I’ve been interviewing a lot of mothers lately both for my site and the book that I’ve been writing, and one of the subjects that always comes up is that of scheduling. It is so difficult to schedule when you have one or three or six little ones (or big ones) that need to go to doctor’s appointments, games, school functions, and other activities. Add in the time that you have to work each day and then the time that you need to clean, cook, fold laundry, put the laundry away (which is always the hardest part for me, as can be seen by the huge pile of clothes that have accumulated in my basket at the end of the day), and where do you find time to do anything else? How do you keep all of your activities organized in the first place? And are there tips that you can use to help keep yourself organized in scheduling so that you don’t miss an appointment, a game, or some other critical function that you really need to attend?
I recently interviewed a freelance writer who works from home. She also has a three year old. Obviously her time is limited and she has to be super organized (she calls herself hyper organized) in order to keep track of where she needs to be, who she needs to call, and what needs to be submitted each day.
To do this, she creates a list at the end of each night that details the items she needs to take care of the next day. She doesn’t do this a few days in advance because she has figured out (as I am starting to do) that things change on a daily basis when you have kids and you work. You might have a great idea of dropping someone off at daycare on Tuesday in order to work, or in waking up super early on Wednesday morning to pop off a few work hours before the sun, and the family, rises, but then in comes a tooth or a nasty bout of the flu and out the window your scheduling ideas go.
So rather than try to plan your month, or even your week, take it day by day. At the end of your long days, take five minutes to think of the things that need to be done the following morning. Then, when you wake, take a look at your list that you have written down for that day. By cutting it into shorter chunks you won’t feel so overwhelmed. Not only that, but if you have extra time left over you can do more in one day, and you’ll feel that you’ve accomplished a lot because you did even more than you had scheduled.
This week, plan only the night ahead, and see if it works out better for you. I’ve been doing this since I spoke with her, and have found that it is working much better than my previous scheduling ideas.
Happy Monday Moms!