If any of you are anything like me, saying that you’re busy doesn’t even begin to properly describe your life. Between graduate school, working a full-time job, being an after-school nanny, my part-time job at Mastermind MGT, blogging, and all of my other obligations there is almost ALWAYS something that needs to be done. When I factor in needing to have time to myself and spending time with other people (The Boy, my family, etc.), it’s easy to get overwhelmed, say screw it all, and pour a glass of wine. Unfortunately, that approach comes back to bite me in the long run and simply delays everything which has to be done. I keep on top of everything by planning ahead, staying extremely organized, and utilizing what I consider advanced time management skills. I figure the most effective way to convey how I get everything done would be to share what a typical week day looks like for me and the tools I use to survey them.
5:30 AM – My alarm goes off and I consider this the first “hey, it’s time to get up”. The Boy always lets me hit snooze before snuggling me in close. I spend the next half hour hitting snooze every nine minutes and enjoying my daily cuddle session before the hectic of the day starts.
6:00 AM- I spend 10-15 minutes on the porcelain thrown, no not using, checking my email and social media feeds. I also use this time to look at my calendar to see what I’ve got coming for the day.
6:10 AM – Get ready for work.
7:00 AM – Work at my full-time job.
3:30 PM – Pick up the kids I babysit from school.
4:00 PM – Feed the kids a snack, monitor homework time, and be sure they stay alive. I also used this time to get my stuff done. I watch video lectures, work on assignments, read, do my OTHER part-time job, or write blog posts during this time.
5:15 PM – Drop off the kid(s) off at their sports practice and it’s finally time to head home.
5:30 PM – Health disparities class. I was so excited to learn how to mitigate health disparities, but unfortunately this class has done anything but that.
7:00 PM – If The Boy didn’t have any after-work activities, he typically has dinner ready and we eat. If he did have something to do, I get in the kitchen and whip something up.
7:45 PM – The Boy and I have a list of shows we watched together (and I have a list I watch alone) so now is our TV time. This time has multiple purposes, as this is usually when I do Mastermind MGT work, more school work, schedule blog posts, etc. I also sneak in a little play/cuddle time with Daisy and Thor.
10:15 PM – Get ready for bed, say my prayers, tuck Thor in (yes, he has own bed and blanket), get goodnight kiss from The Boy before he starts his bed time routine.
Now for the tools I use to survive these long days…
4. My Notebook. I use my notebook for a myriad of things. Lately, it has been home to all of the blog topics that come to my mind randomly throughout the day. My to-do lists, internship notes, school notes, and household notes are also sprinkled throughout the pages. My notebook comes in handy when I have to jot down a telephone number or am recording information while on a phone call.
3. My Planner. I record all of my babysitting jobs, internship meetings, social outings, etc. on the calendar pages of my planner. This actually helps me remember things better as I’ve taken the time to actually write them down.
2. iPad/iPhone. My iPad/iPhone is basically grand central. I use my kindle app to do school readings, iCal as the electronic version of my planner, work on the blog via the WordPress app, schedule posts via Hootsuite, and keep up with friends and family via social media. My iCal has color coordinated calendars for school, blog, home, random activities, and work. My favorite thing about iCal is that I can share entire calendars with The Boy. This allows us to sync our schedules and plan things much better.
1. To-do Lists. I use to-do lists to make sure I don’t forget things. I write the most important or time-sensitive tasks at the top (or I highlight them). This prioritization ensures that I spend my time appropriately. There is nothing more gratifying than checking things off the list. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment, especially when the entire list is complete.
To be honest, my top two tools are equally important. It would really be a struggle to get by without either of them. All of these tools work together and re-enforce one another. I carry my planner and notebook in my purse Monday-Friday, and rely more heavily on the electronic versions on the weekends. The to-do lists force me mange my time well and make me feel good about myself when I get things done.
Are your days super busy too? How do you stay organized? I’d love to hear your tips for staying on top of it all!