Do you spend a lot of time waiting for other people? What do you do when you've got a few minutes before you need to leave the house? Do you use those little chunks of time wisely?
This week I've been doing a time audit, and it's really showed me how I'm using my time. I've learned that I'm wasting a TON of time on non-essential things, but I also lose little chunks of time here and there because I'm waiting.
Maybe you can relate? Do you wait to pick up your kids? Wait for everyone to get their shoes and socks on so you can all leave the house? Wait for everyone to get to the dinner table so you can eat?
Wait on hold on the phone with the insurance company? (my top pet peeve at the moment)
Most people would use those extra few minutes to hop on Facebook or check their email. Maybe you're in the same boat – a few minutes of social media time gives us a break, and if we have something to do in a few minutes, it ensures that we don't spend all day scrolling through our feeds.
What if you could use those “awkward pauses” to help you be more productive?
Yesterday I was listening to Dana White's podcast, A Slob Comes Clean, and she talked about the benefit of using those little chunks of time when we feel like we should be doing something, but there's not enough time to get any big tasks done.
A little bit here and there really does add up.
I decided to try to use all of my little chunks of time to do something productive for just one day. I discovered two things:
- I have way more “awkward pauses” than I thought I did. By using them to be productive, I got a lot done.
- It's hard to think of what to do during your extra chunks of time when you're put on the spot.
- Sometimes, it's good to use those little chunks of time to just relax and take a breather.
After discovering these little pockets of extra time, I decided to sit down and make a list of things I could do during the pauses in our day. As the list grew and grew, I decided to make it into a blog post to share with you all.
In the Kitchen
- Unload the dishwasher
- Load the dishwasher
- Hand-wash one or two dishes
- Wipe down the countertops
- Throw out (or compost) food that's gone bad
- Take out the trash
- De-trash the kitchen
- Sweep the kitchen floor
- Wash out the kitchen sink with soap and water
- Wipe off the kitchen table
- Replace paper towels/napkins if needed
- Defrost something – or move it from the freezer to the fridge
- Prep fruits and vegetables for your next meal
- Dust the tops of your washer and dryer
- Clean gunk out of the top of your washing machine (am I the only one that has this problem?)
- Move clothes from the washer to the dryer
- Fold clothes
- Match socks – although, I'd recommend a system for not having to match socks anymore
- Put clothes away
- Sweep the laundry room floor
In the Car
- Gather up trash and throw it away
- Wipe down the dashboard
- Clean out cup holders
- Declutter glove compartment
- Make sure you know where to find your proof-of-insurance and registration
- Organize your reusable shopping bags
In the Bathroom
- Change the hand towels
- Stock toilet paper
- Refill liquid soap
- Wipe down sink
- Wipe down top of toilet
- Put away beauty supplies left out on the counter
- Wipe down bathroom counter (if you have one!)
- Sweep bathroom floor
- Clean the bathroom mirror
- Disinfect the doorknobs and lightswitches
- Declutter personal care supplies – is there anything you've never used that you could donate?
- Take out the trash
In the Office
- Shred papers you've been meaning to shred. If you don't have a shredder, just tear them up really well.
- Test out your pens and markers. Get rid of the ones that don't work.
- Go through a pile and recycle un-needed papers
- Fill your printer with paper
- Change your ink cartridges if needed
- Dust your desk and shelves
- Take out the trash
- Recycle junk mail
- Open mail
- Make a to-do list
- Make/cancel appointments
- Do an online order that you've been meaning to place
- Email/text a friend
- Add appointments to your calendar
- Have a glass of water
- Pull some weeds
- Snuggle up with a pet
- Read a story or chat with your kids if they're with you
- Take a picture of that thing you've been meaning to sell to get it ready to list online
- Organize a meal plan binder