Like so many women today, I have myriad responsibilities. I have children, a husband, a home, extended family and friends, and I run my Baby Sleep Whisperer business from home — all of which are important to me. My friends and clients often ask me how I manage to do it all. They say I make it look effortless (God bless them!). It’s not. Each aspect of my life requires — and deserves — my time and attention. What it boils down to is preplanning and — yep — getting organized!
Here are my “secrets” to getting organized so you can live a more productive, stress-free life:
- Use mentor programs, like professional organizer Alejandra.tv, for strategies on how to get organized.
- Declutter often, a little at a time; unaddressed clutter adds up and can take away from time working on an important project.
- Use online systems that give you virtual access to your business activities from anywhere.
- Share a home/business calendar with your partner and children (if age appropriate).
- Communicate effectively — make lists, lists and more lists in one central notebook that is accessible to your family; flag important things so they grab your attention.
- Plan couple time, family time, and me time (i.e., exercise — if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your family and business).
- Create a balance on the weekends. Maybe you want to visit a pumpkin patch with the family but you still have to hunker down and do errands and chores, like laundry and shopping. Pre-planning will help you fit it all in.
- If your kids are active in sports after school, pack their sports bags on the weekends. Put them in the car so that, on a busy school/work day, it’s one less thing you have to think about.
- Take the time the night before to prep for the next day. Have your children lay out their clothes so they don’t have to think about what they will wear when they wake up. They can brush their teeth, wash their face, get dressed and be ready for breakfast!
- When you know you’ve got a very busy day, get the crock pot going in the morning so that dinner is ready when you are.
Working from home can be a mixed bag. I really have to focus on my work and not get distracted by what’s going on around me. But, I have to be flexible because unexpected or one-time things come up — like someone getting sick or last-minute media opportunities.
As with anything, there is a learning curve. It takes, on average, 30 to 60 days to break or incorporate a habit. Stick with it — your newly organized life will eventually become a routine, and you’ll have more time to do the things you want and need to do, and be less stressed about it, too!