Time management strategies are essential for parents. We love how this mum has so many excellent ideas and we can all pick and choose the ones that work for us!
People have often asked me how I manage so many things, like my full time job. On an average, I work average 12 hours a day. I manage our home, even with a husband who is away most of the time, and a preschooler who is very active. She in a stage where I have to take her to various classes. I also find time for my passions like photography and travel.
Most of the people who asked me how I can do so many things don’t even know that I also make time for regular blogging. I am going to share some secrets which could be useful for you.
I am extremely organized person, which means I spent a little too much of time organizing my kitchen, closets and generally the entire home. I know this takes extra time, but in the long run, it helps my life function faster.
For example in my pantry, I label the jars for easily identifying what’s in them or I have transparent ones. My closet is well organized, so I don’t have to search for a particular cloth during the busy morning schedule. Most of them have a dedicated place for easy access. This saves lot of time on a daily basis.
Cook during the weekends
I do cooking during weekends, which means whatever we are cooking on weekends, we tend to make extra. With R traveling, the food consumption during weekdays is very less. So all that I have to do is to cook some fresh rice or make rotis during weekdays and I have some curry or fry in the fridge to go along with it.
It also saves the time I spend on cleaning. I don’t wash dishes by hand. I rinse and keep them in dish washer and wait for it to be a full load. Now with our parents here, our schedule is totally different. We cook 3 times and the dish washer and washing machine run almost every day.
Regulate TV hours
I do not watch TV during weekdays, absolutely no TV. There are many weekends which go without watching TV too. I have reached a stage in my life where I don’t miss watching TV. Chucky doesn’t watch TV either. The only person who is somewhat addicted to TV is R and that too he will be watching some movies or sports over the weekend.
Now that the parents are here, the TV is used during weekdays. We have a dedicated media room and that’s where we have the TV, so even if they are watching it doesn’t come in our way. We don’t have a TV in our family room or bedroom. I think this setup gives lot of quality time with each other. I can’t imagine those days where TV was always there in the background.
The role that I am playing requires me to work at least 2-3hrs from home in addition to 8hrs at work. Sometimes I wake up as early as 5AM to attend some meetings. I have my daily calls starting at 7AM. Sometimes I wish I had a 9-5 job like many others but what I have realized is every job comes with its own challenges, grass might look greener on other side but when we get there only we know the challenges. In my case I have an option not to work; we can easily support a good lifestyle with R working alone. But then I can’t imagine a day where I wake up with nothing to do. I sleep very less during week days, I try to compensate over the weekend though.
Spend quality time with your child
As a mom I often feel guilty not able to spend enough time with Chucky. For eg I wanted to read to her every day. That’s one activity we both love to do together. The preferred time to read book is just before the bedtime. But by the time we go to bed it’s late and we cannot always afford to spend another 30mins reading stories. So sometimes I try to read for her while she eats dinner or I am cooking. I feel we both are happy with this setup.
Involve the dad in chores
I involve R in everything in our household chores when he is home. He can cook, clean, take care of Chucky and pretty much everything I do at home. It’s always good to have a helping hand or a backup person. It’s so easy to get things done when we both can work in parallel. One thing I should appreciate here is, he does everything voluntarily.
Stock up during weekends
Over the weekend, we do grocery shopping after dropping Chucky to her Gymnastic class which is one hour. Shopping becomes much focused and we tend to finish on time so that we can get back on time to pick her. Otherwise we will spend 1hr waiting for her and spend another 2hrs shopping if we all go together.
Include exercise in your routine
People have misconception that they don’t do exercise because they are either too tired or don’t have enough time to do. I feel including exercise in your daily routine not only makes you healthy and happy but also gives you enough energy to pull through an extended day. People who do exercise on a daily basis would agree with me. It makes you stay positive.
Allocate time for social media
When it comes to time management for moms, allocating time for social media is important. I used to spend a lot of time on Facebook, email etc. Now I check once or max twice a day and that’s it. I feel happy and content when I use these tools for a limited time.
The Internet is something that I use wisely. For example when Chucky was young, I ordered all her baby products online. I would spend max 5mins for such transactions. Most of these items (like diapers, wipes etc) are required on a periodic basis. So even some online websites like Amazon allows you to subscribe and save as long as we want. I also use internet for paying all my bills like electricity, water, gas, mobile, credit card etc. Most of these bills I have to pay on a monthly basis. Some bills, I even have scheduled automatic pay where it’s linked to my bank account. I use the latest technology to my advantage and save my time doing other stuff I like.
Make time for fun things
I make time to meet my friends and celebrate their special days of life. Photogtaphy is also a passion so I spend time with my camera exploring stuff. I also love traveling, which means that I spend my time doing planning and exploring new places. The key is I do things that make me happy and motivated in life.
How do you manage your time?
Featured image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/ (used under Creative Commons Attribution License)