A common complaint of mom’s—especially with children under the age of five—is not having enough hours in the day and always feeling rushed.

We impose expectations on ourselves that can ultimately drive us batty. Therefore, we need to take the proverbial bull by the horns, simplify and organize to gain control over our time and schedule. A shift in behavior and routine can help you gain hold of your schedule and feel accomplished.

Start by carving out time on Sunday to get ready for the week: Plan meals; grocery shop; sort, wash/dry, fold and put away laundry; and review your schedule. With a little preparation and organization, you can have other moms wondering how you do it with such ease.

Here are some time-saving tips to help you maximize your time and look like a mom on the ball!

  Prepare the night before
Especially if you’re a working mom, you’ll want to have the diaper bag replenished, baby bottles already made, your clothes and your child’s picked out, and keys, phone and purse by the door. Doing so can result in an extra 15 minutes of shut-eye in the morning.

  Review your weekly schedule
Reviewing your weekly schedule on a Sunday night can have a profound effect on how your week shakes out. Ideally, you’ll want to have a calendar that shows a 7-day view. Group activities together, where possible, to save you time. For example, all drive-through errands or errands in the same part of town. The extra time spent upfront, can and will save you time during the week. Don’t over schedule yourself. Be realistic. Better to add to a daily To Do list than having to move tasks to the next day.

  Meal Plan for the week
There’s nothing worse than arriving home after a busy day, planning to make a particular dish and you’ve forgotten to pick up an ingredient at the store. By determining what you will eat during the week, you can make a list, shop for groceries on the weekend, and know what you need to take out of the freezer in the morning for that evening’s meal. Google online meal planning sites for shopping lists and ways to maximize your time by doubling ingredients for extra meals.

  Charge Your Chargeables
For most of us in today’s world, our cell phone is our lifeline. Be sure it’s always charged by using a convenient electronics holder that can also hold your phone, mp3 player, digital camera and more. Make it a habit to plug-in every evening before bedtime.

  Cut clutter
Did you know that it takes 40% less time to clean if there’s little to no clutter? Contain papers, gadgets, and other items so you can easily pick up the container, spray some cleaner and wipe down the surface. You’ll be done in no time! You can also teach little ones as young as four to wipe down low surfaces such as coffee table and end tables. Just remember, reduce and/or eliminate the clutter to make it easier for everyone.

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