Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom

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Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom

I’m a firm believer that being a working mom does not make you any less of an employee or a mom. However, it does take a skill set ripe with organization and efficiency and is not for the faint of heart.  As a working mom, I have a super full week but still manage to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep most nights and do things I enjoy. Here are the steps I take for organizing my week to do it all.  Make sure you are doing these things when organizing your week.

If you want more working mom tips, check out this post!

1. Plan Your Meals

As a busy mom, the last thing you want is to be trying to figure out meals.  Designate a couple hours one day a week to plan what the entire family is going to eat for each meal and snacks for the next week and go to the store.  When you get home, prepare what you can ahead of time.  Put your ingredients for crockpot meals into gallon freezer bags so you can just thaw and dump. Wash and cut fruits and veggies for snacks. Prepack bulk snacks into single serving bags. Pre-make lunch sandwiches, just leaving off the condiments.  These things make many of your meals grab and go.  By doing it all at once, it also reduces your dishes.  Instead of dirtying a knife and cutting board every morning when preparing lunches, you only dirty one on your meal-planning day.

For how to meal plan, check out this post.  If you want to meal plan for baby, grab my meal planner for baby here.

2. Have a Weekly Family Planning Time

If your family is anything like mine, you have a million things going on each week with people going every which way.  Take time (I think it works well when meal planning) to have a quick family meeting. Discuss and write down all events going on during the week.  Include who needs to be where and when and how they are getting there.  You can then take this into consideration when planning meals.  By planning the week as a family, you decrease the number of forgotten events and can mentally prepare for what to expect.

3. Cut Down on Your Store Trips

By planning your meals and activities for the entire week, you can make a shopping list that really covers everything that is needed.  If you only go to the store once during the week versus 3 times, you will save a ton of time. 


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4. Make To-Do Lists with Priorities

If you want to get enough sleep, you don’t have time to lay awake thinking of everything you need to do tomorrow.  I use the Wanderlist app to keep track of what I need to do which allows me to have lists for work, my blog, stuff at home and a shopping list.  I then share all relevant lists with my husband, so he can view and add/delete things from the lists.  Despite this, I still really like a hard copy planner, but having an app for my to-do lists means that I have access to it whenever I have my cell phone handy.  That way I can add things as soon as I think of them (mom-brain is real!).  Within these lists I prioritize.  I order things in which I plan to do them(the app lets me rearrange).  I take 5 to10 minutes on Sundays (our meal/family planning day) to determine what must get done during the upcoming week and what extra things I plan to accomplish in my free time.  Because we have just done our family planning, I have a decent idea of how much time I will have to work on various things.  At the end of each day during the week, I spend about 5 minutes planning what I’m going to accomplish the next day.  If I have a plan in place, I can go to sleep feeling ready for the next day and hit the ground running in the morning (after coffee). 

5. Write Down Due Dates and Commitments in Lots of Places

I love my paper planner, but I’m not looking at it every second.  A cell phone calendar can provide helpful reminders, but if technology fails for some reason, you are out of luck.  Never rely on just one place to write down everything.  Write things lots of places.  I put things in my cell-phone and outlook calendars, my paper calendar and on my whiteboard calendar on my office wall.  This way I am sure to see where I need to be and when so that nothing gets lost in the shuffle.


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6. Identify Activities Likely to Have Downtime and Put that Time to Work

You can’t add any more hours to the day, but you can make the most of everyone.  Think about things you will be doing that will have downtime. Do you sit in traffic during your commute?  Use that time to listen to an audio version of the book you need to read for a book club or catch up on the news through Podcasts/radio.  Do you drive your son to and from practice every day?  Have a whiteboard and dry-erase markers in the car for your son and use the time to quiz him on his spelling words or multiplication tables.  Use your lunch break to run errands or go fora walk. You get the idea – now get creative on how you can use the time that otherwise would be wasted on activities you don’t care about. 

7. Work Efficiently

This is ideally a byproduct of the above tips.  If you have a plan for your day and make a habit of identifying and utilizing your downtime, you should be able to work more efficiently.  However, it’s so important, so I wanted to give it its own point.  You need to have the habit to maximize your efficiency.  Cut down on your social trips to the water cooler or your social media time in favor of getting more done.  This may seem like a sacrifice if you enjoy those breaks.  However, you can look at it as working efficiently now, so you can do what you want later instead of worrying about what you didn’t get done. 

If you are just getting ready to head back to work after maternity leave, make sure to grab the tips in this post.

8. Do Not Welcome Boredom

I get a lot of different projects done at work and am consistently product.  However, I don’t put in a lot of extra time outside of work. Instead, I fill downtime with something I need to do.  If I have 10 minutes between meetings, I’ll spend it answering emails or brainstorming a project.

