Do you have exactly a million and one things to get to that all need to be done a couple minutes ago? Maybe it feels like you will never get on top of your to do list? Are demands from each of your children piling up by the second? And do you have the sinking feeling that there’s some calamity just around the corner that 10 minutes of additional time could prevent? There’s likely not a parent out there who doesn’t wish for more time in the day to deal with everything.
Having the right kind of habits, however, is almost just as good as having additional time in your day. Habits are more powerful than to-do lists because they train you to behave in a certain way. The right habits can help you establish order amid the busiest times.
Want to hear of the top 5 organizational habits that can transform your house and family? Here are ones that experts swear by:
- Write everything down.
As parents, we get a lot thrown at us. Play dates, PTA meetings, school projects that you need to supervise, bills to pay, and cleaning the house. The thin line between you and chaos is your ability to juggle all the moving parts. And that’s immediately impaired if you can’t remember what you need to show up for.
Thankfully, smartphones make writing everything down an easier affair. But if you aren’t a fast texter, then by all means carry a pen and notebook with you in your pocket. Make it a habit to write everything down. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! If there was only one habit you could establish, it’s this one.
- Schedule your to do list.
This habit works in conjunction with writing everything down. Sure, you need to get your house clean for that dinner party you got roped into throwing. You wrote that down on your to do list… Actually, you should be scheduling that on your to do list. This will help you think clearly about when you’ll be able to fit it in. Thinking about when you will perform certain tasks. And then scheduling them for that time increases the likelihood of you doing them.
- If it’s a no, it should go.
Are you still wearing that? No? Then it should go. Do your kids have playthings they aren’t using? Do you have an overflow of items in your house that are only taking up space? Get in the habit of evaluating whether you’re using the things in your home. If no one is using it, then it doesn’t belong in your house. Donate clothing and other items to a local charity. Sell larger ticket items on eBay or at a garage sale. The less clutter you have, the more organized and on top of things you’ll feel.
- Become an early bird.
Look. It’s a rare parent who has the stamina at the end of the day to get to their gazillion things still to be done. After the kids are down, most mommies and daddies want to curl up with Netflix and not the hour of exercise you didn’t get. The solution is simple, but might take time to get used to. Here’s what to do: Wake up at least an hour before the rest of your family. This is an effective time management method used by an impressive list of people. Knock off some of your most pressing to dos before other demands get in the way. You’ll be amazed at the number of tasks you can complete without a baby hanging off your hip.
- Be deliberate about relaxation.
We complain we don’t have enough time to chill and unwind. But then we spend a couple hours staying up at night to catch up on our favorite shows. Is that really relaxing? Will it leave us feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the week? A walk in nature, or a sit down meal with your family may provide more emotional and mental benefits than an hour in front of the telly. Find out what makes you feel refreshed and recharged and focus on doing that.