With a new baby, I sometimes feel as if I am never able to complete all my daily tasks at home and at work. I’m constantly waking up late or even running late to work for an afternoon shift even when I thought I planned my morning well so that I would not be late. Unfortunately, once I’m late it seems like my whole day snowballs into a huge mess. However, I’ve found a better way to be more effective each day and without it I find I’m aimlessly mothering, loving my husband, and just being an inefficient employee at work.
Nine months ago, while I was in the nesting phase of my pregnancy, I noticed my home was all out of whack. After a terribly tiring first trimester, I let my homemaking go by the wayside. Thankfully, I have an understanding husband who had no problem with me sleeping all hours of the day. I knew it was time to get my home in order so I started searching the web and my local library for all things ‘organization.’ My home was such a mess, it took me 2 weeks to go through every crevice and corner and get it to where I felt it was ready to welcome a brand new baby. As I was cleaning my home, I realized not only did my house need cleaning and organization but also did my life. I needed to better manage my time.
The first step in my getting a hold of my time management process was purging. I can not stress enough how important it is to get rid of unused or cluttering items. Not only will it save you time by not having to clean those items, but your home will feel more spacious. The less things that you own, the more time you have to do the things that matter. My husband and I threw out a coffee table that was falling apart and it somehow collected everyone’s things at the end of the night. Miraculously, all the items that we used to throw down on the table after walking in the door(keys, watches, headphones, etc.), finally made it to their humble homes in our bedroom drawers. I decide to part with anything that did not bring me joy. When it comes to your life, this might include activities that do not bring any benefit to your life. Like that one hour or more of watching reality shows that do nothing but make you subliminally believe your life should look this way. There was a certain reality show I was watching religiously a few years ago and I realized after watching it I was never content with anything my husband was doing for me. One mid-nagging session, I realized I sounded just like the main character on the show. This ended me DVRing this show.
Now that your home is clear and only the things that you want and need remain, it’s time to create a schedule for things to get done. I had a daily planner that I used to remember all my prenatal appointments so I figured it would be a great idea to write down tasks that need to be done around my home. For example, Wednesday is the day of the week where I clean out the fridge. I remove all expired items(salad dressings, lunch meat, etc.) and throw out any old meals that we forgot about. This sets the stage for grocery day which is Thursday so it’s easy for my husband to slide new groceries in and not have to worry about running out of space. Here is an example of tasks I write into my planner daily:
Laundry – I try to do at least 1 load of laundry each day, but not more than 2 loads a day. After 2 loads, the third load either does not make it into the dryer, does not get folded, or does not get put away. So I’ll save the next load for the following day.
Cooking – I write down exactly what I’m going to cook and the time I plan to prepare it. (For example, Baked chicken, sweet potatoes, and mixed veggies at 4pm)
Exercise – I create a time slot for the gym. If not, it seems like I always find an excuse for not going.
These are only three task I plan for, but I definitely put in way more than three each day. This is just to give you an idea.
It may say sound pretty nerdy to plan to-do’s so specifically, but I find that planning and organizing daily task at home as if you were running a small business is the most effective way to get tasks done efficiently. Being a busy mom and wife, I need every little bit of help I can get at remembering things so that will be able to actually follow through and execute them. Even more of a time saver, is being able to delegate tasks out to your entire household which we’ll talk about in another post.
Have you tried this approach in managing your home? Let me know down in the comments. I’ve recently fallen off from being intentional with my time, but starting today I’ve decided to get back on track. I can’t afford to waste another minute. Tomorrow is not promised.