Opti-Mum Efficiency: 10 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Mums

woman carrying her kid while working

Mums are the ultimate multi-taskers, mastering the art of raising a baby with one hand, typing on a computer with the other, and somehow finding time to tidy the house.

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we’re sharing our time-saving tips to help you keep the mum-entum going. 

Identify time wasters

We spend a lot of our day on autopilot, but when was the last time you looked back at your to-do list and identified the things you have done in the week that are pointless and easily avoidable? Things like searching for your keys or phone, and aimlessly surfing the web, are the ones to watch out for. Once you identify them? Eliminate! 

Live by your to-do list

Many of us would crumble without our daily to-do list, but if you happen to be one of the mums who wing their way through the week, when you finally do find pockets of time to be more productive you are left wondering what else needs to be done. Create a to-do list that you update every evening for the next day, and help make the chaotic days more manageable. 

Create a menu plan

No you don’t run a restaurant, but yes you do run an efficient operation when it comes to cooking for the family, and that’s why having a menu plan is a great way to avoid constantly asking questions like “what will the kids eat?” and “how can we eat healthily?” Spend time designing a menu (perhaps 2 weeks’ worth of meals) that incorporates all the healthy foods your family love, and that doesn’t take too long to cook. When you next go grocery shopping, you’ll have an easy list that you can always refer to. 

Bulk buy and batch cook

Much like creating a menu plan, you can make mealtimes a lot easier by buying the ingredients for your pre-designed menu in bulk where possible, and cooking several batches at once, to be frozen. Doing this twice a week could significantly reduce the time you spend in the kitchen. 

‘Multi-task’ the things you enjoy

As a professional multi-tasker, it should be easy to design your day around some of the things you enjoy, but not everyone thinks ahead to do this. If you want to read more, could you do it while taking public transport? If you want to listen to podcasts, could you do so at the gym? If you enjoy it, you can find a way. 

Take time out to make time

Despite “doing nothing” getting a bad reputation, it can actually lead to you feeling more focused, energised, and ultimately more productive. Studies show that regularly meditating is a great way to increase everything from happiness to efficiency, and even if you don’t fancy closing your eyes for ten minutes, an outdoor walk or yoga session can have similar positive effects. 

Learn to delegate

Whether it’s your partner or a virtual assistant, decide on the things that you don’t need to be doing yourself, and outsource them. The household chores shouldn’t all fall to you, and if you can teach the kids to take over some of the duties, even better! Delegating tasks may feel like you’re relinquishing control, but this will be good for everyone in the long run. 

Prep the night before

How we start our day can be crucial to how the rest of our day goes (check out our recent blog on how to sleep better and wake up with more energy) so allowing yourself to get out of bed and straight to work is a luxury that is highly achievable. Imagine waking to find the clothes you need, toiletries you will use, the food you’re going to eat, and to-do list you will work from? Spending 10 minutes the night before could get the next morning off to a great start. 

Take advantage of technology

Even if you shy away from gadgets, there’s no reason not to become familiar with apps that could make your life easier. They’re usually simple to use, many are free, and they could help with everything from online banking to booking doctors appointments to ordering groceries, helping to free up time that would otherwise be spent running errands. 

Design your house for optimum efficiency

Do you spend large portions of your day looking for misplaced items, dodging broken things, and lifting the same stack of magazines every time you need to find something from inside a box? These are all easily fixable inefficiencies. Spending just one afternoon figuring out all the ways you could streamline and simplify could save you a lot of time in the future. Get a bowl that you can use for important objects like keys, and walk around your house deciding where things could be moved to in order to make them easier to find, to reach, and to use.