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We all have the same number of hours in the day, but chances are it feels like there just aren’t enough of them! Homesteaders are one of the many people who want to know how to manage time when there just isn’t enough of it to go around!
There are so many good ways to spend our time, it can be hard when natural limits impose themselves. I used to stay up way too late to try to get more stuff done each day. Ultimately that caught up to me in the form of poor health.
What can you do when there just isn’t enough time each day to get everything done?
Here’s How To Manage Time When There Just Isn’t Enough Of It
Cut Out Time Wasters
The first thing you have to do is cut out the time wasters. If there’s something you’ve always been meaning to do, but just never seem to have time for you have to MAKE that time!
What is wasted time? It’s anything you’re doing that doesn’t bring you closer to your goals or benefit your life.
Unfollow on Facebook
I like Facebook. I like to get on and see what my family members far away are doing in their lives. But Facebook can quickly become a huge time suck if you aren’t ruthless. Only follow the things you really love to see. Unfollow people, pages, and groups that just take up your time. My feed is family members and a couple close friends. That’s it! I can keep up with family in just a few minutes each day.
Don’t Check Your Email
When I say don’t check your email, I mean, don’t check it incessantly, all day long. Set one or two times a day where you deal with email, and ignore it the rest of the time! Make sure you turn off notifications on your phone too, so you aren’t tempted to read them as they come in. If something can’t wait 6-8 hours in your email inbox, people should be texting or calling. Not emailing!
Americans spend way too much time sitting in traffic. Anything you can do to cut down on your commuting time each day will be more time for much more valuable things. Live close to where you work. If that’s not possible, try to work early or later shifts to avoid the worst rush hour.
If your city has decent public transportation, consider using it. The bus may take a bit longer, but you could read or knit or get other small projects done while you ride. And if you can telecommute or start a home based business, even better!
Use Technology To Help
Not all technological advances are time wasters. I recently purchased an iRobot vacuum and L.O.V.E it. I really hate vacuuming, so anything that means I don’t have to is a winner. Also popular in my house is the washing machine and the dishwasher. These do take water and electricity, so make sure that the time they save is worth their cost to run for your!
Multitask With A Plan
It’s pretty well documented that people are actually terrible at multitasking. When we try to multitask we actually become LESS efficient at the things we are doing. However, it is possible to plan out how we multitask so that we are the most efficient.
The best multitasking pairs activities of different natures, like listening to something while doing monotonous physical work. This would look like listening to audiobooks while doing housework, or gardening podcasts while you commute to work.
You can also multitask by making one activity fill two purposes in your life. Gardening and yard work is good exercise. Caring for your chickens is great meditation time. Visit with your loved ones while you prepare dinner or store food for later.
When there just isn’t enough time each day, you also have to streamline and make time where you can. Start off by automating as many things as possible. If you have to get fresh water for your chickens every day, get them an automatic system instead.
Instead of planting dainty plants that need lots of tender, loving care, go for the hardy self-sufficient plants that can withstand a little neglect and still thrive.
Anytime you can set up a system to do what you do by hand, you are saving yourself time! Work with your environment instead of against it. Sometimes that can look like very small changes.
For example, I usually brush my daughters’ hair at the kitchen table in the morning, yet I’ve been storing all their hair stuff in the bathroom. It takes time to go get everything out of the bathroom, then put it back when we’re done.
Instead of wasting my time and energy on that every day, I now have a cute canister on my counter that holds all of the hair stuff. It’s right on hand when I need it with no extra effort on my part.
Evaluating and setting up systems for your homestead is the essence of permaculture. If you truly want to know how to save time, then permaculture is for you! Find ways to get the work done automatically instead of doing it yourself.
An example of this would be using ducks for pest control in your garden instead of doing it yourself, or planting multiple layers of plants to prevent weeds from growing.
Time is one of our most precious commodities. If you can learn how to manage time, even when it seems like there is never enough, you will be able to improve your life and your homestead.
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