Things that save me so much time and stress:
1. Not watching TV.
Oh man do I not miss cable - even when we had it for free! There was always something on, and I'd watch it whether I was actually interested or not. Then I would suddenly realize three hours had passed, I was hungry, and I was on my last pair of clean socks. Matt and I still watch movies and TV episodes on Netflix, but we don't lose hours of our lives to it. Tuesday I was on the verge of a crisis over washing dishes, and what do you know but after watching an episode of Lie to Me with Matt to chill out, I found the emotional strength to do it! The thing with TV though is, it's always SO easy to just turn it on, whether you want to or need to or not. The Xbox, for me, not so easy. So I only watch when I really want to.
2. Making a meal plan.
I don't do this every week, but when I do it makes such a difference. It saves me time (and money) grocery shopping, less food gets wasted, and I know when I need to prep something the day before or right when I get home from work. I also avoid that ominous feeling of forgetting something that leaves me wandering around the house distracted and not accomplishing anything. I set up a spreadsheet in google docs so I can start keeping my meal plans in different tabs instead of wiping them out each week and starting fresh. I'm hoping that after a few months I will have accumulated enough successful menus that I can just choose one each week and shop for it. Bam!
3. Getting clothes and food ready the night before.
It is so much easier to make decisions at 10pm than 6am. It is also so much easier to scoop left over chicken sweet potato curry into a tupperware container. Growing up, when I graduated to the make-my-own-lunch phase, my mom always told me how much easier it would be to pack the night before, but did I listen? No. And did I eat a lonely Nutri-grain bar for lunch on many, many days? Yes, yes I did. But now I've finally learned :)