I have always been pretty great at time-management, but lately - I have had to step up my game to stay on top of the busy life I lead!
As a single Mom of two small people that works two part-time jobs, homeschools, runs a household by myself and juggles the kids busy social/enrichment schedules - I have compiled some tips that have helped me survive and tricks that might help you along the way too!
1. Keep a Calendar
Even if you have a fantastic memory, it's so easy to forget things or to run late unless you have it all written out and organized in a calendar. You can use a planner and keep it in your purse, or you can take advantage of calendar apps on your phone. I especially love google calendar, which integrates with iCal and sends me reminders the night before an event as well as one hour before. (These are settings you can set up in your calendar). Without the calendar, I would find myself double-booking myself and really causing extra chaos that I don't need. Further, you can share and sync calendars with your partner, nanny, co-workers, parents, whomever! It's a great tool!
2. Get enough sleep
I know you are probably rolling your eyes at that one. I get it, I do. Whether you have a child(ren) who doesn't yet sleep through the night, a partner that snores too loud or too much to do - I know that sleep is hard to come by. It's important to know that unless you are getting enough sleep, you wont have the energy that you need to tackle your tasks every day. You will accomplish MORE and work more efficiently if you are well rested. If you can't shut your mind off in order to go to sleep without accomplishing everything you need to do, make a list! Sometimes getting it off your mind and onto paper (or a text message to yourself) is enough to ease your mind to rest.
3. Make dinner in the morning
This is easier said than done. But, I promise once you give it a try you will find that it's worth it and find an efficient routine for your morning. Even if you don't have to rush off to work (but especially if you do!) - it can be a total blessing to have dinner done at dinner time. With enough planning ahead, this could even be a breeze. Most of the dinners I make in the morning will just slow cook in the crock pot all day. Others will go into baking dishes and sit in the fridge until its time to put them in the oven/cook them and some will marinade in the instant pot until it's time to turn it on. None the less, the 10-15 minutes it takes to prep a meal in the morning while you're waiting for your coffee to brew, or even better - while the kids' breakfast is cooking, saves you a ton of time later in the day.
4. Clean at night
When it's not easy to stay up on everything that gets messy through the day, save the big things for last. I find that my time is better spent putting things away as I am (or the kids are) done with them through the day than trying to do laundry, dishes, deep cleans in the middle of the day. Right after dinner every day, I throw a load of laundry into the washer. Right before I put my kids to bed, I throw them in the dryer. The clothes will then be dry and ready the next morning. I also load and run the dishwasher right before bed. Everything is fresh and clean when I get up in the morning!
5. Take a bath instead of a shower
I know this sounds crazy. But the reality is, it doesn't have to take any more time to take a bath than it does a shower - and you'll likely save some water! There is something to be said for how a relaxing bath in the morning (especially after you woke up early to make breakfast and dinner like a boss) with some epsom salts and essential oils. It can really help you feel relaxed and pampered and ready to take on your day.
6. Pack yourself a healthy lunch.
I don't know about you but I am notorious for packing snacks and lunches for my kids and forgetting all about myself until I am at the end of my rope (starving and cranky as heck!) toward the end of the day as I realize I haven't eaten anything. Then it's one of two things - keep starving or find the nearest quick-food fix that usually ends up being junk and makes you feel worse/sluggish. So, plan ahead - and make yourself a lunch/pack snacks so you don't find yourself in this situation. The day gets so much more stressful than it needs to be when you aren't taking care of yourself.
7. Schedule your down time
If you don't do this, you probably wont get any. Schedule a date night with your partner, schedule a date night with your friends, yourself, whatever you need to do! Schedule yourself an hour of time where you tell yourself it's okay to not do anything at all - but relax and recharge.
8. Improve your communication
...with others, and yourself. Self-talk can do wonders for your productivity and wellness. Just taking a moment to tell yourself that you CAN do this, are doing a great job, to take a breath/calm down. It's okay to talk to yourself! Work on communicating your needs and wants to the key people that are also involved in your life and schedule. This can avoid frustration and hurt feelings down the line if something was missed.
9. Isolate yourself
I'm not talking about hibernation, but un-plugging from the TV, iPod, iPhone, everything! Stop looking at facebook and comparing yourself to others as they portray their lives online. Stop comparing yourself to the next Pinterest Mom and feeling pressure to keep up. Stop reading media stories that make you sad or anxious and pull away from the drama that is so easily found in social media. Give yourself and your mind a BREAK! Enjoy your own little world for that amount of time that would have otherwise been spent browsing.
Choose the things that are most important to you and put them on the top of the list. Make sure YOU, YOUR SPOUSE and YOUR CHILDREN make the top of the list too :)
Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger