learn new skills quickly and easily on your own schedule. It’s education and entertainment for the whole family all in one!
Stitch Fix will send you perfectly matched outfits every month, complete with accessories. You keep what you like and send back what you don’t. This saves you time on shopping and in trying to piece together the ideal outfit. I save so much time and stress and haven’t gone to a mall to buy clothes in ages!
Try for a small styling fee of $20 that goes toward items you keep!
With Allure Beauty Box, you can have beauty and skin products delivered to you every month to try. This way you don’t spend time shopping for or researching products.
And it’s super fun to get a box of goodies every month! 🙂
Plus, a happy and cared-for mom is able to care for her husband and kids better, too! Everyone wins with this one.
Think of it this way: everything works better if you unplug it for a while . . . including you! So, schedule in time to rest during the week and do something fun.
Take a hot bath. Go for a walk. Sit outside and read a good book.
When you are well-rested, you end up saving time in the long run because you are functioning at your full potential.
And speaking of rest, sleep should be one of your top priorities. Lack of sleep can cause up to a 35% loss of efficiency!
Need some self care ideas? I love this Self Care Bucket List, or you can make your own with your girlfriends!
I know this seems hard at first, but I try getting up at the same time every day. Having a set morning routine helps it become second nature to get everything done.
Plus, having a routine helps to prepare your mind for what’s next. By establishing a set wake-up time and a morning routine, you’re preparing your mind to tackle the day ahead.
Consider setting up an evening routine as well. An evening routine can help signal to your brain that sleep is coming, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
It really isn’t good for your hair to be exposed to all those heating elements anyway, so why not allow your hair to air dry?
This saves you time on having to blow-dry and style it every day. You can find products that can cut back on frizz without having to straight iron your hair or try this spray for a great texturized beach hair look!
If you have curly hair like me, it’s hard to air dry without getting crunchy curly hair, right? This curl cream changed my life and I don’t have to use a hair dryer at all anymore!
This saves you time from having to drive to the gym. And these days, there are all sorts of options for working out at home while also having some accountability.
From free or inexpensive apps on your phone with built in reminders to fitness mirrors and exercise bikes with access to personal trainers, there are lots of great ways to get fit, save time, and stay motivated.
It costs time to run into a store and if they don’t have what you need, you may need to run to a different store. But shopping online allows you to shop at multiple stores all at once.
Another great idea is to keep whatever you find in your cart for 24 hours. Come back and take a look at what’s in there and ask yourself do I really need this?
Often we will end up deleting items because after having some time to think about it, we realize we don’t really need them. This helps to cut down on the clutter in our homes while also saving time and money.
Stock it with bandaids, extra pantyhose, hairpins, Tide fabric stain remover pens, a small pillbox, hygiene items, portable charger, breath fresheners, travel size perfume, hand creams, sewing kit, etc.
This saves you time when you are on the go and suddenly realize there is a run in your pantyhose, or a button fell off your shirt!
Keep easy snacks in your purse or car. This will either hold you over or help hold your kids over until you get home, saving you from spending time and money in the drive-thru line. (See tip #11)
It’s so easy to sit down, open up your favorite social media app, and start scrolling, only to look up half an hour later realizing you’ve just wasted a whole lot of time!
Fortunately, many of us are becoming aware of how much a time-guzzler these platforms can be. With the help of an app that limits your screen time, you can cut back on social media and gain back your precious time.
Make time on social media a reward for getting work done. After you have spent a couple hours getting your most important tasks done, go ahead and give yourself 10 minutes to catch up with friends and enjoy some fun memes!
It can be easy to feel the need to check your email every time a notification pops up. But switching back and forth between tasks actually costs us efficiency. It’s better to just check your email twice a day.
You can even set up an email auto-reply during certain hours. This can simply state that you received their email and will get back to them between the hours of __________ (list the hours you will be responding to email).
Also, when you’re checking your email, go ahead and delete all your spam emails right away so they aren’t distracting you. And be sure to unsubscribe from any email lists that you don’t actually open.
Apps like unroll.me will even do the work for you of unsubscribing from email lists you’re not interested in anymore and rolling up all promotional emails into a single email delivered once a day!
This will help to keep your email clean and organized.
Use banking apps to manage your bank account and set up autopay for as many bills as you can. This helps you keep track of everything while saving time by not having to write out checks, run to the bank, fill out envelopes, and wait in line. There are even apps that will help you create a budget as well.
You can also use apps to track what programs you use the most on your phone. Within a few weeks, you will know exactly which culprits are eating away all your time.
We often end up waiting in lines throughout our day. The drive-thru line, the pick-up line, the doctor’s office, and more. At work, we may find ourselves waiting for the computer to download an update, waiting for the internet to reboot, or even waiting for a few minutes in between meetings.
We can take advantage of these minutes by having some small tasks set aside just for these times. These tasks could include things like making a quick phone call or text, planning our to-do list for the week, or setting up delivery for our groceries. (See tip #14)
If you are running to pick up a child from soccer practice, could you also stop by the store or pick up your dry-cleaning?
Fewer trips equals time saved.
