1 Minute Races, Baby Time Tips, Fast Food Alternatives, Cardio Exercise Per Dollar

Huge Sale, $10 for our Speed Cooking book, down from $35. If the sale doesn’t show up, wait ~72 hours, I just posted the sale a moment ago.

I’m happy to say that we have lots of novel time saving ideas. Maybe that whole ‘be a master with 10 years of practice’ is real. I’ve been doing Industrial Engineering for 9 years now and I have a tool to present this release: 1 Minute Races. See below.

Save Time

(Feature) Stop Trying So Hard And Save Time By Eliminating Overprocessing Waste – Do you know what overprocessing waste is? If not, you are probably wasting and not realizing it. This goes around the home and looks at areas you may be wasting time.

(Feature) Save Time With 1 Minute Races– This is new technology! This tool can be used to drastically cut the time any activity takes. Since discovering this, I look decently presentable when picking up the kids from daycare despite being WFH. (Also, this might be rediscovered technology, the closest I could find was called Single-Minute Exchange of Die)

Create Time With A Baby– A few value added tips that not only improve your life after have a baby, but also give you more time.

Eliminate Baby Waste– Tons of tips on how to apply the 7 forms of waste to getting your baby to toddler.

Save Money

Faster Than Fast Food– Ideas to spend less than 5 minutes per day cooking. Featuring 2 exclusive recipes!

Cost of Exercise Per Year – Looking at various ways to get the heart rate up. I originally called this Exercise Per Dollar, but decided that a per year basis was easier to relate.

(Short)Save $200/yr on Library (audio) books– Don’t bother clicking the link, get a library card, sign up for their online services like Hoopla and Libby.

Final thoughts

Everyone is already using chatgpt right? If you aren’t, that is an easy way to save at least 1 hour per day. I will even recommend the paid ChatGPT4. Practice using it, there might not seem to be a learning curve since its so easy, but your skill with unlock new abilities.

I’ve started thinking about a metric Pleasure/Pain. While this might be able to be measured using neurochemicals and hormones, I think we also can make some sort of personal judgement on these as well. Exchanging rubs with someone costs only time, however adding extra salt to food might even have less pain related costs. I wanted to share this idea, so you can consider this in your own life.

Think throughout the day what tasks can be turned into 1 minute races, its been eye opening how much time you can save when you remove old routines.

Wishing you the best rest of the year. Hope you make goals that help you grow in 2024.
Lead Engineer
Michael Kirk

Save Money with Fast Recipes as an alternative to Fast Food / Restaurants

Given the ~$15 per person minimum cost to eat somewhere, I wanted to share the concept behind our 2 minute/day Speed Cooking book.

Concept: Faster than Fast Food

Fast food takes some transportation time, order time, waiting, and further transportation time. A re-order delivery is going to beat us, but we can beat a trip to a Fast Food Restaurant ~5 minutes.

We will only count active time as most Fast Recipes take 20+ minutes to cook. You are at home during this 20 minutes of passive time, I can’t think of a better location to use those 20 minutes. Grocery shopping is also not counted in the total time, if you need to bring this time down, I suggest a 4 week schedule of recipes, pick the week you like and it has all groceries needed for the week sorted by isle(See EIE 21$/week).

How To: Faster Than 1000 Calories/Minute.

Everything is throw and go. Meats, potatoes, vegetables, nothing is ever cut into smaller pieces. If you want a vegetable cut, you will need to pay the grocery store premium(We do this for baby carrots).

Nothing is measured. Spices are added fast. Do not pick recipes or spices where slightly too much or too little will ruin it. Fewer spices is faster, however, a motivated chef can put in a dozen spices in far less than a minute.

Typically store bought sauces are used to save time, but taste and cost varies greatly. We personally have 1 exception, and that is to make a ultra massive pot of red Italian sauce. The job is quite easy, open cans of tomato sauce, add herbs, salt, sugar, some baking soda(Life Pro Tip), maybe ground beef. Let it cook and stir every ~30 minutes until it gets to boil. After it boils, turn it off, let it cool, and freeze into ~40 containers.

