We all wish there were more than 24 hours in a day sometimes, and certainly, when you have children it can sometimes seem that time speeds up – there are just so many more chores to pack into one day. It’s tough, but organization, time management skills, and forward planning really are key once you become a mom. Doing things spontaneously and ‘going with the flow’ just don’t really work any more once you have a little one that needs routine, consistency, and a constant supply of clean diapers. It’s little wonder that a lot of new moms can quickly feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of extra work and responsibility a baby brings to your life. So how do you get more done with the same amount of time – and is it possible to claim back any time for the things you love as well? The answer is yes, with a few tips and tricks to help you on your way….
Make Daily And Weekly Plans
Trying to get by without a plan certainly won’t get you any closer to your goals once you have kids. Your week now needs structure and a plan, even a really basic one. It’s the only way to try and make sure everything is covered and possibly squeeze in some time for self-care as well. Start by setting aside some time at the beginning of each week to look through your calendar and note any upcoming events – medical appointments, essential life admin, meetings with friends, and playdates. Work out a plan for each day, based around the times your little one may need a nap, or to eat lunch. Instead of writing out a super long to-do list where you rarely make progress and that just makes you feel bad, switch to listing just three tasks for each day – this focuses things down and gives you more a shot at actually accomplishing things. You can keep a separate ‘brain dump’ list where you get jobs you need to complete out of your head and down on paper, but keep it selective when it comes to your daily list. Work out what time you have available and allocate some of it to those three tasks – that way, they are much more likely to happen.
Get Into Evening Prep
When you finally get your child to bed, it’s tempting to immediately breathe a sigh of relief and head straight to the couch for your well-earned Netflix marathon. But one trick that could be extremely helpful is delaying that, just a little. Try setting a timer for just 20 minutes, and give yourself that time to prep for the day ahead. This can prevent you from feeling so overwhelmed in the morning when your child has a lot of needs and you’re trying to also get yourself up and dressed. Use your 20 minutes to repack your changing bag so you don’t need to rush around looking for muslins and your changing mat in the morning, preparing baby formula and a change of clothes, and perhaps even sorting out a healthy breakfast for yourself, like a smoothie that can be stored in the fridge or some overnight oats. Often we end up neglecting our own health by just grabbing a sugary muffin from the coffee shop because we didn’t have time to make a healthier breakfast before leaving the house – so using a few minutes the night before to get a head start for the next morning is something that will pay dividends.
Double It Up
Women are naturals at multitasking, so have a look and see what you could double up on to make life easier. For example, would it be easier to clean the bathroom while your kids are in the bath? If you’re going upstairs to make the bed, could you put some laundry away at the same time? Extend this so that instead of just cooking for that night, you make some good batch cooking recipes and freeze the extra – then next time, when you’re too tired to cook, instead of reaching for the takeout menu, you can have a healthy, home-cooked meal ready to pop into the microwave or pop in the slow cooker. Doubling up is a great way to maximize your time.
There are quite a few other time management tricks that don’t just apply to the office – you can also use them in your daily life as a mom. Once you get started, you’ll soon be finding new ways to save time and get more done – it’s an art!