(As you probably know, I stay home with my 2 year old son. Little J is the best (well, of course I think so!) and so much fun. He is very high energy and also still a good napper which is awesome.)
1. Make a Schedule: (and try to stick to it most days!) We still have a pretty set schedule because I find that works best for both of us! I realize not everyone is like us, but most kids do better with schedules and I seriously have found that I do too! There are times when I am not super strict with nap time, like when we are hanging out with cousins during their Spring Break or something or on the weekends, but during the week we are home by at least 2pm for J's nap!
2. Utilize Nap time: I realize not every still naps, but if yours (or any of yours do) take advantage! Drink a cup of hot coffee and sit down for 5 minutes. It's amazing how refreshing that can be. Then what I do is try to pick up the house, do laundry (or other chores), write, craft or sew while J sleeps.
3. Consolidate Errands: Obvious I know, but unless you live in the middle of a large city (or small town) where everything is super close, it helps save time by combining errands. I do this one of two ways most of the time: by type of errand or location. So with the type of errand, like grocery shopping where I get all of our groceries in one morning regardless of whether I have to stop at three stores to get everything (like trader Joes for staples, Whole Foods for meat and King Soopers/Farmers Market for produce or something). Or if I am doing it by location, I will go to Super Target and Toys R Them the day J has gymnastics because it's on that side of town, and I will also take my ring to get checked while over there.
4. Outings: I found out after I was home bound in a walking cast for a few weeks last November, that my son and I both get a little stir crazy if we are at home too much. It also adds a nice variety to your schedule and week to get out to different places too. So we try to go somewhere everyday! Sometimes it's structured and paid activities like the toddler gymnastics class, but most of the time it's something like going to the park, meeting up with friends for a play date, my walking group, story time or the library. This is also a great time to hang out with other adults (and kids)! My mom and I try to get together once a week and it's so nice to be able to talk, catch up and just live life together.
5. Notepad: I always have a notepad with me. There's one on my nightstand, kitchen counter, car and purse. If an idea for a post or item that's needed on the shopping list comes up I (try to) write it down immediately. Getting it written down quickly helps you to be able to focus on the task at hand instead of trying to remember that great idea you just thought of. Then I transfer that to my phone when I have a chance later. (My husband and I also use an app called ToDoist that we love and can share shopping lists, etc.. on it.)
Does my son always take a nap? Nope. When he does is it always for 2-3 hours? Nope. Do I always consolidate errands and outings? Nope. Nobody and nothing is perfect, so this doesn't happen all the time but I find that if I do these things everything just runs more smoothly and I can manage my time so much better!
What helps you manage your time? Are you a hardcore scheduler or just a wing it type of person?
Be sure to check out how everyone else manages their time at the links below. If you'd like to sign up for the next Mommy Style Monday go to Kiana or Madeline's blogs!