Time Management: What Busy Moms Want Help With

When it comes to time management, busy moms (and even dads) are looking for ways to make their lives less stressful.  Between working full-time jobs, school activities and everything else life throws at us, time management is where everyone needs improvement.  Whereas we all are looking for ways to find a little more time to get things done.  Believe it or not this article may just do that for you.  Keep reading to see.

24 Hours A Day Is Just Not Enough

Actually it is, we just need a way to control our time management.  We all get 24 hours every day.  For the average adult, subtract 6-8 hours for sleep.  Consider this your deposit to yourself.  You need quality sleep and tossing all night long doesn’t help you or your family.

Break it down

Consider this:  You have a pitcher full of time (use 16-18 ounces of water) when you start the day.  Now set out some empty glasses.  Pour 1 oz of water for every hour you spend on any activity.  One for your spouse/significant other, another for your kids and don’t forget yourself.  Do you have a job?  Get another glass.  Any activities you lead or transport kids to like sports or scouting?  Yep, get another glass.  Ok now, pour some out into the glass for the amount of time you had to spend getting your kids up and out the door for school.  1 ounce = 1 hour, half ounce = 30 minutes, etc.

Is there anything like making a lunch for your spouse to get them out the door on time?  Measure out that time, pour it into the glass.  Okay, whew, the kids and spouse are out the door.  Now its time for you to get ready.  How much time do you need in the morning to get out the door.  Let’s pour that amount into your glass.

Are we there yet?

Alright, now you are out the door, how much time do you need to drive to work?  Thankfully for me I will be gaining 60 minutes minimum when I get to do “this blogging thing” full-time!  Of course that also means I am closer to my nightly glass of red wine from our wine club.  Okay, back on track.  Now that you are at work, be sure to pour out how ever many hours (ounces) you are there for.

End of the Day – Is there Time Waste?

time management

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and it’s time to head for home.  Are you stuck in traffic?  Be sure to account for that on an average day.  For example, here in Minnesota we have 2 seasons – Winter and Road Construction.  My commute time can vary depending on what road conditions are like.  Some days from November thru April, my commute either direction could be up to 3 hours and I only have to drive 25 miles.  It’s like people forget how to drive.  Moreover it is one of the many reasons I am looking forward to working for myself from home.

Dinner Bell Rang Did you get it Done?

Dinner time…another time management thing.  Did you forget about a school, sport or scouting activity?  It’s important to have a family sit-down time as many times each week as possible.  Your kids and spouse not only need it, but so do you.  You need to stay connected and grounded.  Your family is your Why.  However that isn’t always a possibility as kids these days are involved in so many activities some barely have time to get homework done.  And you also need to cook a decent meal that keeps everyone’s brain cells functioning at their fullest.  Be honest and pour out that water for the amount of time you spend from meal prep to putting dishes away.

Feeling wiped out yet?  Do you even have any water left?  Well hold up, if your kids are elementary age or younger, you probably have to pour out time for baths and bedtime stories.  Remember putting quality time in with your family is why time management is so important.

What’s left?

Okay the kids are in bed, settled for the night.  Now look at your pitcher.  Do you have any water left?  If you do?  Great!  You are probably managing your time well or weren’t completely honest.  Did you run out before the kids got into bed?  You are not alone.  For many, it is similar to the paycheck, more month left than money.  Let’s now take a look at some quick tricks and tips on “finding” more time in your day.

Tricks and Tips

Let’s take a quick look at your overall day.  Starting with the morning, what could shorten it by even a few minutes?  Could you get your kids woken up with something so simple as an alarm clock?  This is mutually beneficial, the kids learn to be independent (trust me that is a Great thing!) and you save anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes of arguing to get out of bed.  If you stick to it, the kids will reap the rewards in the long run because you are teaching them time management.

Wardrobe Failures & Successes

Sticking with the morning, the kids still have to get dressed and eat breakfast, right?  Ok for the benefit of most, let’s consider the kids are least elementary aged.  Getting the kids to agree to wear clothes that are acceptable for the weather, activity and who knows what else is a challenge in and of itself.  Let’s shorten the arguments.  Move the decision making to 2 or 3 options and lay it out the night before as part of the bed-time routine.

Again, we are teaching independence and time management and that just benefits everyone in the future.  Let the kids pick out 1 outfit each and you pick out 1 or 2 outfits.  When you have multiple kids, make the older ones go to their rooms and start while you work with the little ones.  Have a designated place in the closet or chair for the outfits to be placed every night.  It will eliminate a fight.  Let your child be part of that decision making too.

You can even go so far as to lay out an entire week’s worth of outfits using a hanging shoe organizer that is more cubical versus the pocket style.

Breakfast and Packing Lunches

A healthy start to everyone’s day is a good nutritionally balanced breakfast, but no one really has the time to make the hearty breakfast that “perfect” family has.  Why?  Because there is no such thing as a perfect family.  Whether you want your kids to have something more than just cereal or toast in the morning, looking at meal prep ideas will be key.  Starting a meal prep routine is a literal time saver.  Whether you do it a specific day of the week or the night before is a personal preference.  But I want to challenge you that a little preparation ahead of time will gain you minutes of mental sanity!  Again, make it so the kids are involved.  Consider it bonus quality time and you are teaching them some cooking skills that will work in your favor.

