As a busy full-time working Mom, it is always a challenge to stay on top of everything.
Throw in the fact that I have always had the bad habit of procrastinating and you have a recipe for chaos!
The only way I find myself staying organized and on top of everything life throws my way is to use lists and reminders!
I have tried writing everything down, using whiteboards, desk calendars, you name it! Nothing worked for me. In this era of technology and always being on our phones, I quickly realized that was the way to go.
Apps have come such a long way in being able to keep us organized and productive, the only challenge was finding the right one! I went through what seemed like a million that just weren’t doing the trick until I tried Wunderlist!
Here is how I personally use the app to stay organized:
1). General categories
To-Do for everything I need to get done
Groceries for lists of groceries we need to pick up (this is so helpful because I am always forgetting what we ran out of when I’m at the store. Also, you can collaborate lists with other people so when your husband is at the store he can access the list as well!)
Things to buy for non-grocery items we need or want
Gifts for staying on top of what to buy who and when
Recipes for go-to favorites we need all the time or new recipes I want to try out
Livnspired for staying organized with my blog
2). Sub-categories (To-Do)
At home tasks for any specific tasks that can be done from home. I make time to get things done, and I use the sub-category labeled wherever I am at the time.
Errands to run for anything that requires leaving the house. As a busy mom, leaving the house is always a big fiasco. Sometimes I’ll be out running a few errands and completely forget to go somewhere. Having a list of everywhere I need to go makes it easy to get everything done while I’m out and about.
Calls to make for staying on top of any calls I need to take care of. These days, the majority of tasks are handled online. However, certain service requests or disputes, etc. need to be handled over the phone. I also include business hours in case they are closed at the time I am able to call. Sometimes different time zones make it difficult to get ahold of somebody and if I don’t set a reminder I will never remember to call back!
Registrations/Orders for any orders to follow-up on or registrations that need to be renewed.
3). Sub-categories (everything else)
Specific grocery stores for lists specific to each store we frequently go to. We use Costco, Safeway and Trader Joe’s. Some items we can get anywhere, but a lot of items we prefer from certain stores. This helps us remember what we need from each store specifically.
Holidays for staying on top of buying gifts before it’s the last minute and we have to scramble for a gift. I use Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, etc.
Sub-Categories for things to buy are basically for keeping track of wishlist items. Nothing super important, but I do find myself hearing about new skincare or beauty product that I want to try so I will add that to my makeup or skincare sub-category. I also have one for household items such as furniture or home decor items I am interested in.
Tasks for the specific items or tasks that need to be completed. These are basically check-lists of everything for that sub-category. Each individual task can be clicked on for further customization, which is very useful. This is where I like to add side notes for the task, add a link for a recipe or online item I want to purchase, or include a price for a wish list item or gift, create a sub-task or attach a file.
Another really helpful tip in regards to my list of people to buy gifts for is to add gift ideas for them in the notes portion of their task throughout the year when ideas pop up. This way, when it’s time to buy their gift I can look over all the notes I’ve made and use those ideas to make gift-giving a breeze!
Reminders for setting up either one time or recurring reminders. Certain things that have deadlines require one time reminders. Whereas things such as birthday gifts or other holiday reminders require a yearly recurring reminder. I also use reminders for things like my car registration, nursing license renewal, or even subscriptions that auto-renew yearly. Reminders give me a heads up when the payment will be taken out of my account.
As you can see from the lengthy description of how I use this app to stay organized, the possibilities are endless! This may seem a little over the top to some, but as a natural-born procrastinator who lives a very busy life, this is completely necessary. I hope this helps anyone out there struggling to stay organized!
Comment below with your tips and tricks for staying organized!!!
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You’ve had the opportunity to bond with your precious baby and now it is back to reality.
This can be a very difficult and emotional time. Leaving your newborn for an extended period of time early on can be extremely stressful.
Let me warn you that going back to work after maternity leave will NOT be easy. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming!
Here are my top tips to help the transition of going back to work after maternity leave go as smooth as possible:
BUILD YOUR MILK SUPPLY
This is HUGE (if you’re breastfeeding). I had an abundant supply straight from the get-go, so I wasn’t worried about it initially.
My milk supply was great, I pumped when I felt like it and had a decent supply in the freezer. I figured I didn’t need a ton saved up because I would always be adding to my supply every day.
Well, for one…returning to work only adds to your lack of sleep, and even if you are lucky enough to have a baby that issleeping through the night, it is really difficult to force yourself to wake up in the middle of the night to pump.
Also, if you tend to be constantly busy at your job as I am, it will be hard to find time to pump enough during your shift.
All of this combined caused my milk supply to significantly drop. I found myself scrambling for stored milk to give whoever was watching Olivia while I was at work. I felt so much pressure to feed her every moment I could and pump enough milk in between.
Had I focused on building a larger supply during my time off, I would have had less pressure to squeeze out every drop down the road.
If this happens to you, I recommend reading my post onhow I increased my milk supplyand got things back on track going back to work after maternity leave.
DEVELOP A ROUTINE
Developing a good routine with your baby will make it easier on him/her, and whoever is babysitting as well.
Have a feeding/nap schedule in place that your baby is used to. You don’t want to pass off a fussy baby that hasn’t napped, has a sporadic feeding schedule and leave it up to your babysitter to figure out what to do.
If you have a good routine, your baby will adjust to a new environment much more seamlessly if that same routine is continued.
Also, your sitter will greatly appreciate the structure.
When packing the diaper bag, always remember to include multiple changes of clothes!
I always included at least two outfits and a sleeper. Also, burp cloths, toys, wipes, diapers, diaper cream, etc.
We’re lucky enough to have my parents available to watch her when my husband and I are not, so they always had their own supply of diapers and wipes and toys.
Be prepared and always have back-ups in the diaper bag just in case!
This is something that might easily get overlooked at first.
But I guarantee the first time your boobs leak at work and completely soak through your top, you will never forget again. (Talk about embarrassing!)
This is almost a joke because let’s be honest…who is really sleeping at this point?!
While I was on maternity leave I was feeding every two hours and obviously not getting consistent sleep. However, I would sleep for short periods of time throughout the day when possible.
After returning to work and not being able to nap during the day, the lack of sleep can really build up.
My first couple of weeks back were brutal. I remember walking around like a zombie, having bloodshot eyes and a headache that never went away. It came to the point where my husband had to take over. I had to skip my pumping schedule and sleep for about 12 hours straight.
It was AMAZING but not feeding my baby and not pumping wasn’t ideal.
I became more disciplined with my sleeping habits, accepted the help from my husband and got back on track. Yes, I was still somewhat sleep-deprived, but I was functional.
Avoid getting to that point because being over-exhausted is not good for your health or your milk supply.
The last thing you need is to add getting sick and losing your milk supply to the list.
I highly recommend taking a class on the subject so that you are prepared, have all of the information to make the best decisions for you and your baby, avoid any unnecessary obstacles, and have the tools to overcome any struggles you are faced with.
But what new or expecting mom has the time or energy to go to a class?!
That is why online courses are SO convenient! Finish at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home!
Milkologyhas my favorite courses, created by a certified lactation consultant and filled with a TON of helpful information covering every single topic, free printables at the end of the course, and is SUPER affordable!