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How to Make More Time for You!

How do I get everything done and make time to do the things I want to do? How do I manage my household AND spend quality time with my children?

Here are my top tips for how to budget your time wisely so that you have more time for you (and your loved ones).

Check out these tips and learn how to make more time for you! #tips Click To Tweet

1- Step away from the computer and put down your phone

I put this as my first tip because I need to be extra mindful with this one. Whether I’m tidying the house or spending time with my kids, I’m way more engaged and effective when I step away from technology. Emails, text messages, and social media are great thieves of time. If you want to have more time with your loved ones, give up technology at certain times of the day.

2- Get help

If your children are big enough to help out with the chores, enlist their help. My youngest daughter likes to fold towels and put away dishes. My oldest daughter likes to sweep and mop. If you’re working on chores together, you can still talk and be playful.

3- Do freezer cooking or make extra food

Whenever you can, make a few extra servings of dinner and freeze them. You could also do freezer cooking and make all of your meals a week or two ahead of time.

4- Clean as you go

Never leave a room without taking an item to put away. Make it a habit to pause at the doorway of a room and scan the area for anything that needs to be returned to a different room along the way. A glass in the living room can be brought to the kitchen or a dirty towel can be brought to the laundry hamper.

5- Do the end-of-evening tidy-up

Every night before bed, I tidy the kitchen (i.e. put the dishes in the dishwasher, clean the sink, tidy the front entrance, and fluff the couch cushions). I find by doing this, the house feels clean and ready to go the next morning.

6- Tackle one cleaning chore a day

I like to do one cleaning chore a day rather than clean everything once or twice a week. If you’re curious about my cleaning schedule, you may download it here.

7- Package snacks and lunch items

I like to have little snack packs for my girls. On a particularly busy week, I will bake muffins for the week, package their snacks ahead of time, and place them on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

8- Make dinner together

I enjoy making dinner and/or baking with my children. It’s a wonderful way to connect with them while still getting the chore of meal prep done.

9- Declutter

When I say declutter, I’m not just referring to purging the belongings in your house. While having less stuff means having less to clean and maintain, you should also look at decluttering your schedule. Which activities are not essential?  Consider dropping them.

10- Schedule your time

Speaking of schedule, my most important tip is to schedule your time effectively. Look at all of your duties in the day and record them into your daytimer and calendar. The #1 activity to schedule… time for yourself. If you make it the most important daily event, it will be your most important activity.

The #2 activity to schedule, time with your children and/or spouse. If you want to connect with your children or spouse, you have to mindfully make the time to connect with them!

What do you do to strike a balance between managing your household freeing up time to do what you love to do?


Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.

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51 thoughts on “How to Make More Time for You!

  • Ana Lynn

    One of my favorite ways to spend time and connect with family members is during dinner time. Now that we are in our own place, we try to have dinner on the table when everybody is home – unless Frank has to work really, really late. I love the fact that we are all around the table and talking about our day or other little tidbits!

  • Janine Huldie

    Great tips and the stepping away from my computer and phone are big ones and have been trying to do better on this front here. So, can’t thank you enough for the reminder today. Hugs and hoping you are having a great week so far!! xoxo :)

  • Cindy Hasko

    Awesome. True! Yeah, put the phone down…LOL. I think we are all guilty of that. I am! I have to make myself put it down at times AND I DO, so I can get stuff done and/or spend healthy, quality time with my husband and son. Doing chores as I go = big yes. I scheduled all of our Dr’s appt’s last week, all in the same week, just to get them over with and not have to spread them out week by week. Now, I am done with those for awhile and those are behind me. A schedule = a must. We had such a busy weekend with friends down this past wknd and we had 20 people over yesterday for a bbq, now back to a schedule of the normal things. It helps so much. BTW, I love reading about your homeschooling schedules. They put a lot of helpful hints into my plans and my mind about homeschooling. Thank you for that. xo

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these tips and I’m delighted you’re still enjoying the homeschooling posts.

      I’m trying to have all my parenting posts on Mondays and my homeschooling posts on Wednesdays… just so my readers know what to expect.

      Thanks for visiting my friend.

