Schedule for working moms

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Struggling to get it all done? Feeling overwhelmed with homemaking? These time management tips from some of the top homemaking bloggers will help!

When I recently I did a survey and asked about people’s top challenges when it comes to homemaking and overwhelming the top answer was finding time to get it all done.

The first thing I want to encourage you to remember is that while homemaking is important, having a perfect home is not important or even possible.

Jessica Turner talks a lot about this in the book The Fringe Hours and I really love this quote.

“Relationships are the currency that matters, not the conditions of our homes.”

We want our homes sanitary and hopefully comfortable for us and our family but we don’t need it to be perfectly decorated or picked up.

I do know from talking to some of you that even the necessary homemaking tasks can be overwhelming. We have so many things going on in our lives. Many of us work outside of the home, have kids, volunteer, have health concerns, the list goes on and on.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day so good time management is key. To help with this issue I reached out to some of my favorite bloggers and asked for there best time management tips for homemakers. They shared some great information that can really help reduce the overwhelm and help us get more done.

Time Management Tips for Homemakers

Time blocking is a time management technic that can help you avoid getting distracted and help you use your time wisely.

Katie at My Sweet Home Life has some great information on using time blocking.

An organized life helps so much when it comes to time management. If things aren’t organized it’s harder to do just about everything.

Becky at Simply Intentional Life has some great tips for moms and some great time management printables.

Having a plan and making sure everyone in the family is on the same page is very helpful, especially during busy times. Not having a plan is a good way to make sure things will fall through the cracks.

Deanna at Life With Dee likes to have a weekly planning session with her husband to make sure they are both on the same page.

Creating a daily routine you can actually stick to is a great way to manage your time better. Often we try to create daily routines that sound good but in practice, we can’t keep up with them.

Alison at Organized Motherhood has information to help you create a manageable daily routine you will actually use.

Speaking of routines, a good morning routine can set your day up for success. My whole day feels more productive when I’m following a morning routine. If you want to learn more check out my post A Homemaker Morning Routine.

Especially during busy or stressful times having a long to-do list can just seem like too much. Having a top 3 can help you feel like you have been productive and make sure you are getting to the most important things.

Alli at Scattered Squirrel has some great tips and printables for writing a less overwhelming to-do list.

Looking for even more tips to make homemaking less overwhelming? Sign up below for my mailing list.

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Everyday routine has different demands, expectations, and priorities. All the women whether working or housewives have many duties to perform. We women manage the home and are responsible for a lot of things concerned with the home.

We, housewives, manage home chores as per our convenience. When I used to work full time, I do all the home chores on my own. After I quitting my job I was doing my home chores, but I became a little lazy.

I created a daily, manageable routine which you could also do, it will help you to manage your time to become more productive. Being the mother of a toddler also increases responsibilities more. When I

didn’t have a baby, I feel like I have many hours in a day. But now I feel a shortage of time in a day. But after following a schedule I am able to manage my time in a productive way.

A woman who works outside, she earns. In the same way, a housewife who stays at home she is not earning but she is saving the expanses of a maid. But a Freelancer who stays at home to do all the activities of a housewife apart from that she earns.

Related: 16 ways to utilize your time to become a smart housewife

Tips/Points to be considered while drafting your schedule:

  • Do advance planning for your time whether you are working or a housewife.
  • Make a time chart in written format
  • Set priorities for the day (laundry, going to market)
  • Be Realistic with Your Time (divide time as per the tasks)
  • Place time chart approaching areas like in the kitchen (on the fridge), in your bedroom (near your bed), in the drawing room (closer to T.V.)
  • Don’t overburden yourself
  • Do the laundry on alternate days(like on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
  • Deep cleaning of a room done twice/thrice a week(On Monday deep clean one room, on Tuesday do another room).
  • Make a list of grocery at the beginning of the month and maintain stock for the month, so that you need to go out, again and again, to purchase in slots.
  • Consider time for yourself. eg. yoga, exercise, walk, etc.

Related: Best online courses to learn Time Management skills

Here I am sharing my personal schedule as an example which you can incorporate into your schedule it might help you. Let’s begin.

Sr. No. Start Task End Task To do List
1 5:00 5:15 Wake up, drink lukewarm water & freshen up
2 5:15 5:40 Go for morning walk & do exercise
3 5:40 6:15 Cleaning home
4 6:15 6:30 Take bath
5 6::30 6:50 Worship
6 6:50 7:20 Cook Breakfast & serve wake up drinks (milk/tea)/ make Tiffin
7 7:20 8:00 Spend some quality time with my daughter & teach her something related to her books or moral values.
8 8:00 8:40 Prepare daughter for school/ Do some home chores in between(Washing clothes)
9 8:40 9:00 Breakfast time/ clean up utensils
10 9:00 10:00 Drop her to school & go to the temple
11 10:00 12:30 Do Freelancing job
12 12:30 13:15 Cooks lunch
13 13:20 13:45 Lunchtime/cleanup utensils
14 13:45 14:15 Go to pick up daughter
15 14:15 14:45 Give time to my daughter in her daily routine
16 14:45 16:00 Nap time
17 16:00 18:30 Freelancing work & play time with my daughter
18 18:30 20:00 Walk time & playing time for her
19 20:00 21:00 Cooks dinner
20 21:00 21:30 Have dinner/cleanup utensils
21 21:30 22:00 Freelancing work & help her in doing her homework
22 22:00 22:15 Storytime for her
23 22:15 5:00 Sleep time

Initially, it was quite difficult for me to follow this schedule but I started practicing on it regularly. In the beginning, I need to see the schedule thing but now I am used to it. My brain follows it on its own.