The big deal: Passive cooking only. Slow cookers, ovens, rice cookers, air fryers, maybe a pot of water if the pot is tall enough that water wont boil over. Nothing can be flipped or touched. Remember that its Throw and Go.

Ideas and Examples

Here are two examples, one from Speed Cooking and another from an upcoming ‘This Time The Food Tastes Good’. Note how many servings these make. Leftovers are the goal to save you time.

Two Minute Broccoli/Chicken Sesame Rice

This is my wife’s favorite. Basically pick out some sauces from the Asian isle at the grocery store. If the sauce is the name of a dish you like, its a safe bet to try it. This is a summary from the book Speed Cooking.


  1. In a rice cooker, add rice and water. Turn on the rice cooker.
  2. Put chicken or broccoli on a pan and place it in the oven. Turn the oven on to 325°F (163°C) for 45 minutes.
  3. On a plate, place the cooked rice, and your choice of either broccoli or chicken. Add your preferred sauce at the table.

You may have a gigantic chicken breast on your plate. Time to enjoy conversation with family or TV while you cut the chicken breast into manageable pieces. The goal is to save you time in the kitchen, and give you more time you actually enjoy.

5 Minute Biryani

This one was so good, my surprised Dad chased people around the house telling them to eat it.

Servings: 3300 Calories, ~6 servings

You have 2 minutes to put these ingredients in a slow cooker, if you can’t find a spice quickly, move on, it will taste fine. You also might want to double the spices if you prefer extra aroma. We do not.

In a slowcooker add:

  • Chicken (or Potatoes) – 2-3 breasts, and any chicken scraps you’ve been saving.
  • Water – ~1 cup, ensuring the slow cooker does not dry out. Excess water is beneficial as it mixes with the rice later.
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar, depending on your desired sweetness

In a rice cooker:

  • 4 cups basmati rice – It’s quite important to use this type of rice for the intended flavor. Other types of rice can be used, but the taste experience may vary.
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 star anise
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 tsp salt

Final steps moments before serving in the slow cooker:

  • (deliciously optional) 8 tbsp ghee/butter/veg oil/veg shortening/peanut oil
  • Cooked basmati rice, you can optionally take the cardamon pods, star of anise, and cloves out. Or just avoid eating it later. To save time, you can basically skim the top layer of rice, depends on how much waste you are okay with.

Now stir everything really good, you have less than 1 minute left. Serve and Enjoy.

By the way I never seem to get the salt right, I always salt a second time at the table.


8 cups cooked rice * 200 calories/cup = 1600 calories

3 chicken breasts * 250 calories = 750 calories

8 tbsp oils * 120 = 960 calories

Enjoy The Freedom

Save money, save time. These low effort meals are my personal favorite. Get excited about a future speed cooking style book, we figured out how to make Chicken Pot Pie in under 5 minutes of active time. For now, our even faster, but not as tasty Speed Cooking book.

Save $200/yr with Library Apps

Paying for Audible still? With Libby and Hoopla apps and your local library card, you can get both audiobooks and ebooks for free.

That is the entire article, instead of me filling this page with filler, go to your library or their website and see if you can get a library card.

Wish you the best.

Cost of Exercise Per Year

This is probably one of the weakest sources of data in the history of the website, however I think it served its purpose and I wanted to share. The data was made up by chatGPT, it was not collected in the real world. This seems bad, but it could also be advantageous. If I collect prices across the nation(or even between stores in the same city), differences in labor/cost of living prices can make two identical activites cost different prices. This is some ultra aggregate of data, and as long as we can learn from it, its good right?

My 5 second hypothesis was that running is the cheapest. I was wrong.



We can somewhat generalize different categories of costs.


These are home workouts that you can literally do naked. The most I can imagine paying is for internet so you can follow along to a video or buying some supplementary equipment like bands or a yoga mat. However, the moment you buy anything, you have plenty of clothed non-home options.

Regarding my hypothesis, I had forgotten shoe costs.

