From getting everyone ready for school to preparing dinner at night, the job of a mom is never done. As rewarding as being a parent is, it goes without saying that sometimes it can be downright chaotic. You wake up, get everyone ready, take them to school, go to work, pick them up from school, take them to their after school activities, prepare dinner, clean the house, and start the process all over again the next day. There’s always something to do, and somehow never enough time to get it all done.
So, what can you do to keep the rest of your hair from turning gray? Consider these organizational and time saving tips below:
Use Old or New School Methods to Organize Your Schedule
Keeping up with the day’s events can be hard for any mom. The good news is there are tools out there that can help you stay on track. If you’re a friend of technology, you can utilize tools like Google Calendar to set up your schedule and jot down any appointments. You can also program your schedule in your cell phone with features that alarm you when something urgent needs to get done. For those who prefer to steer clear of technology, there’s always the basic notebook planner where you can write down the things you have to do.
Allow Your Kids to Help
Our kids are a lot more helpful than we give them credit for. Instead of trying to do everything ourselves (though sometimes it seems easier), we can allow our children to help out in managing time. Using charts, color coded calendars, and other resourceful tools will motivate the children to want to help out more. For example, a chore chart that is color coded will let your children know which days to complete which chores.
Create a To-Do List
Sometimes a day passes us by without much progress being completed. To remedy this, write down everything you need to do for the day. Be sure to reference your list often to ensure you’re keeping up with time. Forbes provides a great list of apps that allow you to organize your responsibilities as well as receive periodic alarms or notifications. Having a to do list for both at home and at work can improve productivity and allow you to manage your time more effectively. If you have older children (teens), it might be ideal to provide them with a list as well so that they stay on top of their responsibilities.
Use Online Meal Planners
Figuring out what to cook on a whim can create a lot of frustration. However, online meal planners can take the stress away. Many planners offer suggestions on what to cook and even provide you with quick recipes to create meals that your family will enjoy. Creating a meal plan each week can also speed up your trips to the grocery store as you know exactly what you need to get.
Utilize Online Bill Pay
Managing the household bills is necessary but also time consuming. One way to cut the time in half is to set up automatic payments through your bank. Automatic bill pay allows you to easily send payments anywhere at a time that’s convenient for you. This saves you the trouble of filling out payment forms, writing checks, and submitting them in the mail. Online bill pay is typically free through your banking institution and can save you a great deal of time and money (gas and postage).
Managing online accounts can be challenging. If you’re like most modern moms you have an account for just about everything you do. From logging on to your children’s school accounts to online bill pay, meal planners, and more, there are a lot of passwords to keep in mind! Remembering them all is nearly impossible, which is why password manager tools are helpful. The software allows you to easily access all of your accounts by logging in from one location. That way you’re not trying to remember a million alpha-numerical phrases all at once.
Ask for Assistance and Know When to Say No
This last piece of advice is likely going to be hard to swallow for the average Super Mom, but it is vital to survival. Sometimes you’ll need to call in reinforcements to get things done in a course of a day. Talk with your parents or your spouse. Assess your current responsibilities and find out which areas they can help you out with. Maybe mom or dad can pick the kids up after school a few days a week, or your spouse can cook dinner on nights where after school activities take place.
Saying no is another thing we have to understand as it pertains to managing our time effectively. Essentially it would be nice to say yes to everything and please everyone, but this is not realistic. Stretching yourself out too far causes you to lose progress and feel very overwhelmed by the end of the day. Therefore, review your schedule and responsibilities carefully before making a decision to take on more things. If you can’t do it, simply say you can’t.
Hopefully the above tips give you some insight on how you can better manage your time and your household. While I wish I could offer you the solution to all problems, sadly there is no book that gives us all the answers. Begin taking this advice into your daily circumstances and with time you should begin to see changes. Remember, we’re not perfect by any means, but finding resources and tools to help.