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Moms are known for being the managers of the home – sometimes single-handedly taking care of all or most of the household responsibilities from getting the kids ready for school, to cooking the meals, to cleaning the house, to keeping up with doctor's appointments, and making sure all the bills get paid. How do they get it all done? This is where organization comes into play. If you are a busy mom, you may have said to yourself, “there are just not enough hours in the day.” We can't give you any extra hours but we can give you a few tips for getting organized and getting more done in the time you have. Here are our top ten organization tips for busy moms.
Tip #1: Set goals for the day. The best way to accomplish your tasks, whether it be to get your kids’ closets cleaned out or prepare for a big presentation at work, is to have a plan. Take some time to make a list of things you need to do each day. Don't just write a list in random order though. Prioritize and think about what really needs to be done first. It is easy to get distracted with tasks that take up a lot of your time but aren't really a priority so focus on doing the tasks that are important first.
Tip #2: Get everything ready the night before: Mornings are usually hectic for moms. Don’t be late to work or a morning appointment because you’re looking for a lost shoe. Take some time the night before to get everything you need ready for the following day. Some moms even put their kids to bed in their clothes. This way you don’t have to worry about getting them dressed in the morning. Evenings are also a good time to work on writing goals for the upcoming day.
Tip # 3: Make your goals small. It is easy to write down a list of goals. Doing them is another story. If you find yourself not able to complete the items on your daily to do list, then your goals are too big. Start small. If your goal is to get your bedroom clean, start with a list of smaller tasks instead. List – pick up clothes off the floor, clear off the dresser, wipe down the mirror, make the bed, etc. If your goals are overwhelming, it will be more difficult for you to tackle them. Make them smaller instead.
Tip #4: Use a calendar or planner. This is a must have for busy moms. Write down important dates on the calendar such as upcoming appointments or due dates for bills. If you prefer, you can use an online calendar like Google Calendar or Yahoo calendar. Some other handy web tools that can help you keep up are Firefox's add on Reminder Fox or Google Chrome's Remind Me extension. These are nice tools because they show you reminders while you surf the net.
Tip #5: Make a daily schedule. You don't have to make a rigid schedule but make a plan for your regular daily tasks. Try to plan around your energy level. If you are a morning person, schedule your most important goals for the morning. If you are more of a night owl, save your tough jobs for the evening.
Tip #6: Good enough is good enough. Are you a perfectionist? Do you find yourself not letting people help you because they don't do the job as well as you would? It's okay if hubby washes the colors and whites together. Sure, it would be better if he separated them, but help is help. Take the help and let go of your perfectionist ways.
Tip #7: Get your rest. Make sure you are getting a good night's sleep. It may be tempting to stay up late. For a lot of moms, this is the only moment in the day when the house is quiet, but sleep is important for busy moms. Staying up late will leave you with less energy and focus for the upcoming day.
Tip #8: Learn to say no. Lucille Ball made the famous quote “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” One reason why busy moms get to so busy is because they have difficulties saying no. You don't have to say no to everything, but if you are feeling stressed out and over-worked it is time for you to put yourself first and start saying no.
Tip #9: Have a good filing system. Set up a filing system for your bills, receipts, warranties, and other important papers. Sort your mail when it comes in. Throw the junk away and file away everything else.
Tip #10: Stop interruptions. Do you have a chatty Cathy in your life? It is nice to have someone to talk to but don't let your friends or family suck away your time. Did the dinner dishes get skipped because you were busy talking to Aunt Suzie? Break this habit. If you are busy, it's okay to let the phone go to voicemail. If it is important they can leave a message.