9. Determine How You Are Spending Your Time

If you are still feeling like you don’t have nearly enough time or find that time keeps getting away from you, take a look at what you are filling the time with.  Often the culprit is social media.  The new iPhone update tracks your phone usage by categories, so if you regularly use social media on your phone versus other devices, you can see how much time is devoted to that.  Another culprit is getting sucked into a TV show someone else turned on.  I don’t turn the TV on very often, but if someone else in the house has it on, I can easily lose 30 minutes watching something that I never would have put on myself.

10. Keep a Schedule

You can find plenty of resources talking about why kids do well with schedules.  However, they can be beneficial to everyone in the house. For example, my son goes to bed at 7pm every night.  During the week I get home from work around 6:20. Therefore, I know from the time I walk in the door until I put my son to bed, I’ll spend it with him.  Once he goes to bed, I have a solid 2.5 to 3 hours to do everything I need/want to do before going to bed.  By giving myself a bedtime of 9:30 – 10, I ensure that I’m not getting lost in TV or social media instead of getting the sleep I need.  If you don’t have a schedule in place, it may take a little trial and error.  However, once you find one that works for your family, it will have huge benefits.

11. Delegate

My last tip is to recognize that you won’t be able to do everything, and you shouldn’t be expected to. Ask your partner to cook dinner a couple of times a week if he gets off before you.  Divide and conquer with errands on the weekend.  Take turns helping kids with their homework.  You get the idea.

12. Rest

As a working mom, I’m sure you are overwhelmed with a to-do list that is impossible to complete in the 24 hours each day allows. However, skipping rest and relaxation in favor of trying to do as much as possible is a recipe for burnout. I definitely struggle with this because I like to constantly feel productive. However, I find that scheduling time into my week where I give myself permission to just forget my to-do list is a lifesaver. Sometimes this is reading a book, relaxing with my husband or just going to be early. I do sometimes struggle with getting my mind to shut off though. There are days when I try to sit relax and I spend the entire time overthinking things for myself and everyone else. If this sounds familiar, here are some awesome tips that help to quiet your mind.

What are your tips for organizing your week?  Let me know in the comments!

If you want to hear from other working moms that make it work, check out this interview series. I was even included as one of the interviews. You can view mine here.

If you found this helpful, make sure to sign-up for my newsletter in the sidebar, so you don’t miss any great content!

Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom
Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom

44 thoughts on “Organizing Your Week as a Busy Working Mom

  • December 13, 2018 at 11:17 pm
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    I am all about my schedules and calendar 😉 Great tips!

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    • December 18, 2018 at 1:33 am
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      Thanks! I have so much mom-brain going on these days that I can’t remember anything if I don’t write it down on my calendar!

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  • December 14, 2018 at 1:51 am
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    These are all great tips, and not just for the working mom. Many, if not all of these tips, could be beneficial to me as a SAHM. I like the idea of using an app to keep specific to-do lists. I have a notebook that I use to write things down, but I don’t always have that with me. However, my phone is with me every time! Social media is definitely a time waster for me and I haven’t quite found a way to avoid the mindless scrolling.

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    • December 18, 2018 at 1:31 am
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      I’m glad you found the tips helpful! I think it would be really easy to let time get away from you as a SAHM if you don’t keep a schedule/list.

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  • December 14, 2018 at 3:45 am
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    Oh I really like even these tips!! I’m definitely going to start using them so I can be more productive!!

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    • December 18, 2018 at 1:29 am
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      Thanks! Let me know how it works out!

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  • December 14, 2018 at 12:42 pm
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    I did the working mom thing before becoming a stay at home mom, and it had an equal amount of challenges as being a stay at home mom. You have to make a plan and stick to it so that you get everything done that needs to be, but yet you also have time for your family. There is indeed a fine balance.

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    • December 18, 2018 at 1:28 am
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      Time can definitely get away from you regardless of whether you are a working mom or SAHM.

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  • December 17, 2018 at 12:26 am
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    Awesome tips! I especially agree with delegating both at work and at home. It’s too much to try to do everything yourself. It’s important to lean on your partner for help.

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    • December 18, 2018 at 1:26 am
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      Parenting is a team effort! Leaning on your partner makes a huge difference!

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  • January 18, 2019 at 6:56 pm
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    I have learned to make a to-do list every week and every day. It keeps me focused. And, meal planning is a life saver!

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:25 pm
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      My to-do lists have more turned into jotting things down so I don’t forget. I really need to get back in the habit of outlining what I want to accomplish each day.

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  • January 18, 2019 at 7:51 pm
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    I don’t have a family, but I reckon these are great tips which would help anyone.

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:24 pm
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      Thanks! Who couldn’t use a little more organization and efficiency in their life?