Less than $200/yr

These mostly involve buying a few pieces of equipment once. Buying a football/soccer ball, shoes, light safety equipment. These mainline sports can give you opportunities to play in public and meet new people, which could have its own positive value.

The biggest bummer here is that shoes do not seem to last. My shoes go from “New Running Shoes” to “Worn Weight Lifting Shoes” to “Grass Cutting Shoes” over their lifetime. I suppose I’m not counting these later lifespans. I personally don’t notice the difference between cheap($60) and expensive shoes($100+) unless there is something weird about the expensive shoes.

Less than $500/yr

These are your sports that require someone to be paid and real estate to be occupied. There are some exceptions like buying a gym membership to do weight lifting or buying an elliptical.

Greater than $1000/yr

These appear to be classes that require an instructor that are a bit more hands on or require equipment/expertise.


Your exercise and social goals may dictate these. However you may find that you can make the choice between a yoga class and a yoga video. You will lose out on potential social benefits.

I have two personal goals, have good cardio and grow muscle. Cardio is low cost between running, $50 stationary bike, hula hooping, and jump roping. To grow muscle, you require weights, the lowest cost solution for us was to buy a home gym once for $1000. The quality requirements for exercise can be more complex than a mere ‘yes this is exercise’.


Did you forget chatGPT generated this data? I did. If fake/mathmatically reasonable data bothered you, let me know. The conclusions of this study seemed reasonable, however with fake data, I worry we are missing some edge case. On the flip side, there would be no study this week if I had to collect this data myself. Email me at michaelkirk@efficiencyiseverything.com

Save Time with 1 minute races- Can you finish your task time?

There does not seem to be a direct Industrial Engineering principle or tool here, but I’d like to propose a new tool: The 1 minute race.

The concept being, take a job that takes a somewhat short amount of time, like ~5 minutes, and see what that job looks like complete after a 1 minute sprint.

This may cause you to find innovations out of necessity. Sometimes you do silly things that fail, other times you do ridiculous things that save you so much time you change your routine forever.

The Goal- Don’t lose the spirit by sticking to the letter

The goal here is to save time by finding innovation, tracking task time, and motivating yourself to work quickly(scientifically works).

When doing my own, I found myself taking 1 minute and 39 seconds to do a daily task I previously thought took about 5 minutes. This is a huge win, 3 minutes saved over the next 50 years is 912 hours saved(or visualized as 112 days working!). This was on the first try, and even if I was unable to further refine the process, I should be happy about the lessons I learned and the ~1000 lifetime hours saved.

You can also cut the time down further, we have a goal of getting the kids in each car seat in 30s. When that got too easy 10s.


I apologize about the tone below, constantly asking the question. It just felt like if I wasnt direct, it wouldn’t be clear.

Morning Routine

Can you shower in 1 minute? Or at least do things like wash hair/shave/soap each in 1 minute?

Can you style your hair in 1 minute?

Can you do each makeup product in 1 minute? Or your entire makeup process?

Can you pick out your clothes in 1 minute?


Can you get all kitchen ingredients needed out? (This one isnt as good, because if you make a mistake you lost some time, however depending on the time savings, you might be better off going for a second trip)

Can you load (or unload) the bottom rack of the dishwasher in 1 minute? The top rack?

Can you start the rice/noodles/slowcooker recipe/passive cooking in 1 minute?

Can you add all the herbs and spices in 1 minute?(This is best for recipes where spice quantities do not need to be exact, indian and mexican food are great for this)


Can you start the laundry in 1 minute? Including transportation time, you may need to literally run.

Move the laundry to the dryer in 1 minute. If that isnt hard enough, include the time it takes to transport yourself to the dryer.


With these, there is definitely less freedom for the kid. An uncooperative kid will have their body contorted as the parents need.

Can you get each kid dressed in 1 minute?

Can you get each belted in the car, from living room to car in 1 minute?


Can you clean your floor for vacuuming in under 1 minute?

Can you wipe the surface in under 1 minute? Can you get it spotless?


Can you feed/water your pet in 1 minute? How about all of the pets?

