10 Things I Don’t Spend Time On

posted by Andrea | 02/24/2011

On Monday, I talked about the importance of creating a time budget. And, one big part of creating my time budget includes deciding what activities I will NOT spend time on.

Have you ever thought about that before?

Well, since I love lists… and since I’ve already talked about the 10 things we don’t spend money on, I figured why not talk about the 10 things we don’t spend time on?


Here they are!

10 Things we Don’t Spend Time On.

1. Shopping:

Obviously, I have to get groceries and go shopping every now and then, but over the last few years I have really limited the amount of time I spend shopping for anything — which saves us money too!

I’ve also found that I’m more content when I don’t shop. We have more than we need anyway.

2. Extensive Beauty Routines:

I can be showered, dressed, and out the door in less than 20 minutes if I have to — seriously. Mornings can be crazy so I try to keep my bathroom routine as simple as possible and use as few “products” as possible.

{I’ll be talking more about this later, but you can read about my homemade face wash here.}

3. Getting EVERY Good Deal:

I love coupons, rebates, and getting great deals — and I save a lot of money by being so frugal. However, my time is also valuable so I never want to waste time searching for EVERY single deal.

I have my weekly shopping routine down to a science and spend 2 hours or less quickly planning our meals, clipping coupons, and making my list. I stop at one or two stores each week and leave the rest of the deals for another week.

4. Watching TV:

OK, in all honesty, I definitely DO watch TV… however I almost always try to do something else while I watch {fold laundry, catch up on emails, file or shred important papers, edit pictures, etc.}

I also set limits for watching TV. For example, I have one show I like to watch on Tuesday evenings, so I watch that show without multi-tasking. But on Sunday afternoons, there are usually a bunch of good movies on so I’ll watch those while doing something else. {I try to keep Sundays much more relaxed}.

5. Procrastinating:

Yes, there are days when procrastination happens, but I use this printable daily worksheet to plan out my day and list out the most important things I MUST do.

Having this list in writing helps me to prioritize and map out my Time Budget every day.

6. Doing Things Twice:

I try never to do anything twice. When I get the mail, I throw the junk mail away before I get in the house so I don’t just set it down on the counter where I’ll have to deal with it again at a later time.

When we’re finished eating dinner, we clean up the kitchen, load the dishwasher, wash the dishes, and pack lunches for the next day. This eliminates the need to get food and dishes out multiple times and is much more efficient.

When the laundry is done, I try to fold it and put it all away  immediately. Otherwise I’ll end up with piles of laundry that I will have to touch again later in the day.

7. Waiting:

Obviously there is no way to completely eliminate waiting, but I try to be prepared and always bring something else to do.

For example, I might plan our meals for the week or write out my grocery list while I wait at the doctor’s office. Or quickly glance over my “to-do’s” for the rest of the day while I wait in line at the store. I often take magazines and audio books with me where ever I go so I’m not just sitting there…waiting.

8. Over Thinking Things:

We’re in the process of renovating our 120-year-old farmhouse and there are SO many things to think about and countless decisions to make. White or off-white, one sink or two, wood floors, carpet, or laminate, etc. etc.

It can be really easy to over-think all my decisions, but that wastes TONS of time. So I’m trying not do fall into that trap and simply make a decision and stick to it. {easier said than done!}

9. Doing it All:

I’ve gotten really good a delegating — in fact, Dave was home from school a few days this week and helped me with a bunch of house work. And even if he doesn’t do it exactly the same why I would do it… I just don’t care as long as it’s done!

Delegating frees up so much time — you should try it!

10. Being Tired and/or Taking Naps:

I try REALLY hard to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night — and I’m usually successful. I get so much more accomplished when I’m not dead tired, plus I never have to take naps, which saves me ever more time.

What do you NOT spend time on?

These are just a few of thing I try not to spend time doing.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every situation — but I want to know, what would be on YOUR list?

{top image credit}


Filed under: Time ManagementProductivity

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  2. cheryl


    We don’t fold towels and washcloths….we have baskets in linen closets and just sort clean ones into those!


  3. Patty Gardner


    I don’t do housework PERFECTLY. I don’t worry about getting it perfect – I just do the best I can with the time I have available. For example, vacuuming. I have a large hairy dog and a large hairy cat so I try to vacuum daily. But if I’m short on time, I only vacuum the rugs (most of the floors are wood). During my daily vacuum session, I don’t worry about getting under the furniture or every corner. I just get as much as I can and don’t worry about it. The next day I’ll probably get the areas I missed. The bottom line is the floors are much better than if I waited until I could vacuum perfectly.


