How I Regained Almost A Day A Week With A Time Audit

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:34 am on Monday, March 2, 2015

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What’s the most precious resource in your life? For me, it’s time. It’s the one thing you can’t get back. So I decided to see if I could free up a few more hours a week by doing a Time Audit.

For two weeks, I carried a notebook with me and wrote down everything I did and how much time it took me to do it. Then I broke all my activities into categories, tallied how much time each one took, and compared them to total time spent. From there, I broke the categories into percentages, so I could tell how much time I spent working, sleeping, eating, watching TV, and so forth.

Why do this? To:

    * Find out what I was really spending my time on.
    * Find extra hours in the week.
    * Learn how to use my time more efficiently.

Writing down everything you do is an annoying chore, but it was worth it because now I have an accurate idea of how I was using my time, and where I was wasting it. I learned a lot about myself in the process.

Here’s a few things I learned:

THE GOOD:

I work a lot. Turns out I spend the majority of my time working, which is fine with me. I love to work.

I read a lot. I was surprised to find I spend a portion of every day reading books. I didn’t realize it was such an ingrained habit, and I think it’s a good one to have.

I spend a lot of time socializing, being active, and playing with my son. All good things.

THE BAD:

I sleep too much. What? An adult woman who gets *too much* sleep? Yep. I was frequently getting over 9 hours of sleep per night. I believe in getting enough rest, but that’s just ridiculous. So I started getting up an hour earlier, which means an extra 7 more hours a week.

I spend too much time cleaning. I was shocked to find that I spend 9 hours a week just cleaning. That’s insane! My house isn’t even that clean. I’m trying a new system out to save time—if it works I’ll save an extra six hours a week.

UPDATE: Related post How To Save Time Cleaning The House.

I spend too much time cooking. In my effort to stop eating out so much, I’ve been making meal plans and cooking at home. The uptick of that is that I spent way too much time in the kitchen and at the table—up to 15 hours a week. Can you ever win? I like to cook, but over an hour of total time on a weekday spent devoted to dinner (including eating) seems excessive. SO I’ve been experimenting with a new system for that too, and it seems to be saving me an extra five hours or so in the kitchen. I’ll share about this in a separate post too.

UPDATE: Related post
How To Save Time In The Kitchen

I watch too much TV. This one shocked me. On a weekday, we watch maybe one or two shows and that’s it–but if you add that up along with a movie or two, and it ends up being 12 hours a week, a major time suck. I figure seven hours a week is enough TV for me, which will free up about five extra hours a week. I’ll look into how to fix that one too.

So: If I address these problem areas, I’ll free up 23 hours a week.

That’s right, if I change some of my habits, I’ll gain almost an entire day of free time per week, thanks to the time audit.

I’d better get started.

Easy Tip To Remove Labels From Plastic Tubs

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:46 am on Thursday, February 26, 2015

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It turns out it’s easy to remove labels from plastic tubs like yogurt containers. All it takes is pure acetone, which is apparently in the beauty section near the finger nail polish removers. Using that stuff, the label wipes right off.

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:40 am on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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It may be in the middle of February, but that’s no reason you can’t have a taste of summer with the newest drink I made with DIY Cocktails. It tastes just like a Orange Creamsicle.

The drink is also seasonal because it uses fresh-squeezed orange juice–you can get oranges at their cheapest right now. (You can also use store-bought orange juice if you don’t feel like squeezing oranges.) With cream, simple syrup, and vodka, the Orange Creamsicle Cocktail tastes like the popsicle–only more sophisticated.

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail
(Makes one cocktail)

Ingredients:

    1 1/2 ounce vodka
    2 ounces fresh orange juice
    1 ounce cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 ounces simple syrup
    Sparkling water

Directions:

Squeeze the orange juice. Combine juice, vodka, simple syrup, and vanilla in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Add cream. Close and shake thoroughly. Strain into a glass and top with sparkling water. Enjoy!

10 Tasty Vegetarian Sandwiches

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:14 am on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

If made right, vegetable sandwiches are healthy, satisfying, and delicious. The key is to use fresh, quality ingredients (good bread; no crunchy tomatoes). Here’s 10 Tasty Vegetarian Sandwiches I want to try:

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Smoky Vegetarian Beet Reubens: beets, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese.

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Vegetable Sandwich with Hummus and Pesto: radishes, carrots, cucumber, tomato, pesto, and hummus.

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Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks: mushrooms, peppers, onions, cheese.

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Avocado Caprese Grilled Cheese: avocado, tomatoes, and cheese.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Avocado, & Feta Sandwich

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Green Goddess Sandwiches: avocado, fresh mozzarella, zebra tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions, and Green Goddess Mayonnaise. (YUM.)

Fava Bean Patties.

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Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches with Zesty White Bean Spread: roasted peppers and zucchini with a white bean spread.

Grilled thin sliced zucchini sandwich w/tomatoes, mozzarella & olivada. Moreton's House 712 Greenwood, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-5923. W: 919 967 2185 C: 919 260 7465 www.nealsdeli.com A100527_F&W_NealsDeli_Sept_2010

Grilled-Zucchini Subs with Fresh Mozzarella and Olivada

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Veggie and Hummus Sandwich: cucumber, tomato, avocado, sprouts, hummus.

A Plant That Grows Both Potatoes And Tomatoes

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:45 am on Monday, February 23, 2015

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How crazy is this? The Ketchup ‘n’ Fries Plant grows both potatoes and tomatoes. One plant grows about 500 cherry tomatoes and over 4.5 pounds of white potatoes.

It might sounds like crazy GMO stuff, but actually a much more natural process–both tomatoes and potatoes are nightshade plants, meaning they’re related. So, this is a cherry tomato plant that has been simply grafted onto a white potato.

Sounds pretty fun to me. This plant would be great if you had limited space in a garden. I’m wagering it would do pretty well in a container, too.

DIY Chanel Pearl Bobby Pins

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:59 am on Thursday, February 19, 2015

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So you like the look of the pearl bobby pins from the recent Chanel fashion show. What do you do? Pay $350 for Chanel’s bobby pins? No! You make your own. It’s an easy project using wire, bobby pins, beads (or pearls), and glue.

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Here’s a site telling you how to do it.

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And here.

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And here.

This is giving me lots of new ideas for my beading supplies…

DIY Thrifted Owl Lamp

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 10:33 am on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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Check out this DIY Thrifted Owl Lamp. It’s made out of a $4 ceramic owl from the thrift store that has been spray painted white.

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I used to have a little ceramic owl like that–kind of wish I’d kept it now.

Recycled Glass Panels

Filed under: Recycling — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:14 am on Monday, February 16, 2015

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Check out these gorgeous glass panels made from recycled glass by Daniel Maher Stained Glass. They are made from serving bowls, platters, lids, and jars.

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savvyhousekeeping recycled glass panels

The panels, which are hand-crafted, cost between $1,000-$4,000. Whew.

It’s a Wild World Caddy

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:28 am on Monday, February 16, 2015

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This elephant-shaped It’s a Wild World Caddy is so cute. $19.99

Small Kitchen? Maximize Space With DIY Baseboard Drawers

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:00 am on Friday, February 13, 2015

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Check it out: A Tutorial For Installing Baseboard Drawers in the kitchen. Pretty cool.

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