Tag Archives: time
Back to Simplify Your Life with Elaine St. James to see what her next tip is.
“Buy in bulk.”
Going to her local wholesale store once to twice a year has saved her a great deal of time and money. She says that she buys “paper towels, Kleenex, detergents, cleansers, pet foods, toothpaste, shampoos, shaving creams, rice, grains, legumes, nuts, and baking supplies.”
Here are a few of my thoughts since I know you are all on the edge of your seats as wait for my opinion.
1. Does the cost of the yearly membership at the wholesale club outweigh the amount you will save by buying in bulk?
2. Do you have room to store all of these extra products in your home?
3. Could you get the same cost savings by clipping coupons from the newspaper and searching for others online once every week or two before shopping?
4. Are you computing the cost per unit? Not everything sold in bulk is cheaper than at other discount stores. Try using that handy calculator on your smart phone unless you are great with arithmetic in your head.
5. Are you using your large amounts of food products before they go bad? Most dry and liquid ingredients have some length of shelf life and some of them are surprisingly short. Once packages are opened, their shelf life decreases dramatically. Keep a permanent marker in a kitchen drawer and mark packages of baking soda, baking powder, vanilla extract and others with the date they are opened. Then keep this handy guide nearby, perhaps on the refrigerator.
If you would like this as a Word document, click for the shelf life of baking ingredients.
Happy shopping, fellow bargain lovers!
I stayed up late last night (OOPS!) to make my schedules for the weekdays. I much prefer to write at least the rough draft on paper and then possibly switch to a Word document or spreadsheet once I have the schedule perfected. I also like to use different colors when scheduling so that way it is easier for me to see when my personal time is and when my work time is. For example, I used yellow and purple for work, orange for personal time and blue for housework.
Since I teach piano Tuesdays through Thursdays, I leave Mondays and Fridays more for housework and cooking. I try to schedule an equal amount of personal time each day. Personal time to me means anything from waking up slowly in bed, to getting a shower, to reading a book or painting my toenails.
Also, for those of us who work at home and especially for those who have family schedules to work around, it’s very helpful to schedule a “floating hour” at some point in the day. This is the hour that you can use for random activities like haircuts, a needed nap, a supper engagement, playing with the kitties, an unexpected phone call or watering the flowers. I have found that this eliminates a lot of the frustration of sticking to a schedule since there is one completely unscheduled hour on each day of the week. And of course, no schedule goes completely according to plan. But if, for some unknown reason, I do stay on schedule, I can use that hour either to get more work done or to have some relaxation time.
Here are a couple examples of my days. First is Thursday, which is one of my busy workdays.
9:30a.m. Wake up and personal time
11:30 a.m. Write/blog
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Piano lessons
2:00 p.m. Write
3:00 p.m. Piano lessons
6:00 p.m. Supper
6:30 p.m. Piano lessons
7:00 p.m. Write
8:00 p.m. Floating hour!
9:00 p.m. Catch up with family and friends
10:30 p.m. Personal time
12:30 a.m. Bedtime
Next is my Friday schedule, which is one of the days that I do more house-related activites such as the weekly grocery shopping.
9:30 a.m. Wake up and personal time
11:30 a.m. Write/blog
1:30 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. Errands and grocery shopping
3:30 p.m. Write
6:00 p.m. Personal time
6:30 p.m. Supper
7:30 p.m. Write
9:00 p.m. Floating hour!
10:00 p.m. Catch up with family and friends
11:30 p.m. Personal time and bedtime is whenever!
I try to scatter my writing throughout the day since I know that I lose focus and concentration if I do it without taking little breaks.
As you can tell, I’m more of a night owl then a morning person, and thankfully, that works out just fine with my stay-at-home schedule that allows me to set my own hours! However, I guess that I can’t stay up late anymore like I did last night to work on my blog.
I work as a private piano instructor throughout the year, which I absolutely love. I so enjoy teaching all of my students – children, teens, adults. I find piano teaching extremely rewarding as I see my students understand concepts and become better musicians. I also do some writing and editing for a couple companies on the side.
I find that I have to be careful to give myself a schedule since I work from home. If I don’t work according to a schedule, I end up somehow wasting my time. Sometimes, I have no idea where it goes! Another difficulty that I have is knowing when to clean my house and catch up on other things around the house since I am always here working. Working from home tends to merge all these facets together.
I accomplish many more things when I have a schedule to follow. Plus, I always work more efficiently and have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when I am being challenged by a time requirement. Of course, it’s impossible to follow a schedule like this to the minute, so I will make changes to it over the first couple weeks of a new school year to determine what really works best for me.
Making a schedule is easy in an Excel spreadsheet. However, I’m more of a paper and pencil girl myself. Is anyone else in love with graph paper?? Since each of my days is different based on my piano schedule, I need to have 5 completely different schedules. I make sure to include all of my personal daily activities as well as housework. I find that a schedule actually gives me more freedom and allows me to relax at the end of the day.
I will soon post a draft of one or two of my daily schedules here. However, for all of you stay-at-home moms that need a completely different sort of example that includes your children, here is an excellent link for you at a blog called Want What You Have.
Here is great free template if you don’t want to make your own. This is a full week landscape calendar.