Are you completely overwhelmed by all the things you must do in a 24 hour day? Is time management a challenge for you?
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Moms are master multi-taskers, yet there are always more tasks than hours.
When my twins were born and I transitioned from teaching first grade to being a stay-at-home mom, I thought I’d have so much more time and would easily get everything done.
Ha! I’ve never worked so hard in my life!!! (and teaching was HARD work!!)
I had no idea how to manage time as a stay at home mom, and couldn’t seem to come up with a daily routine that was realistic.
I knew the importance of planning my time and having an organized schedule when I was in the classroom but I had guidelines to help with the planning. At home, it was all up to me!
And here’s the thing:
When I’m drowning in more to do than time, I tend to shut down and not do anything. If I can’t find a place to start, I won’t.
Even worse, I used to think that if I couldn’t complete the task perfectly, that I shouldn’t even try.
It took awhile, and a whole lot of trial and error, but I finally figured out an effective time management system simple enough that I would stick to it.
My days have gone from a scattered, frazzled, irritated, mess to…
Calm, productive, less stress, and best of all:
Enjoying my sweet family.
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How do Parents Manage their Time?—A Schedule
A schedule is simply a plan. And a plan keeps us focused.
Trying to juggle everything in our busy mom life isn’t easy and we have to be strategic. This article gives good insight into why a schedule is important.
Basically, it’s so you can make sure all of the important things get completed.
However, we all know that if it’s not simple, we won’t stick to it! Creating a daily schedule to manage our time effectively shouldn’t be a tedious two week ordeal, and implementing it shouldn’t cause a panic attack!
Time Management Tools
After printing the pages, you may want to 3-hole punch them and put them into a binder, or take to your local office supply store and have the pages bound. I actually have a book binder because I use it for home school activities, recipes, budget planners—I find lots of uses for my book binder!
If you wouldn’t use a book binder very often, then I suggest taking the pages to your local office supply store to have them bound or simply putting them in a 3 ring binder.
How can I Manage my Time at Home Better? Step 1: Favorite Family Meals
Meal planning, shopping, and cooking meals for your family is a HUGE chunk of time.
The first thing you will need to do is to compile a list of meals that are your family’s favorites. Do this for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even snacks.
We aren’t all that adventurous with our meals since the twins have many food intolerances, (I make most of their foods from scratch), the teenager is super picky and usually defaults to a bowl of cereal, the husband is usually doing Paleo and I eat a modified Keto diet. Needless to say, I feel like a crazy person trying to keep up and figure all that out!!
That being said, I do keep my list simple. I don’t put anything that needs to follow an elaborate recipe. I keep my most used recipes in my recipe binder, so I can access it quickly if I need to double check ingredients or measurements.
This master list is simply ‘family favorites’ and you will probably be adding to this list as you try new meals.
You may want to bring your family together for their input when making this list. Nothing makes me crazier than going to all of the trouble to make a meal that nobody will eat!
Bonus Tip: Another time management strategy for moms that I love is to make double or triple and freeze the extras. So if I’m making spaghetti, I would triple the amount of the meat/sauce and freeze into two containers. Now we can have spaghetti two more times by simply thawing the meat and boiling noodles!
Makes life so much easier!
CLICK TO READ: 7 THINGS YOU ARE FORGETTING TO CLEAN
How do You succeed at Time Management? Step 2: List Important Dates & Events for Each Month of the Year
I’m TERRIBLE with remembering birthdays (other than my kids and husband) so I keep a master list of special events that I need to remember throughout the year. I write in holidays, anniversaries and any other important annual events.
You will refer to this master list of yearly dates when planning for the upcoming month.
CLICK HERE TO READ: How to Easily Organize Passwords and Usernames
Time Management Examples Step 3: Put Dates & Events on a Calendar for the Current Month
Looking at the information you put down for the year, write in any important events for the current month.
Next write in all appointments, practices, days out of school, special school events…you get the idea. All the things you don’t want to forget.
