There is a LOT going on around here.

A lot of family.

A lot of things to get done.

A lot of balls in the air.

I’m always racing myself. Trying to get things done faster. Trying to get things done more efficiently. Trying to get things done while I sleep.

And along the way?

I’ve discovered so many time-saving tips and tricks and ideas that can save you minutes in a day. And I know that minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, but what if you saved 10 minutes every day?  It doesn’t seem like that much until you add it all up.  10 minutes x 365 days =3650 minutes.  And can someone please check my multiplication because I ran from higher math in high school?

(total aside: This is one of my favorite topics to discuss on the planet and the list was getting LENGTHY. So to save even more time, I’m only sharing the top ones. See? We are already saving time and we haven’t even started.)

In no particular order (spoiler alert—this list is SUPER random), here are my top 25 ways to add time to your day.

1. Do the hardest thing first.

(total aside: you could just stop here. If you do the thing you don’t want to do first, you’ve already added an hour or two of time and not worrying to your day).

2. Control Z on your keyboard. If you make a mistake or mistype or lose part of your document? Just CTRL Z on your keyboard (Command Z on your mac).

3. Empty the dishwasher as SOON as you think of it. Do NOT walk by it 41 times. Just empty it and in two minutes you’ll be done.

4. When you go from room to room, before you leave, look around and see if you need to take anything from room to room. Then pick it up and move it. You are already making the trip. Why not bring some stuff with you. I’ve trained myself on this over the years and have it down to a fine art. It’s like a time muscle. The more you exercise it, the better you get.

5. Number 4 works even better if you have a two-story house. Heading downstairs? Look around and see if anything needs to go with you. Heading upstairs? Look around and see if anything needs to go up.

And if you put a pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs?


Take it up with you.

(total aside Number 4 and 5 not only save time, but help ELIMINATE CLUTTER. Win and win.)

6. Make a list. Yep. I know, right? Totally old school. And then? WAIT FOR IT.

Check. It. Off.

7. Here is another Captain Obvious idea. When you use something? Put it back in its place. When I film a craft? I take all this stuff out and it sits all over the table. Once I’m done filming, I walk around and put it all back before I do my next thing on my list. Having it sit out only makes me nervous with all that stuff out of place.

And if it needs to go downstairs? I refer to number 5.

8. Put your shoes on when you get up. It helps if you get dressed, too, but when all else fails? The shoes are the go-to.

9. Walk away from your phone. All those little alerts can be the biggest time-waster. For example, I’m writing a post right now. It takes me about 45 minutes. If I stopped and looked at my phone? I would take me 57 minutes. Time saved without phone? 12 minutes.

10. Audiobooks (see I told you the list was random). I LOVE to read. But it’s so hard to set aside time to sit down and read (and then I get caught up in the book and don’t get anything done). The answer? Audiobooks. You can read and do other things at the same time.

11. Use your waiting time wisely. I have a list of things I save for when I’m waiting. The list is in my notes app on my phone (this is a time when your phone is your friend, not your distractor). I take care of those tasks when I’m waiting and save time. The key for success with this? Decide what you want to do BEFORE you ever start waiting.

12. Say no. I know that this is hard. I get it. Let me help you.

When someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do? Just tell them that you “are overwhelmed.” Those words work in almost every situation.

They have gotten me out of more time-wasting things than I can count.

13. Display your dishes and silverware you use every day. I know this seems like a random addition to our time-saving list, but when you empty the dishwasher, I just add them to the display instead of taking the time to put them all away.

14. Shop online. This is my current best time-saver. Here are my best online shopping tips.

15. Use a crockpot. It only requires a little bit of planning and will save you SO MUCH time with meal prep. Here are some amazing (and easy) crockpot meals.

16. Have a morning routine. I could do an entire post on this because it’s something I’m embracing this year. But here’s the Reader’s Digest version.

Stay off your phone, stretch and have coffee.

17. Have a laundry sorter. We have a laundry sorter with three compartments. There’s one for darks. One for lights and one for cold water and delicates.

18. And while we’re on the subject of laundry? Teach children how to do laundry. Their future spouses will thank you one day.

19. Buy bigger trash cans with lids and pedals that you step on. It looks so much cuter and there are less trips to the trash.

20. Hang a shopping list on the wall in the kitchen (or a chalkboard works, too). Then when you (or someone in the family) realizes you are out of something? Add it to the list.

Take a picture of the list on your phone before you go to the store.

21. Have a place for everything in your home. Clutter is just stuff you haven’t figured out where it goes yet. (Remember tips 4 and 5? This works because you know where everything goes).

