What does every busy mom want (besides wine and a personal chef)? A busy mom wants more time.
In nearly half of two-parent households, both parents work full time, up from 31% in 1970, according to data from the Pew Research Center. Achieving a work-life balance is a challenge for busy families. I have almost always worked outside the home and there are certain things that have been true sanity savers to me throughout the years. As a busy working mom to two middle schoolers I wanted to share some of my favorite time-saving tips with you this week. Before we get to my list, I would say that it’s very important to look at all of your activities and responsibilities and first of all see if you can pare back on your commitments. Saying no is crucial for staying sane.
Once you’ve released some of your commitments, here are 10 great time savers for busy moms:
1. Eradicate Unnecessary Emails. Do you know how many email addresses I have? It boggles the mind. Between work, my blog, professional affiliations, my secret agent double life (just joking) and my personal email address I have SEVEN. I’m sure you can relate. I use Unroll.Me to easily unsubscribe to all those sale updates and other emails I signed up for once upon a time that are just clogging up my inboxes.
2. Order Stamps Online. Do you know how many times I’ve scrounged for a stamp in the bowels of my purse, only to find lint-covered gum and some loose change? Order a book of stamps online. If your post office is like mine, there is always a line 10 miles long. Avoid the hassle and order stamps online and stash them in your wallet.
3. Schedule Your Caffeine. Invest in a coffeemaker with a timer so that your morning jolt of java is ready as soon as you step foot into the kitchen.
4. Hold A Regular Weekly Family Meeting. Go over the week’s schedule with your family on Sunday evening during dinner so that everyone knows expectations for the week.
5. Use An Online Scheduler. My daughter’s Girl Scout troop leader used SignUpGenius to coordinate our many cookie sale booths. It was a life saver, and a time saver.
6. Organize Your News. Use a service such as Feedolu (which I love as it’s very visual) to create themed walls for articles you want to clip and save electronically for work research, etc. Netvibes is also an incredible online aggregator of all your feeds.
7. Share a Calendar. I am a long-time holdout of the almighty paper planner and a plethora of pens in amazing colors, but my husband and I share a Google calendar now and it makes things much easier to keep track of on a daily basis. You can also color code various activities for each family member or by activity type.
8. Use a Slow Cooker. Every busy family needs a slow cooker! Whenever I use my slow cooker I wonder why I don’t use it for every meal. There is something wonderful about coming home after a crazed day and smelling a hot dinner ready and waiting for you.
9. Schedule Your Social Media. Are you a blogger or do you moderate a Facebook or Twitter account for a small business? Use a scheduler such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule posts. Here is a helpful list of nearly 60 free Twitter tools. So seriously why are you NOT timing at least some of your Tweets?
10. Create Your Team of Go To Moms (and Dads). I have a network of moms in my neighborhood that I can count on in a pinch for a back-up car ride, loaning a random dress-up item for those school character days that sneak up on you, and craft supplies that you tossed during a decluttering rampage. What’s that saying...it takes a village?
What time-saving tips do you have for busy families?