7 weeks into my twin journey and about 100 interruptions before I was able to sit down and pen this column things are only heating up in the Burrell-Smith household. My previously sleepy newborns are waking up and that only means one thing, less time than ever before to get stuff done. So here are the ways I am managing to keep focused on daily tasks that need to be done while constantly racing against the clock, my mummy time management.
1. Start each day with a ‘to do’ list
Just before I go to bed, or while I am going about my first feed I make a quick note in the i-phone of everything I want to get done that week and that day. That way I know roughly how much time I will need to pull out of each day and negotiate with my partner to get this time to ensure any task gets completed by days end. This admittedly runs more smoothly during the first half of the week than it does by the time we get to Thursday and Friday.
2. Exercise early.
If I have not left the house by lunchtime I won’t be leaving and for this reason walks and gym visits are scheduled first thing in the morning several times each week so a basic level of exercise is maintained.
3. TV when feeding only
I love trashy TV – Housewives I can’t get enough; OJ bring it on or any US sitcom and I am hooked but now late night TV has been swapped for much needed rest and I will record all my shows and enjoy them during nighttime feeds. This makes getting up at 2, 3, 4 and 5 so much more enjoyable.
4. Quick and easy meals only
Forget any mixed meals that take longer than 10-15 minutes to prepare. Meat or fish or BBQ chicken and frozen vegetables are our staple weeknight dinner – DeCosti’s Fresh fish and Peppercorn Lean Snags two of our favourite tasty meals we enjoy each week.
5. Multiple meal prep.
While I am making dinner, I also make lunch for the household for the next day and clean up as I go. This means that lunch and dinner are prepared within 15-20 minutes and days’ food preparation is finished by 7pm each night. I also use this time to prepare the twins bottles, wash and sterilize them and sort out the rubbish.
6. Social media in between
Gone are the days of constant Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posting – most social media we use for Shape Me or for my site is scheduled in advance and I only check my social media when I am doing something else (usually holding a baby).
7. The walking catch up
I have a number of great friends who I previously lunched with on a regular basis rather than lose a couple of hours going to the gym most days, instead I walk with the twins and catch up with girlfriends at the same time.
8. Get some help
Due to the nature of my work, sitting down for several hours each week and churning out a number of articles is ideal and I was able to manage this when the twins were first at home. Now this is virtually impossible in between nappies, burping, feeding and tending to twins so I have found an affordable nanny to come in for 4-6 hours a week so I can write and go to meetings uninterrupted. This also means I am a lot more focused on the twins when I am caring for them the other days rather than also trying to get work done.
9. No work emails
I could spend the entire work day answering emails and getting little else done. There is now no time for that so emails are answered when I am waiting for something else (like the 2hours I was at Medicare last week), while waiting at the supermarket or doctors o while Chris is driving unless of course it is urgent or for a client who needs a response immediately.
10. Get up early
Sleep is a funny thing – you cannot stockpile it nor do we necessarily feel better with more. I do not feel better with 8-9 hours’ sleep than if I have had 6-7 so at this time in my life I have reconciled that I will only need 6 hours to feel ok, and getting up at 530 will give me a much needed extra hour or two each day to get extra work and / or exercise done and helps me to feel much more in control of my day. When we feel in control, we feel empowered and that is often all that is needed to feel energized and in control of the crazy lives we have created.