“All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that.”

Baltasar Gracian

Think over it, don’t waste your time utilize it productively.

Related: How to get time to study as a housewife?

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  • Having a housewife weekly schedule will keep you organized and allow you to get more done. Learn how to set up a weekly schedule of a stay at home mom.

    Setting up schedules for your daily and weekly life is very important. Recently I shared how to create a daily schedule and today I’d like to extend your schedule a little further. In this post, I’m going to show you how to set up a weekly schedule for stay at home moms and housewives.

    It doesn’t matter if you work inside or outside the home, the process is the same. Being a modern homemaker still means that you’ve got a lot of tasks on your list and setting up a weekly schedule is going to help you get through your never-ending to-do list.

    What to include in your housewife weekly schedule

    One of the most important things to your weekly schedule is making sure that you have everything included. This is what keeps you organized and on schedule.

    Things to include in your weekly schedule are:

    • Daily and weekly cleaning
    • Weekly errands that need to be run
    • Weekly menu and shopping list
    • Kids activity schedule
    • Doctor appointments and other misc. appointments

    The point of your weekly schedule is to have all of your commitments in one place allowing you to see everything. This will keep you organized and keep you from forgetting important appointments.

    Setting up your housewife weekly schedule

    One of the best ways to stay successful with your housewife weekly schedule is to use a schedule that you love. I’ve put a free weekly schedule together for you that you can use to help you stay organized. Go ahead and download it below.

    Make sure you include what you normally do on a daily basis and then what you do on a weekly basis.

    This will help you organize each day. By setting up a schedule for each day this will help prevent you from over scheduling yourself.

    Set aside time to create your weekly schedule

    In order for this to work, you’ll want to make sure that you actually complete it. So set aside about 25-30 minutes 1 day a week to set up your housewife weekly schedule.

    During your scheduling time, you’ll create your:

    • weekly menu
    • shopping list

    Once those are complete you’ll want to add any appointments that you or your family may have.

    Check the kids’ activities schedule and add them to your weekly schedule.

    Then you’ll want to add any other appointments you have to your weekly schedule.

    Once you have your weekly appointments and menu added to your housewife weekly schedule it’s time to add your daily and weekly cleaning schedule.

    This will give you a good idea of what your days will look like.

    Tips to keeping up with your weekly schedule

    Sometimes when you set up your weekly schedule you might make certain days busier than others.

    Once everything is included there are few things to look at and possibly adjust.

    Adjust your menu to reflect the day.

    What that means is, if you have a busy night it might be best to make that a leftover night or a quick meal night.

    Be flexible with your weekly cleaning

    Do your weekly cleaning or heavier cleaning on days that you have more time. Don’t try to over schedule your day with cleaning just because it’s a certain day of the week.

    Setting up a housewife weekly schedule will keep you and your family on schedule. This will allow you to manage your time wisely and become more efficient.

    I hope that the tips that I’ve shared with you today will help you create a weekly schedule that you and your family can follow with ease. Don’t forget to download the free modern homemaker starter kit to allow you to create a weekly schedule that works.

    Thank you so much for stopping by. Have an amazing day.

    Jenn

    The Busy Mom’s Exercise Schedule

    Stephanie Rausser

    Call us crazy, but when it comes to reading advice about staying fit as a parent, the experts we want to hear from are moms who are making it happen. These fit moms find a way to workout even when it seems impossible, so we asked them to share their stories, secrets and best exercise tips so you can to.

    RELATED: Best Workout Apps and Streaming Services for Busy Moms

    “I commit to exercising at the office.”

    Eliza Belle, mom of Marley, 4, and Avery, 2

    My Story: “The commute to my office is an hour and a half each way, and once I’m there, I’m always at my desk or in a meeting. Sitting all day is exhausting, but I found it was impossible to fit in exercise before or afterward, especially because my husband is out of town for two weeks each month.”

    How I Worked it Out: “At least three days each week, I exercise at work. In the midafternoon, when my phone alarm starts to play “I Like to Move It,” off comes my blazer and on go my tennis shoes. My office is on the sixth floor, so I go up and down the stairs, walk around my floor, or do squats and push-ups with my office door closed for ten minutes. I love that I don’t have to get up even earlier than I already do and that I have time to spend with my little ones once I get home. If I count the evening walks we take around our neighborhood, I’m fitting in four to six hours of exercise each week.”

