Motherhood Bozeman

Time Management PART 2

  -- by: Sarah MacDonald 



A few months ago I ran a FREE group on Facebook and shared tips on how I manage my time and how to save some time in your day.  I shared tips with friends and family that I have learned and utilize from my own personal experience, and now I want to share my ideas with you! 


This blog will be organized in different sections so if you are looking for a specific tip you can jump to that section! I just wanted you to be able to save time! 


Part 2: This week’s topics

D) Life is Messy Sometimes 

E) Health and Wellness 

F) “EXTRA! EXTRA!” Bonus Tips!


If you missed last week’s blog, check it out! These were the topics I covered: 


Part 1:

A) Mothers of small children

B) Work at home moms

C) Staying organized // Lists & Schedules


D) Life is Messy Sometimes


Although I try to do laundry every day, and try not to let things pile up, life is messy sometimes! My first priority is me and my family! It's ok to have dishes in your sink or a pile of clean laundry to put away. It took me a LOOOOOOOONG time to realize that no one is perfect and to let things go. Things will get done in time. There’s no use stressing over it. Plus, stress is NOT HEALTHY.

This is why I try to post periodically on my Facebook wall about my imperfections when I am feeling a little overwhelmed. It helps me hold myself accountable to accomplish a task and to honestly share my lowlights (because maybe one of my friends is feeling the same way). 

Sometimes all we see are people's highlights and everything sounds so easy and happy in their life. It can make us feel like "what am I doing wrong here?" And obviously it is no one's intention to make anyone feel that way, they just want to share their happiness! 

So here are some of my raw honest shots about what happens around our house sometimes, because I am nowhere near perfect, but luckily, I am happy.


Part E) Health and Wellness

Creating multiple opportunities: I know how important my fitness is. In past, I did not make exercise a priority. Now? Things are very different! I can relate to being busy and feeling like there is just no time in the day, so now I make multiple opportunities to exercise (more ideal) OR I break up my workout (less ideal)!

What I always aim for is waking up early and rocking my workout first thing in the morning! If that just doesn't happen for whatever reason, then I aim for nap time (or afternoon play time). I will even exercise in front of my kids while they eat a meal/snack, but sometimes we are out or that just doesn't work either! Then I try to get my workout in, in the evening before my kids go to bed, but sometimes that doesn't work!!! So if all else fails, I exercise during my evening work call or late at night while everyone sleeps. 

Sometimes I will start my workout in the morning, and then the baby wakes up 15 minutes in, so I have to finish later. Although it is not ideal for me to break up the workouts, sometimes it's all I can do! But no matter how I get it done, it gets done, because I make it a priority.

Meal Prep : If I know I am going to be out during a meal, I bring it with me. My first example is that photo with the sporks. My kids and I will be out during their dinner time, so I am bringing their dinner with me. I am bringing a snack for myself too (the cottage cheese, pineapple chunks, and a protein power ball).

Also, I prep meals in advance one day a week. For me, this is usually takes place on Sunday. It takes me 1-2 hours and all my meals are ready for the week! When I am in a rush, I don't have to grab a drive-thru burger, I just grab a container in the fridge. 

Meal prepping saves me so much time every day! I do it one time, I make multiples of similar things, I save money because I only buy what I need. I usually only go to the grocery store once a week. Seriously, it's awesome! And the best part... I am eating healthy!

Useful Tips

✶ I love Costco! They have amazing customer service and a lot of affordable organic options. We love buying organic and I also love saving money! 

Anyways, knowing that we go there once a week, I always;

1. Bring a shopping list and stick to it (well, I stick to it as far as food is concerned)

2. Eat before I go or bring my delicious, nutritious shake with me, so I am not tempted to eat all of their delicious samples or buy unwanted junk food.  

One other thing I do, is shop there during my kids snack time! Those samples are always a perfect amount of snack for my kiddos and if they don't have enough healthy options, I always buy clementines or baby carrots, so after paying, they have a snack to eat. It saves me taking the time to make a snack that day and I get to shop at the same time! Win win! Not to mention, I get to learn about new food they like. For example: Wild salmon burgers, who knew? It’s nice to be able to purchase a product I know they’ll eat. 

F) “EXTRA! EXTRA!” Bonus Tips!

Sometimes taking time can save a lot of time! Remember the saying “a stitch in time saves nine”? Well, it makes sense to me. Just taking 30 seconds or a minute to complete a task can save you time in the long run. In no time at all, a leak can turn into a flood! If something spills on the floor, you can take a few seconds to quickly wipe it up, or you could leave it for later, but by that time it's most likely hardened on to the ground and will take you 7 times longer to get it off the floor! I could list a million examples of this, but I'm sure you get the point! Just taking those few seconds (to screw the lid on your water) can save you time (so it doesn’t spill in the car).

