Busy women are everywhere and in every timezone, city, state and neighborhood. They juggle a million things all at one time. Let me explain…
In a world where technology is at our fingertips, available at the push of a button on every phone, watch, TV and computer, it feels as though our lives are spinning out of control. Reading a printed newspaper, using a map to navigate, having face-to-face conversations and talking to one another on the phone have seemed to become obsolete. Today’s generation will grow up not knowing what a phone booth is, what it means to use an encyclopedia or what a rotary phone is. Heck, I’m going to guess they probably do not have a home phone at all! To them this is normal life and it will only get crazier as technology continues to explode.
In this crazy rat race, I find myself multi-tasking 10 things at a time and worrying about the next 10 things coming at me. How do busy women find the time to slow down, enjoy our lives, embrace who we are, where we are going and what we want out of life? I guess that is the million-dollar question!
So, what is the answer? How do we slow down, breathe, take care of ourselves and enjoy life? I am not sure that I have the solution but I have done my fair share of research…of course all on my computer, phone and laptop while working on nine other things! I want to share with you my top eight time saving, self-care and organizational tips that I took away from my quest because I believe that women should be about helping to empower, motivate and elevate other women!
Busy Women: Superwomen!
Today’s women work 50-60 hours a week, raise families, cook and clean, pay the bills. They are personal shoppers, taxicab drivers, coaches, referees and so much more. Busy women tend to make commitments and take on more than they should. Then, stress about how we are going to get it all done. I know that I fit into this category; in fact, I might be the leader of the pack! Personally, I am not sure if it is just me wanting to please everyone in my life, or if I actually think that I am superwoman trying to earn my cape! I tend to under estimate how much of a time commitment I am making and overestimate just how much I believe I can accomplish in a day.
- Get Organized – Create a Life Planner: I read article after article about how to use your daily planner to get and stay organized- all while making it beautiful with stickers, Washi tape and colored pens. My planner was useful for appointments but that was about it, then I finally learned to map out my tasks, appointments, goals and workload and I was amazed at how much more I could actually accomplish. I now use my planner as a “Life Planner” – which means I put everything into it. Everything from work appointments, to family events, personal goals, medical appointments, kid’s sports, household chores, and I even add in my event timelines and blog post ideas and tasks. I found after trying several different brands and styles of planners the one that works best for me is the Day Designer from BlueSky “a strategic planner and daily agenda for living a well-designed life” Find it on Amazon Here.
- Self-Care – Laugh Every day: Laughter decreases stress hormones and researchers show that it increases the level of health-enhancing hormones, like endorphins. We all know what makes us laugh so focus on the things that tickle your funny bone. Laughing for just a few moments each day will help to alleviate stress and make you feel better! I have found that if I just stop being so busy all of the time I can find something to laugh about each day………even if it is at myself!
- Time Saving – Prepare for Tomorrow Tonight: Is your morning hectic with cooking breakfast, picking out clothes, packing lunches and getting the kids out the door? To save time and frustration in the morning take a little time each evening to do your morning prep and start your day on time and stress free. Start out by packing tomorrow’s lunches- you can even get the kids to pitch in and make it a fun family task. Set the kid’s clothes out the night before so they can easily get dressed on their own with no fuss….I even set out my own clothes to save me more time. Hang hooks by the door for each child to hang their book bags; they can have everything they will need already in them and ready to go in the morning. I also suggest hanging hooks for everyone in the family at the door so everyone can grab and go.
- Get Organized – Create a Home Command Center: A busy family can sometimes be difficult to keep organized. Use a family command center to keep everyone on the same page and avoid double booking. You certainly do not want to schedule a book club meeting over your child’s sleepover! Customize your command center to meet your needs and incorporate elements that are important to you and your family. Some examples of some popular command center components: mail pocket, family calendar, school schedules and permission slips, incoming bill folder, cork board, roll of paper for an ongoing grocery list, favorite carry out menus or whatever your family needs are!
- Self-Care – Journal It: It is important to prioritize taking care of yourself because your physical, spiritual and mental health are important not only for your well-being but to your ability to take care of your loved ones. Finding time each day to write in a journal helps to alleviate stress, set and achieve goals, inspires creativity, and helps with self-reflection. Whether you journal first thing in the morning, over your lunch hour or before bed it is important to make it part of your daily routine. The journal that I have been using and absolutely love is Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel. You can get yours Here.
- Time Saving – Meal Prep: Take some time on Sunday to grocery shop and prep lunches, meals, and snacks for the week ahead. Using your family command center, you see that your week is going to be crazier than ever. Cook a few meals ahead and freeze them. Then, all you have to do is pull them out in the morning and dinner is done in minutes. This is especially helpful on nights you work late or you have to run the kids to appointments or sporting events. Planning your meals ahead saves time, money and reduces stress!
- Self-Care – Disconnect: We are all guilty in some way of staying connected to social media and news outlets at all times. This gives us the sense of always being “on” and constantly inundates us with information – good and bad. Disconnecting can be good for your mental health, physical and spiritual health. Pledge to disconnect from social media for at least an hour each day – and encourage your family to do the same. Make it a family rule that no phones be permitted at the dinner table. You will be amazed how your mood improves and how much you can learn by talking to one another.
- Get Organized – Keep a Donation Bag: If you are anything like me, keeping your wardrobe up to date and current is important. My biggest obstacle is that I run out of room in my closet! The greatest and most valuable tip that I have learned is to keep a donation bag in my closet at all times. My rule is every time I purchase a new garment I have to put an old piece in the donation bag. This helps me to keep my wardrobe more current and my closet from exploding. It is a simple way to keep ahead of a closet disaster and donating the bags of clothes always feels great.
Make sure to take time to care for yourself so that you can continue to rule the world wearing your Amazing Superhero Cape! It truly is just about making a commitment to yourself to take care of yourself.