Life is hectic. Whether you are a working mom, work from home mom, or a SAHM, I’m sure you can agree that there never seems to be enough time in the day.
I’m a full time working mom of two, one rambunctious preschooler and a special needs baby boy, trying to start my work from home business so I can leave my 9-5 to have more time to be with my boys. Needless to say, my days are full.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out with our schedules, and in our rush to get everything done and take care of everyone else, to put ourselves on the back burner.
I’ve been there. I’ve been so burnt out, feeling like I just don’t know how I can keep going, barely sleeping and still not able to achieve everything I need to do, much less have any me time. I’ve been exhausted, overwhelmed and stressed. It’s tough.
Let’s take a moment to breath and pat ourselves on the back. Instead of feeling bad for all that we don’t manage to achieve, let’s take a moment to think about all that we do. We are amazing!
Now, in order to get out of the slump I’ve been in, feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and exhausted, I have had to start implementing some time management strategies to help me get my schedule in order and make my time more productive so I can actually find time to take a few me moments, to find some balance and sanity in my day and, ultimately, to help me be a better mom to my boys.
So I’m going to share some of these tips with you now in hopes that you might find them useful too. Here we go!
1. Set attainable daily goals
I have always had this problem of setting so many goals, getting so over ambitious, thinking I can do everything. However, when you get too ambitious and set too many unrealistic goals for a set amount of time and you don’t achieve them, well, it results in feelings of defeat, beating yourself up, feeling like you failed.
Sometimes it’s necessary to really evaluate your goals realistically, and the time you have to achieve them. Set those goals but with a realistic mindset. Then, once you are able to achieve those goals, you will feel good for achieving what you have achieved instead of feeling defeated for not achieving everything. We need to be honest with ourselves and be kind. There really are only so many hours in a day.
2. Create a routine
Before I had kids, I was so flexible, I just went with the flow, so easy going with my schedule. Actually, the word schedule didn’t fit in my vocabulary. Ah, those were the days!
However, once you have kids it’s important to have a routine. Kids crave routine. At least, with my kids they seem to function best with a routine, knowing they will do the same things at the same time in the same way every day makes our mornings so much easier. We have our morning routine, our bath time routine, and our nightly bedtime routine.
These routines make our day run smoother, saving time from having to struggle with the kids to get them to do certain things when I need them to. Also, knowing how much I need to block out of my day for these specific routines so I can plan around those times really makes planning easier, which brings us to tip number 3…
3. Make a plan
You can use a notebook, a bullet journal or a planner, whichever suits you, but planning out your days, weeks, months even, can save you a lot of time in the long run. Not to mention keep you from feeling stressed out trying to get everything done, trying to remember what all you have to get done.
Using a planner or bullet journal can help you organize all your to do lists, goals, keep track of any events or important meetings, Dr. visits, playdates, school events etc. It will really save you time in the long run and help you feel like you’ve got your life together. Believe me. Organizing your time can save you time.
4. Make lists
I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve gone run errands or pick up some groceries after work and suddenly I find myself trying to remember everything I was going to do or look for or buy. How often I have forgotten things only to get home and suddenly remember and have to go back out to do / buy that one thing.
Just make a list. Whether it’s a shopping list, grocery list, goals list, activities list, anything that you can list, make a list. Plus, there is nothing more satisfying then having a list and crossing off those items. Such a sense of achievement!
5. Prepare the night before
I am not a morning person. I really hate early mornings, however, I have to get up at 5:30 am every morning. Sometimes it’s rough, that’s why I have adapted this tip, prepare everything that you can the night before, lay out everyone’s outfits, have backpacks, lunch
bags, baby bags, workbags, etc. all packed and ready to grab and go, prepare lunches and water bottles ahead and have them ready to throw in your bags.
6. Get enough sleep
I know, this seems impossible. It’s easy to think that to have more time we need to sleep as little as possible, however, if you don’t get enough sleep you won’t be able to work efficiently.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you might find that everything takes longer, you could have a harder time remembering everything that you need to do and you are more prone to make mistakes which will only take more time to correct.
Not to mention you will just be grouchy. At least that’s what happens with me. 🙂
7. Limit multitasking
I know, sometimes it feels the only way to get everything done is to try to do everything at once. However, sometimes multitasking can end up costing us more time than saving it.
