Time Management 101

Beat Back-To-School Stress with These Time-Saving Tips

By Jennifer Green, Editor Macaroni Kid of Pittsburgh LLC September 9, 2015
Deadlines. Homework. Bus schedules. After school activities. Dinner.

And just like that, the new school year is upon us! Although we can't give you more hours in the day to get (we wish we could!), we have found some tips to help you keep your sanity as you navigate your seemingly endless to-do list. 

  • Plan meals ahead- Spend some time on the weekend planning the meals for the following week. Cook ahead of time whenever possible to avoid the frantic last minute meal prep that always seems to happen when you're running late, one of your kids refuses to get dressed and the dog really needs to go outside. And when you cook, double or triple a recipe so you can freeze the extras. 

  • Take care of small details- Do as much as you can the night before. Pick out outfits, bathe the kids, review and sign anything your kids may need for the following day. 

  • Dedicate space- Designate an area of the house (preferably near the door) where your kids can put their backpacks and anything else they need for school. You might consider putting your purse and keys in the same area. This will help you avoid the last minute hunt for stuff. You can get creative with the space you decide to designate- use hooks or shelving, whatever works best in your home. 

  • Get up earlier- This is tough, but if you find yourself consistently running late and it's stressing you out in a big way, try giving yourself an edge by setting the alarm to go off 15 minutes earlier than usual. You might be surprised by how much of a difference just 15 minutes can make! 

  • Use your downtime- Have a few unscheduled minutes? Use it to catch up on the things you've been putting off like mailing a greeting card, returning phone calls, or paying bills.

  • Delegate- Everyone gets a job. Dole out responsibilities according to age and find ways to make it fun. Invent a game out of sorting laundry or make stamp-licking a competition. 

  • Get organized- Does your current filing system involve using every available nook and cranny? Invest in a filing cabinet, make folders for everything (even for your kids and pets). If you're not big into keeping paper files, go digital. Use spreadsheets or look for organization software to help you manage all your digital information.

  • Breathe- Though this one seems easy enough, but it can be the hardest thing to remember when life completely overwhelms you. Taking deep, slow breaths lowers your blood pressure and helps bring your focus back to the present.