Tips for Busy Friends

Monday, September 03, 2018
Well folks, I took on another part time job which has spurred an onslaught of commentary. One question I keep hearing is concerning being so busy and keeping it all straight. I fall short and am no way perfect, but here are a few tips I've learned over the years that have been helpful in keeping as organized as possible:

Touch it Once - I find I forget to do things when I put them off. If I open an email and close it again thinking "I'll do that later" I'm likely to forget to get back to it. If I open the email and just take care of what is needed, it's done and it's one less thing to do and one less thing to add to the growing "To Do" list. I tell my children to do this same thing when it comes to chores around the house. Instead of folding the laundry and placing the pile on the steps to put away later, I tell them to touch it once - and keep going all the way up the stairs to put it away.

Newest First - have you ever been part of a lengthy string of emails? If you try to answer them in the order they came in, you might find you are duplicating work or answering questions that have already been resolved. I start at the top of my email list with the newest emails and work my way down as a way to be most efficient and save myself precious time.

Use the Calendar - if it's not on the calendar, it's not happening. When we receive emails about cross country schedules and practices, I immediately take the information off the email and input them into my calendar. It's so nice we can use our phones for so much! It seems if I don't get the information transferred into my calendar it gets forgotten about. Because we also have little people, we also use a central physical location as well - but I'll get to that in my last bullet.

Let Others Know - we have a large bulletin board in our office area at home. I take all the information for the week and put it on a visual calendar. This helps my husband to know who is doing what and going where, but it also helps our children to plan as well. The 4 year old can count down the number of sleeps until his first day of 4K, and I include the weather forecast in picture form so even the littlest members of the family can know what to expect.

Be Prepared - I'm definitely a planner and we have a plethora of back packs around the house. We pack the night before and sometimes the day before. There's a bag for cross country, there's a bag for girls on the run, there's a diaper bag, there's a swimming bag, etc...and I check those bags to make sure we have snacks, uniforms, suits, water bottles, etc... so when all 7 of us are trying to hustle out of the door in the morning we aren't missing any important pieces of the puzzle for the day. (and if you're a coffee drinker, being prepared may mean setting the timer on the coffee pot so all you have to do is pour, screw on the cover, and run out the door)

Again - I am by no means the most organized person. I'm sometimes late. These are just some tips that have worked for me during the last few decades. The busier we get, the more I find myself relying on these tried and true tips; hope they help you as well!


Crystal is a secretary, council secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children (Carmen 11, Andre 10, Breccan 4, Delphine 3, and baby Eudora), two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at her personal blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!


Margo Dill said...

These are great tips, busy mama! :) I also try to do the Touch It Once tip. I read that once in some book about making life simpler. That book also said don't have house plants. I found that funny at the time, but now that I am a single mom and have a dog who is very active and a 7 year old that is even more active, I realize plants would just be one more thing to take care of. I also try to get things on the calendar immediately.

Good luck with all of this!

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