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  • January 18, 2019 at 7:52 pm
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    I wouldn’t know what to do without my planner! Most of my life is spent running around between the same three roads in our town. And yes I am guilty of going to the same store multiple times. I use a list but now I need to just remember to bring the list! 🙂 Thank you for these tips and reminders.

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:24 pm
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      Do you have a particular planner that you really like? I have to use my phone for lists because I will forget a paper list, but I never forget my phone (or if I do I go back for it).

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  • January 18, 2019 at 8:11 pm
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    I love #6. Identify Activities Likely to Have Downtime and Put that Time to Work. I am a sahm and try to take advantage of every moment, so that in the evening when my boys go to bed, I might have some me time before my bedtime.

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:23 pm
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      Getting things done to have that time is definitely something I keep reminding myself for motivation. I keep telling myself, yes I could play on social media, but then I’ll have to do things later, or I can get those things done now.

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  • January 18, 2019 at 9:14 pm
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    Must be Hard to be a Mom and have a fulltime job too! great tips for time managment ! thanks

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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      Thanks! It has plenty of challenges, but it’s really fulfilling and I enjoy it.

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  • January 18, 2019 at 10:18 pm
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    I’m not exactly a mom but I agree with meal planning. I meal prep every week for lunch at work and it takes off one hassle I have to think about during the week.

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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      Now that I’ve been meal planning for multiple years, I can’t imagine ever going back to not planning!

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  • January 19, 2019 at 12:53 am
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    I have so much trouble delegating. 1) I don’t have anybody to delegate TOO and 2) if I did I am convinced they’d do it wrong 😂

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:21 pm
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      I completely understand being afraid it would get done wrong! There are some things I still like to do myself because of that. I could ask my husband to put away my son’s laundry, but I’m convinced it wouldn’t be folded correctly, so I always do it.

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  • January 19, 2019 at 3:48 am
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    It’s not even easy for anyone to operate effectively without a schedule in these age and time. I must agree with you especially on the store run. I used to go to the store sometimes three times a day until I started making a note on my phone as the need arises and by the time I’m going to the store I get everything needed at once.

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:20 pm
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      Before we started meal planning, my husband would run to the store almost every day during the week for one or two things. Now that we meal plan, I can’t imagine a week of not doing it.

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  • January 19, 2019 at 4:57 am
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    Meal planning and family meetings definitely help the most in my house! That way everyone is on the same page and are fed, lol!

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:19 pm
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      And if everyone is fed, everyone is typically much happier lol

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  • January 19, 2019 at 9:03 am
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    Not a mom yet but I can imagine the amount of time management it needs to be a working mom. Salute to all of you!

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:17 pm
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      Thanks! It’s definitely a balancing act, but I enjoy it.

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  • January 19, 2019 at 11:43 am
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    Such good tips—- especially family planning each week!

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:17 pm
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      I think family planning greatly reduces stress and frustration over “surprise” schedule changes because it gets everyone on the same page.

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  • January 19, 2019 at 2:06 pm
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    Love the meal planning tips! That’s definitely something I need to try!

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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      My husband and I started meal planning before we had kids, and it makes a huge difference in our ability to eat healthy and time saving because we only go to the store once.

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  • January 19, 2019 at 11:30 pm
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    Meal planning and meal prep on the weekends makes for an easier week. I like to pack all the lunches on Sunday and lay out (on hangers) all the outfits for the week–it really does make everything go more smoothly.

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:15 pm
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      Meal planning for the win! I love the idea of packing lunches and laying out outfits on Sundays too.

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  • January 20, 2019 at 1:30 pm
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    I actually have.a do-to-list on my phone that helps me keep track and stay organized for the week. Grear article.

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:14 pm
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      Thanks! I’m a big fan of having my list on my phone. I would need a list to keep track of my lists otherwise.

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  • January 22, 2019 at 9:55 am
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    I struggle to make time for everything – and the time goes so fast!

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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      There are never enough hours in the day for everything I want to do!

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  • January 22, 2019 at 2:24 pm
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    I live by these! If it wasn’t for structure I’d lose my mind. Now my kiddos are teens and I don’t believe we would have been successful with scheduling and sticking to it. This is great for moms (parents everywhere)

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    • January 22, 2019 at 9:12 pm
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      Thanks! Mom-brain is definitely real and without organization and structure I wouldn’t know if I was coming or going.

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  • January 22, 2019 at 11:08 pm
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    These tips can be useful to any one who wants to live a well structured life. Pre-planning is key . I like the idea of delegating as many of us erroneously think we can do it all.

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    • January 23, 2019 at 12:34 am
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      Thinking you can do it all is the beginning of the end, but it’s a hard habit to break!

      Reply

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