Stressed out? Tired? Busy? Yeah, us too.
How would you feel with four hours of extra free time a week? It isn't a pipe dream. With a few new habits, you'll save time and feel more relaxed at home. First, take a deep breath. Then, try these 8 simple ways to chillax more at home:
1. Simplify Your Breakfast on Weekdays
Scrambled eggs and ham are delicious, but saving the big breakfast for the weekends will make your mornings go a lot smoother. Choose something that's easy (and quick) to assemble like yogurt and granola.
Layer a yogurt of your choice – we're partial to greek – with tasty granola and some fresh fruit. Not only does this breakfast take less than a minute to make, it will keep you full for hours thanks to the fiber in granola.
The Benefit: 20 extra minutes each morning if you were making hot breakfasts!
2. Pick Up Five Things Before Bed Each Night
Skeptical about the idea that cleaning makes you feel more relaxed? Hear us out. Rather than spending a few hours each weekend cleaning everything that's piled up during the week, pick up five things every night and put them away. It will take you at most 15 minutes. By the time the weekend rolls around, your home will take way less time to clean and you can move on to more important things, like brunch.
The Benefit: An extra hour added to your weekend relaxation.
3. Prioritize Your Home Tasks
How much time do you spend doing chores? The answer is too much time. To fix that, prioritize your home tasks into these buckets:
1. Most important, must get done ASAP
2. Needs doing but not urgent
3. Meh, I don't really notice the difference after I finish
Now, stop doing the chores in the third bucket!
With this system, you'll stop wasting time doing things like washing unworn sheets in the guest room. The important thing here is to only cut tasks that really don't matter to you. Otherwise, you're only going to increase your stress level.
The Benefit: Your to-do list will probably be permanently shorter by 2-5 tasks.
4. Stick to a Schedule
Staying up too late always sounds like a good idea… that is, until your alarm sounds the next morning. Then you rush to get ready, drive to work and start the whole cycle all over again. (Aren't you stressed just reading about it?)
Instead, go to bed early and set your alarm for an hour earlier than your regular routine. You'll wake up rested and have time to enjoy a cup of coffee and knock out a few emails before work.
The Benefit: One extra hour every morning!
5. Rethink Your Key Situation
Are you misplacing your keys every few weeks? Then it's time to rethink your organization system. Instead of setting your keys down willy-nilly and wasting 5 minutes or more a day searching for them, place a dish or bowl by the front door. Every time you walk into the house, drop the keys in the dish. After about a month, it will be a habit.
The Benefit: Not getting yelled at by children or significant others when they're ready to go and you can't find your keys.
6. Learn to Delegate
You don't need to do everything yourself! If you have roommates or share a home with family, create a chore calendar with duties divvied up. Live alone? Consider hiring some help to take care of your most-hated tasks (like bathroom duty or the laundry). Delegating chores will save you hours!
The Benefit: After you delegate, your work is done! Enjoy a cocktail or something.
7. Schedule Chore Time
We think that idea #2 is great, but it's not for everyone. If a 5-day routine isn't realistic for you, try this instead: Reserve two hours in your calendar each week for cleaning. Pick a time that isn't particularly precious to you, whether that's Monday night at 7 or Sunday morning at 8. When that block rolls around, set a two hour timer, crank up your cleaning jams and go at it.
The Benefit: Allotting a confined time with a specific end will take the stress out of cleaning because it won't become a blob-like task of pain with no clear resolution.
8. Plan One Electronics-Free Night a Week
While this habit won't save you time, it will help you fall asleep faster, which is just as valuable! Designate one night a week as “no-electronics” night, and avoid your phone, computer, iPad, Netflix account, etc. away as soon as you walk in the door.
The Benefit: You'll fall asleep faster, and you'll have a big ‘ole chunk of time to relax, reflect or maybe tackle a two-hour cleaning session per idea #7.