Being a new mom, I certainly have seen and felt the schedule shift. Things don’t now happen on my time; things now happen on baby’s time … no matter what time of the day or night that may be. Coming from a project management background where I thrived on productivity, this shift through me for a loop. Below are a few tips and tools that have helped keep my life somewhat organized as a new mom and can be applied to any mom’s life in general.
Formula, diapers, wipes, shampoo, toilet paper, school supplies … whatever is needed can be purchased with just a few clicks. This saves time on multiple trips to the store, plus you can buy in bulk.
Create a weekly meal plan. Map out your meals and have the food items on hand needed to make those meals. In the mornings, make sure that you pull anything that may be in the freezer and place in the fridge. This way, the item thaws by time you are ready to cook.
Crock Pot + You = BFF
Pretty much one of the greatest inventions ever – the crock pot – is a great way to help manage your evening hours. Crock pot meal recipes are readily available online. I’m planning to try Delish’s recipe for beef bourguignon soon – I’ll let you know how it comes out! The even more amazing thing about crock pots than being able to put the ingredients in and let it do its thing is that you can cook one big pot of something and then freeze leftovers for another meal the following week or two, which brings me to…
Grab yourself some Ziplock freezer storage bags and freeze leftovers. The freezer bags come in handy when freezing your food flat, which helps keep the freezer organized. Pull out a meal in the morning, stick it in the fridge to defrost. Then, it will be ready to put in a pot or pan for heating in the evening.
There’s a Google App for That
Add important events to your Google Calendar, and sync calendars with your partner and/or older kids. Use Google Drive spreadsheets to map out budgets (and share those with your partner, too!) I have recently just started using Google Keep, perfect for checklists and to-dos.
Plan ahead. Sometimes, plan very far ahead. My husband travels a good bit for work and pretty soon, I will be traveling for work as well. Plus, we still have hobbies and general family outings that we like to partake in. And then sometimes, it’s nice to just have some down time on the weekend. All of it is doable with planning ahead.
Pay Bills on a Schedule
Take 45 minutes to an hour to sit down at the computer and with pay or schedule all bills to be paid automatically. Knocking this our in one sitting is way easier than remembering all of the due dates to every single bill on top of remembering that Joe’s science project is due next Wednesday.
Ok, so, let’s be honest – while Pinterest may not help increase productivity, it can still help you organize ideas for whatever your needs may be – kid’s 5th birthday party, mom and dad’s 50th anniversary party, recipes, kid’s bedroom decor, trip ideas for you to get away for a bit. Every now and then, I take 15-20 min on my lunch break and just mindlessly pin recipes or projects I want to try, quotes I like, etc.
Stop, Breathe and Think
The Stop, Breathe and Think app provides guidance on meditation and also has planned sessions to hit certain targets such as developing patience and sleep. I always find that even just 10 minutes a day to myself of uninterrupted peace gets me started on the right foot each day. Usually, I have to close myself in the bathroom in the morning for this 10 minutes of peacefulness, but hey it works. I like starting the day with a clear head.
Admittedly, I don’t do this as much as I should. But I’m pretty certain it’s been proven scientifically that exercise is a stress-reliever and helps you sleep better (amongst other benefits.) And while there are many benefits to exercise, ridding yourself of stress and getting a good night’s sleep will directly effect productivity. So get to stepping!