We all know time is a valuable resource, but when you become a parent you realise this tenfold. Because not only does time fly by in the blink of an eye when you’re living with an adorable little bundle of energy that requires you 24/7 for their survival… but you also realise the precious value in each and every minute.
Just 5 minutes saved throughout the day can mean 5 more minutes to yourself in the shower or 5 more minutes with your feet up scrolling on Instagram. Not to mention, 5 minutes can be the difference between a lovely outing and a complete toddler meltdown as you struggle to get everything in the car.
We know that the #mentalload is real and parents usually have 100 balls in the air at any one time… and because time is our most precious resource, we want to help put a little time back into your day. Unfortunately, time travel isn’t an option just yet but a few simple tips, tricks and productivity hacks can make all the difference.
So in partnership with Bugaboo, here are our 10 best (and of course, parent-approved) time-saving tips.
1. Get everything ready the night before!
Have lunch boxes made, snacks prepped, and bags/prams/car packed so that you’re not having to worry about this as well as getting everyone fed and dressed and out the door. This way you also won’t have to worry that you’ve forgotten anything in a panic.
Tip: A launch pad at the front door with everyone’s things for the day packed and ready to go is an absolute game-changer.
2. Every minute counts
A few minutes here and there can mean the difference between a long nap (and some precious you time) so things like an easy fold pram (our favourite being the Bugaboo Butterfly!) that you don’t have to spend 10 minutes messing with and trying to Tetris into your boot can be a huge daily help. Because you shouldn’t underestimate the small wins.
3. Prioritise and delegate!
Determine your hierarchy of what’s important (and ditch anything that’s not) and then work through your from most to least. Once you’ve worked out your priorities, you then need to work out what’s manageable and what’s not. Everything can’t fall onto you, so delegate tasks to your partner – or children if they’re old enough.
Whether it’s your mum or MIL to help watch the baby or paid professionals, eg. a cleaner, to take tasks off your plate – it’s going to be worth every cent in the long run. The less time you spend doing things that someone else can do for you is more time spent doing the things you want to do.
Tip: This also includes using technology. So ordering groceries online to save you spending an hour in-store, to setting up a direct debit to pay bills automatically – getting these things set up now will save you heaps of time in the long run.
5. Ditch the idea of perfect
There is no such thing as perfect parents and we need to go easy on ourselves. We can’t do it all.
6. The rule of 10
You’ve counted down all afternoon until that precious moment your little one finally falls asleep – then you look around and the house is an absolute bomb site. So the rule of 10 is a great way to tackle the task of tidying up when all you want to do is sit down and put your feet up. It’s up to you what you do – set a timer for 10 minutes and clean as much as you can in that time, or when you’re really exhausted just pick up 10 things. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.
Tip: Remember the saying, do something today that you will thank yourself for tomorrow!
7. Ditch the clutter and chaos
How do you do this? By consolidating and culling! Take the time every couple of months (or each new season) to throw out/donate clothes that no longer fit or toys they no longer use. This will save you time in washing and putting away – also less clutter frees up your mental clarity.
8. Get the kids involved
It’s never too early to start getting your little one involved in chores/tasks – even babies will love just sitting and playing with the washing basket while you do the laundry. As they grow they will want to help you, they love to feel involved and important.
Tip: Don’t wait until the kids fall asleep to tidy, clean and fold the washing. It might make sense, but it’s important for little ones to see that it takes time and hard work to manage a house. Otherwise, if they go to bed and wake up to a magically clean house they really will think cleaning fairies exist.
9. Dial back the activities and extracurriculars
Don’t get sucked into the notion that your child has to be enrolled in every activity and has to go to every party they’re invited to. Set boundaries around your family’s time and only do the things you/they love and want to – don’t feel like you have to do it all.
Tip: If COVID has taught us anything it’s that we really don’t need to do so much ALL the time.
10. Plan your week ahead
Spend some time on the weekends planning out the week. See what’s on, who’s going where and what is required and plan ahead. This might be meal planning, batch cooking, pre-packing bags, or getting clothes and uniforms washed and ironed and prepping anything else needed for the week ahead.
Don’t be afraid of a little routine and structure, even if that’s not how you lived pre-kids. Children thrive on consistency and so your routine can be as regimented or as laissez-faire as you like, but putting a little flow into each week can help you cope with the chaos. Small wins and a little pre-planning can make all the difference.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x Bugaboo.