Home improvement/fixes

Can you find a solution to the problem you’ve been procrastinating on for months in 1 minute? If you already know the solution, can you find the exact first steps in 1 minute? Got that too? What about the first minute of the job? Maybe the problem was all mental. (Although, when I use this trick, I usually require myself to work on the task for 10 minute before evaluating how much it sucks. After 10 minutes, I usually think the task isn’t so bad.)

Single-minute exchange of die(SMED) Applied to life

The closest principle I found to this was called SMED. They break up this even into two types: Internal Tasks and External Tasks. Internal Tasks are those during the 1 minute when you are live working on something. Its suggested to reduce the time of internal tasks, to move as much as possible to external tasks. External tasks cover everything else. As an example, if you were trying to get your clothes on in under 1 minute, try to envision ahead of time what outfit you are going to wear so you don’t need to think about it during that 1 minute.

Only other generic tip is to remind you to use the right tools/tech and have your process/tool locations/material locations standardized.

Continuous Improvement

According to the textbook, once you have a good process, you have two possible futures: degradation or improvement. Thus the concept of continuous improvement.

However, today I’ll give an alternative take: Its probably impossible to continuously improve every 1 minute process you’ve ever done. Even if you did, you are quickly going to run into diminishing returns/pareto principle. It was easy to shave 3 minutes, its hard to shave another 20 seconds.

My advice here, go for continuous improvement, but don’t let it take energy that could be devoted to better causes. I have my 1 minute hair routine down, it would be nice to get even faster, but I’m not going to hyper analyze my 1 minute hair routine. Its already good.

Stop trying so hard and save time – Overprocessing Waste

I dedicate this article to my wife, who seems to make the fanciest desserts on Tuesday mornings at 6am, just so we can have some and maybe give some to the in-laws. The in-laws are dieting btw, their frontal lobe(thinking) doesnt want desserts, even if the hypothalamus wants it. If we just wanted to appease the hypothalamus, why not get any store bought or simple to make treat?

Overprocessing – Doing less to save more time

If you aren’t leaving home(or recording yourself), would you spend time to fix up your appearance? No, that is Overprocessing waste. You have no hair requirements, yet you are meeting a specification required when people see you.

Are you Overprocessing?


Meal quality. The following take time, and its debatable if they taste better than their disassembled counterparts that can be made quicker and in bulk: Perogis/Ravolli/dumplings/samosas/empanadas, homemmade noodes/gnocchi, Sushi, stuffed peppers.

Cutting food: Its easier and faster to cut an onion 5×5 into cubes than 20×20 diced. This one depends on the recipe, but the general idea is that if you can get away with doing 7 cuts instead of 8 cuts, save the time.

Slow or Traditional favorites require modern solutions: When making things like Perogis/Ravolli/dumplings/samosas/empanadas, everyone has their own rules you must abide by. I ignore this in favor of the fastest way to seal this food, which is usually my fingers, fork, or tool. No egg wash, no fancy twist. When doing slow recipes, consider what is actually important: Is it the ancient process? Or the flavors and textures of the food?

A dessert is going to taste great, why try hard: Sugar and fat tastes good, I can relent on special events and holidays. If there was some expectation(a Wedding) for fancy desserts and you are going to DIY it(save money), it should be relatively high quality(spend time). Or if you were going to spend time with family/friends making fancy Christmas cookies one time per year, its a special, pleasurable, occasion rather than something you are trying to save time on.

Bulk food prepping unrelated foods: Sometimes I’ll see videos of someone doing a ‘Sunday Meal Prep’ making like 3 entirely different meals, packing them in neat little containers, and asking me to subscribe. At home, I’ll typically just make regular dinner, but 2-3x the size the family eats. We were going to cook dinner anyway, so we get time savings from only taking out ingredients once and only cleaning up once. You still must spend extra time comes from processing the extra material by cutting and cooking. If you do insist on a ‘Sunday Meal Prep’, consider the time savings are in reducing the taking out and cleaning up, every extra pan dirtied and every extra trip to the cupboard/refrigerator is your lost savings.

