by Julie Tollefson
Years ago, when my son was little and time was at a premium, I had an epiphany: I could carve out precious minutes for myself if I stopped doing some of the things I loathe, the things that supposedly make you a grownup. My house, my rules, after all.
So I stopped folding and putting away socks.
On laundry days, I spent minutes that seemed like hours sorting socks, matching them up, and bundling them into pairs, always with unmatched strays left over. After my epiphany, I adopted a “sock bin” method, where every clean sock gets tossed into a laundry basket, newly repurposed as the hold-all for socks. When a member of the family needs socks, they know where to look. Sure, we each have to dig through dozens of individual socks—different shades of pink, white with blue stripes or gray stripes or red stripes, black crew or black no-show styles—to find a match.
It’s a terribly inefficient system when dressing in the mornings.
My working theory, going on more than a decade now, is that if someone in the house hates the sock bin enough, he (ahem) will fold them himself. So far, that has not happened. Well, maybe once.
Now, what have I done with that extra ten or twenty minutes a week? Dunno.
What I do know is that there’s still never enough time for all I want to accomplish, and distractions (24/7 news, Internet, social media) are abundant. Every extra minute counts.
I’d love to hear your suggestions for saving or managing time. How do you drag yourself away from news (or is it just this former journalist who can’t control that obsession right now)? Do you have creative tips and tricks that help you do more—more writing, more family togetherness, more gardening, more projects?