  4. Kathryn Burt


    People think I’m crazy but I only do laundry once a week. Really. It’s how my mom did it. There were 4 kids and my sisters and I all took dance lessons. Most days we’d go through 2 changes of clothes. My mom was a ballet teacher and worked…all the time. (It’s one of those jobs where work doesn’t stay at work.) There was no way anyone was going to be able to keep up with all the laundry so every Friday after school we’d gather up all the laundry, sort it, wash, dry, and fold. No ironing, no washing on delicate, no dry cleaning. If it couldn’t wash with everything else, it would get ruined so Mom wouldn’t buy it. We usually took all Friday and most of Saturday to get it done.

    Now, I only have 2 kids so the loads of laundry aren’t enormous and I usually only have about 4. I start Friday morning and whenever I have a moment (Friday is also grocery day at my house) I move the laundry. Then at night, after the kids are in bed my husband and I fold while we watch our 1 rental movie for the week. I would fold during the day but my son isn’t old enough to help and my daughter unfolds anything she can reach.

    Another reason I don’t do laundry everyday is it cuts down on how much electricity, water, and detergent we use. I wash 4 loads a week. A friend of mine washes 3 loads a day 6 days a week. That 18 LOADS OF LAUNDRY! That’s a lot of water and electricity that she has to pay for every month.

    One other thing I do to save time around the house is Cleaning Day. I clean my house (vacuum, dust, mop, bathrooms, etc.) on Mondays. It takes me about 2-3 hours, depending on the kiddos, but then it’s done and I don’t have to think about it again until next week. Yay!


  5. Suzanne B


    Great post. I try to do many of those things myself. I’ve found that night-before prep is essential in our house.

    But the sleep thing… well, that’s just not possible around our house. With 3 kids under the age of 4 I don’t get 100% vote in my sleep schedule. Even if the baby sleeps through the night, the toddler and preschooler might wake in the middle of the night or early in the morning. Please enjoy your sleep while you can! I miss those days so much!


    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Suzanne, we take full advantage of our ability to sleep!!! Hopefully, in a few years you’ll be able to get a bit more sleep as well 🙂


  6. Suzanne


    You’ve got some GREAT ideas and reminders. Thanks! One thing I do that helps me is to pre-sort my son’s outfits into pants and tops in the drawer for the week. Then I’ll ask him which he wants out of two outfits. Lately he’ll select one top with the other pair of pants, so I kind of have to make sure those match too, but it is a time saver, for certain!


    Andrea Reply:

    Great tips Suzanne…thanks for sharing!
    I like that you give your son a choice…but only between two items. I’m sure that make the decision process a bit faster!


  7. Tricia


    Most of my time-saving tips involve the laundry.
    1. I don’t put away laundry. Yes, it still has to be done daily. I fold it as it comes out of the dryer. Our laundry room is big enough to keep one basket for each person. Each person puts away their own laundry on Sunday afternoon. I’m only responsible for my own.
    2. I don’t use dresser drawers for clothing but for storage. Closets with shelves are much better for kids.
    3. I don’t fold underwear or socks. I just toss it into the baskets where they get tossed later into a cubby on a closet shelf.
    4. I don’t iron. My money is well-spent on quality no-iron tops and bottoms. If it will requiring ironing after each washing I simply don’t buy it.
    5. I don’t turn clothes right-side out when folding. The owners will find them clean in their baskets exactly how I found them out of the dryer.

    4. I don’t use coupons. They clutter up my kitchen and take time to go through.
    5. I stick with the products and brands I know and trust so I spend less time at the store reading and comparing labels.


    Andrea Reply:

    Tricia, it sounds like you’re not a big fan of laundry!!
    I’m with you though, I never iron anything and buy only clothing that is “wrinkle free” and can be washed and dried. No delicate or dry-clean only items in our house!
    And I’m glad you realize that coupons aren’t for you. I love using coupons…but they are definitely NOT for everyone. If it’s easier for you not to use them, then don’t.
    Thanks for sharing your time-saving tips.


    Laura Reply:

    LOVE #5 right-side out thing…I’m going to try this with my four kiddos! I’m tired of turning clothes right side out for them….and for hubby too. 🙂