Whether you work from home or work outside the home, bottom line is, all women work. Keeping your sanity while working and raising a family can be quite challenging, however there are some things you can do to help get things organized and less stressful. Here are some time management basics for working women.
Being a Morning Person
You may not be a natural "morning person," but mornings are really crucial for working women. In fact, one of the secrets to becoming a morning person is to be an evening person first! In other words, do as much as you can the night before so that the morning isn't so rushed and crazy. Whether this is done by you or someone else, ensure it gets done the night before. Here are some tips:
- Pack your bags the night before and put them by the door.
- Prepare lunches and snacks (whether for you to take to the office or for the kids to take to school) the night before and freeze or refrigerate.
- Lay out clothes the night before so you don't have to figure out what you and everyone else is going to wear.
- Get up before your kids do, so you can have time to get your act together before they're up.
- Prepare any breakfast make-ahead. Items such as cut-up fruits, vegetables or those requiring per-boiling can be done the night before.
Come to an Understanding
It is important that your spouse/kids/household understands that everyone has to pitch in directly or indirectly. If you do not have any domestic assistance and both spouses work, for instance, it's inconsiderate for one spouse to unwind in front of the TV after work while the other spouse starts working in the kitchen. So have a family meeting (some households call this the ‘Parliament Meeting’) if necessary to discuss this issue; it needs to be clarified and understood that there should be a joint contribution to the housework and other tasks of this nature.
It's crucial for working women to prioritize their time. You can't, for instance, be driving your child 20 minutes both ways to attend an activity they're only moderately interested in. You also may not have the luxury of attending all programs or performances at your kids schools, and it's okay - forgive yourself, choose wisely and do what you can.
Simplify Your Meals
During this time of your life, except you have help that is reliable, it is a brilliant idea to keep your weekday meals as simple as possible. A few main ingredients and quick preparation can be the rule; apply this rule of thumb to all of your meals. And in general, kids are just as happy with an elaborate fried rice meal as they are with a simple meal of noodles or pasta. In fact, they'll probably like the faster-to-prepare meals better!
Cook major meals such as soups, stew, sauces, beans, etc in bulk and most likely over a weekend or work-free day. Portion, label and refrigerate in transparent storage bowls for quick and easy recognition and use. Keep things handy for those simpler meals, such as jarred spaghetti sauce, pre-chopped vegetable packs and pasta. Frozen pre-cut chicken parts, wings, drumsticks and fish fillets can be prepared quickly, even without pre-thawing. Buy minced meat portions and refrigerate them and pull out as needed.
Finally, be sure to set and adhere a ‘go-to-bed’ timeline for yourself, same way you do for the kids. This should be one that guarantees you at least 7-9 hours of sleep daily, if you must wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day.
Hopefully, implementing some or all of these easy tips will enable you function at your optimum, be more productive, afford you some ‘Me-Time’ and enable you spend more quality time with your family.