I now have 2 comments on the subject both expressing that they don't know what they could possibly cut in order to have more time. Has anyone ever tried writing down what they do for a week and then looking to see if there is anything that can be cut that wastes time? I know that lots of people use this method when they are looking for ways to save money so it stands to reason that the same method could be used for time.
I know that when we lived in a suburban environment I wasted a lot of time driving places. After looking at all the time wasted for very little gain I changed our habits. It helped when we moved to a small town where everything was at least a 30 minute drive each way. Now I spend one day going to the library, market and anywhere else that is necessary; there really isn't anything that can't wait for an errand day. I make out the menu for a month at a time so I don't run out of food, we aren't locked into whatever is on the menu but it serves as a guideline. Of course this doesn't work so well when you are in the midst of a big project, like moving, but once you are settled in a place it works well (at least it does for me). I was a lot better about cleaning when I tutored in the mornings, cleaning was easier to keep up on then just trying to do a deep clean once a week or so. This is definitely something I could do now to save time and back-breaking labor. I'm also a mean mommy and make my kids help with chores. Lorna's only chore outside of her room and horse is the dishes. Malachi is in charge of the trash, dogs, dusting, and sweeping/mopping the floor. None of these tasks take very long in a house the size of ours but it means I'm free to tackle other big things that come up and to spend time making meals from scratch. Everyone is in charge of their own laundry and sheets, I do the towels but since I have a washing machine this never takes more than a few minutes :) I tried a new way to plan school this year, planning all the lessons for the whole year ahead of time and then just cutting and pasting what we are doing for the week. It works better for me than planning once a week and because I'm cutting and pasting I don't have to worry about getting behind.
We are slowly adding a few outside activities. Lorna has horse stuff 3 times a month, two of those times are during a school day. The one show a month on a Saturday has become a family outing, something we all look forward to. This week I tried singing with our local Sweet Adelines chorus. It looks like it will be a great way for me to get out of the house by myself so I plan on making this a normal activity. I know that there is no way I can commit to anything else on weekends because we need time to cut firewood, since we all do this together it's just another way to spend time as a family.
These are just some things that work for us that might not work for others. One of the things we never had when we both worked full-time jobs outside the home was time together; so we've come up with things that work for us now that I'm home. It took awhile to find what works but we didn't stop trying because it's worth it to find "time".