As a working mom, and or busy professional, time management is for sure one of the things that is most challenging. How do we get everything that we need and want to get done in a limited period of time? Depending on how many kids you have, how many hours you work and how many outside activities you or your family is involved in will really affect your schedule. Let's focus on those things that you can control. If you can organize your time to get everything that you need to get done, you'll have more time to do the things you want to do.
1 >> You'll need a calendar. It can be posted somewhere in your house or it can be a book you keep in a special drawer or on the countertop. If you are a technology person you can even have a shared family calendar via email or app. But whatever you decide, make it available for everyone to see and have access to.
2 >> Write it down. Write down all of the school and kid related activities, days off and when projects are due. or when you need to bring the dog to the groomers. You could create a slot for each person on each day so you can keep the activities separate. Then write down any vacations, special events, birthdays or plans you need to remember. Include doctor, dentist, hair cuts and vet appointments. It might be helpful to keep a month to month calendar so you can refer ahead or behind if needed.
3 >> Here is the crucial step, refer to it often. I like to look at the calendar each morning as I am making breakfast. That way I can see if anything is needed for the day or if there are upcoming events this week that I need to plan for in advance.
4 >> Figure out the right time for the right activity. Are you more likely to clean on the weekend? Do you like to fold laundry during your favorite show on Tuesday night? (Oh, you like watching Fixer Upper too?) When is the best time for you to dust and clean the floors and how often? Those are all questions that you have to answer for yourself. But keep in mind that they don't all have to be done at the same time or even on the same day. Think about breaking up chores and things that have to be done into smaller chunks. Maybe you only have to do the laundry once a week. Or maybe it is better to wait until morning to pay the bills because you are more focused and have more uninterrupted time. Whatever works best for you, write it down and make a schedule of the things that you have to do. Try this schedule for one week and see how it feels. If something isn't right, be willing to tweak it and see if after one month you can create a repeatable schedule to get the things done that you need to do.
I'm currently planning a command center where my calendar will be posted that I want to install in my dining room right off of the kitchen. I'll do a post on it once it is done. But in the meantime, here is a Pinterest board you can check out for lots of ideas on lists and calendar ideas.
5 >> Be willing to delegate. Do you have people in your life that can take on some of the work that you do around the house? Think about chores your kids can do for an allowance. Even a roommate or spouse that can more evenly split up the to do list with you? Can you hire someone to take on some things that need to be done? Even if it is once a month? Don't try and do it all yourself. If it doesn't get done the way you want, in your time frame, as long as it is still getting done, you win! If you don't have anyone else who can do the work for you, can you ask someone to watch your kids or pets so that you have more time for yourself to do the tasks that you need to do? Neighbors, friends and family are good places to start.
Feel free to post in the comments on other things you have done to help organize your time at home to help keep your sanity. Thanks and happy organizing!