Another thing I do (when I have a big trip coming up, or in past, when I had an interview), I set my own clothes out the night before. When I was a flight attendant, I used to iron my uniform and pack my carry-on the night before, so it was ready to go in the morning. In the off chance that I slept past all eight alarms and my wake up call, I would be ready to go in minutes!
Multi-tasking:  I am not a fan of putting laundry away, but I don't mind doing it while I am talking with a friend. Laundry is a job I could do with my eyes closed, so I can focus on a conversation with a friend while folding. It makes the job a lot more fun!
Do you have bills that are not on auto pay? I always keep a cheque book on the table with envelopes and stamps so as soon as they come in they get paid. No late payments on bills for forgetting to pay them!
Stair piles; I leave items at the bottom step and at the top step. Every time I walk up or down I can bring something with me!

Investing in quality can be worth it. For me that is my vacuum (Dyson), my blender (Vitamix), and food processor (Thermomix). These were all items that were a lot pricier than the cheap brands, but I feel like they were worth every penny. For me, investing in quality means I can rely on these machines, they do a great job, and literally save me time! Plus, they are reliability. We received our Vitamix almost 5 years ago and our first Dyson almost a decade ago and they are still working!
Being Prepared Prepare for the inevitable! Life is messy sometimes, but you can prepare as much as possible!

What could go wrong: Guests show up or you make last minute plans and have no snacks to serve!

Time saving solution: Have some frozen appetizers in your deep freezer! I find this helpful for meetings I host at my house, this way if they get cancelled last minute or anything changes, I have not gone out and prepared a bunch of snacks that could end up going to waste. There’s no time wasted preparing for guests, I quickly throw some delicious snacks on a pan and pull a warm treat out of the oven when they arrive! Quick and easy! 

What could go wrong: We could be out and get hungry… that could cause us to have to buy an unhealthy snack. 

Time saving solution: Always have a healthy snack with you. This will help you save time and money. I know when I eat junk or feed my kids junk, we end up feeling like junk. When I bring fuel foods (like fruit or my shake) with me, I have more energy, I feel more satisfied with my meal, and I’ve just saved money (double win)! Taking a clementine and almonds in my bag is a lot less expensive and a million times healthier than grabbing a bagel with cream cheese, a special treat from a local coffee place, or a bag of potato chips.  

What could go wrong: You are late and you’ve misplaced your keys or your phone. 

Time saving solution: Get one of those contraptions that pages your keys or your phone! 

What could go wrong: Suddenly it gets super hot or super cold! It’s difficult to predict the changes in weather where I live - it can be frosty in the morning, raining in the afternoon, and feel like Hawaii by early evening! 

Time saving solution: I always keep jackets, shorts & t-shirts, rain gear… basically a HUGE variety of clothing in the trunk of our car.  No need to go home and search for a winter jacket in the middle of summer! 

Some more tips and tricks shared by group participants:

✶ I always try to not let things get ahead of me. Therefore, I clean as I go, plan ahead (sometimes days in advance), and make lists . 

✶ I use a cleaning calendar  along with my fitness journal. Seems to help me stay on track! 

✶ For being a mom who works outside of the home part time I do Crockpot meals, clothes picked out the night before, bags for preschool/ daycare packed the day before. I even leave my diaper bag with everything in it except for food in the car the night before so I am ready to go. 

✶ Cook a little more when making dinner and have it for lunch or dinner the next day. Also teach children to clean up after themselves! 

✶ They make these mesh laundry bags that you can organize in everyone's closet. You have a bag for lights and a bag for darks. When full, throw the bags directly into the washing machine and dryer, then hand them back to the kids. If they're old enough, they can do their own folding. Applies to partners too! 

✶ We do the laundry on Sunday and our three yr old has to help put things away with us .. anything from kitchen towels to his clothes to his sister’s clothes...he loves to help too.

✶ Don't take forever to make silly decisions! And pick out clothes the night before, and always have your diaper bag packed and ready to go! When we make pancakes we freeze the leftovers so next time the kids want pancakes we just throw them in the toaster oven!

✶I use the app Wunderlist and share lists with my partner, this way we can both add to a list and whoever is shopping can cross off what they bought! This way you don't forget to write or double buy something if both of you can add to the same list! 


I hope these tips helped and that you found a few things you could take away in order to have a more productive day.  


Do you have any tips you’d like to share? 

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