It wasn’t until I became a parent that I understood the true crunch in time. Especially the first year of being a new mom when you have a little human who is changing day by day and is very much dependent on you and your partner. You start to realize there is just not enough time to balance work, keeping house in order and getting food to the table. These are some tips I learned along the way to manage time efficiently being a busy new working mom. I’m in no way an expert or have a tidy house, but I try and its been a learning process.
- Time blocking
Have specific times in a day where you block off just for one activity. I’m usually a morning person, so i like to get as much things done in the morning as possible. Set a time of the day that works best for you, depending on when you have the most help or when your baby is sleeping. Alarm clock is your best friend when it comes to time blocking. Set an alarm for 15 minutes and take that time to clean counter tops, sweep or it could be for a project you are working on around the house. You will be surprised how much you can get done in 15 minutes when you dedicate that time just for one activity without getting distracted.
When it comes to To-do lists I am very old school, the good old pen and paper. You would think you can remember it all in your head, but try writing everything down, even the simple mundane daily tasks and see how much brain space it frees up 🙂 You will feel less stressed having to remember things and it also gives you the added satisfaction of crossing things off from the list. If you are a detail oriented person, you could even plan the day hour by hour, that way you will be more likely to get things done.
3. Zone cleaning
After we bought our first house, I soon came to realize how different it is to keep up cleaning a house, compared to a smaller space like a condo or an apartment. This is when I came across the idea of zone cleaning through fly lady . I loved this idea because it was a practical and efficient way to clean for busy new working moms. First step in zone cleaning is to map out your house into zones. I can write an entire post about zone cleaning, but will try to keep it concise here. After you map out your zones, time block 15 minutes a day to work in one zone. Along with the zones you are working in, you also have to set aside additional time for daily cleaning tasks as well. This way you can be sure to reach every space in your house on a 6 week cycle. I really love this method of cleaning because i think keeping up with it year round is more efficient rather than trying to tackle it all once a year
4. Meal planning
The idea of meal planning has gotten so popular these days and for good reason. We all have been there having that “what to make for dinner” brain fart. When you are having a stressful day that’s just another added stress you do not want. This is why I think its best to plan out your meals during the weekend or an off day when you can sit down and brain storm meal ideas.
5. Map out your week on Sundays
I have to admit I do not get to do this every week, but the weeks i do them are my most productive ones. On Sundays set out some time to map out exactly how your week should be. Which zone clean areas will you be tackling? What are the big events on your to do lists? What are some things you need to add to your to-do lists for those events? Also use this time to iron clothes, do laundry, prep meals etc. A productive Sunday = A productive week.
Hope these tips come handy for other mamas as well. There are so many unknowns that may come into play during your busy weeks and just dont panic if you dont get to every single task on your to-do list. With practice, you will find that balance in knowing you have done enough and just move on to the next day with a smile 🙂