CLICK TO READ —>How to make a Kid’s Nighttime Sick Kit.
You will most likely be making changes to this calendar when appointments get rescheduled or added. I’m a little neurotic about my calendar looking nice and neat so it drives me crazy if I have to mark something out or try to white it out. I don’t’ like to write in pencil because:
I want some color!
The solution to this dilemna? FRIXION PENS!! They are life changing! They are erasable!! And nothing like the crappy erasable pens we had in high school that erased by ripping a big hole in your paper.
I usually buy mine from Amazon because our Office Depot doesn’t have much of a selection. I also have the Frixion erasable markers, and I love them just as much!
The Frixion pens and markers are also ideal for bullet journaling!
The point is, life gets crazy and you will need the ability to erase!
How Do You Succeed at Time Management? Step 4: What’s happening today?
Now grab the list you made of ‘family favorite meals‘ and the current month calendar you just completed. You will also need:
5 daily planning pages for the weekdays and the one for Saturday and Sunday combined.
Write in what meals you will make for each day of the week. It’s okay if your meals are repetitive. We pretty much have only waffles or cereal on our breakfast rotation right now.
For dinners, I try to alternate ‘freezer meals’ with ‘freshly made’ meals.
So for Monday’s freshly made dinner, I might cook my triple quantity of spaghetti (freezing two of the spaghetti meals).
Tuesday’s freezer meal dinner could be chicken fried rice that I made the week before.
Wednesday, I could cook a triple amount of chili for dinner (two chili meals go into the freezer), and Thursday, we could have freezer spaghetti (I told you we aren’t very adventurous!)
When I put a ‘freezer meal’ on the schedule, I put an Ⓕ beside it so I remember to grab it from the freezer that morning and let it thaw.
Freezer meals are one of the best time management tips for moms!
Next on the Schedule:
- Now list your top priorities for each day. Don’t write things that you do every day that you’d never forget…..like taking a kid to school.
- Next write down cleaning tasks for each day. Again don’t write the ‘everyday’ stuff like dishes, but list the things that may not need attention every day such as: clean the showers, steam mop, dust, laundry day, etc.
- On the left side, I fill in times I’m picking up Gavin (it’s always different), and times for appointments etc.
- Throughout the day, I make notes of things I need to add to tomorrow’s schedule that might not have been included in the week plan. No matter how organized I think I am, I always forget something!
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And if you’ve decluttered and organized and your house still looks cluttered, then read:
Time Management Step 5: What’s happening this Weekend?
I put Saturday and Sunday on one planning page since our weekends don’t follow the same busy routine as our weekday life.
Decide on your meals for the weekend, your top priorities, cleaning tasks, etc. The weekend is usually when we work on outdoor projects or work in the yard.
Time Management Step 6: Make your Grocery List
Now that you know what meals you’ll be having this week, it’s time to make a grocery list.
However you decide to make your list, you want to have an efficient way to get the groceries you need with the least amount of effort and at the least cost. I never go to the grocery store without a list. It saves me oodles of time and definitely saves money!
If you don’t already use Amazon Prime subscribe and save for stocking up on groceries, then you are missing out on one of the very best time management tips every mom needs!
Amazon not only saves me countless hours with grocery essentials, but when I forget to buy a baby shower gift or birthday present, Amazon to the rescue!
The shipping is ridiculously fast and FREE with Prime membership!
Time Management Skills Step 7: Set Aside Time Once a Week to Plan
I reserve some time each Sunday evening to get myself organized and make a daily schedule for the week to best manage my time.
It’s a small part of one day which results in tons of time gained in the following days.
Nothing can turn my Monday into mayhem like not having a plan!
Be sure to set aside time that you can use to make your daily schedule. In the beginning, your planning time will be lengthier, but soon you’ll be able to get your entire week squared away in a jiffy!
What time management tips have you found that make life easier? Do you have any secrets for how to have a more productive day? Leave a comment and tell me….I’d love to know!
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