As busy moms, (or busy anyones really) we are constantly trying to eek out as many free moments as we can from our week.
One way I have found to free up precious moments is to become more efficient with the tasks you do on a regular basis. Basically put systems into place.
I started doing this accidentally after one too many early mornings of coming out to my car with the exact number of minutes I needed to get where I was going, only to realize I was out of gas. Then panic would ensue trying to figure out what gas station was open that early and how quickly could I get in and out. I was frantic and wasting time.
The Ah Ha Moment
One Friday morning, after dropping off my son for school and on my way to get myself a latte at my favorite coffee shop, I stopped to get gas at the gas station across the street. I realized I already had a system for school drop off/latte procurement…why not add fill up with gas to that system. So now, every Friday I drop my son off at school, go get a latte and go get gas. And I have not had to worry about having enough gas since.
So, I started thinking what other ways could I streamline my week? Better meal planning cut down my grocery shopping time and laying out a weeks worth of school clothes saved time (and 4 year old protests) in the morning.
What ways can you think of to streamline your week? What things do you do over and over again that by systemizing them, you can save time, money and headaches?
Lets think about this together
Step 1: brainstorm everything you do that repeats on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Daily (3+ times a week)
- Prep lunches
- Get kids dressed
- Pick up toys
- Start dishwasher
Weekly (1-2 x a week)
- Meal Plan
Monthly (less than 1 a week)
- Pay Bills
- Household Item Shopping
Step 2a: For weekly and monthly tasks, assign days of the week or on which you’ll do each task from your brainstorm list.
For example: Get gas every Friday, or run all your weeks errands on Tuesdays.
Step 2b: For daily tasks, assign a time or a cue for each item.
For example: Use the clock to plan your morning: Breakfast at 7am, get dressed at 7:20, teeth brushing at 7:30, shoes and backpacks/diaper bags at 7:40, out the door at 7:45
Use cues you already do on a daily basis to pair other tasks. Like starting the dishwasher and throwing in one load of laundry right before putting your kids in the bath. Or pack/prep tomorrow’s lunch while you are cleaning up from dinner.
Step 3: Keep detailed lists and take stock of what you are going to need
Nothing will suck your time like having to go to the store for toilet paper on Monday only to realize you need trash bags on Tuesday. Stock up on those kinds of supplies so you only have to restock once a month
You can only go to the store once or twice a week if you know everything you need. Take some time to make your own reusable shopping lists of the items you need on a regular basis.
Step 4: Only systemize what works for you!
Don’t feel like you have to systemize everything you brainstorm. You might fall in love with a diaper delivery service (I did!), but not be able to get on board with meal planning. Just think; everything you streamline is a few more minutes you can spend doing the things that are more important to you.
Worksheets to Help You Systematize Your Week
I’ve put together two worksheets to help you brainstorm your regular tasks and then pick days and times to accomplish them, freeing up precious time and cutting down frantic mad-dash moments.