So many of us are incredibly busy, which can often lead to frustration and even burnout. Since I’m a stay-at-home mom of two boys, run a fashion-resale boutique out of my home, blog 2-3 times a week, and have Bible study every Wednesday morning, I’ve gotten a lot of comments like, “I don’t know how you do it all!”. Even comments about how clean my house always is. While sometimes I get frazzled myself, I thought I’d go ahead and write a post with five time management tips in hopes of helping some of you out!
Five Time Management Tips To Help You Get More Done
Tip 1: Get A Planner
Yep, I’m a paper planner lover. My husband is a web developer and thinks I’m crazy for not just using an app, but I just.can’t.do.it. I’ve tried. Multiple times. I’ve gotta have my paper!!! Personally, I prefer a planner that has a full month view and weekly views. I write actual appointments in both areas, then I used the weekly breakdown to really schedule out my week. I break each day’s rectangle into two sections. The left side is for appointments, and the right side is where I write my to-dos, complete with check boxes. I looove me some check boxes. 🙂 I love the satisfaction of checking things off, especially on a super-productive day!
Tip 2: Color Coding
I’ve done this for as long as I remember. Like, clear back to junior high school… Let’s keep this current, though. My brand logo is an aqua-ish color and yellow, so I like to use a light blue/aqua pen when writing business items in my planner. Black is usually for general appointments or things I need to know for Rider at school. Pink will be for my own items like Bible study or my mom’s group. Color coding my planner makes it easy for me to glance at the day and see what I need to know for each. It also helps me prioritize a bit. Obviously appointments come first or I’ll be reminded that I have to get Rider from school at a different time or that school is out that day. Next, I’ll look at my business to-dos for the day and plan those around anything else that may be going on.
Tip 3: Schedule Your Household Chores
You read that right. Instead of having one day full of cleaning, schedule one to three small cleaning items to do each day. It might be helpful to go through and clean everything at once for the first time, but then utilize a schedule after that to keep you on track. Here is an example of a weekly cleaning list:
Monday: Sweep non-carpeted floors
Wednesday: Kitchen Counters & Appliance Tops/Faces
Thursday: Bathroom Sink(s) & Counter(s)
As stated, these are items I will do just about every week. Other items I will do every other week or so include dusting baseboards and cleaning toilets. As needed, I’ll dust window ledges and blinds, ceiling fans and light fixtures, and windows/doors. That doesn’t really happen very often…not on a schedule at least. I just kind of do those when I see they need it.
Perhaps the biggest one you are probably wondering about is laundry. Oh, the dreaded laundry. 🙂 I just do that when the hamper is full. Since the boys are 5 and 9, they fold and put away most all of it now as one of their chores. They don’t put away my clothes or fold towels, but that’s just because those are the items I’m particular about.
Tip 4: Meal Plan & Have a Grocery Day
This is something I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing, but it’s extremely helpful. First, pick a night (I chose Sunday) and create a “menu” of seven meals that you will eat over the course of the next week. Next, make a grocery list of everything you will need for those meals, plus your staple items like milk, snacks, etc. Then, go to the store the next day, getting only the items on your list. Here are the benefits of doing this:
1. You will save time in the store because you won’t be wondering what all you need.
2. You will also save money in the store because you won’t be grabbing random stuff that you think you might need and won’t end up using that week.
3. If you are in the habit of going to the store multiple times every week because you aren’t meal planning, you’ll save lots of time (and gas money!) by only making one trip!
4. You will already have options to choose from for your meals that week, saving you time from debating on what to eat and money from going out to eat due to indecisiveness.
Convinced yet? 🙂
Tip 5: Give Yourself Grace
This is something I’ve been working really hard at over the last month or so. I would get so upset if I didn’t get everything accomplished for that day, particularly my business stuff. There would be times I would stay up until 1am to write a blog post and post new product, then be exhausted the next day. I finally decided to start writing my “scheduled” blog posts down in pencil so that if I got behind, I could move stuff around. This has made a huge difference. Case in point….I’m writing this post at 5:19pm on Friday. I wanted to have this up this morning. 🙂 Now that it’s getting later in the day and the weekend is starting, I’ll schedule it to go live on Sunday night at midnight. But…now I have 1 of 3 posts done for next week! ha
Extra Tip: For you blogging mamas…
I have found that I really like having a separate, larger, month-view-only planner like the last photo in addition to my daily planner. I use it as my blog-planning and hashtag-planning calendar. The pink writing is specific hashtags to use for certain days (like #superbowl on Super Bowl Sunday) and the pencil is my editable blog post schedule. I like having it separate so that I’m not constantly moving stuff around in my daily planner and making it look messy. I plan out my entire month in the big one, but then on Sunday evenings I plan out the upcoming week in my daily planner. It helps me review the upcoming week and see where I might have more or less time to work.
Also, extra tip number two, take advantage of nap time. I do most of my writing and photographing when my youngest takes his afternoon nap. And, if I’m caught up on stuff, I sometimes nap with him! There’s nothing wrong with that! 🙂
So tell me…do you have any other time management tips to share? Do you already do any of these or plan to start? Let’s chat below!