    Why I Make Time: “These days, if I don’t get up and move away from my desk, I feel sluggish during the day. Exercising at work also helps me sleep better.”

    My Top Tips:

    • Be prepared. “I keep deodorant, a change of clothes, hair products, and a towel at work so I can get my workout in, yet still present myself professionally.”
    • Make new opportunities. “On long days when I can’t fit in my usual workout routine, I do squats or calf raises while on conference calls, or I sit up straight and squeeze in my core during meetings.”
    • Forgive yourself. “I know I wasn’t born with a workout gene! I give myself permission to miss a day every once in a while, but I push myself for the greater reward: feeling and looking good, and being stronger for my loved ones.”

    RELATED: Jillian Michaels’ One-Minute Workout for Busy Moms

    “My kids are my workout buddies.”

    Chrissa Benson, mom of Brockston, 4, and Maddix, 2

    My Story: “My husband is a Marine serving in Afghanistan. When he was home, I could go to an early-morning barre class or out for a run, but after he was deployed, my workouts lost all structure. We don’t have family nearby, so I’m really raising our two kids solo.”

    How I Worked it Out: “I can’t do 30 to 60 minutes like I used to. Instead, I move my body when I’m with my kids. I do squats at the park, planks when we play trains, and triceps dips while we chalk up the driveway. I’ll even squeeze in a lower-body barre sequence at the bathroom counter while the boys take a bath. They also love when I turn up Bruno Mars and we have a dance party in our living room. It’s a great cardio blast!”

    Why I Make Time: “The deployments are hard, and exercise helps my anxiety tremendously. Even if there’s a lot on my plate, I’ll commit to five minutes of movement, and it almost always leads to more. When I’m strong on the outside, I feel like Wonder Woman on the inside. That mentality has gotten me through days when I wanted to curl up and cry.”

    My Top Tips:

    • Don’t psyche yourself out. “Before you think about the reasons not to be active today, just do it.”
    • No equipment? No problem. “Stationary exercises like push-ups, planks, or crunches are easy to throw in throughout the day.”
    • Bring the baby along. “Buy a jogging stroller. You can also do walking lunges and squats while wearing your baby.”

    RELATED: 15 Minutes to Firm Workout

    “I found my squad—and they motivate me.”

    Charne Greene, mom of Grace, 11 months

    My Story: “Before I had Grace, I didn’t have to work out to maintain my figure, so I wasn’t interested in making exercise a habit. That changed after I became a mom, when two months postdelivery, I found myself 20 pounds overweight—and nursing didn’t seem to be helping. But getting into the routine of exercising was about more than fitting into my clothes. I realized that my athletic husband shouldn’t be Grace’s only role model for living an active lifestyle. I wanted to instill good habits in my daughter too.”

    How I Worked it Out: “A friend told me about Stroller Strong Moms—a workout group that incorporates kids and strollers. Three or four mornings a week, Grace and I meet moms at a park for an hour-long class. We do body-weight exercises like burpees, squats, and lunges; use hand weights; and go on runs. Afterward, the moms chat while the older kids play. These days, whenever I have a problem, I come to these women.”

    Why I Make Time: “It’s not easy to be confident when none of my old clothes fit. I really enjoy working out now, and emotionally, I feel stronger too. After Grace is old enough to go to school, I’ll have what all the moms call Empty Stroller Syndrome—I’ll still bring my stroller to class to carry my weights, even if I have no child in it!”

    My Top Tips:

    • Partner up. “Finding moms with similar goals helps you hold each other accountable.”
    • Look your best. “A cute new outfit makes you more excited to work out. The occasional bribe works too. If I’m really having an off day, I like to motivate myself with Starbucks.”
    • Follow fit moms. “Seeing other people’s transformations on social media is motivating. On days when I miss a workout, I also turn to people I follow for workout inspo.”

    RELATED: 7 Essential Workouts to Make You a Stronger Mama

    “I get up early. Like, really early.”

    Jennifer Mazzoni, mom of Rose, 3 years, and Grace, 18 months

    My Story: “During my pregnancy with my second daughter, Grace, I had a lot of pelvic pain and had to stop practicing yoga, which I’d been doing for years. I really missed it and planned to start back up as soon as possible, but the pain took a long time to subside. When I was finally ready, getting to an early-morning class at a yoga studio was impossible since my girls woke up at 6:40 a.m.”

    How I Worked it Out: “Every morning, I get up at 5 a.m. and practice yoga in my bedroom. (I go to bed at 9 p.m. to make sure I get enough rest.) I set up a calming meditation space with my yoga mat, yoga props, and flameless candles. I practice to different YouTube videos so I don’t get bored, and then I meditate for 20 to 30 minutes.”

    Why I Make Time: “I do have mornings when I think, ‘Ugh, I’m too tired!’ But most days, I push myself. I enjoy my time with my girls more when I’ve had ‘me time’ early in the morning.”

