The Adventure Starts Here: 5 Tips to Make Your Busy Week a Success | #KeepingMomsCool

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

5 Tips to Make Your Busy Week a Success | #KeepingMomsCool

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We are almost a week into school.  With that comes more of a routine and more things to get done on a daily basis.  While I'm fortunate to be able to be home with Noah and get a lot of stuff done during the day, my days can get pretty busy.  As Noah gets older, he has more and more activities that I need to keep track of.  Coordinating all of our schedules, running errands, and making sure the house runs smoothly can get crazy without a plan.  Here are 5 tips on how I make even my busiest weeks a success...

Kidfresh Frozen Meals... currently 40% off using the Cartwheel app at Target

1.  Utilize a calendar and write everything down

To manage Noah's activities, my appointments, and Chris' work schedule, if I didn't write everything down, I'm positive I would forget at least 60% of our obligations.  I personally like to keep a calendar whiteboard right off the kitchen where I write in our family plans so we know not to double book our weekends.  In addition to that, I am a firm believer in adding EVERYTHING to the Calendar app that came with my iPhone.  I really appreciate that it automatically syncs with the calendar on my computer, so when I want to view my schedule in a larger format, I can easily do so on my laptop.  While I love keeping everything on my phone, I have found that people are pretty firm in whether they prefer a paper calendar or a digital one.  And while I prefer the digital format, if you love having a physical paper planner, go with it.  Just make sure to use it and bring it with you everywhere.  There's no point having a calendar if you can't add to it and view it when you actually need it!  

As for my calendar app... I have recurring events like Noah's school and swim class, birthdays, and even my cleaning schedule (like washing the sheets every Monday).  Anytime I schedule an appointment, I immediately add it to the calendar.  I also use it to plan out my blog posts and meal planning (more on that next).  I even add random tasks to it if I'm really busy and absolutely need to get something done... that way I make sure I don't schedule something else during that time.  

The best part of seeing EVERYTHING scheduled out on my calendar, is that I know what I can get done and what needs to be moved to another day.  I sometimes stress out that I won't be able to get everything done, but when I see it all laid out, it eases my mind a bit.

2. Meal plan 

Speaking of meal planning... Does it ever feel like all you do is make food, eat it, and clean it up? It's kind of like laundry, no matter what, there's always another meal (or load of laundry) to make. While I am often tempted to just get take out, I find that I am more apt to eat a healthy meal at home if I plan ahead. And while I love finding new recipes to make for family dinners, there are many weeknights where my husband works late. And I don't know about you, but finding the motivation to make a homemade meal for just Noah and myself is really hard. Especially since Noah is a fairly picky eater. So when meal planning for the week, I like to schedule a mix of homemade recipes with some quick and easy meals. My most recent favorite are the Kidfresh frozen meals I found on my most recent trip to Target. I loved that they offered a bunch of Noah's favorite foods but that they had up to ½ cup of hidden veggies in every Kidfresh meal. I really appreciate finding foods for Noah that have short and clean ingredient lists. Kidfresh meals are made with no artificial flavors or ingredients, no synthetic colors or flavors and non-GMO ingredients!

I picked up these during my last trip to Target:
Kidfresh Super Duper Chicken Nuggets
Kidfresh Muy Cheesy Quesadillas
Kidfresh Mighty Meaty Chicken Meatballs
Kidfresh Easy Cheesy Ravioli

I sometimes worry that frozen meals won't be the healthiest option for Noah. But that's not the case with Kidfresh... all meals are fresh frozen as soon as they are prepared which means Noah is getting the maximum nutrition. They are also moderate in sodium, fat, and saturated fat, and contain 0g trans-fat and less than 400 calories.

Finding quick meals that Noah also loves makes mealtime so much less stressful!

You can find Kidfresh Frozen Meals and Snacks in Target's frozen section... specifically in the Kid Faves freezer. While Kidfresh frozen meals are already very reasonably priced (they range from $2.99 to $3.99), Cartwheel is currently offering a limited trial offer... 40% OFF any Kidfresh Meal (running from: 9/11 - 9/24).

3.  Add buffers

When planning out my day, I almost always assume things will take longer than it should.   This way, if an appointment runs late or I hit traffic, it doesn't necessarily mean I will throw off the rest of my day.  I have learned that there are days that Noah moves quickly.  He gets ready for school without much nagging, he moves quickly, and is generally happy to complete the task at hand.  But there are many days where he just seems to move a little more slowly.  Maybe he wants to play a little longer rather than get ready, or he is interested in every little thing we walk by, wanting to stop and ask a million questions.  By having these extra buffers, I find that I'm a more patient mom who can take the time to satisfy his curiosity. Not worrying that we are always going to be late definitely helps keep my stress down.  

4.  Make lists

In addition to my very detailed calendar, I love to make a lot of lists.  A running to-do list, shopping lists, blogging ideas, plans for future events (like Noah's birthday), and even cute things Noah says.   I personally use the Notes app on my phone a lot!  Anytime I think of something I need to do or an idea comes to my head, I immediately create a note.  My philosophy is that I always have my phone on me, so it's the easiest way to keep all my ideas and lists in one place so I can access it anytime I need to.  I also find that I usually remember things when I'm not at home, like when I'm waiting to see the doctor.  

But I love pretty things, and am often tempted to the pretty notebooks and notepads.  So I also have a few of those in my office and kitchen so I can jot down lists and ideas if the mood strikes.  

5.  Go to bed early

While I'm sure all moms could think of a million things that they could get done once the kids are asleep, it's easy to lose track of time and stay up way too late.  I remember when Noah was a baby (and even when older), he would wake up multiple times a night.  So while I would have loved to spend my evenings tackling my to-do list, I knew that I should be getting sleep while I could since chances were I'd be waking up multiple times a night with him.  And even though he's a better sleeper now, Noah is a pretty typical kid and it's rare for him to sleep past 7 am.  If I stay up too late, I find I have a very hard waking up in a good mood and tend to drag all day long.  Instead, I make it a goal to get to bed before 11 pm every night and leave my to-do list for the next day.  A well rested mom equals a happier mom!

How do you make your busy weeks successful?

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  1. Yes! We are seriously so much alike. Those are great tips and I do all of them. We've never tried KidFresh, but will have to look into them.

  2. Love your tips! And your Target had WAY more than ours did!

  3. Love the ideas! I am going to check out the frozen meals in Target tomorrow when I go! :) Also we use the google calendar on our phones so that it connects with all devices (iPad, laptops or even husband's phone that is not apple). This way he knows the schedule and I don't have to tell him anything. All devices get updated immediately and then he knows where we are before we are there! :)

  4. How is school and the new routine going? I really need to try these kidfresh meals. I hope my picky little guy likes them! They look yummy! Great tips, friend!

  5. Great tips! I have to work on getting to bed earlier! #client

  6. Great tips - I know meal planning makes a WORLD of a difference in my life. I love lists, so many lists!! Plus I'm always one for going to bed early. :)

  7. We've had these meals a time or two when I make something that I know Connor won't eat. They are the best!

  8. Solid advice Megan, especially going to bed early. When I stay up to late I tend to waste time so going to bed is just smarter for me. These look super handy to have around.

  9. I am crazy with my calendar, my husband thinks I'm crazy but it's my lifeline!


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