I’ve got some tips for busy moms, tips that help stretch the number of minutes in a day. We need all the help we can get to help our day run more smoothly. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Do as much as you can the night before.
I’m sort of a night owl, so once everyone is in bed, I’m able to whip through last minute things in the house. I’ll get breakfast ready (take bagels out of the freezer, thaw meat, etc.). I lay out clothes or shoes if we’re heading somewhere in the morning. I may even think way ahead for supper the next evening. The point is, I have the next day in mind when I wrap up the order of the house.
2. Plan for common disturbances.
Some things regularly get in my way. You probably have your list of “disturbances” in your life. List them and come up with a plan to resolve them. For instance, figuring out who has what chore can turn to utter chaos in the Jeub home. I have a whiteboard in our living room to help hedge off this everyday — and every meal — disurbance.
3. Put things away as you go.
What an amazing difference it makes when you put things back into place as you use them! This is a wonderful way to stay one step ahead in your daily life. Encourage your kids to do the same, get into the habit.
4. Everything in your house should have a place.
Spend time getting organized! As the old saying goes, “everything has a place and everything in it’s place.” Using labels for items is great! It works and it is surprising how well it works.
5. How-to Steps.
If you have a lot of children, it’s easy to forget who knows how to do what. Sometimes their frustration with chores is that they just don’t know how to do them. I write down some simple instructions for certain chores and hang them on the wall in the area.
Practicing is like a “drill time.” We talk about this in our book Love in the House. A great time to practice is when nobody is upset, you lay out the rules, let everyone know what you expect. In our family we have practiced many things like sitting still and being quiet, going to bed, and getting ready to go someplace.
7. To-do List.
This is a great way to make sure that you remember all the things that must be done. I often write this in a notebook, and the notebook stays in the middle of our house as the kids and I busily get ready for whatever we must work toward. Get your list going and add to it and cross things out as you go. This may seem simple but it is a great stress reliever!
8. Exercise and Eat Healthy.
Find a way to make exercise a regular part of your day. Make good healthy choices in eating. You will be healthier. You will feel better. It will help you to feel less stressful. This also equals less sick time.
9. Routine Routine Routine.
Start you day on purpose. Get up at a set time and stick to it. Make a plan and stick to the plan. Have a regular routine to your day. This helps your children and you know what is happening and what to expect. Help those children who need naps get them everyday. You can get a nap, too!
If you have some frustration with your daily schedule, rethink how you can make things easier. If your home life is not flowing well, be free to cross things off and do something else.
11. Do it now.
One way to clear your to-do list is to just do it… like, right now. Maybe there is a way to do 4 or 5 things right now? Get those things off your list.
I may be a night owl, but I have got to force myself to get a good night sleep. Believe it or not, good sleep will help maximize those minutes in your day-to-day mommy life. Get plenty of sleep by shutting the computer down 2 hours before you plan to head to bed.
These are a dozen ideas from the Jeub home. How about you? What ideas have you applied to help make your day run more smoothly? Share them with us below!