22. If you pick it up, PUT IT AWAY. Do you know how much wasted time is spent, picking things up, looking at them, and then PUTTING THEM RIGHT BACK WHERE YOU PICKED THEM UP FROM?

23. Use a wrinkle release spray instead of ironing.

24. Turn off notifications on your phone. In most cases, those notifications are nothing but stress. You are the boss of your phone. Don’t let it tell you what to do.

25. And my favorite (I know I said I didn’t have favorites at the beginning—but number 1 and number 25 are game-changers).


I know you are going to get back into that bed 14 hours later, but here’s the thing.

With feet in your shoes and pillows on your bed?

You can rule the world.

One minute at a time.

PS I realize as I was reading back over this list, that I sound SUPER bossy in places. I can’t help it. I’m a mom. 🙂

PPS All the photo credits for this post go to the amazing Kenna Lynn Photography.

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  1. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    Both my (retired) husband and I have a quiet time when we have our morning coffee. I find that by reading my bible and spending time with the Lord first, I am able to plan my day and accomplish much more. BTW -Congratulations with whatever you’re doing - because you look great!!! Love your blog. Thanks for all the great ideas.

  2. Image for Toni Toni

    I read an article about the discipline of making your bed every day flows over to other areas of life!! So I thank my parents for requiring me to make my bed when I was growing up as I ended up becoming a person who loves organization. It actually became my career as a Personal Assistant (helping others be organized). So, you never know the benefits! Loved your tips as well, especially taking a picture of the grocery list (which I also keep on my fridge) but have forgotten behind or lost in the store too many times! Game changer! Thank you!

  3. Image for JC JC

    Love this list! Some I already do and some I need to implement! I like to clean the bathrooms, junk drawer, refrigerator etc. when I am on the phone! It makes it seem to go so much quicker! Also, trying to plan a months worth of meals instead of weekly, buy my needed non perishables for each meal at the beginning of the month, and then my weekly grocery shopping is lessened to fresh produce. We'll see how it goes! Fyi, Costco now has pick up! Happy Monday!

  4. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Love this post. I do almost all. Living in a ranch I don't have to worry about up and down anymore. I have always made our bed and it's a game changer. I also leave my phone on vibrate unless I know doctors are calling about something. Once the call is over back on vibrate. You're so right all the beeps are nonstop. Cindy

  5. Image for Kris Kris

    So now I'm picturing people wandering their homes in shoes and nothing else. Thanks for the bizarre visual. Ha. I do many of these things (but not the shoe advice). I will add that when you use a crockpot for simple meals, be careful to pay attention to the spices you add and don't, say, confuse cayenne pepper and chili pepper. Don't ask.

  6. Image for patricia patricia

    First I noticed how tiny you look in your photos. Yes, I know you lost a whole child's worth of weight but it really hit me today. Next, I noticed you look younger too. Thinner, younger, what's next? The ability to levitate? PS I concur with all your tips except the phone ones because I really only use my cell for outgoing calls and in emergencies. I'm already there. PPS My morning routine: morning pages before I even get out of bed. Short stretching routine. Make bed. Walk 3000+ then shower and breakfast.

  7. Image for Be Be

    Love this list!!! Reminds me to get it done and do it now not three days from now. Getting ready for a graduation party for my niece and a few friends.... so I need to get started doing all these things. It will take that long. Mercy!!!!! Thanks for all the little things that we overlook.

  8. Image for Linda Linda

    KariAnne, the laundry sorter is a great idea. My Mom used three plastic garbage containers labeled with lights, colored, darks 35+ years ago. She was ahead of her time, with 8 kids there was always a load ready to wash when the container was full. I do the same, learned from the best!

  9. Image for Darlene Darlene

    KariAnne......your ideas are ones I have used my whole life. I looked after a farm, two boys, a husband who drove a train and was away a lot and juggled parents and in laws. And grew a huge garden, etc. That was my motto, tidy house make beds and breakfast and go to barn. That organization allowed me to run a very organized life. You are so correct about if it has to be done, do it now. You do look beautiful and I look forward to your emails everyday. Keep up the good work.

  10. Image for Peg Peg

    When you said 1 and 25 are game changers, I had to go back and read number 1 because I couldn't remember it!! LOL xoxo p.s. I completely agree!!!

  11. Image for jillian jillian

    All excellent ideas. I grew up to be slightly OCD I think...love organizing. One thing I do every day is patrol all over the main floor with a little hand vac and get the little things up that bug me. My hubby does the big heavy vacuuming, but not really frequently, so this keeps things clean and only takes a few minutes. I put slippers or flip flops on every morning but am terrible about getting dressed until almost noon unless going out. One of my favorite things since being retired :) It also saves a lot of time if I can get hubby to do more house things, haha.

