With the New Year upon us there is no better time than now to start a new routine to try out some time management techniques to be more organized. The key to figuring this out is with some time management techniques that work best for you and your family. In this post I will share what works best for me and my family, and hopefully you can use some of the same techniques.
Plan Your Week
The most important thing I do is prepare for the week on Sundays. One thing I like to do is get my sons clothes all together and bring them into my room since he sleeps with me and his clothes are nearby in morning. I hang them next to my bed. Each night when I change his clothes, I let him choose from the shirts I have picked for the week so I can avoid any meltdowns and he feels like he has a decision in what he is wearing and gets to show his independence. (Yes he sleeps in his shirt he will wear the next day ha ha.) I have recently had to bring in a few extra shirts to choose from because he would get to the last shirt for the week and if he isn’t happy with that choice all heck breaks loose. So I have learned to bring in some extras. I really need to be better at picking out my clothes for the week ahead of time because all heck breaks out in the morning if I don’t like any of my choices either, but this is something I plan to work on in the New Year.
I also plan out the week as far as what we will be eating for lunch and dinner each day (Monday – Sunday) and do my meal planning and meal prep. This is probably the biggest help to keep the week running smoothly. When I am doing a Whole30 this is the key to my success. I also feel more organized and a sense of relief, because I don’t have to think about what we will eat once I have it written down and prepped. If you want to learn more about The Whole30 program and my experience please check out my previous post HERE.
Do you plan out your week, or do you work it out each and every day as life brings it?
Schedule Your Priorities
I recently came across a saying that I completely agree with and try to follow in my daily adventures.
The key is not to prioritize your schedule,
But to schedule your priorities.
By writing down your To Do List and prioritizing the tasks, you can then put them on your calendar and schedule them so you can be sure to complete the most important tasks first. If I didn’t do this I would be a wreck and life would be very messy. (I am a list maker and a big planner.) I have 3 calendars right now that I use daily. I use the calendar in my cell phone for personal tasks and priorities, my electronic calendar for work with all of my meetings and things I need to get done for projects I am working on, and then I have a paper calendar on my cubicle wall where I write down really important reminders (like my vacation days LOL) so I can see them at a quick glance while I am on a call or just need to glance super-fast and see what I am looking for. You may be saying “WOW! 3 calendars! How do you keep up with them?” This is a system that works best for me. You will want to find a system that works best for you.
Do you schedule priorities, or do you prioritize your schedule?
Cleaning Schedule and De-Cluttering
In a previous post I discussed how I created a cleaning schedule for myself so I could spend more time with my son and family on the weekends. This helps to knock out those mundane chores we all need to complete throughout the week, yet I don’t feel like a slave to my house by spending a chunk of time doing it all at one time. If you want to take a peek at my Free Printable check out the post HERE.
We have also talked about how we de-clutter our spaces. This is a huge help with time management. Once you have de-cluttered your entire home you will feel such a sense of accomplishment and calm. I know I always feel so much better after I de-clutter a room and especially the entire house (which typically I don’t ever get to do these days with a three-year old running around and wanting my full attention). If you want to check out Christine’s previous post on De-Cluttering Your Home click HERE.
Do you have any tips or techniques to help with cleaning and de-cluttering your space?
I just found out about batching a couple weeks ago, and I have already been doing it but I never knew there was an actual term for what I was doing. When you create your To Do List and start to prioritize your tasks, batch similar tasks together so you can do these tasks at the same time. One thing I know I can work on in this category is when I am working on pictures for my blog posts. I should schedule time to work on pictures for my next 2-4 blog posts. This will allow me to do all of my picture taking and editing all at one time. I am also going to do the same thing when it comes to writing my blog posts. If I write 2-3 at one time I feel like I will be able to produce a better product, for you our readers, since I will be in the mind frame of writing and won’t have to get started 2-4 times and get into that writing groove each time. I know for me once I get started on something it is much easier to just keep going. So I will be following this practice in 2017.
What some things you do often that can be batched into one task or timeframe?
Morning and Evening Routines
As I said above I am a planner. Each evening, I try to get as prepared for the next day as possible. The most important thing for me is preparing and packing up my lunch the night before. I work in a downtown area, and places to eat out at are pretty pricey if you need to eat out every day or most days. I try to bring my lunch every day and then I have the occasional day where I want…ummm I mean…NEEEEED Chipotle for lunch. I try to limit my eating out for lunch to 3 times or less per month. By getting my lunch together the night before I probably save myself 10-15 minutes (and a lot of money) in the morning. I already have everything out while picking up my dinner so I pack some up for lunch as I get my dinner plated.
In the morning, I typically get up and get myself ready and get my water and coffee made and all my bags gathered into one place, or put them into the car before I wake up my son. I usually already have him in his shirt that he will wear for the day so I finish getting him dressed while he is asleep (so much easier this way LOL). Then I get him on the potty and make him a quick snack (a frozen waffle or a pancake I made ahead of time and freeze. I make batches of each and freeze them so I always have them on hand.) I pop them into the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm up, butter them, and cut with a pizza cutter and wa-la he has a breakfast snack. They don’t eat breakfast at daycare until about 7:30am and he wakes up at 5:45 am so I like to give him something on the way to school. I do all of this in a matter of 30-40 minutes. I very rarely feel rushed unless the threenager feel like he needs to derail our routine.
Everyone’s evening and morning routines will be different so I am not going to go into great detail about everything I do. I wanted to hit on the key things that help me and work best for us.
What are you Evening and Morning routines?
I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave your comments with your time management techniques, tips, and tricks.
Everyone have a great New Year! Let’s make it a great one!