  • Caroline

    Ugh!! #1 – it’s so hard! Seriously, even with blogging!! I’m sure I would be so much more efficient if I would JUST blog and not multitask by checking bank accounts, writing emails, planning trips, getting on FB, etc!!! thanks for these ideas! Your posts are always so insightful!!!! I was just thinking yesterday I need a better way to tackle the laundry – some kind of system, because what I’m doing isn’t working ;)

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      Technology can be a tough one to battle. I put it as my #1 because I struggle with it the most. I have a habit of having 5 tabs open on my laptop at a time and my phone chirping and tweeting beside me.

      I have a friend who pared down her wardrobe significantly. We’re talking 25 pieces of clothes. She said it made a world of difference to her laundry regimen. Not sure if you would be willing to do that… but it’s something that I heard which actually works.

  • Ceil

    Hi Jennifer! How do I balance? Not well! Lol!
    I would like to say that I clean as I go, but it really just all piles up. When I was walking and able, Saturday was my day to clean and declutter. It was like starting all over again. Now that my husband is in charge, it’s much less cluttered, but a lot dirtier. (As we speak, the kitchen floor is disgusting.)

    Bunching jobs together is a great idea, from cleaning to cooking. One less thing to worry about later!

  • Jen@JENerallyInformed

    Great list Jennifer! I have begun having my 2 oldest children cook dinner together and then the 7 year old acts as their sous chief. It is fun watching them together and I am amazed at how much I can get done during that window of time.

  • Charlee

    Great ideas that I can work on right away. I always wonder why we have so much clutter at the end of the night in every room, but now I know it’s because I don’t put things away throughout the day. I love learning more about using my time wisely, because I need to now more than ever!

  • Gingi

    “Step away from the computer and put down your phone” – This one hit a little close to home. :-/

    Also, I have been struggling with wise time management for cleaning the home and such for some time now.. it sucks because I have a veeeery mild case of OCD, where I have to do thing “in order”… so I sometimes let my drive to clean the living first, then the kitchen second, and so on get in the way of “interruptions”.. like Tessa needing a boo boo kissed, or wanting snuggles, or wanting to read a book. I was literally just praying / working on this TODAY!

    Great post my friend, wonderful tips. <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  • Jessica Dimas

    Thank you so much for that free download! I downloaded it so I can add it to my planner. I really like your cleaning schedule and the way you have it broken down. I also really love your tips for making extra food and for making snack packages. I was just thinking the other day that if I could make a bunch of snack and lunch type foods at the beginning of the week, my life would be so much easier. I also have to be SUPER intentional about the computer. Oh my gosh…since my WP transfer on Friday I have been a HORRIBLE mother! That has got to change asap. Thank you for these wonderful tips on using our time wisely. You always inspire me!

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      Oooh, I’m glad you like the schedule! I love it. I’m relaxed on some days with it and really OCD on other days however, I find that by focusing on a different room every day, I can stay on top of cleaning a little bit better.

      I’m delighted you enjoyed this post Jessica. I seek to inspire… so hearing that from you makes my day!

  • Monica

    Meal times are my favorite technology-free zone. We all get to relax, eat, and converse with one another. No TV/Phone/Computer/Whatever! I occasionally mess this one up while my husband is on third shifts though, because he is gone for dinner and my toddler eats SO. SLOW. I find that doing chores together is truly quality bonding time. My daughter loves helping with the fun chores at least (usually those that are outside and cooking).

    I have been thinking about making my own cleaning schedule for the past couple days and posting it to my site. So funny you are sharing yours too! :)

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      I originally shared my cleaning schedule on The Deliberate Mom a few years ago (it was shortly after I started my blog). I periodically mention it because I do love it and it helps me tackle all my chores.

      I love that your meals are technology-free. We do that too. It’s so important.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these tips Monica.

  • Jaime D Buckley

    You know what? I’m just going to openly say i admire all of you–but I don’t have it in me to do it.

    Don’t know–maybe it’s a guy thing? Genetic?? No clue.

    Step away from the computer and phone is hard enough–like asking a cop to step away from the doughnuts. Not impossible, but it may turn into a fire fight.

    Now making dinner together–well, with SO many people in the house, that’s a given around here and I love it! Don’t know how to make many dishes and my daughters (and second oldest son, 17) love to cook.