  12. Image for Lyn Lyn

    I was just chatting this AM with my sister-in-law about the very same thing. I told what what I was going to prepare for dinner tonight. She said she was so jealous when I told her what I am planning. She wonders how I get so much accomplished. I have been a planner and a huge list maker - I even. make lists of lists - for all the years we have been married. My daughter has a saying - I want what I want and I figure out a way to get it - I think she got that from me. My favorite tip you gave is put something on the stairs that needs to go up or down and grab it and take care of it on your way. Also, the first thing in the AM the bed gets made, and after dinner at night no matter what time it is - always empty the dishwasher. Sometimes when I am fixing dinner and waiting for a pot to boil or the timer to go off in the oven, I ask myself what can I get done in 5 minutes. It might be washing the kitchen window by the sink that gets spotty, or wiping down the frig, etc.

  13. Image for Rev. Suzanne Taylor Rev. Suzanne Taylor

    These are good tips, KariAnne. I would add: When you enter your home, never lay your coat or hoodie on the couch or back of a chair, hang it up. Never put your purse on the counter or table. Put it in its place. And clean the shoes you wore to go out and put them away. I've been doing this since I was a young wife and Mama. It helps.


    KariAnne, those are such cute pictures of you sitting at your Dad's desk! You look wonderful -- and you always did! I know you feel so much better with taking off your weight. You are doing great! Such good advice today. I have to add a few to my daily routine! Thanks, again, for always thinking of all of us and giving us all your wonderful suggestions! Have a blessed week!

  15. Image for Michelle Crowley Michelle Crowley

    Hey, I feel good! I'm doing pretty good on many of these things - but also discovered many I can learn from! I need to learn to be the boss of my phone! I like your idea of not looking at the phone in the morning - I'm going to try this one! Also, I've found that if I put my grocery list in Reminders on my phone instead of on paper I always have it! When someone says "hey we're out of…" I immediately add it to my Grocery List in Reminders and then I always have it when I'm at the store and can't remember what they said they needed!

  16. Image for Ellen Collins Ellen Collins

    So many good ideas here! I want to reinforce the "empty the dishwasher" item. This is one that I struggled with for so long. When I began paying attention to how long it actually took (or DIDN'T take), I found that emptying it right away gave me a huge sense of satisfaction equal to completing a much larger task. That encourages me to go on to those items that really take effort with a lighter heart.

  17. Image for BeverlyO BeverlyO

    I have a suggestion for the shopping list. If you have a Google account, you can use Google Keep. It is like a virtual sticky note. The great thing about it is you can make a list with checkboxes. Then, when you check an item off the list, it draws a line through that task or item and moves it to the bottom of the note. Instant gratification! Plus, you could use this for a shopping list and when you need to add milk to the list, just uncheck the box and milk moves back to the top of the list. Need bread? Uncheck it and you know you need to buy it (or order it to be delivered). Your most often purchased items all stay right there on your list and you can just check and uncheck the box. Another great feature is that you can add Google Keep to your Chrome browser and use your laptop for building the list or use the app on your phone and you always have your list handy! There are other features like categories for your notes or color-coding or reminders but I'll let you explore and discover that all on your own. I use it ALL the time!

  18. Image for Ann Ann

    Love this post...and you look amazing! Good for you ! I have had our hamper divided in 3 sections since I read Sidetracked Home Executives in the early 1980s. We go the hamper for our wedding in 1977...I had my honey cut wood dividers, covered them with pretty contact paper, he screwed them in...and in the beginning I had labels on the lid to show what goes where. They wore off and we are well trained by now. LOL...in a "vintage" shop in our cute little downtown they showed our hamper in the window...that is how I know I am getting old. Then, yesterday for my birthday, my honey took me on a drive to one of my favorite places...The Container Store. Another LOL...Marie Kondo has a hamper you can buy there...of course - divided into groups of colors, whites, etc. Saw the price...think I will keep our oldie but goodie. Good luck with your project for you office/work place. Blessings -

  19. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Great tips! I've "trained" my hubby and mom (since I do her shopping for her) to use the AnyList App. It's a game changer! Any time you think of something you need from the store, add it to the list. Whenever hubby or I go to the store, our list is on our phone. Shared lists allow each other to add or delete (or just mark out if it's something we use on a regular basis). I have some private lists (gift ideas for people), and some lists I share (like grocery store items and around the house to-do lists). I even have my packing lists for cruises, weekend getaways, etc. on it! You can add recipes, but I haven't used that function. Thought you might like it!

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