We all need more time in the day. Or, do we?
Listen, I know the feeling of not having enough time as much as anyone. I have 3 young children (2 of which are twins,) I own and run not one but TWO businesses from home, I am a fitness instructor and teach classes regularly… Um, let me see, what else. Oh, did I mention that I have 3 kids?!
So, here is how I manage my time without feeling completely overwhelmed all. the. time.
Yup, I use a simple whiteboard to list out my daughters’ daily chores. This way I am not constantly nagging them. We’ve been using this method for years, and all I have to say to my girls is “start working on your list,” and that’s it. Done.
Okay, call me old school, but I use a simple notepad to stay organized. It’s not fancy. At all. So, sorry fancy planner people. I keep running lists that I can quickly add things to as I think of them. For example, I keep a running food shopping list. I also have a page for long-term “to-do” items. And, a page laying out the schedule for each week. I can’t live without my notepad!
It’s so simple, but it works for me. And, physically checking things off of a list is just too gratifying.
Okay, so if you are a fancy planner person and you don’t like the notepad idea, here is a free “Daily …” Printable. It’s kind of fancy… Enter your email below and I will send it straight to your inbox! It’s a cleaner option than the notepad, but you will still get to physically cross things off your list, and who doesn’t love doing that!?
Google calendar, where have you been all my life? Before Google calendar, I was using the standard calendar on my iPhone. And, sorry Apple, but it sucked. Then, I found Google Calendar. And, now I have everything color coded, organized, synced, and I can even share it with my husband.
And, here is a very important tip: communicate the calendar with your husband! Every Sunday night, we sit down and talk about the upcoming week. We communicate. This. Is. Critical. He knows what I need, and I know what he needs. Lack of communication would bring this whole operation down. Fast!
That brings me to my next awesome tool. I love Calendly. It’s synced with my Google Calendar, so it eliminates any back and forth when I am scheduling calls. In fact, you can check out my schedule right now here. I guarantee it is up to date!
So, I am usually packing 3-4 lunches every night before school. Having pre-packed items ready to go is the quickest way to complete this chore. Check out this post on How to Make Packing School Lunches Easy.
Getting up before everyone in the house is what really skyrockets my productivity during the day. Even if I am up only a few minutes before my kids, it is so helpful to have a little quiet time. Check out this post on How to Make Mornings More Peaceful.
I keep all of our calendars right in our garage (the door that we use most often for entering/exiting the house.) And, let me tell you, we have a lot of calendars. I have a pre-school calendar. An elementary school calendar. A school year calendar. A drama class calendar. A family calendar. It’s out of control.
But, having them all in one spot allows me to double check things as we are headed out the door. And, I take it even one step further by keeping all of my coupons, invitations, tickets, permission slips, etc. clipped right near the calendars.
So for example, let’s say we are headed out the door for a birthday party. Well, I can double check the time on the calendar. Then, I can grab the invitation that has all of the details on it. As a bonus, I have a little table where I keep extra greeting cards, envelopes, and any outgoing items (such as a wrapped birthday gifts or library books that are due!)
It might sound overwhelming at first, but trust me, once you have the system in place, it makes getting out of the house so much easier. And, I forget a lot less too… although, don’t get me wrong, I still forget things!
Everything I do has a set time. Like, I literally schedule everything. My husband always jokes that no matter what time of day it is, he knows exactly what I am doing. This keeps me sane. It keeps my family sane. My kids really like having the routine predictability.
Now, does that mean that I never take a break from the schedule? Of course not!
But, overall maintaining a schedule keeps us going smoothly.
All of the household chores are done in batches. Everyone in the house knows that I do dishes at 4pm. That is the only time that I do dishes. Right before dinner. So, yes, all day long dishes pile up. I’m over it.
Everyone also knows that I do laundry for 24 hours straight on Wednesdays. Yes, for a family of 5 (did I mention I have 3 daughters…) it takes about 24 hours for me to get through the laundry, fold it, and put it away. Don’t judge.
Batching these chores allows me to stay focused on whatever it is that I am currently working on. So, I don’t feel like I am constantly doing dishes. Or, constantly doing laundry. Once it’s done for the week, well, you are going to have to wash your favorite shirt yourself if you want it before Thursday.
Right now I am writing this post during my allotted “Writing” time. Since I have two businesses to keep track of, I work one business on certain days of the week, and the other on the rest of the days of the week.
This keeps me from being distracted and overwhelmed. Batching jobs will make you super productive.
Wow, after writing all of that I kind of feel like an organizational Queen. But, our culture is busier and more fast-paced than ever. In order to keep up, you must be organized. Check out my video below for a behind the scenes look at how I stay organized during the week. And, tell me in the comments below, what time management tools do you use? Let me know if you try any of my tips! <3
PS – If you are wanting to find even MORE time in your day, enter your email below for this Checklist: 9 Ways to Find 15 Minutes in Your Day – without spending a dime!
PPS – Have you checked out Renew yet?!? 30 Days. 15 Minutes. Take your life back.