The best breakfast? Does it need waffles

I once read a line “>2018 >Still eating for taste”, and it was profound. Not everything you eat needs to taste good, it can taste okay, it can taste bland. During the ~50% of meals I eat at a TV, I’m more invested in the content than the flavor of food. This can also be used for nutritious purposes, instead of adding extra fats and sugars, I’ll eat something healthier and just pick out a great video.


Is Folding/hanging necessary? My dress shirts are hung to eliminate wrinkles, this is value added. My gym shirts are quickly tossed into a drawer, I don’t care about wrinkles when working out. There may be value added in folding clothes for space saving reasons, but if you can get away with unfolded, unhung, 0 effort laundry, you should take the opportunities when they exist.

Who knows if Ironing makes a difference in your life. Will spending 5 minutes a day ironing your clothes get you closer to a promotion or getting a Significant Other? I would probably put that 30 minutes/week(25 hrs/yr) into something with a better return on investment, like reading a non-fiction book that is relevant to your life/field/interests or learning a useful skill/hobby(Sewing if you are really into appearance).

Wash clothes less. Pretty obvious here, only wash when needed. No sweat, no stains, no smells, looks good to be worn again.

wear difficult to process clothes even less. My favorite daily work shirt is a polo that is made out of some non-wrinkle fabric like a polyester spandex blend


“Who wants to get Ice Cream?” Does not need to be said in a quiet and happy house. How much work are you creating for yourself to get everyone dressed, shoes on, and transport yourself? ~10-20 minutes? What does this cost? $10-20? How much joy out of unhealthy calories do you get, ~5-10 minutes? Is it worth it

Do you need to cut your toddler’s food? Toddlers can handle eating things in multiple bites, we don’t need to feed them like babies forever.

Do you need to peel your kid’s oranges and apples? Kids are capable of peeling their own oranges (clementines), apples don’t need to be peeled.

One time my kid insisted on eating the Biryani cold, ok. She ate it all. Easier than warming it up. I’ve been curious to have cold Biryani since.

What’s for lunch? For some reason my family has the tendency to make fresh lunches instead of eating leftovers or ready-to-eat foods like carrots or granola. You can pack lunches in 2-3 minutes, it does not need to be a 15 minute activity.

Create Time with a baby

Add Time

Need 5 minutes for some reason? Tummy time, they are going to cry because its hard, but its good exercise. While my Doctor of Physical Therapy wife would not exactly recommend leaving the room for some legal purpose… Your kid is probably going to be crying for 5 minutes during tummy time, you are going to hear silence if something is wrong. For a normal baby, you can start tummy time at 2 days old. My favorite process is: Baby is crying, put them in tummy time for 5 minutes while I get the bottle ready, feed them the bottle, put them to bed. (If someone wants to be famous, do a scientific study to see how 5 minutes of tummy time, 3x per day affects SIDS rates)

Baby proof an area. We fenced off our entire living room with a baby/pet fence for our first kid. This peace knowing there was nothing dangerous they could get into, gave us freedom to do work in the kitchen. We might have overpaid for our baby fence, but it was well worth it. At 3 kids, the entire home is already baby proofed, so we don’t use fences or gates too much.

Teach your baby to hold the bottle. If our baby was in daycare, they learned this quickly. Basically when the baby is strong and coordinated enough to play with the bottle, its time to start teaching them to hold the bottle. The type of bottle you use may impact this, some bottles are easier to hold than others. Put their hands on the bottle and let go. Do this for a few weeks during feedings and bottle feedings just became recreational rather than necessary. My wife and I can attest to how much fun it is to bottle feed before bed as our usually hyper baby passes out in our arms.

Don’t rock your baby to sleep (every time). That 10-20 minutes you spend rocking your baby to sleep is time that your baby could be learning to fall asleep by themselves. I recently received a text message from a friend that asked ‘at what age do kids sleep without rocking them?’ referring to their 2 year old. I start this when the baby is a few weeks old, especially if the baby is fed, changed, and burped.


Do chores with the baby, especially when they are fussy. A baby carrier is best if you are planning on a long session, but even one handed chores are more productive than doing 0 chores. Moving around, I imagine your baby will no longer be fussy, plus you can hand them random objects to look at.

