Add Hours to Your Week

by Cassie Fenoseff

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Stop Wasting Time

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Time Management

Who doesn't wish that they had more hours in a given day or week? Just about everybody has more things to do than time to do them all in. How many of us have come home to a hungry family, only to find that you have to go back out to the grocery store to get the necessary ingredients for dinner? Or how about waking up late in the morning, only to remember that you still have to make lunches and find something clean to wear? Most of this hassle and frustration can be avoided with a little planning. Spending just a little extra time on Sunday, or whenever works best for you, preparing for the week ahead can leave you with much more time during the week to focus on more important things. Not to mention that it can leave your entire family feeling much less stressed. Following are some simple tips that you can do prior to the start of each week to avoid having to worry about them during the week.

Tip # 1: Make lasagna, a casserole, chili, or something similar on Sunday and have it for dinner the following week. If you make a large enough portion, you could have dinner already made for the entire week. You can also alter the variety slightly by serving varying side dishes with the main course. Canned vegetables or fruit are quick and healthy suggestions. If you don't like the idea of having the same main course every night, then at least plan out your dinners ahead of time so that you will have all of the ingredients and there will be no time wasted wondering what to make. This will also avoid impromptu trips to restaurants, which can be costly, time-consuming, and less healthy.

Tip #2: Pick out what you are going to wear every day of the week and have everyone else in your family do the same. If you prepare your clothes ahead of time, there won't be any surprises such as missing buttons or no clean shirts in the morning. Ironing all of the clothes prior to the start of the week also saves you from having to do that during the week. In addition, you only have to get the ironing board, iron, etc. out one time.

Tip #3: Pre-make lunches on Sunday. Most items in a lunch can be pre-made. For example, fruit that will be taken in a lunch can be pre-washed. Bags of vegetables for lunches can all be made up prior to the start of the week. This way, instead of washing, chopping, and bagging items every morning, you can simply grab one of the pre-made bags. This is also cheaper than buying them already made up at the grocery store. Similarly, it will help you to resist the temptation to buy lunch when you don't have time to make it in the morning, therefore saving you even more money, and probably helping you to eat healthier as well.

Tip #4: Prepare your mail or other miscellaneous items for the following week during the weekend. If you know that you will need to mail payment on a bill on Thursday, write the check and put it in the envelope on Sunday. Then when Thursday comes, you won't have to worry about it. If you do all of your bills at once for the week, you will save time, and only have to get out the stamps and checkbook one time. If you know that you have aerobics on Wednesday, pack your bag of clothing on Sunday so that it will be ready for you on Wednesday morning.

Tip #5: Prepare breakfast foods ahead of time. Breakfast can be one of the most hectic meals of the day for many families. However, you can make it much easier if you do a few things ahead of time. For example, pour bowls of cereal out on Sundays for each day of the week. If you cover them, they will remain fresh, and children can just grab a bowl in the morning. Similarly, many people take different vitamins. Instead of worrying about sorting out who gets which vitamins each morning, put them in a pill case labeled with the days of the week. Then, you will have all of the vitamins at your fingertips instead of opening a variety of jars. Setting the table the night before will also save time in the morning.

All of these tips, especially if they are used jointly, can help to save you several hours during the week, without costing you much extra time during the weekend. The peace of mind will help you to focus on more important things throughout the week. Once you get into the routine of doing these tasks on Sundays, or whenever works best for you, you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner!

Cassie Fenoseff works full time as an automotive engineer and part time as a freelance writer. She writes on topics ranging from travel to fitness, and also recently completed a mystery novel. You can email her at

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