Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Productivity Tips

I've been feeling like I've been super productive on Saturdays lately. I try really hard to do this because it frees up the rest of the week for relaxing and hobby related stuff after work. No one (at least not me) wants to get done with work on Tuesday (or any day really) and go straight to work again getting the house clean, or doing the laundry, or doing the dishes, or figuring out what to do for dinner. All of those lovely household duties that come with being a grown up.

This is why I spend my Saturdays, mostly the mornings, being as productive as humanly possible. It will set me up to have a smoother week in the after work hours, allowing me to enjoy the things I want to enjoy and have time to spend with my husband now that our schedules have a 4 hour overlap in the afternoons.

If you missed it earlier, these are the things I get done every Saturday and still have most of the day to relax and enjoy:

  • All household laundry (up to 9 loads if it is sheet and towel day)
  • Clean entire house (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, and 2 bedrooms being used as an office and spare room) side note: this one usually happens completely every other week when my husband is still on shift. If he is off shift, I can't do things like vacuuming because he is asleep and I don't want to wake him up!
  • Dishes
  • Meal Planning
  • Grocery shopping

Right now with my schedule, I can get these all done by 10:00 a.m. on a good day. Folding and putting away laundry is the exception, but I talk about that later.

Here are the things that have worked for me, take the ones that you think will help you and let me know your tips for being productive!

1. Keep your daily scripture and prayer routine.

I read scriptures first thing in the morning during the week, before I head to work. Then I say my morning prayer and head out the door.  On the way to work I will listen to a talk from General Conference, or from the LDS General Conference Classics podcast.

Just because it's the weekend doesn't mean I get to skip a day, or wait until later, to do this. Starting the day off (as well as ending it) with God is the best thing you can do for yourself.

2.Don't Turn the T.V. On

Most people word this tip as "turn the t.v. off", not me. I think one of the best things I can do for myself is to not turn the t.v. on in the first place. I set a time, and it varies based on the day and what needs to get done, that I have to wait to reach until I can turn the t.v. on. The goal is to have as much done as possible before sitting down and getting caught up in a show which leads to my productivity grinding to a halt.

3. Don't Sleep In

Now, I'm putting this up front, this one you will need to read and adapt to your own situation.

During the week I wake up at 4:30 a.m. (yes, you read that right) to have enough time to not feel rushed in my morning routine and still get to work on time. On Saturdays my wake up time does not change. I leave sleeping in for Sundays.

Waking up at 4:30 on Saturday allows me enough time to do two things. First there is absolutely zero competition for washers in our apartment complex's laundry room that early on a Saturday, I can get up to nine loads of laundry done by 8:15 am when other people may start deciding to get up and do their laundry.

Secondly, I am able to get the entire apartment clean, including running the dishwasher and getting most of the laundry put away, before my husband gets home from his shift at 7:30. This frees up my day, and leaves me free from worrying about being too loud as I move stuff around in the kitchen and bathroom as I clean them.

4. Start the Laundry First

The first thing I do is start the laundry. Friday night I make sure I have everything in a basket, or at least a pile, and first thing I do when I wake up is take it to the laundry room and get started. Then I sit down and do my scripture routine.

I set a timer on my phone so it rings when the laundry load is done and needs to be switched to the dryers. I set another timer to remind me when to take the next loads over and start them so they will be done when the dryers are done. (Our laundry facilities have a half hour washer cycle and an hour dryer cycle.) As loads come back in to the house they get folded and put away immediately.

I keep this cycle going until all the laundry is done being washed and dried. Folding and putting away is the only exception to this routine. I am allowed to keep the loads that come out after my husband gets home for folding while I watch t.v. later in the day. They get put away when he wakes up in the afternoon. This is because on heavy laundry weeks there is overlap in the time laundry finishes and his normal sleeping hours. I don't want to disturb him so he can get a good sleep and be ready to work, so I don't go in the bedroom. Much less open and close drawers and the closet.

5. Double Up during Laundry

Since I have my laundry on a timer, I know I will not forget to get it or change it over or anything like that. Laundry does not take all of your focus, you start it and walk away. So I use this time to get other things done. I don't sit around reading (after I finish scriptures) or watching tv. Or mucking about online. I get everything else done that I can with the goal that once that last load of laundry gets folded and put away I am ready to go get groceries (My final 'chore' for the day).

Here is my post on the Double Ups to get you some ideas of what I do while I'm waiting on the laundry.

6. Get Groceries! (and other Errands)

I save this one for the last because I need laundry done before I leave the house. This is only because we use a laundry facility and I don't trust people to leave our clothes alone if I happen to be half an hour late getting that last load out of the dryer. 

If I'm in the mood, and it's still early enough, I will go to a class at the gym. I usually work out in the afternoons when I get off work, but not on Saturdays. If I don't go to the gym, I head straight to errands like going to the post office, and shopping. Mainly grocery shopping. 

I first hit up the local Farmers Market for in season veggies. I bring cash only, in a limited amount,  and if I run out of cash I run out of things to buy. On weeks where our budget is tighter, I will skip the Farmers Market and go straight to the Aldi. 

At Aldi, I get everything we might need that they carry. Meat, fruit/veggies, eggs, milk, staples, etc. I use Aldi because it can be much cheaper than Wal-Mart (last comparison I hit Aldi total price for 20 items after only 6 items in Wal-Mart). 

Whatever I can't find at Aldi that we need I go across the street (literally) to Wal-Mart, or if I know Wal-Mart won't have it (yes, it happens) I head to Kroger. Since we have a Kroger card we will get fuel points and some pretty sweet coupons every now and then, so sometimes Wal-Mart isn't even on the list. 

Then, when I get home I am not allowed to sit down or turn the t.v. on until EVERYTHING is put away. Not just the things that need to go into the fridge or freezer. All the staples, the toilet paper, laundry detergent, whatever I bought. It needs to be put away. 

FYI: I do not actively coupon. I do not foresee myself doing that. Buying only what we need and things that are on sale is working fine for us right now. 
Finally, since I do stock up on staples, there are some weeks where I do not need to go shopping. I will either go to the gym, or use the day as a no-drive day to save money on gas. Other things that might need to be done, like mailing a package, can wait until after work on Monday. 

7. Put on the Lounge Pants and Get Busy

At this point, I have reached all my necessary duties. The house is clean, we have the food we need for the next week or two, the laundry is done and put away. I can turn on the tv because from here on out, I can watch tv while doing things without it being a big deal. I mean, folding laundry just begs for tv!

 One final tip, I use the commercial breaks to put he folded laundry away. If it's a weekday, commercial breaks are used for quick chores like loading or unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the toilet, and such.