It can be tough to be a working mom. Juggling work and home life is a constant balancing act, and it often feels like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. But with some organization and planning, you can save time and achieve that elusive balance. Here are some tips to help you out.
Work from Home When You Can
If your job allows it, try to work from home at least part of the time. It would be best if you could do it full-time. That can be a huge time saver, as you won’t have to commute to and from work each day. Even just working from home one or two days a week can make a big difference.
Even if you work from home, though, you’ll still need to fit in child care and other home chores while you work. Following are additional strategies you can use to make that happen.
Get an Early Start on the Day or Use Time at Night
If you can, try to get a head start on the day before everyone else wakes up. This is a great time to get some work done, as there will be no interruptions. You can also use this time to get things done around the house, such as meal prep.
If you have young children, getting up early may not be realistic. In that case, try to at least make use of the time after they go to bed. Even an hour or two of uninterrupted time can make a world of difference.
Work Smarter Instead of Working Harder
Get organized, make a schedule, and stick to it. That will result in working smarter instead of working harder and longer hours. You can do more in less time if you have an efficient system in place.
For instance, instead of taking hours to prepare lunch and dinner every day, you can cook food in big batches on weekends and freeze meal-sized portions. On weekdays, you only need to thaw a portion while you work and then take a few minutes to warm it up just before the family eats.
For breakfast, you can choose to serve nutritious food that does not require much preparation, like muesli with nuts, seeds, oats, and dried fruit served with milk. You can add fresh fruits, as well.
Add storage space at home and maximize their use to reduce clutter. When everything has its place, it is easier to put things back where they belong out of sight. That makes it much easier to clean the house faster.
Take Advantage of Technology
There are all sorts of time-saving devices and technologies available these days that can make your life easier. If you’re not using them, you’re likely falling behind. Do some research and find out which ones can help you the most in your particular situation. Here are a few examples.
A pressure cooker can help you prepare several batches of food quickly and with minimal effort during the weekend. You can also add a slow cooker to your kitchen so that a dish can be cooked in it while you sleep. A bread maker can likewise just be loaded with the ingredients and night to have fresh bread ready when you wake up.
There are all sorts of apps that can help you stay organized and on top of things. Find the ones that work best for you and use them to your advantage.
Outsource Tasks to Have Time with Your Family
There is no shame in admitting that you can’t do it all yourself. Technology can only do so much. It would be better if you could outsource some tasks so that you can save the time you use for doing them.
For instance, you may have the most advanced washer and dryer, but you will still need time to do the laundry. You can instead find a convenient laundry service that offers free pickups and deliveries. That will totally eliminate laundry time from your list of things to do.
Other tasks you can outsource are grocery shopping, housecleaning, yard work, and even meal preparation. You can also hire a virtual assistant to take care of some of your work tasks, like scheduling appointments, sending emails, and making phone calls.
Reduce Stress Levels and Improve Overall Productivity
You will be able to work better and be more productive if you’re not stressed out. That is why it is important to find ways to reduce stress levels. One way to do that is by saying “no” more often. Do not commit to anything that you know you cannot handle.
It is also important to ask for help when you need it. Do not hesitate to reach out to family and friends when you need assistance.
You should also take some time for yourself every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. That break will help you relax and recharge so you can go back to work with a clear head and be more productive.
By following the tips above, you can easily find ways to save time as a busy working mom. You don’t have to sacrifice your career or your family life to have a good balance. With a little effort and some creativity, you can have it all!