Steal An Extra Hour

There are very few of us who have as much time as we would like to spend knitting. Most of us have to juggle the demands of each day – house, family, work, friends – and have little time (or energy) left over for me-time.  That’s why you need to learn how to steal time. Borrowing time is no good – if you take half an hour to knit when you should be ironing, that just means that you’ll have to pay that half hour back, when you could be knitting. But if you steal an hour, and you’re a good time thief, you will still get everything done, and have extra time to spend on knitting.

Here are some examples of where I’ve managed to steal time, to have more time with the needles:

  • Audio books. Yes, I’ve plugged them before, but really, the value of a good audio book can’t be overrated. I used to spend a lot of time each day reading. Now I spend very little, maybe half an hour before bed, but I still enjoy books, just in audio form.
  • Housework takes up so much time, and if you’re like me, you resent every minute of it. Unlike Quentin Crisp, I can’t turn a blind eye to mess, so I’ve invested in a cleaner instead. (NB. For this to work, you have to be very strict with yourself, and not clean up before your cleaner arrives, because you’re worrying what she’ll think of you otherwise.)
  • Laundry is another time sucker, and is an unavoidable task. But our local laundromat does a service wash (where you drop off bags of laundry, they wash, dry, and fold them, and you pick them up) for a pretty reasonable cost. This one feels a bit decadent, and I haven’t quite persuaded myself into it yet, but it’s worth thinking about, especially if you work fulltime.
  • Do you spend a lot of time on the phone? I hate using the phone, but I do spend quite a lot of time talking to my mother on the phone each week. Speakerphone enables me to talk and knit at the same time. I do a lot of my knitting this way!
  • If you’re like me and you read lots of blogs, you might want to  consider using a blog reader, such as Bloglines. This only downloads the updated posts of each blog, so it doesn’t take so long to download. You won’t save lots of time, but hey, every little helps!   
  • If you find you can’t knit and watch tv at the same time, have a think about how much time you waste watching tv (by that, I mean, watching it just because it’s on, and not because it’s a show you want to see). Consider giving up tv altogether, and just watching your favourite shows/movies on DVD. We did this years ago, and haven’t looked back.
  • If you live in an area where you can do your grocery shopping online, give it a go. I do my weekly shopping this way, and it’s fantastic (and totally stress free!). The website remembers what I’ve bought each week, so I can do a week’s shopping in less than ten minutes. You find you spend less too, as you don’t get distracted by impulse buys.
  • Most banks offer an internet banking service now, and I find it invaluable. If you set up your bills to be paid by direct debit, and your wages go directly into the bank, all you have to do is check your balance now and then, and everything else is done for you. Just think of how much time you’ve spent standing in bank queues over the years!

 My apologies if some of these suggestions seem obvious – they’re just ways that I’ve been able to streamline my schedule, and may help someone. If you have found ways to steal time to spend on knitting, do tell!

PS. If only I spent all this extra time knitting, instead of spending it on Ravelry, gossiping and ogling everyone’s projects…..

5 thoughts on “Steal An Extra Hour

  1. I like the idea of a laundry service … my first wash of the day is done but (even if I don’t do the sheets) I’ve still got 4 loads to get through as we were away for the weekend … I do at least 2 loads a day and there’s only 4 of us …

    I also agree about Ravelry – having not been on since Thursday afternoon I’m putting it off – I’ve got chores to do first LOL!

  2. I pay someone to do my ironing… picked up from my garage on a thursday and returned on the friday (every two weeks!) Fantastic value for monday and supporting ventures in the local village!!

    Also couldn’t survive without my ocado grocery delivery – saves SOOO much time….

  3. I do the online shopping thing… Ocado is a lifesaver, especially as I don’t drive!

    I also watch a lot of my favourite TV series on DVD… It does mean that you have to wait for it to be available, but I love seeing CSI without ad breaks… and being able to watch several episodes in a row. Sometimes this defeats the timesaving objective though!

  4. I used to rely on the laundromat (full service baybeee) when I was a student and had no machine – oh, and I was working almost full-time as well as studying supposedly full-time! – so that feels a lot less decadent to me than a cleaner. I’ve never quite gotten used to having someone else come in and clean for me, although in principle, I really really love it. So my new housework solution is the glorious Roomba. Doesn’t scrub the bathroom though, so I may yet end up hiring a cleaner again, *as well as* using the Roomba. Now that will be terribly decadent – but oh, if she also does the ironing…

  5. I knit on the Tube, on the bus, as a passenger in cars, in queues… basically anywhere that I’m standing or sitting still for more than 10 minutes. And in terms of managing the housework, it has always been my ritual that Saturday mornings are for cleaning, come rain, come shine, come hangovers. That, plus 15 minutes every evening when we get home from work, means that we (almost) always have a clean flat and I can do lots of knitting. Plus the hub cooks. 😀