This is a sponsored post by Walmart InHome.

No matter what stage of parenting you’re in, there’s probably one resource you never seem to have enough of—time. Managing the life of another person is a massive time suck. That said, if we’re being really honest with ourselves, we, as modern parents, have a leg up. The advantage comes from technology that has given us an array of tools in the palm of our hands.

Of course, there are pitfalls to the rampant use of technology. Opening Instagram, blinking and then realizing you’ve been mindlessly scrolling for over 30 minutes, for example. However, like with most things, if you’re focused and disciplined, you can find more positives to leaning into technology than negatives.

Here are the areas where technological advancements have helped me win back some precious time.

Scheduling

Forget the old-school family calendar on the fridge. Shared Google calendars are a lifesaver. Seriously. Think about all the time you spend negotiating the when/where/who of a busy family. Google calendars have simplified it all and it might be the easiest time-saver. It takes 5 mins to set it up plus another 5-minute conversation with your partner to set rules of how you’ll use it and boom—you’re set. Streamlining your schedule with a powerful tech tool will cut down on calls, texts, and confusion because everyone’s calendar is always on the same page. Literally.

Groceries

Most of us spend a chunk of time on the weekends or evenings walking the aisles of a grocery store. Door-to-door, this chore easily eats up an hour or more of time that could be used for something better. In recent years, we’ve seen a slew of on-demand food delivery apps hit the scene, but it’s the recently announced Walmart InHome feature that takes it to the next level. It’s billed as the “new convenience” and honestly, those who are fighting to get their time back should keep an eye on how this rolls out.

Cooking

Anyone who has ever been in charge of making a weekday meal knows the power of a slow cooker. That’s not news, but the technology wave has even touched our cooking equipment. From crockpots to rice cookers, you can truly set it and forget and have warm meals finished precisely at the time you need them, regardless of how early you have to be out the door in the morning. It’s not an incredibly newsworthy advancement, but the hours it saves is a secret of time-efficient families everywhere. Take a look at your cooking tools and ask yourself if it’s worth the upgrade.

Travel

Airline apps have to be one of the most under-appreciated time-saving technology pieces we have. Chances are high that your airline of choice has an app. If you haven’t downloaded it, you’re missing out. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or a once-in-a-blue-moon flyer, having your airline’s app will save you a boatload of time. Exhibit A: Think about the last time you went to the airport during a busy travel holiday—say, Christmas. Close your eyes and picture the line you waited in to get your ticket. Was it long? If you had the app, you would be checked-in and have your ticket in hand before you even set foot into the airport. Instant time saver.

Subscriptions

This is the era of subscription services. The advancements in data and business technology have created a boom in streamlining everything. The offerings range wildly: from managing your wardrobe to meal planning to childcare. There are a plethora of options for services that will bring ease to your life. One subscription service that has made me a better parent is kid activity boxes, like KiwiCo. There are a bunch of different types that match all ages and interests. I underestimated what these boxes can do. It’s established a no-fuss, no-stress activity time on a set, regular basis. It’s cut my time scouring Pinterest looking for ideas or wandering the aisles of Michaels looking for supplies (and the inevitable return visit because I forgot something). Kid boxes might not be your thing, but there’s probably a service out there that is. Do yourself a favor, make a list of all the chore-centered things you do, then spend some time researching if there’s a subscription out there that can streamline something that stresses you out.

All of this is to say, technology can be our friend. Leaning in and using these time-saving tools has made me a better parent simply by giving me time back. I can use that time to breathe, be silly with my kids, to focus, to listen better, etc. For that, I and my family are incredibly thankful.

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