Today has started out well, and my coffee mug is telling me “Dream BIG and Live Happily”!
I hope your week is great so far. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my day and my week gets away from me and before I know it a month has passed. Anyone else? Today I’m sharing with you a few time management tips that have worked for me. Hopefully you can find them helpful also.
As a full time mom, business owner, and employee, it is HARD to fit everything in. Then add in other activities, meetings with friends, church stuff, errands, and so on, and things get really crazy. So how in the world do I get it all done?
Well, I’m a queen of multitasking. And when you have a zillion things to do and you’re “just one person”, it becomes a necessity to plan. I have a planner. I rarely look at it. But I desperately need it. Some of the things I do has become routine now, so I don’t need to refer to my planner, but it helped in the beginning. And even just the act of writing it down in my planner helps me to remember it. I definitely prefer paper over the calendar on my phone though, regardless of how handy it is.
I’ve shared before about my morning routine and how I get myself (and keep myself) going each day. I’m not a morning person (probably never will be), but having a morning routine has helped tremendously to get my day off to a good start.
There are a few key things I do to help fit things in and keep things running somewhat smoothly…
Start your morning off right
I really can’t say this one enough. You can get a lot done in the first hour of the morning if you choose to get moving, rather than stare at your phone or hit the snooze button. Although, I’m still guilty of the latter one.
Get out of bed. Make your bed. If your parents forced you to make your bed, thank them for it. Many of the most successful people make their beds every morning. Accomplishing something so early in the day sets the tone for the rest of the day, and it makes your bed look more inviting at night, giving you a better night’s sleep.
I’ve started doing the oil pulling thing, so I put a spoonful of oil in my mouth, and, while I’m swishing, I start a load of laundry (it costs less to do it in the morning or wee hours of the night), make my lunch if I’m working away from home that day, start breakfast, pick up a few things that didn’t get put away the night before, and put clean dishes away. Yep. I do all of that in the 15-20 minutes that I’m oil pulling. On Monday of this week, I even bleached the inside of my cabinets and my kitchen counters before 8am!
And I make my very best effort to not get on social media or check my emails before 8:30am. My mornings have been much better since I started doing this. I also get my first 8-12 ounces of water in during the first 30 minutes of the day, and I try to enjoy a solitary cup of coffee while the house is still quiet.
Squeeze exercise in when you can
Unless I’m at work, I always have at least one child with me. This makes it difficult for me to get to a gym, or even do a structured workout at home. I have to get creative to get in a little physical activity here and there.
When I get up in the morning, if nothing else, I stretch a bit. I try to get my body warmed up and charged up for the day. It also gives me the jolt of adrenaline I need to get going in the morning. If my children stay asleep, then I’ll do a quick workout routine for a little cardio. On days I work away from home, I’ve been walking on my lunch break or afternoon break. Sometimes both. When I’m home, I’ll take the kids for a walk, maybe even go to the playground. I’ve also started doing squats while doing other things, like cooking, waiting for coffee to brew, and brushing my teeth. And a couple of friends introduced me to some online activities for kids – gonoodle.com and Cosmic Kids Yoga. Both of those are fun physical activities for kids, but you can join them! Some of the videos are challenging even for adults!
Use your time wisely and efficiently
I’ve said already that it’s amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Do you have 10 minutes before you have to leave? Take a cleaning wipe and wipe down your bathroom. Sweep your floor. Take out the trash. There are several things you could do that don’t take as much time as we think they would.
Rocking a baby to sleep? That’s when I check my email, post social media updates for my business, respond to messages, and even listen to podcasts. All on my phone.
And don’t ever go from one room to another or upstairs to downstairs without grabbing something from the room your in that belongs in another room. Take it with you and put it where it belongs. Effortless.
Use a planner
Have trouble remembering things? Write it down. I write down and schedule everything. I have reminders written on the weekends to change bed sheets. I schedule one or two days each month to clean up my email, website bookmarks, my desk, my workspace, and things on my phone. I schedule product releases and deadlines for my goals. And, obviously, write down appointments and other events.
Prepare tonight for tomorrow
Before I go to bed each night, I try to get things put back where they belong, have dishes washed and put away, floors cleaned, lunches made or started, things needed for work or school put together, and my top 3 named. I’ll get to that next. Preparing the night before helps me to start the next day with a clean slate. It makes mornings go smoother, and I’m not started a new day with yesterday’s mess.
Pick your top 3
Each night before bed I try to write down 3 things I need to accomplish tomorrow. I write down the hardest, most dreaded thing first, and that’s the first thing I mark off the list the next day. Do it and get it over with. Having a list of 3 top priority tasks makes it easy to see what needs done and it’s satisfying to mark it off when you complete it. Writing these things down the night before helps keep me from lying in bed thinking about them when I should be sleeping.
These are things that help me to have productive days. Obviously, not every day goes as planned, but it’s good to have a plan.
What are some of your best time management tips? Share in the comments below. 🙂