Keep a basket by your front door for items that need to be taken out of your home (such as library books, borrowed items from friends, etc.) This way if you know you’ll be driving near the library it’s easy to quickly grab the books and drop them off on your way.
Let’s say a friend texts and asks if you want to get together for coffee. Why not see if they would like to pick up coffee and then go for a walk with you?
This way you get to spend time with your friend (yeah, for self-care!), enjoy some great coffee, and get some exercise in! Grouping things together like this is a great way to save time and check more items off your to-do list.
You can also multitask when doing things that don’t require as much from you mentally. It’s easy to make a phone call to a friend and concentrate on them while also doing a mindless task like unloading the dishwasher or folding laundry.
Another great way to make multitasking work for you is by listening to audiobooks or podcasts while on a walk or driving. This is a great way to add self-care and education to your day without costing you more time.
I love the Audible program! You can try two audiobooks for FREE and decide for yourself if it works with your multitasking lifestyle.
And then put them in designated boxes for either Christmas or birthdays. This way you aren’t overwhelmed at Christmas time. Or if life gets busy around a loved one’s birthday, you can simply grab out a gift you purchased earlier rather than making an extra hurried trip to the store.
And then put all the important birthdays and anniversaries on your phone. Set up notifications for one week prior. This way you will have plenty of time to grab a card from your box and send it out.
And you can say goodbye to belated birthday cards!
These time management tips will help you clarify your priorities, set goals, and make a plan to tackle your week.
People who write down their goals are 1.2-1.4 times more likely to achieve them. Writing our goals down helps us clarify what we want, focus on our goals, and keep them in mind as we go about our day.
After we write down our goals, we can easily break them down into more manageable chunks. This also greatly increases our success in reaching our goals.
I love the goal planners and power sheets offered by Cultivate What Matters. They have helped over 100,000 women create plans, develop new habits, and set goals so they can live for what matters, including me!
By learning to pay attention to your top priorities, you will be able to remove all the non-essentials. Learn to question everything you do. Before you say “yes,” ask yourself, “Do I really need to do this? Does this serve my top priorities well?”
This will help you decide what you should say yes or no to.
Another idea is to keep a journal. Write down all the tasks you do every day for a week. Then look at that list and compare to your list of top priorities. And ask yourself, “Are there any things on this list that are not serving my top priorities and should be removed?” And then remove those tasks.
Studies show that we tend to be the most productive in the morning. And studies also show we have the most clarity and energy in either the morning or evenings. So it is best to save easy, mindless tasks for the afternoon lull. However, not everyone falls into the same rhythm, so you can use a time tracker to see what works best for you.
This helps you stay on task and know exactly what needs to get done each week.
Do a brain dump every Monday morning. Write down everything you can think of that you need to do this week. This way it’s no longer running through your head causing distractions. And after writing it all down, make three lists titled:
Then go through your brain dump list and prioritize each item. This will help you feel prepared and empowered to tackle your week.
Each day, plan out one big task, three medium-sized tasks, and five small tasks to get done. This helps ensure you’re making progress on big or long-term projects and the everyday stuff.
Set up a “do not disturb” function on your phone and computer for a few hours while you get your most important tasks done. And place your phone somewhere you can’t see it.
This keeps you from being distracted so you can give your full attention and focus to your most important tasks. This also leads to increased productivity and efficiency.
Every 20 minutes look away from your screen for 20 seconds. This helps your eyes not grow weary from staring at a screen.
You can also try the Pomodoro method. In this method, you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. And while you’re taking a break, why not walk around and get some more steps in?
This way you can get your exercise in while also giving your brain a break!
Taking breaks helps your brain concentrate and focus when you get back to work. This means every task takes less time to complete.
Even if there isn’t an official deadline, giving yourself one helps you stay focused. Another way to do this is by setting a timer. Knowing the timer is clicking down is a great way to trick our brains into staying focused and on task.
So, set a timer for half an hour to answer emails. Or set one for 15 minutes to tackle cleaning a room in your house. When the timer goes off, take a break.
And then get back at it!
Using headphones can help you focus and ignore all the other things going on around you. And they also have the advantage of curbing distractions because typically when people see you wearing headphones, they are less compelled to interrupt you.
I know earlier I said to make multitasking work for you. And the ideas I shared will work. But in general, when working on important tasks, multitasking is not a good thing.
Studies have found that we don’t actually multitask but instead jump from one activity to the next. And when we are constantly going back and forth between tasks, we force our brain to keep switching gears and refocusing on the next thing we are working on.
While we think we are getting more done, the truth is we are costing ourselves time and productivity. So, save the multitasking for mindless tasks that don’t require your full attention, like folding laundry. (Like I shared in tip #41)
I hope you enjoyed these ideas to help us busy moms save time. Now that you know what to do, you may be feeling excited and empowered. Which is great! But keep in mind that some days things will go wrong and you will feel like you hardly got anything done.
Some days you will rock it. And some days you will need to give yourself grace.
Learn to be okay if you don’t finish everything all the time. There is always tomorrow. And you can always come back to look through these 52 tips and tricks again to get more ideas on ways you can save time as a busy mom. You’ve got this!
Note: I partner with the companies linked in this article as an affiliate, which means that I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.