Slice of clockI know there is something you are missing from your day. Perhaps it is meditation, reading an actual novel, taking a long walk,or sorting through your files…well maybe not sorting through your files. We all need a little extra time for ourselves. Think of the difference an hour would make.

  1. 7:00. Skip the snooze. Just admit when you get up and set your alarm for that time. Put the alarm across the room and get your butt out of bed. No snooze button means no sneaky second snooze. Studies also say that snoozing makes you more tired so not only have you gained time but energy too. (8 minutes)
  2. 7:00. Ditch the top sheet. Its useless. It tangles in your toes and dangles off the bed. You know you are washing the duvet anyways so having a top sheet increases your laundry without any real benefit. Most importantly it saves time making the bed. (1 minute saved)
  3. 7:15. Stop following instructions. Lather, rinse, repeat. One of those three is bull. Should I repeat myself? (3 minutes saved)
  4. 7:30. Write on your white board. Don’t nag the kids. Let them list their morning routine and move through it on their own. Focus on packing your own lunch. They are more likely to eat what they choose for themselves, and you are more likely to say goodbye rather than good riddance as they leave for school. (10 minutes saved)
  5. 7:45. Let breakfast be the main event. Instead of ipads, computers, or even magazines try to have your plate keep you company.  In addition to finishing more quickly you will taste and enjoy your food, get a better handle on portion size, and get get mentally set for the day. (5 minutes)
  6. 12:00. Bring your own lunch. Hopefully eat outside with friends. This is the time for eye contact rather than icontact. Skipping Panera keeps down the calories, cash, and seconds. (15 minutes saved)
  7. 2:30. Designate a break. This is the time to go online. Experience the magic of the internet. Or nap if you have one of these. (this is the best part of the whole post so go on and click.)  Keep it to 15 minutes to stay fresh. (5 minutes saved by limiting your time.)
  8. 5:30. Save the surfing for the summer. As your concentration dwindles at the end of the day stay offline. Make some stacks of papers, write tomorrow’s list, go over your calendar, and cross an i or dot a t (or the opposite.) Staying offline gets you out the door and gives you a jump start on tomorrow. (15 minutes saved.)
  9. Shop on Sundays. If you plan your meals and shop on the weekend for lunches snacks and dinners you can save those crowded exhausting last minute food shop stops. (25 minutes saved)
  10. 6:00. Follow your meal plan. It helps to be realistic. If you often eat our or order pizza then only plan 3 dinners. If one is fish you will be forced to cook it or smell the consequences. Not having to think of the meal at 6:00 saves time and patience. (10 minutes)
  11. 6:30. Establish an evening routine. A small block of time that becomes a habit saves a lot of angst and arguing. By now our family has dinner, contributions, homework down to a 60 minute span. There is little to no discussion or procrastination. (infinite amount of time saved. Lets call it 15 minutes.)

Disclosure. I only follow 5 of the 11. If I add one more I will break 50%. That sounds like a win to me. What about you? Do you do any of these things? Can you add any other tips?

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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