    My Top Tips:

    • Find your space at home. “It should be private and quiet, even if it’s a corner in your bedroom. A decorated space is also a great visual reminder.”
    • Start small. “Meditate for just one minute each morning or evening for a few days, then slowly increase your time. It’s less overwhelming.”
    • Get guidance. “Until you feel comfortable practicing yoga and meditating on your own, it’s helpful to follow a guided practice. The Insight Timer app has free meditations, and I love trying out new yoga videos on YouTube.”

    RELATED: Fitness Model Mom Reveals Her Impressive Six-Pack Ab Workout

    “I wrote fitness into the rules of my life.”

    Alena Gerst, mom of Gracie, 5, and Clark, 3

    My Story: “I didn’t have to prioritize exercise until I had kids—before then, it was just how I lived my life. I biked to work, jogged and played tennis with my husband, swam regularly, and took at least one yoga class a week. But after kids, parenting sapped my energy to do most things beyond working and dealing with all my obligations at home.”

    How I Worked it Out: “For starters, I put a foldable treadmill in my bedroom and made a rule: If there’s a TV show I want to see, I have to watch it on the treadmill. I have absolutely extended workouts because I didn’t want to stop watching The Crown. When I discovered a Pilates studio in my office building, I began scheduling a weekly class between clients. I also often use my lunch break to get in a quick swim at a nearby pool.”

    Why I Make Time: “My parents are in their 70s, and they still hike, swim, practice yoga, and cycle. I want my kids to see me making that same effort to take care of my body and have fun while doing it. Plus, if I skip more than two days of working out, I’m irritable. Caregiving is rewarding, but it’s also demanding.”

    My Top Tips:

    • Be with the kids first. “I try to get on the treadmill after we’ve spent a lot of time together. That way they’re less likely to come looking for my attention.”
    • Go with the flow. “Even if I’m very tired from the rigors of parenting and life, I just get in the pool and keep moving, no matter how slow I need to go.”
    • Keep your sense of humor. “Once I paid for a Pilates class but forgot a change of clothes, so I did it in my work clothes. No big deal!”

    RELATED: The Mommy-and-Me Workout

    • By Stephanie Booth

    Parents Magazine

    Being a working mom is challenging because you have to balance time for your family, your work and yourself. Some mothers tend to put themselves on the least of their priorities, but the truth is, they have to be at their best to be able to accomplish different roles and responsibilities. Successful full-time working moms can prove that work-life balance is attainable. The key is to be organized and focus on a plan.

    Create a Family Calendar

    A family calendar is simply a list of what needs to be accomplished or done routinely, or school activities, family occasions, house chores and more. This has to be seen by everyone so you can use some calendar apps that can be shared to family members, or simply use a printed calendar. You can plan it weekly or monthly and share it with everyone involved, including your babysitter. The purpose of this is for everyone to stay updated on activities and be reminded of what to do for the week.

    Limit Distractions

    The real challenge in keeping a schedule is not planning, but sticking to your plans. It takes discipline to follow your schedule and avoid wasting time. You know when you are just wasting time, so set your limits checking your social media accounts or having phone conversations. Make yourself productive especially if you know that you still have to do so many things on a day.

    Develop a Routine

    Developing a routine can help you get used to being productive and organized. You can set mornings for emptying the dishwasher pr moving the laundry to the next level. Evenings can be time for running the dishwasher or tidying up the house. Make sure to also include your fitness routine because staying fit will give you the energy you need to do all your tasks. According to Les Mills, you should schedule your exercise for times that are most convenient to you. That way you’re more likely to enjoy it and stick with it, which will yield better results.

    Make Mornings Easy

    You can make mornings pleasant and stress-free by preparing the night before. Prepare your children and your own clothes or all the things you need the following morning. Check your schedule so you won’t have to miss anything. This way, you can even spend quality time eating breakfast as a family and avoid the rush.

    Make a To-Do List

    If you follow a routine every day because you have a regular work schedule, make sure to write a to-do list for things you have to accomplish on a day. For instance, upon checking your monthly calendar you were reminded it’s time to pay this or buy that, then do not forget to include that on your to-do list. This list is also essential for those with no regular work schedule. Their to-do list can remind them of the things they need to accomplish especially if they do not have the same schedule on a day. Do not forget to include time for exercise because as a busy mom, you have to stay fit no matter how busy you are.

    Don’t Forget your Me Time

    A valuable time for yourself allows you to have a refreshing break that will keep you from being stressed or burned out. To be effective at whatever you are doing, you should first feel good about yourself. Allot some time to do what you love, like window shopping, reading, pampering and many others.

    Proper time management is important to fulfill your responsibilities as a working mom. Make sure your planning includes time for yourself because you won’t be able to do your tasks if you are sick or you don’t have energy. Stay fit by eating well-balanced diet and living an active lifestyle. This way, not only do you reap the benefits of being healthy but also show your kids a good example.

