Time management is just not a written subject on your yearly review at work. Juggling all the wonderful things life has to offer hasn't always been easy. No one is ever born with a organizing or time management chromosome; even though some people make it look that easy. The truth is getting your life together is a life style choice. It's not easy either, but it does get easier with practice and discovery of things that work for you.
I am often asked how I keep me and my family so organized. The honest truth, it is a lot of hard work. But in the end my family appreciates all the time and effort I put in. Currently I'm juggling: a salaried position with 50+ hours a week, social media platforms to understand the marketing part of self publishing, planning weekly family activities and adventures to post on our very small YouTube channel, small patio garden, getting our new house in order, a weight loss competition, working out with a trainer, and last but never least writing a novel.
Holy smokes! That's a lot. Here are some of my tips and tricks to make sure I have time for everything.
Tip#1: Meal Planning
Kind of sounds like a no brainer, but it took me awhile to figure this one out. With my husband and I working so much, we would find ourselves home at night exhausted from working 10-12 hours. The desire to figure out something to eat and the motivation to cook it was lost. Going out to eat was always the solution and an expensive one at that. So taking the guess work out of what's for dinner has saved a lot of time and money. We post our menu plan for the following week on Sunday. My stepson loves this practice. He is big into daily routines. So he keeps us accountable for what's posted on the menu.
Tip#2: Use your Crockpot
If you like home cooked meals with fresh ingredients then become friends with your crockpot. This is the easiest way I can suggest any busy person to eat healthy. You have so much control of what you eat. There are thousands of free crockpot recipes online so no need to eat boring pot roast all the time.
Tip#3 Meal Prep
This is an absolute must for a busy person who is watching what they eat. It really goes back to Tip#1 with Meal Planning. Knowing what you are eating for the week, make sure it's easy to stick to. Nothing will set you up for failure faster then a hard to follow plan. Take the guess work out and grill all your chicken you need for your salads or chop all your veggies and store them in individual size portions. Make this a grab and go type of lifestyle. You'll thank yourself for giving up a few hours on the weekend. I love having our crockpot dinners all together in a bag ready to grab in the morning and dump right in.
Tip#4 Schedule Schedule Schedule
A schedule keeps us accountable for our daily tasks. It literally takes me 10 minutes to plan my weekly schedule of when I'm writing, when I'm hitting the gym, when am I visiting my trainer, and what activities we are doing as a family. Once I figure out what I want to accomplish and how much time I would like to devote to it, I throw it in my calendar. I'm pretty demanding of myself to stay on task. So I never waste time trying to figure out what I want to work on that day. My biggest suggestion is to realize you have to schedule yourself some downtime too. All work and no play....well you know the rest.
Tip#5 Cleaning Routine
Assign a room every night. Assign daily chores. Whatever it takes to keep up on the housework. We tried different routines until we found one that worked for our family. Sharing is caring, get your family involved with the upkeep of housework.
Tip#6 Reward System
Getting organized and staying on track is hard work. Hard work should never go unnoticed. So set your goals and rewards like a boss. You will find yourself getting more things done if there is a new shirt or a mid day nap dangling in front of you. Recognize your worth all the hard work your putting in.
Sorry this was a longer blog post. Thanks for sticking around to the end. If you have any questions or more tips, please share with all of us below.