Staying organized and managing your time can be hard to master. We all could learn a thing or two about staying on top of things, especially in this day in age when commitments are many and time is limited. Whether you are a SAHM, WAHM, or Working Momma, it always seems that there is too much to do and too little time to get it all done.
I’m pretty new to the mom life but one thing that I am no stranger to is managing a hectic schedule. I’m a full-time working mama, a full-time student, and an active community member. I am on The Board of Directors for three local organizations, cook from scratch meals for my family, manage my blog, go to work, do my homework, etc. etc. etc. Granted, I only have to juggle one baby amongst the chaos, but I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. Here are my top five tips for managing your time and staying organized as a busy momma.
1. STAY ORGANIZED BY WRITING IT ALL DOWN
It doesn’t matter if you prefer keeping everything saved on your phone or if you prefer pen and paper. Figure out a system that works for you and WRITE IT DOWN. We moms have too much to remember these days so make it easier on yourself and make yourself a note. What does this look like for me? At work, I keep a notebook on my desk where I keep my to-do list and anything I want to keep track of including notes from meetings and ideas that pop into my head. Everything for my home life gets written in my notes app on my phone such as my to-do list, what movies I want to watch, recipes I want to try, etc. My college stuff gets put down in my school planner. I have a chores list hung up on the fridge. Each organization I volunteer for has a designated binder.
In summary, if it doesn’t get written down, it probably won’t be remembered and/or it won’t get done. I like to keep things separate so I can compartmentalize what I’m doing. If I’m working on schoolwork, I don’t want to have to worry about my meal plan or chores. You might want to put everything in one location. The point is, find a system and stick with it.
PLANNERS I USE TO STAY ORGANIZED
3-RING BINDER – I get a 3-ring binder for school and each organization I volunteer for
TO DO NOTE CARDS – I use these to outline what my day is going to look like
BUDGET BINDER – This isn’t the exact one that I use, but its very similar
2. STAY ORGANIZED BY MAKING A PLAN
Every morning starts the same way. I make a cup of tea, check the news, and write down my game plan for the day. This is a loose schedule of what my day looks like. I typically write this down on a notecard and keep it tucked away in my wallet so I can refer to it.
3. PLAN YOUR MEALS OUT FOR THE WEEK
I consider myself a master meal planner. It is one of the routines that I enjoy most in the week. I pull out my cookbooks and log onto Pinterest, skimming through the recipes to determine what next week’s menu is going to look like. Meal planning is how I serve home-cooked meals almost every night. Without my meal plan, I am a fish out of water. I NEED A PLAN. To save time, have a couple of menus ready to go. I enjoy meal planning each week, but I have a couple of emergency menus for those times when I don’t have time to put too much energy into it. I used to use a magnetic menu that I kept on the fridge. These days, I prefer using my weekly meal planner that I keep on the counter so Noah can refer to it on the nights he cooks.
MY FAVORITE RECIPES
MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD
4. STAY ON TOP OF THINGS
My rule of thumb is if it takes less than a minute, do it now. Is there paper on the table that needs to be put away? Do it now. Does the bed need to be folded? Do it now. I do a 15 minute clean up each day which makes my deeper weekend cleaning go much quicker. If I throw a load of laundry into the washer each day, I don’t ever have to worry about getting caught up. TIme management is about using your time wisely. Getting the little stuff done when you can goes a long way.
5. ASK FOR HELP
The first couple of weeks after having the baby were hard. I’m used to doing things on my own. I’m a bit stubborn in that way. I quickly learned that it is okay to ask for help. Does grandma want to hold the baby while you load the dishwasher? Can you ask the babysitter to stay a couple extra minutes so you can take a quick shower? I think women are superheroes and can do anything they set their minds too….. BUT I also think that sometimes we need to realize that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Let grandma get some snuggles in. Arrange a babysitter if you have an evening meeting!
THANKS FOR PINNING!
Time management is an art that takes a lifetime to master. Using these tips will get you started but they are really just the tip of the iceberg. As you begin to implement them you’ll discover new ways of organizing your life that work for you.
With that being said, take care of yourself! Take a brisk walk during your break. Nap when the baby naps. Drink a warm cup of tea. Take a night off to binge Netflix. Keep your cup full so you can pour yourself into your children, your work, and your community without running dry.
What is your favorite organization hack? We can all learn from each other. Leave a comment down below.