Tips to Increase Productivity to Get Some ‘Me’ Time
Time. I think that we can all agree there just isn’t enough of it. For the single mom, managing time can be even more challenging. Single moms are responsible for everything and it can often feel overwhelming. If you are a single mom looking for ways to make life easier, consider incorporating the Time Management for Single Moms below.
If you’re like me, your relationship with time management is hit and miss.
Sometimes, you may be on your game and really have everything under control. Other times, you wing it. Winging it is my natural state. By nature, you might be pretty laid back and take things as they come. But, you can’t always run in neutral when you’re the only one at the wheel.
The great thing about this information being shared here is that it’s time management for working moms, busy moms, really all moms. If you’re a mom, I’m hoping there’s something here that can benefit your life.
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How Can Single Moms Organize Their Lives?
Getting organized is a surefire way to gain control over a chaotic life. What organization looks like differs from person to person. But, automating repetitive activities is one way to start. Automation takes the guess work out of routine tasks, creating time for more enjoyable endeavors.
1. Create a Routine
I realized that my laissez-faire attitude with regard to my toddler’s schedule wasn’t doing either of us any favors. It helps to know your child. And, knowing mine, her behavior was getting out of control.
A change was necessary. I decided that we could both benefit from a more structured environment.
Creating a routine, is one of the top suggestions you see bandied about in parenting books and groups. Understandable because, there are definite benefits to routines.
Having a structure to the day helps with expectations. Kids know what is going to happen at a specific time and what is expected of them when the time rolls around.
Sticking to the routine becomes a habit and while some kids will rail against it, others will appreciate it. This is good for mom as well; the automation of routine helps maintain order in what may otherwise be a chaotic environment.
2. Meal Prep
As a parent, the desire to provide our kids with well-balanced, homemade meals is the goal. In reality, by the time dinnertime rolls around, the challenges of day may sidetrack our best intentions. A day of meetings, school runs, traffic, errands, chores, the list is endless.
A little advanced planning can help mealtime go more smoothly throughout the week.
Did you know that you can freeze a cooked rotisserie chicken? The freezer is your friend. Keep it full of healthy options in a pinch.
If you are a planner, make a meal plan for the week/ month. A resource like a weekly meal planner may help your organization.
Planning may be limited to dinner, or include breakfast and lunch as well. That organization will take off the pressure of knowing what’s for dinner. It also provides a list for grocery shopping.
But knowing what’s scheduled is only part of the problem, the food also needs to be cooked. Consider what can be safely made in advance and try to get ahead of things. Prepare proteins in ahead of time, cut up veggies for a quick stir fry or make stock for soup.
It may not make sense to cook everything in advance, but perhaps just getting the proteins out of the way will pave the way for quick meals later in the week. It’s all about investing a little extra time on one day to regain time when things are busy.
Related Article: Well-Stocked Kitchen for Busy Families
3. Subscription Services
First of all, I am assuming you know all about grocery delivery. Taking it one step further, save time and energy by subscribing to have the products you use on a regular basis delivered.
Think about the things that you always have to get from the store. There must be items that make you roll your eyes when you realize you’re out of it again and have to make a run.
For me, that was diapers. I know it’s irrational, but I hated buying diapers. Between the bulky, heavy box and four flights of stairs, it just wasn’t something I looked forward to.
The day I subscribed to have them delivered, alongside the Water Wipes, made things easier for me. I was able to find a price that worked for me and easily make size adjustments as my child grew.
Frequency of product delivery may be customized for each item, as well as the option to skip delivery when not needed.
Diapers may or may not be your issue. It could be dog food, vitamins, any number of things. Take a few minutes, go over your grocery list and automate that puppy. Thank me later.
4. Autopay Bills
There are enough things to worry about as a single parent. You juggle your schedule and that of your kids, alongside the responsibilities of running your household, the last thing you want to forget is to pay a bill.
Today, putting bills on autopay is commonplace. But, on the off-chance you haven’t done this with your bills, you may want to think about it.
It makes sense to opt against automatic bill pay for any bills that might fluctuate each month. But for the stable payments like the mortgage, rent, insurance, it is one less thing that requires your time and attention.
Time Management Tips for Moms
Thankfully, life is made easier by simply tapping into your network. If it’s just you and one little one, then your network may be outside of the home initially. In time, remember that you are a unit working together in support of each other. Before that time, maintaining control over how you spend your time may be the key to your sanity.
1. Just, No
No, is a small, yet powerful word. It is also a complete sentence.
To their detriment, women often over-extend themselves. Saying no and setting boundaries does not come natural to us. We are people pleasers and care givers. The last thing many women want to do is disappoint anyone.
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”~ Brené Brown
Life is busy. Sometimes, it’s just not possible to take on one more thing, and that’s ok. Anyone who truly cares about you, your family and well-being will understand.
But, like with our kids, we need to institute boundaries for ourselves. Take a step back for yourself and your family and just say no.
2. Empower Kids toward Independence
As hard as it is on our hearts, our littles need to grow up into functioning people. The good news is that as they get older, they can start becoming an integral, independent part of the family unit.
Give your kids responsibility that aligns with their stage of development. Albeit small, this will empower their growth while alleviating one more task from your list.
Kids like to be helpful. Even the smallest kids can learn to put their toys/ books away. Build on that as the kids get older. Think about them putting dishes in the dishwasher, sorting and putting laundry away and taking out the garbage.
Including your kids in the process aids in their development and keeps everyone invested in the care of the home environment.
3. Share Resources
If you don’t already have one, seek out a network of supportive people. Leaning into friendships provides sanctuary for your heart and mind.
Family is a good place to start. If that’s not an option, friends and neighbors are great too! Bonus points if you have some parent friends in your life. You can work with each other to provide some breathing room (ie. rotating car pools, play dates, meal prep).
You may connect with people at the park or through your kids schools and activities. Social media is also an option. Facebook has a number of parent groups that may be what you’re looking for.
In the end, surround yourself with people invested in the success of your family. You will find natural ways to provide support for each other.
No matter how you look at it, being a single mom is tough. Anything that can be done to make things just a little easier, is a blessing. Thankfully, Time Management for Single Moms is intended to help in the process.
- Create a Routine
- Meal Prep
- Subscription Services
- Autopay Bills
Remember, while the focus of this article was for single moms, they can be adapted to all families.
In some cases, a little advanced planning is necessary in order to ease things as time goes on. It’s important to do what you can to preserve time for yourself. Time investment now can mean more time for fun and relaxation as as family, later.
Do you have any time management tips & tricks? Drop your secrets in the comments below.