Us mamas are all extremely busy. It can be extremely difficult to stay organized as a busy mom.
Between school, work, house hold chores, meals, doctor visits, sports, lessons, etc. The list is basically never ending!
My schedule is jam packed with things from morning until night.
My role as mom, maid, cook, home manager, homeschool teacher, music teacher, musical director, choreographer, social media marketer and oh yeah… wife, these things can all get out of sync if I don’t prioritize and keep an organized schedule for everything to get done.
A while back I wrote a blog post about personal time management and project management.
After finishing an extremely busy season in our family, I kept getting asked how did I keep it all going. So I wrote down a few ways I kept it all going even when we were spinning WAY too many plates.
To be honest, there were days when I didn’t! And I definitely have a lot of support from my family. However, I decided to make a list of my top 8 tips for staying organized as a busy mom.
1. Schedule Blocks of Time
When I have a lot to do, I always find it easier to map out exactly when I’m going to do each task.
Schedule chunks of time that are devoted to only one specific task. This ensures that I actually get the task done and know how much time I have to finish it.
Try to limit distractions such as your phone etc. during these chunks of time. This will help you stay focused on the task you’re working on.
I like to almost “challenge” myself to see if I can race through the items on my list and finish each scheduled block of time earlier than anticipated! A great way to stay organized as a busy mom!
2. Do Things As You Go
As a mom, I feel like I never stop moving. I know we mamas probably all feel that way! Because my day is so jam packed, I try to do as much as I can as I go along through the day.
If we’re about to head out, as I’m packing up, I try to put away everything I can so I don’t leave the house a minefield mess.
As I’m transitioning to a new task on my list, I do a bit of tidying, wiping down or cleaning up on the way.
There’s times when I’m waiting on the hubby or the kids to finish something before we head out as a family. During those extra 5-10 minutes, you’d be surprised how much you can get done!
So! As you go along, start the dishwasher, throw the trash away, pile those toys up, pick up that laundry all over the floor.
You won’t believe how much better you feel mentally! Definitely a great way to stay organized and ahead of things! A great way to stay organized as a busy mom!
3. Plan Your Day the Night Before
I don’t know about you, but if something is not on my list that day, I’ve mentally checked it off… and I won’t be touching it. Ha!
I haven’t figured out why, but if I write it down, it’s a 99% chance I’ll do it!
That being said, if I wake up in the morning and I haven’t planned a schedule for my day……. I’m already behind!
If I don’t have a target to shoot for time wise with my “mapped out” blocks of time, I’m scrambling and basically aimless.
Planning the day out the night before (or at very least, first thing when you wake up) will keep you on target and WAY more productive! You’ll stay more organized as a busy mom for sure!
4.Use Every Piece of Free Time
This goes right along with “do things as you go”. Don’t waste any minute. If you know you have 5 extra minutes before your next block of time you’ve scheduled out, USE THEM!
Think of something that would take only 5 minutes and race yourself! I do this ALL the time!
I can’t tell you how much I get done in those little windows. From answering emails to switching the laundry. To tidying every room in the house or even wiping down the bathrooms.
These little windows can get you so much further if you use them!
5. Use Your Mornings
Ok so I’m not a super early morning person. I don’t usually get up before the kids and get a crazy amount of things done. (Shout out to all you early risers who do that!)
Even still, I try my best to put my chores at the beginning of the day so I feel like I have the rest of the day to do other work.
There’s something about checking off a big chunk of your list in the morning that makes you feel so much more accomplished and at peace.
If you read my personal time management post , this would probably be similar to “eating that frog”. Basically, taking the item(s) that seem hardest or most overwhelming and putting them first thing on your list.
Then they are done, you feel amazingly productive (leading to more productivity) and lastly, you know there won’t be anything harder to do that day!
So! All that said, use your mornings! Wake up and tackle those annoying tasks so they don’t hang over your head all day!
6. Keep a Visual List or Chart
This one is super obvious, and probably something almost everyone does.
I’m a list maker. I make lists of lists… (I may have a problem…) BUT! It keeps me organized!
Also, I’m a very visual person. I have to see everything laid out in front of me all mapped out.
Earlier I told you about how I schedule blocks of time during my day. And yes each block has a designated category/task but what am I actually doing when I block out “chores” or “work”…?
I find I need several separate lists for each category. I have my week laid out in front of me. Each item that needs to be done goes down on a list.
If an item needs to be done on a certain day, I put it there. Otherwise, I do my best to spread out my chores so I don’t have one massive cleaning day.
There’s a chores list, a work list, a household list (groceries, bills, budget, etc.), a list for school. You get the point.
Once I have everything written down, when planning my week, (or even the night before when I’m planning my day) I put the items on their specific day, in their specific time block.
This way everything that needs to get done has a specific time to be done. If you’re not already doing so, this step will absolutely help you to stay organized as a busy mom!
7. Just Do It
Ok… I’m taking a piece of advice from Nike… But in all seriousness… just do it.
There’s always those little piles or little tasks that get pushed aside to the corner (sometimes literally).
You walk past them 30 times a day. Even though it bothers you, you leave it and just keep shoving it around in different arrangements of the original pile. But it’s still let there.
You know what I’m talking about… the pile of shoes, your hair products in the bathroom, the mail from last week. Whatever it may be… there it sits.
When I finally just tell myself “Just. Do. it…”, it usually takes me all of 5 seconds and I feel SO much better afterwards!
And bonus! It usually leads me to look around the house for as many other little piles I can find as well.
So just do it! The next time you kick your shoes off, take the extra 2 seconds and throw them in the closet, not the corner.
The next time you do your hair, throw the bottles back in the cabinet or drawer.
You get what I mean! Start to train your brain to do these things and soon it will be a habit. And! Your house will be SO much less cluttered! This definitely helps me stay organized as a busy mom!
8. Don’t Kill Yourself Trying to Juggle All the Things
Ok mamas… This one is the most important to remember. There will be days that don’t go as planned.
The baby will decide to not go down for ANY naps. The dog will have diarrhea all over the place and need to be taken to the vet.
Your bestie will call with a crisis and need you to help her talk it out.
Life happens mamas. Just roll with the punches. Push those “to-do’s” to the next time block, the next day or even the next week. It will be ok.
For the control freaks like me, I know that can be hard to do. However, I heard it said recently that we all know life is like ball juggling.
The thing about juggling in life is that there are glass balls and plastic balls. If you drop a plastic one, it will be just fine and ready for you to pick it up when you can grab it again.
But if you drop a glass one…. Things go to pieces.
It’s up to you to decide what is glass and what is plastic. Prioritize and pick and choose what to drop when needed.
Give yourself grace mamas! You’re doing amazing!