Exercise with the baby present. Stroller running is reasonable for a mile or so on pavement. You can hula hoop, jump rope, spin bike, and lift weights all a few feet from the playroom, depending on your setup. You can even stretch with your baby on top of you. I would lower your expectations for this workout, it should be considered a supplementary workout. Babies are unpredictable and might just start balling their eyes out causing you to stop halfway.

Have some breast feeding plans. My wife sent emails, checked facebook for freebies, did online shopping, listened to audiobooks, and of course endless social media scrolling. Point being, you can have quality multitasking time that are either enjoyable or productive or you can waste it. Have a plan.

Use Technology

Use baby monitors. Between our home security cameras and all of my laptops/tech devices, I can watch and communicate with the kids throughout the house from the toilet.

In disagreement with the non-scientific World Health Organization who used opinions to form their recommended 0 seconds of TV per day, I recommend letting your under 1 year olds watch phonics and count to 100 videos. By age 2, they will automatically associate letters with sounds and can begin learning to read, they will know numbers to 100 and be able to begin adding. I throw in a Periodic Table of Elements song and similar songs into the mix. Consider this is monumentally better use of screen time than showing your kids corporate mascots(Disney/Nintendo/etc…)

Use Manpower

The Kid’s Grandparents can be a good way to soak up a few hours. On a similar note, I have cousins that love babies and will give us an hour or so of freedom.

Siblings are going to be teammates for life, get them into it early. Most kids can attempt a ‘shake the rattle/be silly for the baby’ and confuse the baby into being calm for a moment. This only needs to work once before the bond is formed. The bond of course being the selfish relationship that ‘playing with baby = crying stops’. I think your goal as an efficient parent is to facilitate the kids enjoying each other so playing is automatic.

Baby Waste

Transportation Waste

Clothes, keep clothes close by rather than in closets in far away rooms. We have 4 (stylish) little bins per kid that hold shirts, pants, underwear, and socks and they fit under the tv stand in the living room.

Diaper changes are close by, preferably with everything from the changing mat to baby wipes out and accessible. The main diaper change station is about 3ft or 1m from the tv in our living room. We keep a small trash here. Depending on where you spend time, you may want additional/multiple diaper change areas with essentials only. We have a station in each kids room for bedtime. As a reminder, having to open drawers or cabinets is inefficient, we leave our diaper stuff out. Your baby will be a kid soon enough, I think its okay for a few months/years.

Trash is close by, especially for daily diapers. We keep our extra trashbags/grocery bags under the active trash bag inside the trash bin. Between taking tags off clothes, diapers, and daily living, a living room trashbin can reduce frequent walks across the house.

From 1st kid waking up to last kid loaded in the car for daycare/school, this process could be relatively similar enough to process flow it. Everyone needs to eat, get dressed, and have their backpacks ready for school. There may be some chaos with humans, but if you follow an efficient process, you will make up for chaos with process time savings.

Making Baby Formula should be fast. Bottles, formula, and hot water should all be located nearby.

Might seem obvious, but wherever you plan to do your baby bathing, keep your bath supplies close by.

Before the toys take over your house, it might be good to have a bin for the toys. This makes it easy to pick up the toys as you can carry the bin around. Once the toys take over your house, all walls are covered in facade bookshelves/organizers/bins/baskets to store toys. This makes it easy to clear the floor for company or vacuuming.

Movement Waste

When loading the car seat or do a diaper change: Count. This way you are always racing against yourself and holding yourself accountable for performance. The added benefit is that your kids will like to hear the numbers. While this isnt the same level of quality as recording the process and finding waste, its a 0 time cost alternative that will cause you and your kid to be attentive to the process. (Of course, you can always use process flow to save time as well)

Streamline regular processes(diaper changes) by having materials(diapers and wipes) and tools(diaper change pad) in consistent locations. By always knowing things are in the same location, you will be faster at your process and will avoid errors looking around. Consider other frequent and regular processes. Here are some multiple times per day processes that would be worth standardizing: Preparing a baby bottle, dealing with spitups, putting the baby down to sleep, and anything breastfeeding related. After you have those down, consider daily things like dressing, putting in a car seat/carrier, etc.. (This methodology is called Set In Order and is part of 5S.)

