Time Savvy Mom Tips
The feeling of overwhelm is almost a given when you’re a mom! We’ve got so much to do, and so many people to take care of at home. We often put our own needs aside until we’re so fed up we trade in the kitchen towel for a beach towel and head to Tahiti for a quiet week alone. (Well, maybe we don’t actually go to Tahiti- but that fantasy is on my dream board!)
My point being, as moms we have to fill our own pitchers first so we can give our family the best version of ourselves. As a single mom of two boys and owner of TWO businesses, I’m here to give you my tried and true tips to achieve “Time Savvy Mom Status” that just might allow you some quiet time to yourself (Tahiti not guaranteed). Since I’m in the business of helping families thrive by saving them time, I guess you could say I’m an expert!
Tip #1: Master Your Schedule
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”- Stephen Covey
This quote changed the way I plan EVERYTHING. I used to try to cram as many things as I had to do into my day, and one of two things would always happen. I would either do it all and burn myself out completely OR I wouldn’t get even half the things done that I planned and feel like a huge failure. So, I made a list of personal values, and started scheduling those things first. For instance- quality time with my kids, certain experiences, self care, connecting with a friend, etc. I would plug those into my calendar and everything else was scheduled around MY LIFE instead of the other way around. It helps also, to brain dump. Every time your brain starts spinning with to-do’s or ideas, dump them! Write them all down in a notebook and get them out of your head. Then, when you’re looking at your schedule and planning your day (which I recommend you take a few minutes to do every evening) you can look at what you’ve recently dumped and schedule what’s most important around the rest of your actual life.
PHEW! Now schedules don’t seem that overwhelming, do they?
Tip #2: Delete Facebook
Ok- you don’t have to totally delete Facebook. I have social media, and am active on it. Hey, I get many of my referrals for my businesses there. However, you should at least consider deleting it from your phone. Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest too for that matter. Ok, maybe not Pinterest! Think about it though- how much time do you ACTUALLY spend every day sucked into your newsfeed on Facebook? I was SO guilty of this- I would lose way too much time sucked into useless drama on my newsfeed. Deleting Facebook from my phone was one of the smartest, and EASIEST things I have ever done to give myself more time. The decrease in brain stimulation has also helped reduce stress for me too! I still check into my social media profiles, but now I do it once a day, at my computer at a scheduled time.
Tip #3: Become a Minimalist
The truth is, too much stuff is overwhelming and creates stress in our lives. When you have less, there’s less to do and manage! Purging feels soooo good. I always feel renewed after getting rid of items from my house. When there’s less stuff lying around I feel like my mind is clearer, and my stress is greatly minimized. There’s a book I suggest everyone read called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s a book teaching the Japanese method of decluttering and organizing. It really is life changing, and teaches you to let go of items that really are bringing no value to your life. This is one of my favorite tips, and one of my favorite things to help others do with my business.
Tip #4: Two Words: Toy Rotation
When it comes to minimizing your stuff, the most cumbersome seems to be the playroom. Just like having too much clutter is stressful for adults, being overwhelmed with toy options is stressful for kids too. A great solution is to set up a toy rotation system. Some people choose to categorize toy bins, and bring them out on a rotated schedule, and some, like me, rotate according to their child’s desires. We split the toys into different categories, and put them all in their own bins, boxes, and bags. We have some bins stored where my boys can easily get them on their own, and some bigger bins in a closet. I casually rotate the toys when I notice my boys are starting to get bored with what is in their playroom. This technique makes picking up toys so much faster, and my kids are more willing to help with clean up when there’s less to have to pick up. I also occasionally take inventory of what we have and what they actually pick out to play with consistently. What is left collecting dust is either sold or donated.
Tip #5: Capsule Wardrobes
Just like minimizing toys, minimizing your clothing options will save you time on laundry, and time picking out your outfits every day! Making a capsule wardrobe is easy. You keep around a minimal number of tops, pants, skirts, and a dress or two that you can mix and match to make many different outfits. You can even make capsule wardrobes for your kids. This tip has made my life so much more simple. I have literally eliminated my laundry mountain I could never seem to tackle. This does mean we do laundry a little more frequently, however, the loads are smaller and it’s so much easier to manage now. Our clothes actually end up getting put away instead of staying in a basket on the floor!
Tip #6: Plan and Prep All Your Meals
If you know what you’re going to eat, you’ll never waste time thinking about what’s for dinner. No more going to the fridge and staring mindlessly while trying to decide what snack you want to eat. As a single mom, this is a MUST for me. I spend a couple hours every week prepping my food, chopping all my veggies and fruit, and making a few big batches of meals so we always have something at the ready. This is especially helpful for our on the go lifestyle! We always have a snack on hand to grab when we are heading out the door. I can also make sure my boys and I are eating a balanced, varied diet during our day when I plan it in advance. Once you get the hang of the process of meal plan and meal prep, it becomes pretty easy. The time you put into it on your meal prep days is well worth it the rest of the week. This is another service I offer my clients. I plan their meals, do their grocery shopping, and prep food to save them time and make their lives easier.
Tip #7: Say No!
This is another easy way to save yourself time, and for some of us can be one of the hardest. However, once you master tip #1, and you fully know what it is you value in your life, saying no to people actually becomes easy. We really don’t have time to do everything. I sure don’t. I don’t have anymore time than anyone else, and the way I stay on top of what I need to do is by taking the time to consider my priorities. When someone asks me to attend an event, party, or participate in some sort of activity my automatic response is “Let me get back to you on that!”. Usually, I really want to say yes to whatever it is I have been asked to do, or am invited to. However, it’s not always realistic for me, or I know the stress from said event, won’t be worth it! It’s ok to say no, even when you want to say yes. When you do say no, it means you’re valuing yourself- and as a mom this is really important!
Tip #8: Hire a Professional
Having professional help around the house is so nice! You can hire a house cleaner, dog walker, lawn maintenance, or even someone like me to help you with your repetitive chores at home. I provide household management services like minimizing and decluttering, laundry, dishes, personal shopping, and meal planning/prep. My mission is to help you thrive as a family by serving you in your day to day life. I get to help you have more time enjoying your family, and less time focused on cleaning up after them. I think hiring professional help is one of the best investments you can make for yourself, sanity, and creating more quality free time. (And FYI I have special Mother’s Day Themed Gift Cards available…. hint hint.)
Whether you choose to implement all of these things, or just one or two, I’m sure you’ll find more time in your day to relax a little. I do recommend starting slowly, and mastering one at a time so not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once. Take it from me- the queen of taking on too much (ha!)- these techniques are time and life savers.