Multitasking can result in each task only being halfheartedly done, mistakes, accidents and an overall feeling of being overwhelmed. Of course, there are certain tasks that can be multitasked without issue, but just limit them.
8. Use shortcuts whenever possible
Especially when it comes to household tasks, cooking, etc. For example I like to buy precut vegetables to cut down my cooking time, precut fruit that I can easily throw in the blender for a quick healthy juice or smoothie.
When I have extra time I like to do batch meal prep such as cut up fruit and freeze to have handy for juice and smoothies, cut up vegetables and herbs and have them ready in the freezer to throw in to a soup or casserole or whatever food I will be making. Divide up portions of meat or poultry in meal portions and freeze them so they are easy to grab and thaw out at a moment’s notice.
Also, I like to do double duty whenever possible. Whenever I make dinner I will make an extra portion so I can take it to work with me for lunch the next morning. No extra lunch prep needed!
9. Set up emergency backups
I don’t know about you, but I can’t count how many times I have been out with the kids and have ended up with disasters, spilled food, drinks, vomit, diaper disasters, etc. and not had a change of clothes on hand.
Ok, to be honest before having kids I also had many a disaster all by myself. I can’t blame them entirely. I’m a little bit of a klutz and kind of disaster prone. However, having kids just maximizes the dangers.
Being in these situations and finding you have no extra clothes and just have to go about your day with the mess of the day all over you or spend extra time going back home to change and head back is just not cool.
Be sure to keep some emergency clothes, and even shoes, in your car. Also, keep an extra charger there too, I forget mine all the time.
Try to always have some food staples in the house in cause you have a cooking emergency or some other emergency that doesn’t allow for the meal you planned, so you can have an easy backup such as PB & J, Mac and cheese, ingredients for sandwiches, etc. something to fall back on in case things don’t go as planned to minimize stress and save time when you’re in a pinch.
10. Let go of perfectionism
Now I know this one is easier said than done. Whenever I start something, even the smallest little thing, I have to do it to perfection, I can get caught up in the little details, spending lots of time on something seemingly insignificant because to me, I have to make it perfect.
However, I have had to train myself and stop and think if, at the end of the day, those little minute details really matter? Are they really worth letting them suck up my time? If not, it’s time to move on!
11. Learn to say no
I’m a people pleaser, I’m the kind of person that has always felt the need to say yes to anything asked of me, even if it’s inconvenient or not something I really have time for but I have had to start checking myself, and as hard as it is to go against my natural desire to make everyone happy, just say no.
Sometimes, we just have to prioritize our life and our time and when we have little ones depending on us, more than anything they have to be our priority. So it’s ok to just say no.
12. Step away from the screen
Tell me if this sounds familiar, you think to yourself “oh I’m just going to check my Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest for a moment here and before you know it an hour has passed and you are left wondering what happened to the time.
Yeah, it happens to me all. The. Time. Just step away. I try to save my casual scrolling / checking social media for times when I actually have nothing else to do, like waiting in line, in a waiting room, lunch time at the office, etc. However do use the internet to….
13. Automate tasks and shop online
Anything you can automate online such as paying bills you should do. You can also do a variety of shopping online, even grocery shopping!
If you live in an area where this is feasible, you can have your groceries delivered to your door for a small fee, which to me is worth it considering the time you save from having to get the kids ready, the stress of shopping and dragging the kids along. Isn’t the internet wonderful?
14. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to delegate tasks
I admit, this one is hard for me, I am a bit of a control freak. I always feel like it’s better if I just do everything myself than to ask for help or have someone else do it, but sometimes we just have to let go and ask for help. If you have older kids that can take on some tasks in the household, delegate!
15. Put everything in its place
It’s unbelievable how much time I have lost looking for items that get misplaced because nobody puts them back, this frustrates me to no end! So to save time, make sure everything you use on a regular bases has a designated spot and that everything gets put back in its place, so you can find it easily and quickly.
So that’s it, those are my top 15 time saving tips for busy moms! I hope you have found this list useful and start implementing some of these ideas in to your daily life to help you save time and minimize the stress.
I know these little tips have helped me to not only save time but feel a lot less stressed and more organized and like I have my life together. How about you, what are some of your favorite time saving tips and tricks? Comment below!