There’s one person who brings home the bacon, fries it up in the pan- and manages it all without the help of a man. She’s a baker, a banker, a nurse, a mechanic, a handyman, and whatever else life calls for – everyday. She’s a single mom. Here’s some tips from the ultimate time-management professional on how to get through it all, with almost all of your sanity in tact;
Lesson #1 – there are 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely. Do what you need to do, when you need to do it. The last thing you need is a list of unfinished things to do to drive you over the edge.
Lesson #2 – It doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be done. In later years, you can return to perfectionism if you choose, but for now – don’t take time away from what’s really important to stress over things that aren’t that important.
Lesson #3 – Learn how to do things efficiently. Learn the tricks to keeping your house clean. Learn how to cook fast healthy dinners. Plan your trips in a logical sequence. Use lists. Shop online. Minutes are precious – save as many as you can.
Lesson #4 – swallow your pride and ask for help if you need it. As much as you may want to prove to the world that you are capable of everything, we can’t do everything all by ourselves. If you’re running late or tied up in traffic and don’t think you’ll make it in time to get your kid out of daycare, call a friend or neighbor. Offer to feed them. You’ll have a nice visit and relax a little. Everyone wins.
Lesson #5 – give help as much as you can, without taking away from your own family. If a friend or neighbor doesn’t have a car, offer to take them to the store when you go. If they’re not feeling well, offer to pick up something when you go to the store. Make an extra serving of your dinner to take over. You can do a lot of little things for people with hardly any effort.
Lesson #6 – Learn to get along with difficult people – there are many people in your life that you would rather not deal with, but have to. Ex-spouses usually hold the #1 position on that list. But the long-term benefits of not having to argue all the time, less stress on your kid, not having to take everything to court to settle, really do outweigh the discomfort of having to deal with this person and remain civil. If you are newly divorced, take comfort, it gets better after a couple of years in most cases. That is until your child turns 13, but that’s a whole nother story!
Other people on your hate to deal with list may include bosses, family members, and some customers. There are benefits to being able to deal with these people. Always remember that point, tough as it is sometimes.
Lesson #7 – Choose your battles. Only yell, argue, or stress over things that really make a difference. Let little things slide. That being said, don’t be a doormat either. If it’s important, speak up!
Lesson #8 – Make health and fitness a priority. You need every ounce of energy. Fruits, vegetables, vitamins, exercise and water need to be on the top of the list for you and your kids so you all can operate at peak performance and get sick less often. Nothing throws a wrench in the works like once of you getting sick. And fresh fruits and vegetables make for really fast dinners and fewer dishes!
Lesson #9 – Get enough sleep. You know how much sleep you need to function through the next day. Make sure you get it. For most people, 6 hours is the minimum. 7 is optimal for me. How about you?
If you are practicing the other lessons, such as living efficiently, and getting enough nutrition and exercise, and getting help when you need it, getting enough sleep probably won’t be difficult.
Lesson #10 – Make time for fun. Especially with your kids. Friends and family are important too, but your kids will be grown before you know it. How do you want to be remembered? As a workaholic? A grouch? Depressed? Or happy, fun, confident, and capable?
And fun is important for your well-being. You can’t just live in a world of constant drudgery. It’s not healthy, and it sure doesn’t give you much to look forward to each day. All work and no play makes any of us dull.
Lesson #11 – You don’t have to have a mate to be complete. I see men and women all the time who are waiting for that perfect person, (or at least acceptable person) to make their life complete. I think this is so sad. There is so much to do in life, having someone else to answer to might actually be a hindrance. Go do things with your kids. Go out for lunch or dinner, or to a movie or play or museum, or art show, or concert, with friends. Get together often with friends who have kids. They don’t have to be single. You can enjoy each other’s company even if you don’t have a mate. Maybe even more.
Start a business. Take up a hobby. Create a garden. Decorate a room. Read books. Rent movies that you want to watch.
Make your life fulfilling. Then if someone comes along who fits in – that’s icing on the cake. But you’ll be less likely to settle for someone who’s wrong if you’re living a full life.
Lesson #12 – Live life on your terms. Your beliefs, dreams, and moral fiber are different from everyone else’s. Do not comprise who you are to make someone else happy. It never works. And certainly don’t compromise yourself to make money. Be rich in spirit. You’ll be a lot happier when you look at your reflection in the morning.
You can do more than you think you can.
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