7 Life hacks for working moms (or really any busy human)

 
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There is a lot to get done during a week around here. I love every moment of it but without some shortcuts and tools to create margin, there is literally no way we could all stay afloat. So today I’m going to share a few things that I use on a daily basis to help me make it through with the minimal amount of damage possible. I literally just scrolled through my phone and browsed my computer to remind myself of the things I forget I even use.

Want to know what they are?

In no specific order:

1) TODOISt

I am listing this baby first because I use it religiously every single day. For everything from groceries to storing date night ideas, Todoist is the place I go when my brain is pinged and I need to dump a task anywhere that’s not the closest piece of unopened mail or one of the kids most recent paintings. Shhhhh don’t tell.

I organize my task lists into major groups like Family, Marketwake, Cocktail Commons, Personal, Finances, Home and Ideas… and then I break out sub categories in each.

The BEST part about Todoist is that you can invite others to join a list FOR FREE and collaborate with you. Ben and I use this feature on the daily to keep our grocery list up to date and in one place, along with our family todo list throughout the week and house goals we want to keep on the radar.

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2) Amazon Prime Now

I know this is no major secret - but I feel like I need to give a few reasons as to why Amazon Prime Now makes ALL of the sense to anyone who is juggling time and trying to create more margin. Disclaimer: I don’t think that Amazon Prime Now is available absolutely everywhere so if it doesn’t deliver to your house… I am so sorry and you can skip to the next section.

But if it does deliver to your area…

Let me tell you about a story about how I haven’t been to the grocery store in probably 6 months or more.

Seriously. And I feed a lot of people, often.

Every Sunday I typically schedule out our meals for the week (I just pick 4 and don’t necessarily assign them to a day, I just like to have 4 planned dinners on the books) and place an order. I can literally have them delivered to my door FOR FREE within 2 - 4 hours. Are you kidding me? I used to feel a little guilty sacrificing quality when ordering through Prime (who knows where all my groceries were coming from?) but then they started providing Wholefoods on the menu so it’s pretty much a no brainer for me now. I spend less because I’m forced to plan more, I don’t impulse buy, and I can easily compare prices and shop sales — which I never take the time to do when I am browsing a store with 2 kids in the cart begging me for snacks (or honestly even when they are not there).

So cheers to you Amazon Prime Now for saving me with 2 hour delivery before volunteer days at the kids school, hosting friends for dinner but forgetting to pick up the food the day before, or needing to make a cocktail for my team at work the next day but not wanting to spend my kid’s dinner time at the grocery store.

All very true stories.

All very much moments when my tail was saved by Amazon Prime Now.

Not sponsored — just infatuated.


3) Unroll.me

I spend a great deal of time in my email each day. Between my work and personal inbox, I am managing a toooooon of messages. Some of them I do actually want to read but don’t want to HAVE to read and file or delete every single day. So… I roll them up!

Unroll.me let’s me easily combine all of my non-essential daily emails (asos, audible, old navy… don’t tempt me you fools) into one daily newsletter that I can either read or delete… with one click. It also allows me to easily unsubscribe from emails all in a row instead of having to click through separately and go through the unsubscribe process with each brand.

Every couple of months I hop back in to the app and clean up, organize and unsubscribe from more lists just to keep both of my inboxes more manageable (and to keep myself from being tempted to shop sales every. single. day).

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4) Boomerang Chrome Plugin

Oh Boomerang — how I love thee. Not too long ago I started using this Chrome app and i’m not sure how I lived without it. It has a ton of features but my favorite one is telling an email to come back into my inbox in 1 hour, several hours, tomorrow, etc…

I am one to get lost in a sea of messages and start feeling the wind taken from my sails instead of the thrill of conquering them all. Boomerang is super helpful in allowing me to prioritize my inbox so that I can minimize the amount of messages I need to tackle in one sitting, and then can schedule the rest to come back later in the afternoon or the following day depending on where they fall in importance. I use this in my work inbox all the time and even in my personal.

For example, if I have 30 minutes in the evening to knock out some personal emails (kids school, family, financial… whatever) I spend the first 6 minutes Boomeranging to weed out the messages that are lower in priority. Then, I’ll spend the next 20 minutes actually knocking out the emails that are left in my inbox.

Bottom line — highly efficient and helpful if you are someone that gets overwhelmed with the big stuff and functions better in the manageable.


5) *Yoshi - anyone tried it?

This is actually something I don’t use yet… but I have been wanting to try. Have you heard of Yoshi? They are an app that provides mobile car servicing (gas, car wash, & oil changes kind of thing) and I’m kind of intrigued.

My worst life is when I’m leaving work and so excited to get home and see my kids, but my car is on empty and I have to waste time stopping. Filling up my tank. Letting Atlanta traffic REALLY pile up and keep me from seeing my family for even longer… Can you tell I really hate it?

So, I’ve been weighing the cost/benefit of using something like Yoshi so that I don’t have to spend my time pumping gas when I’d rather be spending it with people I love.

Would love to hear your thoughts if you use something like this!


6) LastPass

Nothing makes me feel like an older fart than having a hard time logging into any (or every) site that needs a UN and PW. And I won’t lie. Until VERY recently I was using spreadsheets to manage them (it hurts to say out loud) but after we started using LastPass at my office I got really hooked on how easy and secure it is to log into everything without getting frustrated or feeling like an old fart.

So over the past several months, every time I login to a utility account or our bank or literally anything else… I take the time to make sure I have my personal LastPass account engaged and am saving all that information — it’s now paying off in a huuuuuge way and I seriously am less inclined to postpone sitting down and paying bills or taking care of ‘adulting’ tasks because I know I won’t have to dread the “WHAT’S MY FREAKING UN?!” moment.


7) SimpliSafE

Ben and I have never been super fond of alarm systems and haven’t felt a real need to have one in our home. We haven’t had one until recently and our impetus for getting it wasn’t necessarily the alarm piece of it, but having some control in knowing who was coming in and out of our house throughout the day and when we are out of town.

Our schedules can be crazy and we truly have a village that helps keep our family afloat. Makes me cry just thinking about how special it is. Having Simplisafe gives Ben and I an extra layer of peace to know when the kids are home, when they’re not, when packages are being dropped off, when kids are hanging out on our porch in the morning before the bus comes (haha) and even lets me spy on my kids right before I drive home at the end of a long day and hear their sweet voices playing in the living room.


I could keep going here, but if I do, I may never get this blog launched so I am going to leave you with a cliff-hanger.

Until next time…


 
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