    1. Spend enough time sleeping. If you do nothing else, prioritize your sleep needs so you can thrive. You’ll drag all day and ultimately waste time if you’re under-rested. Schedule sleep like any other activity and go to bed at bedtime so you can function the next day. (And enforce your kids’ bedtimes too. It’s good for them and for you.)

    2. Establish sane work hours. Before you commit to taking a new role, validate alignment of expectations for your work hours with your potential employer. Life commitments and job projects will ebb and flow, so be sure to check in periodically to make sure that expectations have not changed. That way, if your boss typically calls or emails after hours, you can decide whether you’re available or not. Many working mothers reserve nights and weekends exclusively for family.

    3. Embrace the power of “No.” You don’t have to attend every PTA meeting, chaperone all field trips or take on additional work projects. Saying no can be tough, but it is a skill that frees up time you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Further, watching you enforce limits teaches your kids the value of setting boundaries.

    4. Set attainable daily goals. A to-do list is useless if it’s too ambitious. What’s the point of writing down unachievable tasks? We’re not superheroes and shouldn’t try to be. Make your daily goals realistic enough to complete. Remember, you can always do more if you have the time.

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    Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it goes SO slow (like when we’re waiting in line or doing something boring) and other times it just speeds by!

    (Seems to me that it’s speedy more often than it’s slow around here.)

    We all wish we had more time in the day to do what we love. We want to spend more quality time with our kids, we want more time for a date night with the husband, or just some time to get lost in a great book. Yet, it often feels like there’s just not enough time to fit it all in, right?

    If you wish you could accomplish more every day AND enjoy more fun activities—great news: you totally can!

    Many of us think of time management as a “work thing” or something only used by executives—but that’s not true at all. Time management is an incredibly useful skill for busy moms. In fact, when we apply time management tips to our leisure time and in our home lives, we can unleash more free time (hear me? MORE FREE TIME!!) so we can both accomplish more AND occasionally relax for five whole minutes.

    Many people lack basic time management skills. (So if you’re feeling frazzled and like time is always slipping away, you’re not alone!) Time management truly IS a life skill—and it’s often a life skill that needs to be learned. It just doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And there’s no time like the present to start learning these top time management skills for busy moms!

    Learning how to balance your schedule and your obligations at home, as well as chores and errands will allow you to fit more YOU time into your busy schedule and help you feel more accomplished. You’ll ROCK your goals and eliminate the feeling that time is fleeting.

    Here are my top 10 time management tips for busy moms—whether you work in the home or outside the home, or if you’d just like to feel like you have more time to get it all done every day!

    1. Make a Plan

    You don’t have to be a planner addict like me, but establishing some sort of daily or weekly plan really helps with time management. You might need a formal planner or a DIY version—whatever works best for you is just great. I’ve found that having an actual physical planner (as opposed to an online calendar and a bunch of notebooks) works better for me.

    If you’re new to keeping a written schedule, I want you to go with a paper calendar to start. Find something that’s big enough to write in, but small enough to bring with you wherever you go.

    2. Get Friendly with Lists

    It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t have a map or directions, right? Well, writing out a good to-do list works the same way. Writing out lists helps you achieve more because it simply helps you get a handle on the stuff you’d like to accomplish, big and small. It gets it all OUT of your head and onto the page so you can clearly think through everything and prioritize.

    To start out, try writing down a simple list for the next week or two—what would you like to get done? Include work goals or keep a separate list for your work and your home. List out everything you hope to get done from buying a birthday present or paying a bill to putting clothes away and organizing your closet.

    3. Try Block Scheduling

    Block scheduling is a simple schedule method that works really well for many people, especially those who are overwhelmed. Simply “block out” a set amount of time to accomplish each task on your list. A good place to start is to assign time in 15-30 minute blocks.

    Include your work time in your blocks or block out work time on a separate calendar or planner. If you have a reactive job where things are unpredictable, simply block out the time you’ll be at work. For at-home tasks, set a timer on your phone and work until the timer goes off. If you finish beforehand, move to the next task or take a break (and adjust your schedule on the next round).

    4. Automate

    Automating your schedule will for real change your life! Think of all of things you do that can be streamlined or made simpler. This might mean freezer meal planning and doing all your cooking for the month in one fell swoop. (Read my post on Meal Planning for Beginners here!) It might mean setting up automatic delivery services for prescriptions, pet supplies, groceries, and more.

    Look at your schedule and the tasks and errands that eat up your time, like running to the grocery store or the library, or picking up and dropping off items. What can you do to streamline these processes? Plan out how to tackle these tasks only once a week or even less often if possible.

    5. Double Up

    Cook once, eat twice! Do two chores at once! Women are natural multi-taskers, but sometimes, when it comes to simple jobs, we forget about doubling up. Can you throw in a load of laundry while you cook dinner? Can you use a hands-free phone to catch up on a call with your friend while you’re driving?

