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Reclaiming Minutes & Health: 5 Things I Stopped & Started

Skimmers appreciate writers getting to the point sooner than later. 

And since I’m a reader, a writer and a skimmer, I feel ya. Scrolling through a recipe blog and passing 14 photos of different angles of quinoa makes me crazy. Yes, I see the bran and germ and appreciate the endosperm. Just give me the dang recipe!

You’re most likely busy and tired, so I’ll skip the details of why I wrote this or how it’s changed my life. It’s just a free list from me to you.


My 5 Most Annoying Time Wasters

1. Corporate Emails

  • It’s nothing personal, Kohl’s
  • I still like you, Nordstrom Rack. 
  • I promise to visit soon, Marshall’s. 

But I can’t be inundated by your email announcements because you keep sending me things I didn’t know I needed. #unsubscribe

2. Peeling Carrots & Potatoes 

Besides the fact that more than half the vitamins and phytonutrients are in the skin, peeling takes too much time! I use a fruit and veggie wash from Trader Joe’s, but here’s what I bought from Amazon: OXO Good Grips Vegetable Brush.

Click to enter brush bliss…

3. Push Notifications

I thought they were going to feel helpful and keep me on top of things, but every time another ding went off, I felt the need to stop the current task and check. #squirrel!

If you’ve been thinking of turning off your notifications on your phone and/or computer but have major F.O.M.O., believe me when I say you won’t miss them. 

4. Reading/Watching Pop Culture News 

Years ago I watched Inside Edition and Extra, but a thought flashed through my mind. Do you truly care about Jen & Ben or Brangelina? No, you don’t. 

A youth pastor we worked with called trendy magazines (People, Elle, Vogue, etc.) porn for women. 

Whoa there. Slightly shocked at first, I squirmed a bit and then realized he was right. The allure, the addiction… it fuels a weird part of our brain and makes us want more. Is it dopamine? Adrenaline? Boredom? 

Either way, I’m thrilled to have broken up with this time-sucker. I have no clue who the new Bachelor is or if that show even still exists… and the world keeps spinning.

5. Personal Email

I constantly checked my email for fear I was missing something or someone needed me. Now I check it about twice a day.

Anytime I think about over-checking out of fear, I remind myself it’s probably just a new writing tip or podcast. They can wait.

Also? If a loved one has an emergency, no one’s going to be notifying me through email. 

5 Healthy Changes

1. Dish Towels

Between family members who don’t wash their hands as well as I’d like, and normal cooking germs, my dish towels were getting a workout. I changed them whenever they looked dirty or I realized it had been too many days, but now I switch them out every 1-2 days. #lessgerms

Check out this fun new set! You might need them.

2. Lemon Water

Every morning I squeeze half a lemon into my water. It’s supposed to be warm water, but I’m lazy. Besides helping to maintain our pH balance, lemon water can also help with digestion and energy. No need to drink it fast or before a certain time… just before food.

This summer I plan on getting super fancy and juicing a bunch of lemons into ice cube trays, freezing them, and then storing them in a Ziploc. #fastermornings

3. Dirty Rags

This is so embarrassing. I’m running the risk of you thinking I’m icky, but I’ve changed so don’t judge. 

Confession: I washed our dirty rags with our clothes. Please tell me I wasn’t the only one in North America doing this. 

Now I keep a small laundry basket in the laundry room for all the dirty rags and they get washed on hot all by themselves. #cleanerskivvies

4. Wool Dryer Balls 

Behold the dryer sheet. Full of toxic gunk, responsible for asthma symptoms and disguised by floral boxes, I don’t have space to explain the reasons I stopped using them. Google it.

Now I use dryer balls. I add a few drops of essential oils—lavender or peppermint—and we’re in business. (Tip: let the oil dry before throwing them back in the dryer.)  #nochemicals

Over 3,800 happy reviewers can’t be wrong…

5. Pillowcases

There’s no way around it—adult acne bites. Besides being naturally oily (grrr), if I haven’t washed my hair for a day or two, that dirt is transferring to my pillowcase and then my face. 

One way to stay cleaner is by changing my pillowcase every other night. Yes, it’s a tad more laundry but way worth it. #pores

How I Reclaimed Minutes

Slow Cooker Liners

If you don’t have these in your life yet, please… for the love of everything BPA-free… do yourself a favor and line your crock! Never washing that heavy thing is a beautiful thing.

Voice Texting

I’ve never been fast at gliding my substantial thumbs over tiny rectangles. And I don’t want to learn to get faster either. 

Behold, the power of our vocal chords. Since we can all talk faster than we can text, it’s a solid time-saver. Just make sure you re-read before you send. Sometimes my words in Español come out… #questionable. 

Voicing My Emails

Same as voice texting but better, this ah-ha moment made me hate email way less. I still catch myself checking email on my computer, but every email I voice on my phone saves time. #winwin

Goals for the Near Future

They’re on my back burner at the moment, but these will definitely be a part of my near future:

Every Dollar Budgeting

I signed up for the free version, but haven’t done much yet. Friends claim it’s an eye-opening experience and I’m looking forward to seeing where our money really goes. #yikes

Instant Pot Cooking

I opened the box, y’all! If you read Working Moms: Killin’ It? you know why this is a minor Christmas miracle. Next goal: read the instructions.

And last, this is becoming one of my new mottos:

Work Hard, Rest Hard

If having a new job/commitment has you spinning like me, don’t forget to schedule downtime. My main motivation? Burnout is unattractive, and my family needs my presence. 

Do you have a favorite time-saver? Please share in the comments!