May 29, 2017
Posted By: Bunny Foo Foo
-- by: Sarah MacDonald
June is our Organization month, so let’s get a kickstart to June, with a Time Management blog!
A few months ago I ran a FREE group on Facebook and shared tips on how I manage my time and how to save some time in your day. I shared tips with friends and family that I have learned and utilize from my own personal experience, and now I want to share my ideas with you! I will also be sharing some excellent ideas that have been shared with me from some of the group participants.
This blog will be organized in different sections so if you are looking for a specific tip you can jump to that section! It’s part of my way to help save you time!
Part 1: This week
A) Mothers of small children
B) Work at home moms
C) Staying organized // Lists & Schedules
Part 2: Next week
D) Life is Messy Sometimes
E) Health and Wellness
F) “EXTRA! EXTRA!” Bonus Tips!
A) Mothers of small children
• Prepare what you can the night before, especially if you have an early day. I always make my little one’s lunch and snacks for daycare the night prior. I lay out her clothes for the next day. It doesn't take long, but it sure does save me time in the morning and gives me more time to spend with her. I wake up a little earlier than my daughter so I can get myself ready without her at my heel. There are times though, when she is awake even before my alarm, so I put her in her highchair and bring her to the bathroom while I get ready! -Idea submitted by a group participant
• To save time with organizing baby clothes is keep an open box/bin and as I notice clothes not fitting, I put them away so I don't have to sort through tons of clothes later! -Idea submitted by a group participant
• Laundry and kids:
*While my kids are in the bath (if we have a lot of laundry) I will sort socks or fold towels while sitting in front on them. They have fun playing with bubbles, I can watch them and get towels folded in the process. Win win!
*Laundry should be a family task, so I get my kids to help me sort the clothing into piles. Ex: socks, kids clothing, adult clothing. From there, they can match socks, divide the children’s clothing to groups of who the clothing belongs to.
• Do you have a class you go to every week? For us it's swimming, gymnastics, and depending on the season, skating lessons. I have them at the same time every week a, so I have one week to be prepared for the rushing around I do right before we are scheduled to leave for these events!
• So what do I do to prepare for them? I set out everything we need! Usually it's ready to go several days in advance and then it's double checked the night before. I have a specific bag for our swim gear and everything! This way I don't forget their change of clothing, someone's socks, the ball the kids wanted to play with in the pool.... I feel like the list is endless on swim day.
• Get your kids to help with tasks! Teach them while they are young. It may be slow at first, but as they practice and get older they will master their chores! Invest the time to teach them and it will pay off in the long run.
• Being Prepared Prepare for the inevitable! Life is messy sometimes, but you can prepare as much as possible!
What could go wrong: There’s a chance my child will pee in the bed this month or my nursing baby may spit up during the night.
Time saving solution: Mattress covers! I put them on all beds in the house! There is no steam cleaning and trying to dry a mattress in our house!
What could go wrong: There’s a chance that my child will have an accident (food or OTHER) while we are out. Maybe my child will tear their pants while we are at the park. Maybe s/he is wearing a dress, dress shirt, and/or jeans and I forgot we have dance or sports practice today and I don’t want to drive home to get them changed! Hey… you could be walking your dogs and they could fall in the mud!
Time saving solution: Keep a spare pair of clothing in the trunk of our vehicle. You can be ready for any food, clothing tear, stain or situation that comes your way. No need to drive home to get changed. We have SOOOOO many bathing suits, that I keep spare bathing suits in our trunk in case we randomly decide to go to the hotsprings! I am always ready for an adventure!
What could go wrong: You get to the dog park and forget poop bags/a dog leash or even a carrier to hold your baby in!
Time saving solution: These are what those bins in our trunk are for! I am seriously prepared! We keep emergency everything in the trunk! No more having to go all the way back home to get any of these things!