Overprocessing Waste(Working harder than you need to)

Rocking them to sleep is waste, they don’t need it. I understand situations where its the right thing to do, however this is a bigger strategy. Deal with a few minutes of fuss while the baby figures out how to fall asleep alone. (Bonus points for making their sleep occasionally uncomfortable, this will set them up for a life of being able to nap in loud areas, bad beds, bright lights, etc…)

Getting up before 6am is a waste. After they are 3 months old, I believe we are cleared for sleep training which up to me, should be done on that 3 month birthday for our own sleep’s sake.

Holding the bottle is a waste. You/Daycare will teach them to hold their own bottle.

Easy for me to say, but ‘Don’t care about clothes’. This means getting free/used clothes when possible or buying stuff as needed. The goal here is to save time, not have cool outfits.

Don’t buy Toys ever. I’d doubt we spent more than $50 on toys for our kids and our house is filled to the point we give toys away. No need to think about them either.

I don’t think you need a nightly bath. Circumstances like spaghetti night change everything, but a few times a week is plenty. Any reduction is savings. We have a shower time for kids that need help, it is during the time I need to shower a few times a week. I needed to soak for a few minutes anyway.

Do you need to interact with your kids? The Montessori method says no, if they are focused, let them be. Being focused on drawing is desired, being focused on Phonics videos is fine, being focused on baby shark is hedonistic waste.

Overproduction Waste

Make too much formula? It can be reheated later. This means not having to measure anything or scoop formula. Alternatively if I have 2oz of cold formula I might add 4oz of hot formula. This saves from having to wash a bottle.

Make too much food for your kid? Either save as leftovers or eat it.


Unless you are spending quality time with your kids, are you just ‘watching’ them? Cook, do laundry, clean, play/teach the kids. Of course chaos stuff is going to happen, but deal with the problems as they come.

Driving them to daycare/school/sports? (Nonfiction) audiobooks. Get some ROI on your time driving, get the books you have been meaning to read. Pro-tip from an avid reader: If you aren’t interested within 1 hour of listening to the book, you can move on, its okay. If you are worried you are going to skip something, I’ve found that important things are repeated by different authors.


Outside of baby shower gifts, it may be best to wait until you need something. Marketers are trying to push their products on you, you’d be surprised how little you need to buy to raise a baby.

Clothes should be bought on a need basis. Free clothes and hand-me-downs will reduce the need to buy clothes but season dependent weather may cause you to buy some anyway. Buy as needed, no need to buy ahead of time.

As mentioned elsewhere, toys will fill your home even if you don’t buy any.

Reevaluate if your kid plays with toys anymore, if your future kids will be playing with it, and decide if it can be put away or given away.


Forget to buy/pack something and need to make a special stop at the grocery store? You may be able to apply logistics to your diaper bag. Push method would be adding things before each trip, pull method would be making a note to replenish the inventory as you get low on materials. If this still becomes an issue, send me an email and it might be worth doing diaper stats to know how many diapers need to be packed.

Dirtied clothes. I’m not sure if I’ll ever learn the lesson myself, always use bibs for eating, you can get away with wearing the same clothes longer and with less washes. In a few cases when the shirt is already dirty, a bib can be forgotten.

Skill Waste

If you are able to work and make over ~$20,000/yr per kid in daycare, it makes sense to send your kid to daycare. I already included the buffer for taxes, consider that your experience with work will grow your resume.

If you have family that would love to spend time with the kids, it’s a form of free babysitting. This can reduce monetary costs or reduce workloads.

Q2 2023: Clean Faster, Faster Laundry, Easier and Faster Parties, Get To Bed On Time, Cheapest 4×6 Photos

I’m going to raise book prices. Now is the time to buy: EIE In Cooking(huh? blocked on amazon, get it free here), Perfect Eating, Speed Cooking. As an FYI, I’m in the beginning stages of a book titled “Speed Cooking in 4 Minutes Per Day: This Time The Food Tastes Good”

I have exclusive content on youtube. Some extra studies that I didn’t want to post on this website for one reason or another.