    Whenever you cook a meal, think of ways to stretch it a little and make extra so you always have lunches for the next day. Items like sandwiches and wraps can be awesome as cold leftovers. Think of ways to make one activity cover two needs!

    6. Create Good Habits

    Start creating good habits today. Good habits are HUGELY IMPORTANT for effective time management for busy moms. For example, always rinse your dishes after you eat to keep dishes from piling up and becoming overwhelming. If you take just five minutes after dinner to rinse and fill the dishwasher, then you won’t have to take an hour later on down the road to soak, scrub and wash. Plus, the house will always feel clean! (I LOVE a clean kitchen, don’t you?)

    When bills come in, put them in the same place or address them right away. Establish a daily routine with habits that keep you productive, like keeping your gym bag right by the door or laying out your work clothes the night before. You’ll be amazed at the time, hassle, and energy you’ll save with just a little prep time!

    7. Put Down the Phone

    You knew this was coming. I’m a huge fan of technology (obviously) and all of the amazing ways it connects us. However, how many times have you been scrolling mindlessly through your social media on your phone only to realize 15 minutes have passed?

    Install a phone app like Forest to keep you focused on real life and off your phone. Forest motivates you to stay off your phone by growing a cute little tree that dies if you pick up your phone before the time is up. It can keep you from getting distracted by your phone when you should be doing other things.

    8. Do the Worst Things First

    When we start working or start doing a chore at home, we often begin by organizing. We check our email. We look over our lists. Maybe we organize a drawer or start looking for a recipe, or we try to build the perfect house cleaning playlist rather than doing any actual cleaning.

    To be more productive, tackle the hardest task first. Pick the task you’re dreading the most or putting off for the longest. Whether it’s cleaning the toilet or organizing your pantry—do it first. Set the timer and tackle it. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at two things: 1. It will probably take less time than you think and 2. Once it’s done, you won’t believe you spent so much time avoiding it. It’ll free you up to get through the rest of your list and you’ll feel like a huge success for the rest of the day!

    9. Simplify

    Want to get more done? Learn to say no—even to yourself. Often our schedules feel overwhelming because we’re trying to fit in too much. We say yes to the bake sale and we feel like we have to make something from scratch. Pick up some cookies at the store and be done with it—or even consider saying, “I’ve got too much going on right now, I’m sorry but I can’t.”

    Say no to things that cost you extra money and take time you don’t want to spend. It doesn’t mean giving up on fun, it just means being choosy about the ways you spend your precious resources. Similarly, buying things because they’re on sale or buying on impulse makes our lives more cluttered and overwhelming. Buy less and you’ll have less to deal with. Simplify, simplify, simplify!

    10. Get Your “Defaults” in Place

    In life, we can always expect the unexpected. Something that throws us off will come up at some point, whether it’s an emergency to deal with or maybe dinner just got burned (or we forgot to put it in the slow cooker). It happens. Instead of stressing out or hauling off to the store, set some defaults in place.

    Keep simple meal components in your pantry. Kids can have PB&J if need be or you can whip up an easy pasta salad for dinner using ingredients from your cupboard. Store a change of clothes in the car, a garbage bag, a few granola bars, and a backup charger for your phone. Set up default “emergency plans” for when something comes up unexpectedly, and it will save you from having to go out of your way to deal with a problem.

    When it comes to managing your schedule, some of the best advice I can give you is to be organized—and yet, don’t stress about it. Things come up! But when we have the tools in place to deal with the unexpected, we can be confident that it won’t derail our best laid plans.

    If you’re looking for more ways to manage your household and bulk up on life skills, check out this Build Your Own Life Skills course.

    Time management is a critical skill—but know that you’ll definitely get better with practice! Build up your time management abilities and you’ll find you suddenly have more time to fit in the fun!

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    A Busy Working Mom’s Life is Always Changing

    Being a working mom means you have a lot to think about. A lot to do.You’re trying to focus on your job while not forgetting about school, meals, laundry and housework. The list goes on. If you are working outside the home you may be able to compartmentalize, slightly. But if you are working from home it is easy to get everything in a mess and forget what you should be focussing on when. Especially when there are changes to your schedule. Well, at least that’s my experience.

    Today I want to share with you my life-changing time management tips for working moms.

    One of the main reasons why I struggle with time management and productivity is that plans are often changing and no week is the same. While dealing with the business deadlines and meetings I also have to weave in school events, dentist appointments and play dates. My week might be all organized and then a notice comes home from school, or there’s a webinar I want to attend and all the plans have to be changed.

    Do you relate?

    How Do You Keep Life Organized When One Week is Never the Same as the Next?

    I love the ability to quickly drag and drop changes to your schedule on a digital calendar. And digital planners, like Asana, are great for creating (and changing) repeating tasks. But when it comes to the day-to-day challenge of remembering what I am supposed to be doing I find that digital plans let me down. I need my plans right in front of me to know that I am on top of things, not hidden on some website or app I might forget to look at.

    Rule #1 A Visible Weekly Planner

    So, the first rule for my weekly planner was that it had to be visible. Not online. Not buried in a folder on my desk. But on the wall where it could be seen every day.

