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4 Time Wasters VS. 4 Time Savers

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By: Trisha Novotny trisha@247moms.com

#1

I have had days and weeks that I look at my calendar and thought, “How did I possibly allow it to get so full of all these To-Do’s and To-Go’s?” Full of appointments, commitments I said YES to, activities my kids need to attend and many other things that filled up my schedule, only to now be completely overwhelmed with how will I do it all? How will I be at three places at once? Then I ask myself, “How do I avoid a repeat of this scenario in my mom world?” My answer.

Time Waster:
Have you ever drug three kids across a parking lot in the rain, up an elevator, down a hall, and in the door of your doctor’s office, only to find out you have arrived a half hour late to your appointment and now have to reschedule? But, you’re positive they told you 10:30, not 10:00! Or, maybe your days seem to fill up one by one, and your calendar seems to be out of control, never having any down time, never having time to prepare for the commitments you have made, never enough time for your family or for you?

Time Saver:
1. Use only ONE calendar/planner.
2. Check your calendar/planner daily. I use daily pages to keep track of where I need to go, what I need to do, who I need to call, even what is for dinner that night.
3. Look at the BIG picture – don’t say yes or schedule something on your calendar just because the day is free. Look at your entire week to see how it will affect your week by adding in one more thing.
4. Learn to write BIG in your calendar it will give you the gentle reminder that day is full.
5. Carry your calendar/planer with you so that when in need you can quickly refer to it.
6. Write everything down – do not rely on your memory.
7. Mark off days/time for family, friends and you.

#2

Step into my office and take a look at my bookcase. You might begin wondering WHY I have rows of binders. They are the secret to my paper organization.

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Time Waster:
Do you have piles of loose papers such as recipes, magazine ideas, school letters/papers, holiday ideas, house decorating ideas, travel papers, etc.?

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Time Saver: Create information binders for the various subjects of the piles of paper that need to be organized.
Some ideas are:
Kid’s Binder: Sections for weekly teacher letters, upcoming field trip information, sports team lists, PTA notes, various information papers and letters from your children’s activities, school directories , etc.
Christmas Binder: Sections for gift lists, holiday cards you have received and sent, holiday recipes, meal plans, decorating ideas, gift ideas, etc.
Meal Planning Binder: Sections for recipes, meal ideas, meal plan/calendar, shopping lists, coupons, etc.
Home Decorating Binder: Sections for each room of the house, to-do lists, ideas, paint samples, places to shop, etc.
What papers do you need to bring organization to? Create an information binder for them!
Using binders not only organizes your piles of papers, it also creates a simple place to find information you need.

Do you have an information binder? Comment and share your binder ideas with the 24/7 MOMS

#3

Time Waster: If I were to choose one area that I waste some of my precious time – it would have to be surfing the internet , I am sure I could justify all of my clicking from blog to blog and web site to web site but in all reality it can SUCK my time up if I am not careful. What is your TIME WASTER? Chatting on the phone for endless amounts of time, those weekly even daily TV shows you can’t pull your self away from or maybe its reading junk mail and skimming thru catalogs that you will never even order out of.

We can easily get caught up in our time waster habit not even realizing how much time we have actually lost.

 Time Saver: I have TWO ideas of how to capture back the wasted time we are losing.

1. Set a Timer and limit the amount of time you use on your habit

2. Do TWO things at once – Such as wear a head set while chatting on the phone so you can fold laundry, clean out a drawer or cupboard, cook dinner etc while on the phone. Or While watching TV fold laundry, organize your receipts, clean out your purse etc. – always think what else could I be doing.

#4

Is your brain on overload, and you feel overwhelmed? If you’re like me, after 5 kids I have ZERO brain cells left, especially those memory ones. I thoroughly believe that with each baby I delivered they also took part of my brain. I find myself often going about my day forgetting what I was doing, where I need to go, who I needed to call, etc. And, I have many of those moments. I walk into a room and wonder what I needed to do in this room? AHHHH, PLEASE give me my brain back or find a cure for this forgetful MOM syndrome.

Time Waster: Are you filling your brain trying to remember all the TO DO’s, TO GO’s and TO CALLS? ONLY to have get hit with the forgetful MOM Syndrome?

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Time Saver: Become addicted to WRITING it down. – Create MASTER To Do, To Go and To Call lists for all areas of your life.
– Keep a note pad in your bathroom drawer. Often when I am getting ready in the morning I think of so many things I need to do, so I quickly jot them down, then take it to my desk and transfer to my master lists.

– Keep a note pad in your car. While being the MOM taxi or running my errands it seems I always think of things I need to remember. So, I can easily write them down on my pad of paper, then tear it off and take it to my desk to be placed on my master lists.

– Teach/ask your family members to leave notes for you on your desk or kitchen counter or create a hanging message center. If they need you to make an appointment for them, pick up a new bottle of shampoo, sign them up for a activity, etc. have them write it down for you. These notes will assist the MOM memory.

– Use DAILY planner sheets to organize your days. I use the daily pages from The Busy Woman. These pages have sections for priorities (To Doʼs), Appointments, To Be called, Chores, Menu, and Notes. Each Sunday I sit down and fill these out so I have in writing what my week will entail. And, keep the forgetful MOM syndrome under control.

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