Do you feel overwhelmed with our busy life? Is it tough to get out to door in the morning? Do you dread the “what’s for dinner” question? If any of these sound familiar, you may need a time management tune up.
Well, well well. Another year gone by and life keeps marching on. At this time of year everyone is talking resolutions, getting new gym memberships and trying to make life better. This time of year allows time for me to take stock, make a Goodwill run and enjoy the nothingness that is vacationing at home. (and by nothing I mean getting laundry done while making a casserole and playing tea party with my girls). One theme that definitely comes up from my mommas and is perfect for this time of year is how to manage your time, manage your home and balance that all with a busy life. So I finally had some time to put some thoughts on the screen.
Balancing it all is about setting the intention for balance in your life, figuring out your priorities, finding time/reallocating time in your day for the priorities, using tools to help you get it all done and lastly, making room for it on a weekly basis. So there you go, done. Easy. If only it were THAT easy. Dear mommas, I may not have all the answers but here is what resonates with me, used in my life and I hope you get a nugget or two that you can use in your busy life.
Setting the intention for balance. This is where you gotta hold yourself accountable. Do you REALLY want to make a bit of a change in your lifestyle, your routine, your habits to make room for a better way? Ask yourself, what part of my day is frustrating, sucks my energy, brings me down? And on the flip side, what gives you energy, what brings you joy, what activity can you do and time slips away because you are so into it? For me, making a meal is fun and gives me energy but doing the dishes afterwards is the biggest drag, ever. How can you minimize the sucking vampire activities and how can you find time for the energy boosters? Draw a circle on a paper, write “me” in the middle then draw eight lines around it like spokes on a bicycle wheel. Write down where you spend time in your day (i.e. work/volunteer and commute, fun & friends, house chores, wellness/exercise, kid stuff, meal planning/cooking, hang with husband, my spirit time.) Put a star next to the ones that you feel are going well in your life and circle the ones where you have neglected or need help with.
Priorities. Wait, isn’t everything a priority? As busy moms we have to plan and pick what really matters. Priorities are not just stuff we say we should do. We have to align our lives to make them happen. Notice I didn’t say “commit” to priorities, it just makes me cringe. It’s time to get real and honest. Make a list of stuff you gotta do like make dinner for kids, work, etc. Now, take a deep breath, drop into your heart-space and write down stuff that you want to do and bring you joy. For example, coffee with a girlfrind, go to church on Sunday, walk in nature, etc. Your priorities are a stew of “have tos” and “want tos” that keep your life on track while at the same time filling you up.
Make time or reallocate time for what matters. We don’t get more time so we must assess how we currently spend our day so we can find pockets of time that we waste or reallocate to our priorities. I Heart Organizing has delightful free templates for organizing your life. Download her Half Hour chart so you can write down what you do in a day, then you can see clearly as to where you can find some time. Once you can see how you spend your time objectively here are some ways to reallocate your time.
- A big time chunck is t.v. watching. Often shows don’t add to our wellbeing but rather seeing Kim K complain about her privileged life again, just doesn’t serve our mental wellbeing.
- What chores can be outsourced or allocated to the men? No joke, I have a friend who has budgeted $ so they can take all dirty clothes to the cleaners to wash. She doesn’t like laundry and reallocated her time spent doing laundry to other activities.
- Can cooking be done ahead of time, crockpotted, ordered in, already prepared? How about starting with one meal a week done ahead of time? Check out $5Meals, OnceAMonthMom or even DreamDinners.
- Rideshare instead of communte alone? Work from home and go into work after traffic?
Thank goodness for technology, and other tools to get it all done. Whether you prefer paper, apps or both. Here are some that work.
- Mealboard: meal planning app. You can take recipes from the major recipe sites (sadly no Pinterest), import them to the app and it automatically generates a shopping list. Saves major time.
- Google calendar: share calendars with your busy man
- Free downloads from Stephanie Odea that are perfect for mom and kid organization
- Have baskets for activities and stations for tasks. So a bucket that has everything they need to get out the door in the morning waiting at the front door. Or how about a homework station. When everything has a place you and your child’s mind can easily perform the given task. Plus it’s so pleasing to the eye instead of a big mess laying around.
How will I do this every week? Time to wrap your arms around routine and learn some tricks to keep your home humming.
- 15 min before the end of each day look at what you have accomplished (not what you didn’t get done yet). You will feel so gratified at how much you got done.
- Sunday night do the same thing for 20 min to look at what you accomplished the past week and what needs to be done this coming week.
- Wake up 15-30 min before kiddos to set the intention for a productive day.
Happy planning! Comment below with any tips that work for you!
photo credit: Flickr, Ken Diet_Management
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