13 Easy Shortcuts That Will Add an Extra Hour to Your Day

13 Easy Shortcuts That Will Add an Extra Hour to Your Day
Image: iStock.com/vgajic

mom multitasking

Time seems to slip by way too fast, leaving us at the end of the day wondering where it all went. It can be exhausting because most of these days, you wind up not having one moment to yourself -- and we all need that. But what if you can save a minute here and there and, by the end of the day, have a full hour with which you can pursue a hobby, veg out, or just get to bed early?

It can be done! These time-saving ideas may seem easy to you (they are!), and you don't need to do them all to make a big change in your day.

Try some or try them all ... and then treat yourself with those extra moments.

  • Wake up earlier.

    mom and daughter rising and stretching in the morning

    Okay, okay -- no one likes to wake up earlier than usual, but consider just 10 minutes earlier (even five will help). This added time won't be felt in a couple of weeks when your new wake-up time becomes routine. And if you wake before the kids do, getting stuff done before you have them up and distracting you is a major time-saver.

    Time saved: 5 to 15 minutes.

  • Skip the shower.

    woman looking in mirror

    Showering can take up anywhere from five to 30 minutes. And if you skip it on days you really need that extra time, it certainly helps. Can't not shower? Go without washing your hair for a day or two (or three) to save time that way. Or shower in the evening before bed and let your hair air dry.

    Time saved: 5 to 30 minutes.

  • Time your social media.

    mom on computer

    Social media is a major time waster. How many times have you thought you'd just look online for a second, only to realize half an hour disappeared? Instead of throwing precious minutes away, set aside a block of time to look at your social media accounts, including your emails. When it ends, close out the tab or even take the app off your phone so you won't be tempted to open it.

    Time saved: 10 to 30 minutes.

  • Cook extras so you have leftovers.

    family cooking

    Whenever you cook, whenever a meal allows it, cook extra. Those extras can be a quick lunch for anyone in the family the next day. Major time saver. 

    Time saved: 15 minutes.

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  • Make your own coffee.

    woman making coffee

    Coffee! It's our fuel in the morning (and often midday). Instead of waiting in a long line to buy yours, make it and take it to go. Go on and get yourself a fabulous travel mug, too.

    Time saved: 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Put your kid's long hair in braids.

    mom braiding daughter's hair

    How much time do you spend brushing knots out of your kid's hair? In my house, we spend a lot of time ... and there are often tears. Save time by braiding your kid's hair -- the style may even last a couple of days, if not longer.

    Time saved: 10 minutes.

  • Clean as you go.

    mom daughter cleaning

    May we suggest a clean-as-you-go routine? Instead of saving it all for a big time-consuming clean, tidy up as you go. One example: Wash dishes after you use them or load in dishwasher. This frees up a more exhausting effort at the end of the day. You can also get your kids involved -- delegate responsibilities, especially with the older ones.

    Time saved: 10 to 20 minutes.

  • Meditate.

    meditating woman

    Maybe this sounds counterintuitive, but taking time to meditate clears your mind and enables you to focus better throughout the day, which means your time is better spent being productive. Plus, meditation is so good for the soul.

    Time saved: 5 to 15 minutes.

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  • Put your phone on silent.

    woman looking at phone
    iStock.com/Eva Katalin Kondoros

    While we know that sometimes this just cannot be done, whenever possible, silence your phone. At the very least, remove social media and other app notifications so you aren't distracted. Or just put your phone far away from you so you aren't tempted to just take a peek during a break and then have precious minutes disappear. 

    Time saved: 5 to 15 minutes.

  • Pick out your clothes for the week.

    woman looking in closet

    Picking out what you're going to wear on Sunday afternoon really saves time each weekday. You can do this for yourself and your kids. Minutes earned!

    Time saved: 5 to 15 minutes.

  • Say "no" more.

    mom kid hugging

    Maybe you're the kind of person who says "yes" too much. You say "yes" to help another mom after school every single time. You say "yes" to playdates across town. You say "yes" to that extra job task that takes way longer than expected. Sometimes, for your own well-being, you have to say no. Saying no ends up giving you more time to be with your kids or for yourself. Try it more.

    Time saved: 15 to 60 minutes.

  • Let your kid sleep in their clothes for next day.

    kid sleepy

    Pajamas are overrated! Some moms say that they let their kids sleep in the clothes they'll be wearing to school the next day in order to save time getting dressed in the morning. This can work really well as long as your kids wear clothes comfy enough to sleep in. 

    Time saved: 5 to 10 minutes.

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  • Nighttime prep.

    mom shutting lights

    Once your little one goes to bed, you can start to get stuff done. If you include packing lunch or snacks, getting clothes ready, and putting out bowls for oatmeal the next morning, this all adds up to time saved the next day. That's because you'll do it more quickly while your child's asleep.

    Time saved: 5 to 15 minutes.


    Now, go enjoy some time to yourself!

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