Save Time

(Feature Article) Reduce Transportation Waste During Cleaning: Save 500 hours in your lifetime by learning how to use Opportunistic Cleaning and Carts. Mrs. Efficiency says this article is stellar and super value added, full of good applicable tips.

(Feature Article) In Control Bed Time: Get you or your kids to bed on time using Statistical Process Control or a good enough estimate.

Low Time/Low Effort Parties: Providing ideas to make parties easier and take less effort. I didn’t include catering, everything is still DIY.

Separate Laundry by Person or Category To Save Time: Basically just read the headline and apply it, if you want to understand why the sorting science works, I have an article.

Save Money

4×6 Photos Per Dollar: Walmart probably wins for bulk photos, in-store pickup using SnapFish + CVS/Walgreens is best for small orders. You might get an exception with coupons/loss leaders.

Personal stuff:

This is super late because I was sick for 2 weeks due to me being in denial about a late onset egg allergy, then Windows and OneDrive sucks so I had to install Linux. Linux is awesome.

My Wife decided to go the Millionaire Estates route instead of Country Side Acres. (My plan for Lean FI/RE has been delayed at least for 7 years). This means I should have plenty of money for future studies. It also means that I’ll be even further pressed for time, expect more time saving studies! If you want a money saving article, reach out to me.

Remember, no pointless actions!

Best Regards,
Lead Engineer
Michael Kirk

Separate Laundry By Person (Or By Category)

My wife hated this idea. My friend’s wife hated this idea.

But they weren’t doing the laundry. I love this, my friend loves it too.

By separating your laundry by person, you reduce the categories of sorting. If you want to believe me, you can skip the rest of this article. However if you want to understand why, I will go into detail.

Less Categories Allows Batch Processing

Imagine two scenarios:

A pile of you, your SO, and your children’s freshly cleaned clothes. ~6 categories each x 3 people= ~18 categories


Your clothes. ~6 categories

With a smaller number of categories, you may be able to grab all of your shirts without digging, eliminating a category instantly. Next you grab all of your pants. Down to 4 categories. At this point you may have to begin sorting by largest items and most frequent items (as recommended by our ergonomic laundry study). You only have 4 categories, which means you can keep the piles close-by. When there are only 2 categories left, elimination of 1 category necessarily sorts the last category. In the worst case, you sorted 5 categories.

With a larger number of categories, you may have shirts hidden deep into the pile behind your SO’s shirts. Instead of doing all shirts at once, you reasonably can only get the ones on the top layer, you continue to have 18 categories to be sorted after your first round. As you continue you create 18 piles, each with distances separating them, at some point you may have to throw clothes because there are too many categories to fit within arms reach. Maybe you have 2 kids around the same ages and genders, you may have to check the size on each to know which pile they go in. The cognitive load to sort 18 items is greater than 6 items.

This is also commonly done with towels or bedding. You can also separate by category.

A Counterpoint, Transportation Waste

Suppose you have 3 family members, this would involve 3 different loads of laundry. Each time you need to walk to the laundry machine, add detergent, fabric softener, and start it. Later you would return to dry it. Each of these has transportation and operating waste from doing it 3 times instead of 1.

My best advice here is to have plenty of dirty clothes before doing the laundry, this way your laundry machine was full anyway. It depends on a tradeoff between sorting time and how long it takes to walk to the laundry machine. My solution is to do laundry before my bedtime or the kids bed time, our laundry is near our bedrooms so I would be passing by the laundry room anyway.

In the event that there is urgently dirty clothes, which is a near daily occurrence with kids, it makes more sense to do 1 load for all of the kids. Otherwise I’d be making many small trips to the laundry, only to get a few clothes clean each time. By doing these more frequent loads, this also reduces categories as not every category will have been made dirty.

Whatever you do, look to eliminate waste and continuously improve!