Can I just be honest with y’all for a moment? Sometimes, I struggle like crazy with managing my time. There always seems to be a juice cup that needs to be refilled, a dog that needs to be taken out, an email to answer, and the never-ending saga that is laundry. It overwhelms me sometimes that I feel like I can’t get everything done, but over this past year I’ve learned and grown in the area of time management that has made my life and the life of my family so much better. So, even though this is far from being a perfect system and there are days where it even falls apart, this system is what keeps me going.
1. Crucial Laundry System
Even though I love the idea of doing a load of laundry every day that sometimes doesn’t work out like it’s supposed it. The dog ends up peeing all over the floor, a milk cup is knocked over for the 100th time, someone had an accident in the middle of the night, or someone gets sick. These usually require a load of laundry to be done that wasn’t planned. So, I started using a system I termed the crucial laundry system…because I’m super inventive like that. 😉
When I set out to do laundry, no matter the day, I start with the most crucial laundry. For example, on Sundays, the most crucial laundry are my husband’s work uniforms and whites, because if my husband doesn’t have any clean uniforms or clean socks to wear come Monday morning, well that just makes for a bad day for everyone. Another example is on Saturday’s; my most crucial laundry is usually sheets and towels. I like starting my week off with clean sheets on the bed and having a house full of clean towels to start the week off with ensures that I have the means to clean up any messes that happen quickly without running out of towels.
I just keep this system up during the week, so when darks are piling high in the hampers, I just wash those first and then if I have the time/energy to do more laundry, great, but if not, the most crucial laundry has already been done and put away.
2. Cleaning Schedule
I started using a cleaning schedule when I was pregnant with my second child and it truly makes all the difference in the world. It keeps my house running smoothly and makes for quick pickups and cleanups easier.
This is my exact schedule:
Monday: Bathrooms (takes all of about 15 minutes – advantages to living in a small house and only having one bathtub to clean! 🙂 )
Friday: Catch Up Day (this is the day that I catch up on any cleaning tasks that didn’t get done. So if Tuesday was a busy day of running errands and I never got around to dusting, I would pick it back up on Friday.)
Y’all, I cannot tell you how many times this system has saved my tail when it comes to dealing with the craziness of having two wild boys in your home all day long.
3. Google Calendar
If you’re a blogger, read my How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog post where I share how to use the amazing feature of Google Calendar to set up different calendars. This calendar is my brain! I love my Day Designer, but I’m starting to realize that it’s just not a system that is working out for me. By keeping all of my tasks (using the Google Calendar Task List) and all my different schedules, set up I can easily see what I need to get accomplished that day, week, and month. I have a calendar set up for my kids – school stuff, doctor appointments, etc that is shared with my husband, I have my blogging calendar, my networking/events calendar, my mastermind group’s calendar, my personal calendar, etc.
I can easily keep up with my deadlines, my editorial calendar, my project plans, and keep up with the schedules of everyone in my family. Makes life so much easier.
4. Using a Braindump
If you’re a blogger or an entrepreneur, you probably have about 5 zillion ideas running through your brain right now. This used to be a huge struggle for me because I just couldn’t keep up with the ideas. I’d want to remember an idea but if I didn’t jot it down, it was quickly forgotten, or sometimes I’d love an idea for a blog post, start writing and then realize that the idea really wasn’t so great so I’d end up wasting a bunch of time writing about something that no one cared about.
So, I started using a braindump. Many entrepreneurs love Evernote, but I haven’t taken the leap into purchasing it, so right now, I just use a Google Docs document to keep all my random ideas….like the idea for this post.
I simply just track my ideas by listing out Post Idea 1: “How to Fix Spending Habits” and then I give a little bit of the “idea” that’s in my head, like, “Sometimes we don’t realize that we have a spending habit – we fail to see those small everyday purchases. The Redbull at the gas station, the chapstick at the checkout line, the item from the One Spot in Target.”
This helps me to know what I had in mind for the post but also gives me a starting point when writing the post. I also use this system for newsletter ideas for my Grow Your Blog newsletter.
These are a few of the things that have greatly improved my time management skills and the “flow” of my home and business. I’d love to hear what ways work for you when managing your time while working from home!
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