Life is busy. And when you run your own business, its even busier! There are a number of tips and tools out there to help keep your brain from exploding and helping you stay on top of things. As a business owner, teacher and mom, here are some things I do to help keep me sane – they work…. most of the time
Menu planning – there is nothing worse than coming home at the end of the day, or having hungry kids sitting in front of you, and you with no idea what you are making them. For myself, I have a few things I do to keep organized and to keep the kids from eating off their left arms. For breakfasts, I have a list of about 8 different options on my fridge, and in the mornings I offer choices of 3 of them to the kids. For lunch, I try and do a rotation. Soup, sandwiches, “snacky lunch”, hotdogs and smiley faces, leftovers (if there are any). I find dinner the most difficult, so I do the most planning for that. On a Sunday evening, I sit down with a few of my favourite cookbooks and choose 5 or 6 meals for the week. I write down what I am planning on my calendar in my kitchen, then create my list from those meals. I plan the protein, the carb and the veggie for each meal so there is no guess work when it comes time to cook. I only plan 5 or 6 meals per week because I find most weeks something comes up that we end up eating elsewhere, or having left overs.
The dreaded To Do list – I am a list maker. With all the different hats I wear, I find it is necessary to keep lists so I can keep all I need to do straight in my head. I have different categories of lists: Dayhome Registry, Kids, Home, Work. Then, under each of those categories, I break it down into timeframes: What do I need to do today? this week? this month? this season?. I have an android phone, and it comes with a great task organizer complete with due dates, recurring “to dos” etc. There is also a great i-App called Trello. It allows you to share your lists and “to dos” with others via email.
Paper organization – We are supposed to be moving towards a “paperless” society, but somehow, the papers keep piling up!!! I have a table/bench in my kitchen where I have baskets for my different papers. As papers come in, either for home, the kids or the business, I pop them into their appropriate baskets. Then, when I have a minute (or an hour), I tackle one of the baskets and deal with the papers. I have added “paper organization” to my recurring to-do list, so my phone reminds me to get it done!
Filing – once I pull out the papers from their baskets, they need a home to go to. I have a three drawer filing cabinet, each one labeled appropriately (Home, Business, Teaching Work) For the business side of things, have 12 different file folders, one for each month, and then file expenses (craft supplies, groceries, cleaning supplies, diapers, etc), statements, and utility bills by month. If you buy business cards and take a client out for lunch in May, put it in the May folder. At the end of the year, all your receipts are neatly organized for doing taxes and/or giving to your accountant.
This all helps me keep my brain and business organized. Next week I’m going to get into organizing “stuff”. I find that the neater my house is, the easier it is for my kids to find their toys, games and crafts.
Pink Partner sponsored post from Faye Holt, owner of Dayhome Registry. Dayhome Registry provides an efficient way to connect dayhomes and parents. Registered dayhomes manage their own content on their page; to advertise the best they offer. We provide tools to keep in touch with families and other dayhomes. For parents, we offer a completely searchable site by address, postal code and/or availability.