A New Kind of Time Management.

I am sure that it’s obvious that I am a sucker for family. It’s something that is near and dear to my heart. You also may or may not know that I am giving birth to our first baby, Jackson, in May. Now, I do not intend for this to become a mommy blog, but becoming a mommy is kind of at the forefront of my life right now, so it is inspiring some of my posts…including this one.

Over the past month the restaurant I have been working at since around August/September changed my set hours to “on-call”, only I never really get called. So, after working full time Monday through Friday for years now, I found myself at home all day, 3 days a week. I soon realized that (besides having more time to blog…yay!)  managing time at home was something that was COMPLETELY foreign to me. The minutes and hours ticked by, and at the end of the day I had watched one too many episodes of Downton Abbey or Parenthood and was left feeling completely unproductive. Can anyone relate?!?

The reality of being a stay at home mom in just a matter of months has started to settle in, and although, realistically, my main concern for a while is going to be caring for a newborn, I want to get a leg up! A little Melissa nuance is that I need to be well prepared. I function best when I know what to expect, have time to digest and make a plan, or am able to make some kind of analysis or resolution. Is this always realistic in life? Probably not. But I try to set myself up for success when and if I can.

So, I did some research. Minimal research actually…but, in the minimal research I did, I found some good info to glean from. I will post links at the end of this post.

What I discovered:

1.) Acknowledge time suckers. For me, for starters anyways, it’s wasting time scrolling mindlessly on my phone. I’ve determined that I do not need to check every notification or email as it appears. Assess what is necessary to read or respond to, do it, and then put it down and walk away. I’ve also started to take note of the clock while on my phone, and not let myself get caught up for more than 2-3 minutes. It is so easy to go from one link to the next, to the next, to the next. Also, watching shows when I am home during the day. There is always something that can be done or is more worth my time than a show. So, IF I am going to watch something, it is going to be as a reward for accomplishing something else more pertinent first. Can I also throw in here that I takes me kind of a long time to shower and get ready? I have always been a 20 minute shower taker. Always. Anyone have any tips on cutting that time down other than shaving my head? 😉 I honestly have a thick head of hair. Moving on…

2.) Make priorities. This is obviously different for everyone. Everyday make a list of priorities of what you would like to get done and what you absolutely need to get done. For one, it will help you put in perspective what is actually important and what you can realistically accomplish. Do the most essential things first, and with whatever time you have left tackle the less important items on the list. The fact of the matter is crossing anything off a list is gratifying and will make you feel productive and motivated. Go us! 

3.) Establish routines that make life easier. Ok. What’s important to you? A clean house? Getting the kids ready faster? Right now I’d say that if I am going to be home 3 days out of the week I want my house to appear clean when my husband gets home from work…especially the bathroom, kitchen and our bedroom. When I wake up before I even go downstairs for breakfast I make the bed. Makes the room look 10x better. You may be thinking, “Duuuh.” , but can I honestly tell you I never did that before! When I am done folding laundry I have started putting them away immediately instead of stacking the piles in my closet. Again….what the heck was wrong with me?! When it comes to the bathroom the sink & toilet looking clean on a daily basis is specifically important to me. My husband tends to shave in the morning and his little ginger beard hairs (side-note: he hates when I call anything about him “ginger”…) are left speckling the white porcelain sink. Pet. Peeve. He works really hard so I gladly clean them up after him. Instead of waiting once a week to wipe down the sink & toilet, as soon as I am done with my shower I have made it a routine to spray down the sink and toilet. It literally takes 3 minutes or less to do and makes the bathroom sparkle and smell nice. As far as the kitchen goes, after breakfast I will wipe down the counters and table. At the end of the day it is my goal to sweep the floor and not leave any dishes in the sink for the next day. Hubby is good about doing the dishes since I cook dinner every night. I am usually not a stickler about leaving dishes at the end of the day, but once we have a baby I don’t want to come downstairs to a chore I could have easily done the night before.

4.) Make time for you. We are not a bunch of robots who can live day to day checking tasks off a to-do list. We all are made with gifts and talents and things that make us thrive. As much as I want to be productive, I know that in order to maintain my health, well-being and sanity, I need to incorporate things I am truly passionate about into my day. It doesn’t mean I have to fit them all into one day either. Prayer and quiet time, reading, writing, blogging, learning a new song, knitting (a new hobby I am learning!), spending time with loved ones, running, yoga, creating a new recipe, learning about nutrition, being crafty; these are all things that I value and that help me thrive, so they should be a part of my life.

Ultimately I am not going to be a slave to a schedule; life is meant to be enjoyed and lived in each savored moment. With that in mind, it is incredibly healthy to have a standard to go by, as well as boundaries.

The next step for me is actually making daily, weekly and monthly schedules that makes sense for me, and to start setting some goals for myself. I have never really been good at setting goals in some areas of my life, so I am excited to delve into that. I also found some great resources from Money Saving Mom. She provides a whole bunch of free household management forms that I am going to check out and put to the test. Let me know if you check them out too!

Here are a list of links that helped me on my quest to stay at home time management:

http://stayathomemoms.about.com/od/tipstimesavers/tp/timemanagementplanformoms.htm

http://voices.yahoo.com/managing-time-as-stay-home-mom-2989576.html?cat=25

http://www.mommieswithcents.com/2010/07/time-management-as-a-stay-at-home-mom.html

http://moneysavingmom.com/2010/11/time-management-101-home-management-part-1.html

http://moneysavingmom.com/2010/12/time-management-101-home-management-part-2.html

Alright all you veteran stay at homers…what tips do you have for a newbie like me? I look forward to gleaning from you!

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This is the start.

Within the past nine months, notably, I have:

gotten married to the greatest man in all the world

moved into an apartment in a two family house in the city

planted a Church with some rad folks

not given birth like a gazillion other lovely ladies that I know (And no, I am not pregnant.) 😀

stopped eating meat and dairy

won a trip to Cancun on the Rachel Ray Show (Seriously. Watch it.) http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/show/segments/view/rachael-rays-lucky-you-giveaway-IB-12-22/

started doing yoga

and oh yea…

planned on starting a blog.

🙂