    Rule #2 Everything Has to be Handwritten

    Rule two – everything has to be handwritten. Personally, I find I’m much more likely to remember something if I have written it by hand. Typing doesn’t count. If I am more likely to remember my plans then I am more likely to act upon them.

    Rule #3 Have a Routine

    The third thing I wanted in my weekly planner was to show routine. I love having a routine to work from. It’s my top tool for productivity. Having a set routine helps me to remember what I should be doing, and also eliminates a lot of decision making. So, I didn’t want to start with a blank slate each week. Instead, I wanted to see what would normally happen if no plans were changed. As if that were to ever happen!!

    Rule #4 Flexible Planning

    And finally, so my plans didn’t end up such a discouraging mess that I was totally confused as to what I should be doing… my planning method needed to be flexible. No one can work well with a planner that’s covered in arrows and cross-outs.

    That’s why I created my Adjustable Weekly Planner.

    This easy to make wall planner meets my need to have a routine, yet be flexible with it.

    Here’s how it works.

    Related: Goal Planning Workbook for Busy Moms

    My Life-Changing Time Management Tips for Working Moms

    The Adjustable Weekly Planner

    I’ve divided the wall planner into four sections for each day. Before breakfast (when I usually work on my blog), between breakfast and lunch, afternoon, and after the kids have gone to bed.

    On the board, I have written my usual weekly schedule. Things like writing blog posts and newsletters, working on social media as well as children’s activities, church, and my housework schedule. I have color coded the set activities (like children’s activities) to stand out next to the tasks I just like to do at certain times (like blog work and vacuuming). You could also color code work and personal activities separately.

    By starting with the plans for a ‘regular week’ I can then make changes without forgetting about what a normal week would look like. These tasks would need to be rescheduled or postponed to the next week. I can’t just ignore them.

    But I don’t make any written changes to this plan unless I am making a permanent change to my routine. For example, if I decide I am going to write my newsletter on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays from now on I will wipe out the writing on Tuesday and write it on Thursday. But, if I am making a change for just one week I do something different.

    Instead, I make any weekly adjustments with post-it notes.

    At the start of the week, during my weekly review, I write down all the tasks and events for the week on post-it notes. I use bigger notes for tasks or events that might take up a whole section of my planner (like attending a webinar or school event) and smaller notes for quick tasks like making a business call or posting a parcel.

    Then I take all the post-it notes and look at my planner. I start by sticking up notes for the events and appointments that are at a fixed time (meetings, deadlines, school events). If I have covered up any writing I need to decide whether the task needs to be rescheduled or left until the next week. If I decide to reschedule it then I write another post-it note and place it on the planner.

    I then take my undated post-it notes and add them to my planner. These are often errands I need to run.

    The end result is a weekly planner showing all my tasks and events for the week. If anything needs to be rescheduled during the week it is easy to do. At the end of the week, I take off the post-it notes and start again with the ‘usual routine’ for the next week.

    Related: 2018 Printable Blog Planner

    Why the Adjustable Wall Planner Works for Me

    Plans are easier to remember if they are handwritten and easily visible (i.e. on the wall).

    Post-it notes are great for making changes to your schedule. Having the regular plan there shows what needs to be rescheduled to a different time. I can’t just schedule something without rescheduling what was written underneath, even if it is just cleaning the bathroom!

    This system helps me to schedule the small, seemingly insignificant things. If it’s not on the schedule it won’t get done!

    I can see the whole week at a glance and swap things around if need be. When things are done I have the satisfaction of removing the post-it, and if things haven’t been done or completed I can move it to a later date.

    How to Make an Adjustable Weekly Planner

    If you have a board with the days of the week and parts of the day printed, great. But if not it is easy to make one with a plain whiteboard and washi tape.

    Here’s a quick tip: when measuring and marking out where to place the tape use a small post-it note as your marker rather than drawing on the board. Then you don’t get pen marks on your board and you can easily make adjustments if your measuring and calculating skills are as bad as mine!

    Write your regular routine on to the planner.

    Purchase a supply of post-it notes for making changes to your schedule each week.

    How to stay on top of changes to your schedule

    If you don’t already have a weekly review, I highly recommend starting this practice. It’s a great way to get control of all the things that might come up during the week and to take time to make your plans.

    Make sure all your tasks, appointments and events for the week are written down and scheduled, otherwise they won’t get done.

    Remember to review your planner every day. A quick glance will probably do.

    Give yourself a second to reward yourself by saying ‘done’ as you remove the post-it notes. It may seem silly (it’s a bit out of my comfort zone) but this simple action helps to encourage and motivate you to complete more tasks.

    It’s good to have a plan but remember there will always be changes to your schedule. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get everything done!

    What tips do you have for staying on top of changes to your schedule?