Meal Prep – Breakfast on a Fast Start!

To look into this I scanned around the internet for different ideas on meal prep for beginners.  They even show how to pre-pour the cereal and milk that the kids can do on their own!  Something so simple, but time saving.  Put the cereal in a plastic container with a lid the kids can remove themselves.  Put the milk in a sports bottle pre-measured!  Let the kids make their own cereal while you get yourself ready for work!

Other places to look for ideas:  Like I said, I Googled and used Pinterest to see what is out there.  Be sure to let the kids help search with you for ideas on foods they would eat. I have seen mason jars with yogurt, cereal or granola, and fruit and the kids can just pour it in, mix it and eat!  Less messy than milk too.

Fun Time with Food but Saving You Time

Another favorite I stumbled on was if you have a waffle iron.  Mix up your eggs, cheese and any fillings like bacon crumbles or sausage.  Pour it into the waffle iron.  Quick omelets!  You can easily prep the eggs in a bowl that you can put a cover on, I use a batter bowl that has a cover.  Then all you need to do is pour it into the waffle iron to cook it. Minimum mess for clean up too!

Lunches and Snacks

When it comes to packing lunches and snacks for our kids, the simpler the better.  I have friends who are utilizing a hanging shoe organizer.  It typically has 20 pockets in 4 columns with 5 rows.  You can put up to 4 kids worth of snacks for a week in it.  The kids then grab their own snack and lunch additions like chips, cookies, even bananas and pack it into their own lunch carrier.  No more wondering if they got everything.  Check the pocket to see if it is empty.  Prepping this on a Sunday afternoon after getting groceries with the kids’ help makes it even more fun.

When it comes to sandwiches, pre-make them with bread and meat with a cheese slice on top.  You can then easily spread mayo or butter on the day of.  Write with a permanent marker on the container or baggie who it belongs to.  Do the same with jello, pudding or yogurt.  As a result the kids can even grab it themselves.

Dinner Bell is Ringing

time management

Whew you have made it the whole day and now it is dinner time.  Did you get anything planned ahead of time?  One thing I started doing when I am planning my grocery list is to plan my meals for the week.  Take your calendar and look at the upcoming activities. 

Can any of those be prepped the night before or even days ahead?  Going to make spaghetti, chili, sloppy joes, tacos, hot dishes?  Why not brown the hamburger when you get home from shopping?  Split it up into containers and put in the freezer or fridge.  Do you have a son or daughter who is at least 3rd grade?  Teach them to brown the hamburger so you can supervise and do other meal preparation.

To make finding some recipes easier, here is a page I did up just for busy families – >>Go Here<<.  I hope you enjoy some of the recipes my kids love still today and they are in their 20’s!  Make the most of your time and the time management will become an easy habit.

More Time Management & Time Saving Tips

  • Firstly get a Large Wall Planner.  Get different colors of pens for each member of the family.  In addition you can put tags on the pens if you need to.  Now write in their schedule or activity for the day.
  • Go to Google and start using Google Calendar for your time management.  In addition there is a feature where you can share the calendars with other email addresses.  If your kids have a smart phone make them get a gmail account and make them start using the calendar.  By sharing with the family means you won’t miss practices, games, rehearsals, etc and you are all on the same page.
  • When using a crock pot for meals, get the liners.  Makes clean up a breeze!  And the mindset you get in when you walk in the door and smell that dinner is ready. Ahhh!
  • Going from activity to activity with no time to eat, get a good quality cooler you can fill in the morning to take with you with juice boxes, water and healthy snacks in it.  Invest in good ice packs that last all day too in the hot weather.

Don’t Forget About Self Care:

  • Most importantly take 15-20 minutes each day in the morning for yourself.  Read the bible, positive affirmations, meditate.  In as much anything that will put you in a positive mental state.
  • In addition continue to delegate additional everyday type chores to the kids.  They will thank you when they get older.  My oldest is 26 and does most of the cooking for his roommates.  He learned to brown hamburger at 3rd grade.  It sped up making dinner by 15-20 minutes and sometimes that was the difference in actually eating or not.  Saved us money too by not having to eat fast food.
  • When it’s the evenings, save time to relax with your spouse to connect.  Share a glass of red wine over small talk will help build a stronger relationship.  I can help you get that wine delivered to your door! >>Check out our Wine Club Here<<  There are even more recipes in this site!

For some at-Home Entertainment:

We have new ones LIVE each and every Wednesday at 5:30pm (PST) / 6:30pm (MST) / 7:30pm (CST) / 8:30pm (EST) / 9:30pm (AST) on our “Zoom Meeting Room” http://rrr247webinars.com / or https://zoom.us/j/267159642

Thank you for reading my article on Time Management.  Stay tuned to this site, bookmark it so you see any updates as they happen.  I am focusing on Self-Improvement on many levels.