B) Work at home moms
• Although not ideal, if I know I only have 45 minutes free that day for my work call time, I utilize that time to workout AND exercise while listening to the call. I prefer working out first thing in the morning, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do. At least I am a wellness coach, so my team understands the importance of getting my workout in.
• I have my kids play together in the room I am in while I pay my bills. I am getting an important household task accomplished and get to be around them at the same time and they learn through play. It's a win win!
• Being prepared: Prepare for the inevitable! Life is messy sometimes, but you can prepare as much as possible!
What could go wrong: Work! AHHH… When do I get things done while having three under four years of age at home? Part of what I do for both The Motherhood Bozeman as well as my own personal coaching business, is post to those Facebook pages. Sometimes I get slammed with work from my other job, or just with life in general!
Time saving solution: In order to be prepared in case I forget to post OR something comes up and I don’t have time, I schedule my posts in advance (yes, I must admit, I did this for our Monday Mantras)! That’s right, for like pages you can literally schedule your posts for 6 months out! I love this feature and totally utilize it! Now I can save time, by sitting down at my computer and making multiple posts for a couple of months at a time! It’s the smart way to work when part of what you do relates to social media.
C) Staying organized / Lists & Schedules
• Staying organized in a priority in my household, so I make sure everything has it’s own designated place. I do this so that things don’t get cluttered. It helps me stay on track when everything is exactly where it’s supposed to be. -Idea submitted by a group participant
• I have two kinds of lists. My personal list (meal plan, exercise, goals) vs. my family lists (appointments, errands, daily activities, cleaning). The lists that get completed without question are my personal ones and our appointments (unless someone is sick at the house). My chores list was created by my best friend to help my family keep track on what needs to be done around the house. To make this, I just added input what we do on a regular basis and colour coded it. And no, we do not check off every box each day, but we do check off a lot of them!
• These are my to go-to journals! I also enter scheduled dental and doctor's appointments on my phone with alarm reminders the day of and the day prior! A HUGE thing that I have changed since August is the way I eat! I actually make a plan now! Since learning about this new food and exercise journal they had on a super sale at Michael's, I have since moved entirely to the journal (I used to print up a meal plan and tape it to my kitchen cupboard). This meal plan thing may seem a bit much for some, but it’s what’s helped me shed over 35 pounds and counting!
• When making my lists I always prioritize what MUST be accomplished today and what can wait, so I am not stressing out if I can't get a task completed.
• I always have a daily check-list, but I also have a weekly and a monthly one too! I like to make sure that I complete one MAJOR task a month and one smaller task each week (like reorganizing something).
• When making my schedule, I schedule in "free time". This is time I can use to catch up on any task I did not get accomplished during your week. If I’m all caught up, then this is literally FREE time for me... or I can utilize this time to work ahead on the following week's goals. I find "scheduled free time" useful for when we have an emergency or a sick kiddo at home. It gives me time to get caught up.
• I plan my lists to the grocery store by sections! I know my stores (like Costco and the three other grocery stores we frequent). When I create my lists I organize the shopping by section so I don't miss anything or have to return to that section. This is especially helpful when you are about to check out at Costco and then realize you forgot something way at the back of the store.
• If you don't create grocery lists on your phone and you use paper (like I do), take a photo of it. This way if you forget your list, you have a backup stored in your phone! I speak from experience with this one. “Gah!!! Where did I put my list???”
• I can't do everything by myself. At times I think I can, but sometimes I just need support! This is why I keep larger tasks for when I have help (also known as my mum is coming to visit). I try to organize something small every day (like my wallet, my diaper bag, the front seat of my car), something bigger once a week (like a cupboard, or a kitchen drawer, or a bookshelf in the playroom), and something HUGE when my mum visits (like the garage, our warehouse).
Sometimes you just need help. When my mum is here I can save time by getting her to watch the kids and just giving 100% to a task instead of doing it 10 minutes at a time over a couple of months. I just rock it out in a few days (these are epic tasks I take on when she's here). Side note: my MUM is British, hence the U in Mum.