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Mommy Tips: Getting Yourself on a Schedule

by Hannah Chow | March 25, 2015 8:57 AM
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Do you remember a time when your entire day was free to do whatever you wanted? For some, this brings back memories of summer vacation, high school, college, or even the first year or two of a professional job. As the years go by, some people get married, have children, and move up the corporate ladder. With each of these successes, additional responsibilities and less freedom become inevitable. Relinquishing control of your time and freedom means relinquishing control of your own life. At this point, you may consider creating a reasonable schedule that allows you to accomplish all of your work and personal goals while still finding time for you.

According to Webster, the definition of schedule is, "a written or printed list of things and the times when they will be done." So, before starting anything else, make a list of everything you need to accomplish for the day, week, and month. This can fall into four categories: household chores, meal planning, family time, and work stuff. Next, ask yourself what is most important. What needs to be accomplished today? Write down your answers and then prioritize those tasks.

Prioritize

Does any particular task take priority over another and do any of those tasks require deadlines? Start with those first. Maybe taking the kids to the clinic for a common cold takes priority over the grocery store. However, if the kids haven't eaten and there is no food at home, use common sense; going to the grocery store to feed your family takes priority over the clinic.

Create a Chart

Your chart should include tasks from top priority to lowest priority. Crystal Paine, author of 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life says, "Discipline is a daily struggle for so many people. You may have no problem exercising for one hour, six days per week but your house is a mess." The point is, create a chart of your schedule and priorities to make sure you are staying balanced in every aspect of your personal and professional life.

Household Chores

Designate one day a week for a specific household chores. Do not try to get it all done in one day. For example, Sunday is grocery shopping and meal prepping day, Monday is laundry day, etc. If you have children, make them help you with age appropriate chores around the house. According to Elizabeth Pantly, author of Kid Cooperation, "Keep in mind that a child who has mastered a complicated computer game can easily run the dishwasher." Consider keeping the instructions age appropriate too. Pantly adds, "Preschoolers can handle simple one-step or two-step jobs." For example, a two year old can wipe up spills and put toys away. Four year olds can fix a bowl of cereal and clear the table. Six year olds can keep a bedroom tidy and sweep floors. Allowing your kids to help with chores can free up your schedule for other things on your to do list.

Meal Planning

Make a grocery list. Designate one hour per week for grocery shopping and allocate four hours each week for meal prepping. Decide in advance what protein, vegetable, and carbohydrate you want in your meals and then find the most efficient way to cook everything. According to Melissa Bender at benderfitness.com, "When you pack lunches all week, you have plenty of nutritious, filling, and tasty things to choose from. Keep dinner simple too." Four hours of meal prepping at the beginning of the week is enough time to make 20 meals for the rest of the week. You only have to get the kitchen dirty once per week allowing more time for yourself and family time. Remember, family time needs to be carved out in your busy schedule too.

Take Time to Rest

Do not overdo it. Arianna Huffington said in a 2014 interview with CBS news regarding her book Thrive, that sleep is the "biggest enhancement tool." Huffington claims she gets "eight hours of sleep 95 percent of the time." Make sure you are taking time to rest and rejuvenate so that you can be the best version of yourself for any task at hand. Taking time to rest can also mean more quality time spent with your family.

Exercise

Allowing your body to perform at its optimum levels will allow you to accomplish the task at hand in a speedy and efficient manner. The Mayo Clinic staff at mayoclinic.org says, "Exercise combats health conditions and diseases whiling improving mood and boosting energy." Incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine will give your body enough energy to accomplish everything else on your list.

Why is keeping a schedule important? As life gets busier, it's important to keep track of appointments and obligations. Writing daily or weekly tasks on your calendar holds yourself accountable to achieve it. Meal prepping helps prevent those last minute trips for fast food through take out windows, maintaining a clean house allows you and the family to find what you need and do other jobs efficiently, and exercise helps preserve your mental and physical energy. Start working on the perfect schedule for yourself and your family and in no time you will regain your adolescent freedom.

Hannah Chow is a lifestyle blogger who resides in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband, Allan Chow, and their pug, Brutus. Hannah has a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. She takes all things in good humor and has pride in being perceptive and communicative.

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