5 Things Efficient (and Happy) Moms Do Every Day: Part 1
There is no reason that Moms can't run their households like a very efficient workplace. They are very similar. Both at home and at work we must prioritize our time, plan for the future, and check things of our to-do list. I find that the more efficient I am the more free time I have, both for me and for my kids. Not only that, I'm much happier. With this in mind, I have worked hard to come up with ways to save myself time at home, just as I did when I was working at a Fortune 500 company, and you can do it too!
Get an Email Organization System
Get a system for your emails. I recommend using Outlook (if you need help setting that up, check out this old post I did with lots of great information). The trick is setting up folders and filing away things you have done so that you can use the in-box as a to-do list. Then spend 15 minutes per day organizing and going through emails. You can even set up rules within Outlook so that all those annoying emails from Gymboree go straight into the "Coupon" folder so you don't have to see them in your in-box but they are there if you need them for your next trip to the mall. Here is an example of my folders (notice how many coupons I have accumulated! That's over 5,000 emails that I never had to sort. They just went straight to that folder for future reference)
Get a blue-tooth Headset
Purchase a head-set for multi-tasking. You can fold laundry, work on dinner, organize files, clean out your purse, all while you wait on hold for the cable company or catch up with your Mom! I use mine every single day, and it is so much better than using the speakerphone. Here is the one I use.
Wake up Early
At a minimum, wake up thirty minutes before the kids do, so you can get your day organized, wake up in the peace and quiet, and take a shower. If you can even wake up early enough to get a little bit of exercise, even better! You will feel so amazing if you give your body a little time to get some endorphins first thing in the morning. Buy a cheap treadmill from someone on Craiglist for the basement and the kids will never even know you're awake. Then take a few extra minutes to sort your emails so you have a fresh slate for the day.
Review your budget
Moms should run the budget for a couple of reasons. First, we won't overspend if we know what our goal is. Second, we are the ones who make a lot of the decisions on what to get for birthday parties, clothing, etc., so again, it makes sense for us to take control of the budget. The trick is looking at it every day. I like to use Mint.com. It's free, and easy to set up. You can set up monthly budgets and then link to your credit card and bank accounts so you can make sure you are sticking to your budget each month.
Use your Phone for Notes
Make lists on your phone like books you want to read, music you want to download, birthday ideas for kids, etc. I like to use the "Notes" feature on my iPhone, that way it's always handy.
Helping Moms stay organized and efficient is a passion of mine! I will be continuing this train of thought with a 2nd post about 5 more ways to make the most out of your days. I will also begin consulting with Moms on getting organized, so if you're feeling overwhelmed with budgeting or emails or anything else, let me know! I can help!
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