Time! It’s the one thing we all never seem to have enough of… “I wish there were more hours in the day” is a common statement, probably uttered by every adult at one time or another. The fact is there’s only 24 hours in a day and we’re not going to ever get any more than that; but our real dilemma isn’t how much time we have, but time management. How do we manage the time we do have?
We can all use better time management skills! Whether you are a work from home mom (or dad), finding ways to fit it all in is a dilemma faced by most everyone these days. Many people assume that work at home moms have it easy; however, if any of those people have ever lived a day as a work at home mom or dad they would know it isn’t as easy as it appears.
We have children to take care of, a house to clean, laundry to do, a dog to walk, groceries to buy, dinner to cook and dishes to wash, to name just a few. Oh, and then there’s that business to run!
Since most of us can use better time management and organizational skills and how to tips on better managing our time effectively, I wanted to share a few time management strategies or time saving tips you can start trying today:
Time Management Tips
Get to Know Dawn
Early morning that is. Get up before everyone else in your house. I know getting up early for most people is a challenge, but getting up before the kids wake up can be the difference between a stressed out, psychotic mother and a sane one! If your children tend to wake up between 6 and 7am, set your own alarm for one to two hours earlier.
Use this time to have a quiet cup of coffee, check your email, exercise, read the paper or prepare for your workday. Do not spend this time doing housework, etc. Make this time “you” time.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
If you plan your meals for the week and go to the grocery store once, you will save lots of time during the week by not taking those daily quick trips to the market, as well as save money. A meal planner can help you with this.
Prepare the Night Before
Just about every time management or get organized article you read suggests laying out your things the night before. There is a good reason for this…it is much easier and the mornings will go much smoother if you have your clothes and supplies laid out the night before. This way you don’t have to rush around in the mornings. Make lunches the nights before. Pack backpacks with homework and library books at night.
When you get ready to leave in the morning to take the kids to school, you will be less likely to forget something important. You can avoid morning chaos by using good organizational skills. Select a place near the door where you can keep your keys, briefcase, purse, school supplies, important papers and letters to be mailed.
Keep a petty cash fund handy for all those times that a quarter, 50 cents or $1.00 is needed for school or a parking meter, work, etc. This is one of the best time saving tips I can give you, prepare the night before!
Don’t Spend so Much Time Cleaning
What I mean is, don’t try to do it all in one day. If you do a few things each day, you’ll never have to spend an entire day cleaning the house from top to bottom. Get your children to help you- children as young as two can be taught to do simple chores.
A good tip for a family with children is to do a load of laundry every day, from start to finish. Don’t take it out of the dryer and let it sit in the laundry basket, either! Wash, dry, fold and put away- one load each day. This will avoid the dreaded laundry day- when you spend hours and have to fold seven baskets of clothes. It keeps laundry under control and you never have to be without clean clothes.
Also, save any chores that require your undivided attention for nap time or after bedtime. Don’t frustrate yourself by trying to do these things while your young child needs your attention, company or play companionship. Whatever chore that may need to be done, can wait.
Most importantly, do not feel as if you have to do it all by yourself. You are not a super hero. If you have a spouse or significant other, ask them to chip in on household chores. Children love to help out, and depending on their ages, there are multiple things they can do. In addition, when all is said and done, remember, don’t forget to take out some time for yourself. Everyone needs a break especially work at home moms!
And make this your mantra… “I can’t do it all.” Because you can’t. I can’t. No one can.
If you incorporate these time management tips into your daily life, it can make it much easier if you want to work at home with kids. If you have a time management tips or getting organized tips, please share them with us.
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