    The rest of it? Sorry. Just ain’t gonna happen.
    How you can schedule time, it, well…I just shake my head, Jennifer!

    ANYtime…and it’s stupid to say ‘never’, ‘all’ etc…but this is true—ANYtime I try to “schedule” something, the Four Winds cut through my life like a bad fart in a car where the windows won’t roll down.

    (sorry for the visual there–just be grateful there’s no such thing as smell-o-vision…)

    What I do is mundane, I get that—but every morning i make a list on a yellow pad. Detailed plans as to what needs to be done, in order of priority.

    …then I get to work. Hammer it out until I accomplish it.
    Something in the way?

    A) Set it aside, or;
    B) Side step it, or;
    C) Strategically redirect it, or;
    D) Smash the livin’ crap outta it until it doesn’t move and you can get back to work!

    *pant* *pant*

    Sorry. Tough subject for me.

    So….you’re all cool.
    I’ll sit at the back of the bus on this one.

  • Tamara

    I love to think about time and household management. It’s so confusing to me as a work at home mom, because I do work, as you do too, but I’m also home. Sometimes it works just fine, but many times I’ll get a big work project and it will throw everything in the air.
    I’ve found that asking for help is key. I tried to do it all for far too long.

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      Time and household management is something I’m constantly working on/honing. It’s a lot of effort to be efficient! Sometimes I wish everything was operated by buttons (like the Jetsons). Although I think I would probably find a new way to fritter away my time. LOL

  • Iulia Gulia

    Freezer cooking has been incredibly beneficial to me in terms of time-saving. I stumbled upon once a month freezer CROCK POT cooking (the crock pot is essential) a few months ago, and haven’t looked back since. My dinner prep literally just involves dumping a bag of food in my slow cooker every morning…and enjoying the smells all day long. It’s awesome. Thanks for sharing the wonderful list…you’ve inspired me to be better about cleaning as I go and the end of the evening tidying!

  • Debbie

    Hi Jennifer, children are only young once, so time is precious. One of the down sides to technology is the fact that it can take up so much time.

    Prioritizing time with children is important and if that means not doing something less important than so be it. I think a lot of us can pinpoint where we waste time that would better spent with the children.

    I did tidy up in the evening when the children were small, but I am most definitely a morning person, so now they are older I get things done in the morning…In fact in an ideal world they would be tidying the house before they go to bed…

    Another great post!

  • Sarah Nenni Daher

    This is such great advice, Jennifer! I would add one thing: ask for some additional time when you need it. I am thankful for an understanding husband who helps me try to fit in as many things as possible by offering a hand… Wow, I think I’m going to go and tell him “thanks” for that. :)

  • Maria

    These are fabulous tips, and just in time. I’ve been struggling with time management lately and have yet to figure out how to use it wisely. Your suggestion about social media and a cleaning schedule certainly helps! I’ve downloaded a copy and will try it next week! Thank you for sharing :)

  • Tiffany-A Touch of Grace

    Ok, we are so much alike in this area. I do most of these things too. The one thing we both want to do is freezer meals. Just need to find the time to put them together on a weekend. Now that A is older I’m definitely enlisting her help more with chores, cooking and baking. It’s quality time for us and we get things done.

    Great tips Jennifer!!

  • Matthew

    Hi Jennifer,

    My wife and I tend to make use of the round trip when taking our daughters to where they need to go.

    Music Lessons, Dance and Drama rehearsals, orchestra or choir practice, sports commitments, etc, generally last for an hour or two or three. I enjoy the one-on-one time in the car with either/or of my girls on the way. I drop them off, then head to the grocery store, the shopping center, the post office, the gas station, the hardware store, or wherever. I get what I need, do what I need to do and then pick up my girl(s) and have an enjoyable one-on-one time in the car again hearing about their activities on the way back home.

    They are happy, I am happy and we “get stuff done”.

    Plus, we tend to schedule Sundays as being deliberate and designated Lazy Mornings that involve sleeping in and then everyone cooking and eating Brunch in our PJ’s together.


  • Rebecca

    Can someone please teach my husband how to clean-as-you-go? My dad taught me this when I was a wee little child and it drives me nuts when my husband creates a mess without looking back. It’s so much less work when you clean up as you go! But if the lesson comes from me, naturally my other half resists it. lol