As mothers, we barely have time left to do anything else after chasing our overactive toddlers – let alone manage work deadlines, cook, wash, clean and keep ourselves looking fresh. How do we juggle all of life’s demands while keeping our sanity? Plenty of prioritising, effective time management and some smart time savers and tricks! Here are some of our favourites:
In the Kitchen
- Freeze it. The humble ice cube tray can be used to freeze baby food, fruit purees, pre-made pasta sauces, stock and pesto. Soups can be made in large batches and stored in silicone muffin or cupcake moulds in the freezer too. Simply yank a few out and melt when needed.
- Invest in glass food storage containers. Chop all your vegetables, fruits and herbs for the week’s meals and store them in glass containers so you can see everything in a snap. Glass is also safer for microwave-heating any leftovers.
- Consider a hand-held blender. These can be immersed directly into a bowl or pot and saves time transferring from a traditional food processor into another bowl, which also means less time washing up.
- Stock up on child friendly snacks. Keep graham crackers and chopped dried fruits in containers. Soak apple slices in salt water or some lemon juice and then store them in the fridge.
Clean and Organised
- Use disinfecting wipes. Disposable wipes are useful for quick cleanups in the kitchen and around the house. Keep a mix of disinfecting and non-alcoholic baby wipes handy at different corners of the house.
- Assemble your child’s outfits in drawers. Fold clothes and then put them away in the drawers as a full set. That way, you can quickly grab an outfit out without wasting time searching for matching pieces.
- Start a box for bills and letters. Instead of letting them pile up on tables and countertops, put all bills into one box and all other need-to-respond-to letters in another. Anything that doesn’t go into either box should be filed or thrown. Don’t have a filing system? Start one now!
- Avoid toddler clutter. Organise your child’s belongings and toys into stackable boxes and label them with colourful picture labels if your child cannot read yet. Put art supplies or homework items like pens, pencils, erasers and rulers into easy to find and store boxes.
- Store your child’s outgrown clothes. Pack them away in bags and label them according to age so you can easily give them away to friends.
- Plan your outfit the night before. Minimise the amount of decisions you have to make in the morning and you’ll find yourself in a better state of mind to start the work day in the office.
- Keep a calendar and make to-do lists. If you have a smartphone, key in important dates and appointments and set event alarms for them. Otherwise, use a traditional desk organiser. There are also many list making apps out there, but post-it notes work just as well for writing out your daily tasks.
- Get an air purifier. Not only do they improve air quality by removing allergens and pollutants, they have been shown to improve productivity at work too.
- Focus with headphones. One of the most distracting things in the office is noise. Headphones can help you cancel out the noise you don’t want to hear by replacing it with sounds you like to hear. Try classical music, which some studies claim helps to enhance productivity.
- Embrace multi-tasking bases. Make BB creams or tinted moisturisers your go-to make-up base. These all-in-one stars often combine sun protection, skincare benefits and coverage to give you a natural radiant glow in a flash.
- Lip and cheek multitaskers. Combo sticks come with creamy colours that can be used on both cheeks and lips. Dual-purpose lip and cheek tints do the same job by ‘staining’ with a wash of colour.
- Carry a bold lipstick and compact in your purse. The only two essentials you need in your work bag are a compact powder for quick touch-ups and a flattering lip colour to brighten your look before that impromptu client meeting or after-work-drinks session.
- Invest in easy-to-match and easy-to-care. Neutrals and basics in easy-to-care fabrics make life less of a hassle. Choose cotton knit, nylon, lycra and polyester stretch blends. A few classic accessories and bold pieces are all you need to finish your ensemble. Limit changing your handbags to once every two weeks or monthly to avoid having to pack and repack your bag’s contents.
- Squeeze in some fitness. Work in some exercise into daily tasks by taking the stairs up to your apartment if you live on a low floor, or walking to the train station instead of busing. Make time for some easy home exercise routines for 10 minutes each day, such as chair dips, squats and crunches.
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