    About the Author

    Karen Hopkins

    Karen blogs about productivity and time management tips for moms at The Fruitful Homemaker. Before becoming a mom she worked as a primary teacher, in children and family ministry, and in administration. Karen was born and raised in Scotland and now lives in New Zealand with her husband and three children aged 8, 5 and 3. She loves learning and passing on that knowledge to others.

    Want More Tips?

    Check out my resources page for a ton more great tips and tricks. Plus visit these articles for more advice:

    5 Practical Time Management Tips for Working Moms

    7 Guilt Free Ways to Make Time for Yourself

    9 Must-Have Apps for Working Moms

    5 Must Have Productivity Apps for the Working Mom

    7 Essentials for Working Moms

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    Being a working mom and still keeping up on a home is anything but easy. Not only are many of your daily hours spent working, but the last thing I feel like doing as a working mom is doing more work when my work day gets done. Maybe you can relate? But, even with help from family members, I find that having a plan for what to clean each day and how to break bigger cleaning tasks down throughout the week makes it so much easier. If you have an hour before work, an hour after work, and an hour before you shut down for the evening each day, you will have an excellent handle on a cleaning schedule that will help you have a cleaner and more organized home every day.

    Before we go any further, be sure to enter your email address below to get instant access to a printable cleaning calendar that will tell you exactly what to clean in March (or any month).

    Grab Your Free Cleaning Calendar For March 2018

    Enter your email to grab your calendar & get cleaning!

    Before you get started…

    The following list assumes that your house isn’t completely overrun, or that there isn’t a ton of clutter standing in your way of getting these things done.

    If a bunch of clutter is standing in your way, I would suggest putting the clutter aside in a box or bin to take care of at a later time. For the purpose of sticking to a cleaning schedule as a working mom, focus on cleaning right now, and cleaning only.

    Otherwise…

    It can be so easy to get distracted from the task we set out to do because we notice something else that could or maybe even should be done in our mind. So, we tend to that thing that came up and never get back to the original task.

    But, it’s generally most effective to focus and accomplish the original task while making a plan to accomplish whatever it is that may come up in the midst of it.

    Before you check out the tasks below, let me explain what the 30 minute speed clean is. If you want to read about this in greater detail, you can read about the 30 minute speed clean HERE. But in a nutshell, the 30 minute speed clean is dividing up your home into three zones. Then, you spend 10 minutes in each of the three zones, working as quickly as possible on just cleaning up in that area. It’s a declutter, put things away, or remove things that don’t belong cleaning frenzy.

    With the tasks listed below, you will see a task followed by a number. That number is the estimated number of minutes that particular task should take you.

    Ready to get started? Let’s get cleaning!

    Daily cleaning schedule

    • 30 minute speed clean morning – 30
    • make beds – 10
    • wipe down bathroom counters – 7
    • laundry in dryer from night before – 3
    • fold laundry – 10

    After work:

    • 30 minute speed clean – 30
    • declutter and wipe down kitchen counters – 10
    • put laundry away from morning – 7
    • take care of papers from the day: school papers, mail etc. -13

    Before quiet time/bedtime:

    • 30 minute speed clean – 30
    • declutter primary living area – 15
    • finish kids toy cleanup – 5
    • laundry in washer – 5

    Let’s talk about cleaning tips & a weekly cleaning schedule.

    This schedule is perfect for working moms, work at home moms, and even stay at home moms.

    Some prefer to do all the extra cleaning tasks on the weekend. But, if you find yourself even too busy on the weekend to take on the bulk of the cleaning, having a cleaning task or two scheduled each day of the week will allow you get all the cleaning done each week, a little at a time.

    Each of the following tasks is strategically designed to take an hour each day. So, even if you have only three days a week to take on these cleaning tasks, you will have an easy way to combine tasks in a way that makes sense, knowing how long each task should take you.

    For example…

    If you only have time to clean on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, you can grab tasks to combine from any of the days listed below, knowing that each day’s tasks should take you about an hour.

    So, here is a schedule that is designed to cover the major areas in most homes each week. In fact, whether you are a working outside of the home mom, a working inside the home mom, or just someone looking for a game plan to having a clean home, this weekly schedule is just what you need to focus less on what to do and more on the actual cleaning itself.

    Weekly cleaning schedule ideas

    • Monday: clean bathrooms
    • Tuesday: dust & vacuum all bedrooms
    • Wednesday: clean kitchen
    • Thursday: dust vacuum all remaining living areas
    • Friday: wash any remaining floors, wash bathroom towels
    • Saturday: clean any office, laundry, entryways
    • Sunday: touch up/spot clean all areas, wash mirrors, wash bedding

    Want a copy of this cleaning schedule to print out? No worries! Enter your email address and have one sent right to your inbox – it’s pretty too!

    Cleaning Schedule

    Grab your free daily & weekly cleaning scheudle

    Having a clean and more organized home really is possible. It’s just a matter of having a cleaning schedule a few cleaning tips and tricks, and some organization ideas to help you get it done. That way, you can spend less time cleaning and more time doing what you really want to do each day.

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