More and more women are working full-time. After having children, women return to the workforce for two reasons. One, they have too. Two, they have a career to manage. Staying organized when working full-time is hard.
Regardless of either reason, a mom’s plate is really full when working full-time. Making sure the kids are fed, bathed, ready for school, doing laundry, picking up toys, getting to work on time, prepping for a meeting, grocery shopping, the list goes on and on and on.
Time is precious for working moms because the day is not spent with their children, so maximizing time is key as well as staying organized. Time spent being unorganized is wasted time.
Here’s how to stay organized when working full-time:
Offload tasks that can be handled with help. Whether it’s hiring a cleaning lady or getting lawn care. It’s worth the investment, those tasks can easily be taken off your to-do list.
If you live near family, use their help or find a college student looking to make some extra money. You’ll be happy you did.
Grocery shopping and meal planning is a process. Going into a week without a plan, everyone fails. Mom’s not happy there’s not much food in the house or she’s not happy because there’s not healthy food.
Pick a day of the week that works best for you and stick to it, allow 30 minutes. This will give you enough time to pick out meals as well as figure out what ingredients you already have.
Keep your meal plan posted where you can see it. It can be on a door, cabinet, the refrigerator, etc.
I recommend using a clipboard that fits your style because you are going to look at this every day and you want to love it. Using a clipboard gives you a great visual and makes it easy to write on.
You can meal plan on the couch or your car, you don’t have to worry about finding a hard surface. Then use a 3M command hook so you can hang it easily next to the refrigerator or pantry, somewhere where you can see it. I like 3M hooks because they are easy to install and don’t require any tools.
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Instead of doing little things each day, pick one day and get it done. For example, laundry. Pick a day and get it all done with. No one likes to do laundry (if you have, send them my way please!) doing a little bit every day is dreadful. Pick a day and bust it all out.
Use one calendar for everything. Multiple calendars are tough to manage and things get lost in the shuffle. Most working moms have a work calendar and personal calendar but don’t combine the two because they don’t want their personal on their work computer.
Most companies use Outlook for calendar invites as does mine. I do write down all of my work appointments in my paper calendar, it is duplicating work but it has minimized the confusion. Whether you use an electronic calendar or paper calendar, have one master calendar and stick to it.
Babies and young toddlers really can’t help out much when it comes to putting toys away but as they get older they’ll be able to put away some toys. This will save you time from picking up toys and also teach them the importance of putting them away on their own.
Turn It Off
When you leave the office, leave it there. Turn off notifications at night if you need too. Constantly checking your email at night or on the weekend is a distraction. Be intentional about your time spent on the weekends so when Monday rolls back around, you are rested and fully ready for the week ahead.
Write It Down
Using printables is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to become organized. You can use customized printables or just a piece of paper and a pen. Either way, putting it on paper makes it easier and you’ll feel relieved.
The other thing you can use is a journal. Having your thoughts written down somewhere will clear your head. A blank journal can start you out on the right path. You’ll be able to customize it to your own liking and organize it the way you like it.
I’ve been using G-2 Pilot pens for a little while and am completely obsessed with them. They write so smooth and make your handwriting look nice. Now, you can you whatever pen you want, just make sure you love it and always use the same one. This way the ink color stays the same. Using two black pens from different companies doesn’t produce the same type of black and it’s annoying when the black pen doesn’t match, right?!
When you are using a solid color pen whether it’s black, blue, or red, adding some color helps brighten up the page and make it pretty. I keep three sharpie highlighter colors with me at all times: Pink, Green, and Yellow. Highlighters help to highlight important notes (no pun intended).
It can feel like you have a lot on your plate trying to stay organized while working full-time. Off-load tasks by delegating them to other people. Pick one day a week to meal plan and batch process any other tasks you don’t enjoy doing. Use one calendar to keep all personal and work appointments in one place. Turn it off once you leave the office. If you have kids, have them help out. Last but not least, write it down. Having your thoughts written down will give you greater clarity.
How do you stay organized when working full-time? Any tips you’d like to share?