Our lives have changed a lot in the last 4 months. We moved in with my parents, now only have one car, I went back to work, and of course we have a cute baby boy. Downsizing to one car and going back to work has created the most challenges so far. We had to completely change our schedules around once I started working in January which was tough on a new baby who’s schedule isn’t quite as flexible. Now that I’ve been back to work for a month we are finally in a good rhythm that works for all of us but we still have the occasional hiccup. I haven’t quite perfected my blogging schedule yet or making time for friends and date nights.
If you read my recent post on my controlling personality than you know that being unorganized is not my thing. You should also know that one of my biggest fears of starting a family was neglecting our relationship as husband and wife. I wanted to make sure we would still make time for each even if it was just 5 minutes every day! I also didn’t want to be that family that never saw their friends anymore or became couch potatoes. Yes, newborns are hard but not impossible to work with. I knew what I wanted I just needed to figure out how to do it all.
I used to teach classes on time management and believe it is one of the most important qualities to have as a person. People often feel that having a loaded work schedule means they are managing their time when in fact, they probably don’t. In order to manage your time wisely you need to be able to prioritize. Decide what needs to be done soon, what can be put off later, and what you are avoiding. Usually it’s the things we are avoiding that need to be done first!
Saying “no” can have a huge impact on your time management skills. Sometimes you even have to say “no” to yourself! For me, I felt that I had to say yes to everything that came my way after Mattix was born. I didn’t want to seem weak or admit that I couldn’t balance everything like I could before. I got overwhelmed so quickly and often couldn’t meet expectations. It’s important to remember that no one will judge me if I say I can’t handle something and I am happier.
In order to have good relationships with others you have to have a good relationship with yourself. There were so many nights that I wanted nothing more than to shower and eat some ice cream but instead I found other tasks to do that seemed more productive. However, I noticed I would get more irritable and stressed when I did so. Yes, I was productive but I really just wanted to shower! Because I was putting myself on the back burner I was resentful which made me want to be less productive. Taking a few moments to care for myself puts me in a better mood which gives me more clarity to prioritize!
I know before I mentioned putting things off helps you time manage better, and cleaning is often one of those things, but sometimes you need to clean. Personally I can’t focus if I am in a messy room – it seriously drives me insane. It has taken me way too long to write this post because my room is a disaster. In order to have a clear mind you need to create a clear mindset. Working in a messy room or a crowded coffee shop is distracting! The last thing we need are distractions to keep us from getting stuff done. Take a few minutes to tidy up, get some productive music going, and get in the zone!
A planner, a check list, and a JORD wood watch. I call these my accountability tools because without them I would probably lose my mind! Having a good planner is essential for good time management. Writing down everything you have going on helps clear up space in your head and makes it easier to remember. Having a shared family planner is also great because we can refer back to it for doctors appointments or family events. It’s smart to separate your daily planner from your family one so it seems more manageable. Plus you don’t need to stress yourself and others out by looking at a bunch of irrelevant tasks. And if you are really wanting to get organized use highlighters to color coordinate events. I have been doing it for years and love it! It’s so nice to look a week ahead and see something blue is coming up. Blue means there is a special event so I need to start preparing for it.
If you are looking for some satisfaction and validation during all of the madness of life, start a check list. A real check list, not a mental one. There is nothing better than being able to check a task off your to-do list! Something so simple yet so accomplishing. Starting a check list helps you prioritize your duties, keep you organized, and can help you feel optimistic. I create a daily list in my planner with realistic tasks and it’s the best feeling when I can check them all off by the end of the day!
Of course you can’t manage your time wisely without a trusty watch! I know what you are thinking “I have a phone Chandler” but I’m telling you it’s not the same. Getting my husband his own JORD wood watch was a game changer. Dakota is a very simply guy. He would have a flip phone if he could and I am not exaggerating! He also only has Facebook…I know he’s crazy. I wanted him to know Mattix’s schedule and be able to maintain it if I wasn’t home and this watch was the perfect solution.
Since getting his JORD watch he has been so much better at keeping track of the time and knowing our schedule. He also loves the design and is excited to wear his watch which also means he loves to look at the time! The wood gives the watch a unique look so he can dress it up or wear it daily. He also loves how light the watch is on his wrist! Also, having a watch is super helpful when we are trying to put our little guy down because he loves the phone. Instead of checking our phones to see how much time has passed we can look at our watches and not distract our boy from his much needed naps.
We love our watches so much that we teamed up JORD to give away $100 credit towards their shop! To enter simply fill out the form below and follow me (@lifeasalarsen) on Instagram – simple as that. Giveaway closes February 5th at 11:59pm. It’s a great gift for new parent’s or a perfect Valentine’s day gift!