Making time for smiles as school starts with 5 practical tips {and a quote that speaks to me}

My kids will start back to school in TWO WEEKS, and I will start back in less time than that! (YAY! I got the job!) So that means — I have been thinking about time management hacks and good routines to help quell the inevitable chaos which occurs during this transition from summer to school. Gotta keep smiling!

Do you want to know a secret?

I LOVE back-to-school time! I believe the structure of a new school year is more aligned with goal-setting and fresh starts than even the New Year! I have always thought this way. As a child, my pencils would be sharpened and lined up like soldiers in their case. I would double- and triple-check my bookbag. And my “first-day” outfit was chosen well in advance. Later, as a teacher, I was also eager to start the new school year. I loved organizing my classroom, and having my supplies and lesson plans all set. Back-to-school seems the perfect time for renewal after the looseness of summertime.

OFHS

Old Forge High School

But let’s be real. I am not that naive to believe that it will be easy for me to make the transition back to full-time work, while still juggling my sewing business, and meeting the needs of my family. Believe it or not, I am NOT that great at multi-tasking. Humorously, this defies all that I have read about my gender. And I AM a perfectionist. So it takes me a long time to complete tasks. This is probably not an ideal personality combination for a busy single momma!

petunia

Love this motivational quote!

Author: Jim Rohn. He was the mentor of life coach Tony Robbins and one of the biggest influences in personal development history. He lived from 1930-2009 and was an American entrepreneur, motivational speaker and author.

How it speaks to me: You have to have an action plan, and make the time in your day “behave” the way you want/need it to. Otherwise, time gets away from you quickly, and productivity (if not sanity) will be lost.

Well, I plan to run my day, Jim.

Here’s how:

  1. Advance meal planning including batch cooking, freezer cooking, and meals in the Crockpot. Also, prepping fruits and veggies for recipes and snacks.
  2. Stocking up on handy, easy snacks and lunch ideas for my babes and myself. This will lessen the bewilderment of what to pack for lunches in the early morning hours. I am designating a spot in the kitchen, maybe a drawer or basket, to place grab-n-go type snacks.
  3. Using a big calendar! I have a giant desk calendar that needs to go up on the wall, probably in the kitchen, so I can see all our schedules in one place.
  4. Setting specific blocks of time for blogging and sewing. I tend to work more productively under time constraints, anyway. I am counting on less stress also if I schedule blocks of time for work at home.
  5. Implementing a home management routine that my kids and I can follow. I do have a home management binder that I follow, more or less. Lately it has been less. It is loosely based on Fly Lady, and other ideas I found online. I *love* the concept. Now to act on it!

These are my survival ideas for the start of the school  year, and some of the ways I can make my time “behave.”  They are certainly not new ideas. But I’m hoping that writing them publicly will help me be more accountable on the follow through.

What time management and scheduling hacks work for you? Leave a comment in the box below. I would love to know how you manage your busy days! ❤

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