HOW TO: TIME MANAGEMENT
I'm a mum of four, but somehow in the chaos that is my life, I feel as if I kinda, sorta have time management down pat. Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder where time went? I always like to ask myself the question: what did you achieve for the day? As a busy, working mama of 4 I find that my days go SO incredibly quick and before I know it, I am lying in bed making to do lists for the next day! So how do you ensure you are productive and ensuring that you always get your work done? Time management in our household is essential. Each day I write a to do list and each week I write a meal plan. Each child has their own calendar space for school, homework, activities and everything else that comes along with kids! With the older two at school, they need to be reminded of homework, different uniforms on certain days and they also do two extra curriculum activities for the week too. Ryder does little athletics, whilst Kai does chess coaching and the both of them do swimming! This adds to my mounting work load when I also need to do after school pick ups, uniform collections and ensuring that I am there for all kids! At the start of this year, I decided the one goal I wanted to work on was my own personal work/family life balance. So, with two 5 month olds, rather than working the 5 days a week, I have cut down to 3 days a week and work 2 nights a week once the kids are in bed. This allows me to be there for them when they need me. It is so tough as a working mum, trying to do the constant juggling act to make ends meet, to extend the hours in the day and to be there for everyone at the same time.
Here are my top tips when it comes to time management:
1. CalendarEverything goes in the family calendar - uniforms, homework days, school banking, library day, Nathan's work schedule, nights out, meals, kids activities, swimming, chess, birthdays. I literally mean everything. This guarantees I don't risk forgetting upcoming events and always know what is happening on what day.
2. To Do ListsThis is a daily and weekly task that I personally do for work AND for home. It helps to know what your goals are whether it be at home or in the office. I always reflect back on my to do lists and think about what changes and edits I can make to them.
3. Meal Prep & Meal PlanSundays and Wednesdays are my prep and plan days. Sundays I bake, make banana bread, muffins, pikelets, roast sweet potato, grilled chicken for my lunches and get as much of the week's school snacks out of the way as possible. Wednesdays I cook more of my lunches up and any extra school snacks required. Meal planning ahead makes life just that much easier- and reduces the risk of reaching for quick snacks or processed foods. For those of you with kids- Sit down with some recipe books and let them choose! Alternatively brain storm WITH them. So start with your base (I use protein as the base) Involve your kids in deciding on the weeks meals and allow them the freedom to choose- it will mean they are then responsible for eating their dinners- because they chose them! ;)
4. The Little ThingsAt the time, these little things I do (almost) without thinking daily, means that it just helps to save a few more minutes everyday!
- Almost every night we have some sort of meat- fish, chicken, steaks. I always make more than we need and after dinner I use the leftovers for the boys school lunches. They have a wrap almost everyday with salad and the meat from dinner. It’s easy and it works. I will then only need to pack it all into their lunch boxes in the morning and go.
- Most mornings I have overnight oats or bircher muesli for breakfast - this way I can prepare it the night before and just grab it from the fridge. Check out my recipe for Banana Blueberry Oats and Overnight Chia Oats
- I multitask - fold washing while helping the boys with homework, cooking while the boys read to me and feeding the babies while working from home