I would bet quite a bit of money that working mums with school-aged kids have more on their minds than anyone else!
Between work and school ‘admin’ my brain is fried at the moment. I’ve got several projects on the go at work – basically full-time work in part-time hours. Then I also have a 6-year-old at school, with forms coming home every day for various school trips, events, dress-up days and god knows what else. Some days I can’t remember what work emails I’ve already sent out or what forms I’ve signed for school. I haven’t yet sent her to school in uniform on a mufti day, though I have forgotten homework on more than one occasion this term.
And then, of course, there’s the ‘home admin’ of paying bills, remembering appointments and making sure everyone gets to where they’re supposed to be.
So if you have a million things to remember, and whether you are a parent or not, take a look at these tips on how to be organised when you have lots on your mind…
Have a morning routine
There’s nothing worse than a stressful start to your day when you’re running late and then you turn up at school having forgotten PE kits or forms. You then end up at work completely frazzled which doesn’t make for a productive morning. Getting things done the night before really helps, check out my other tips for making mornings easier to help your day get off to a good start.
I swear by lists, mostly because if I don’t write something down I’ll forget it. I have to-do lists in my notebook at work and I also use Trello for online to-do lists for both work and personal reminders. These are handy because you can access them whether you’re working from home, in the office, or sat in the car waiting for the kids to come out of school. Here’s a list of some other apps to help keep you organised so that you can remember everything you need to do.
Write Everything Down
As well as to-do lists I write down notes for all sorts of things, anything from shopping lists to things I need to askt he teacher at the school pick-up. I figure the more that I put down on paper (or on my phone) the fewer things I have whizzing around my brain. Or fewer things I’ll forget! Write them in a notebook, on a calendar, in your phone, whatever is easiest for you to stop you from forgetting important things.
I’m always setting reminders on my phone for things I need to do, especially when I’m at work and remember something I need to sort when I get home such as getting football kits or projects ready. Sometimes I stick notes to the fridge before I go to bed if there’s something I need to do in the morning, and at work my Outlook calendar is full of reminders that pop up when needed. I often set the reminders for the day before the thing is actually due to make absolutely sure I don’t forget.
Use “Mum Hacks”!
Time is in very short supply when you’re a mum and there are so many hacks to save time on everything from housework to grocery shopping to school bake sales. If you haven’t already seen it, have a read through my working mum hacks for some ideas on how you can save lots of time and get yourself better organised.
Set a date for admin
If it’s mountains of school paperwork you need to keep up with, maybe setting a night every week to go through it all would help. I registered for the online payments app our school offered as it’s so much easier to transfer any money online rather than scrambling around for change to send in. You could also sort household bills at the same time to make sure you keep on top of them.
Don’t put things off
The more things you put off until later, the more you’ll have on your mind. Especially when they’re things you don’t really want to do as I always find these are the things that you think about the most. Especially things like the lovely “home learning” projects the school like to dish out, or the dressing up costumes you need to make. Just get them done, out of the way, and you don’t have to give them any more thought.
How do you cope with remembering everything that needs to get done? Do you have a handy trick up your sleeve that you want to share with other mums? If so drop it in the comments below, I’d love to hear your tips on being an organised mum!