Happy Sunday (and Mother's Day to all of the wonderful mommas out there)! This weekend has been jam packed - family plans today and my sister Kelly's graduation from college yesterday. With so much going on during the weekend, which is normally my time to catch up on everything I couldn't get to during the week, it can be tough to stay organized and on top of things. So, I wanted to share with you some of my tips and tricks for staying organized and balancing my career with my personal life.
- Get yourself a detailed planner - My personal favorite is the Day Designer, by Whitney English on Etsy. I love this thing. It has a full page per day for detailed notes and tasks, plus a monthly calendar overview, so you keep everything together in one place. I've always been one for making lists, but being able to keep them in one planner has helped tremendously. It's definitely worth the investment. Thanks to Chelcey for persuading me to get one!
- Use other notebooks for even more lists - Since I have an Etsy shop, blog, and career as well I have separate notebooks to jot down ideas as I think of them sporadically throughout the day. At work, I make a list each morning of the specific tasks that I want to accomplish for the day. With my blog and Etsy shop, I keep track of ideas and inspiration for new posts and crafts to make. Think of your planner as being an overview list with the separate notebooks being layers of detail relating back to each task.
- Plan your meals and make a grocery list - Every Thursday, I make my grocery list for the following week, and I do my grocery shopping on either Saturday or Sunday. Before, I used to wander through the grocery store like a lost puppy, pulling random items from the shelves not really knowing what I would be cooking throughout the week. Now that I have been making a list, I can get in and out of the store in 30 minutes or less and know that I have specific meals in my queue ready to go.
- Cook on Sunday - Let's be honest, if you work a full time job during the week, the last thing you will want to do in the evening is slave over a hot stove. By cooking on Sunday and making enough meals to last through the week, I don't have to worry about that. I can come home from work, catch up on blog posts and Etsy items, and heat up my dinner in no time at all. My favorite thing (and easiest) to do is cook with my crock pot on Sunday. I can set it to low in the afternoon and it will be finished by evening. With some good, air-tight storage containers your meals will stay fresh all week. For lunches, I have been LOVING these mason jar salads from Organize Yourself Skinny. Most of them take me about an hour to fully prepare 5 jars. In the morning on your way out the door, just grab a jar and you don't have to give it a second thought.
- Clean and keep things picked up each day - This is definitely the most difficult thing for me. I'm terrible about coming home from work, changing into comfy clothes, and leaving my work clothes laying on the floor, neatly of course. Before I know it, a week will have passed and I'll have a neat stack of clothes that have to be put away sooner or later. And when the pile is larger, I am much less motivated to get up and do it. If you force yourself to hang clothes back up or throw them in the hamper as soon you get home, you won't have to worry about it later. The same can be applied to dishes in the kitchen. Don't wait for a sink full of dishes to accumulate, but instead load the dishwasher or wash and put them away daily.
These are just a few things I do that have made the most impact on my time management and organization, so I hope you find them helpful! What are some of your tips and tricks for staying organized?