Get organised by
Time management

Get organised!

If there is one thing that I have come to realise over the years on how to simplify your life as a single parent, it would be to get and keep organised.

I admit that I’m a bit of an organisational freak; that is I love all sorts of lists, agendas, reminders, notifications, post-its and whatever there is in the “organisational heaven”;-) However, all these do not necessarily make you organised… On the contrary, by using so many different tools I ended up missing things and while appearing to be organised I was in reality all but that.

When it comes to being organised the key words are: SIMPLICITY and SYSTEM(S). What I mean by that is that you need to find the tools that are simple enough and assist you best in keeping organised.

As mentioned, for a very long time I was using a plethora of tools simultaneously. I really discourage you from doing so as it will all but simplify your life.

After quite some research into different apps available (and there are many out there!), I came across a free app called Wunderlist. I have been using it for almost a year now and I’m really happy with it. It is super simple to use (which is a big plus), allows me to plan all the activities (work/home etc.) in one place, has a system of notifications (daily/hourly) and synchronises to-do-lists between different devices (phone/tablet/computer).

In addition to having an electronic daily planning tool such as this, I wanted to share with you some other “essential-organisational-tips-to-retain-sanity-as-a-working-(single)-parent”;-). While some of them might take some of your time once per week, I strongly believe that their impact on making your day-to-day life easier cannot be overestimated!

  • Weekly meal plan: My daughter and I have our lunch at work/school so this is mainly used for our evening meals. Every weekend I write down the meals for the week on a simple print-out calendar. This proved really helpful in removing the stress of thinking about what to cook in the evening only on my way home from work!
  • Clothes’ list: Getting ready for school in the morning used to be a struggle ever since my little mademoiselle decided to be her own stylist. There was never enough time in the mornings for her fashion make-overs, leaving me stressed and resulting in us almost missing our train… I used to wish she wore a uniform to school. But then one day she came up with a great idea that we have been using ever since. Every weekend she prepares her clothes for the week. Yes, five outfits with all accessories included;-) This really simplifies our mornings! The next step is for me to do the same with my outfits;-)
  • Groceries’ shopping: I admit grocery shopping is one of the things I dislike the most. I always find it an utter waste of time to spend an hour or more in a supermarket – especially on a sunny day! I have tried some online groceries’ shopping but not convinced (not all items there, photos sometimes misleading, freshness of fruits and vegetables questionable etc.), so still going on my weekly pilgrimage to a supermarket. It is getting a bit more bearable with my daughter growing up and eager to help. As for the groceries’ shopping list, I use Wunderlist.
  • Bills and other admin stuff: I try to keep these things automated as much as possible with bills being paid automatically from my bank account. It’s a great time saver! In order to keep my finance in check and to pay any additional one-off bills I still schedule a monthly log-in into my e-bank account though. I usually do this at the end of the month but this will probably depend on your pay day.

In addition to these daily and weekly to-do-lists, I keep a separate system for more strategic planning and check in on it regularly.

While I agree that not everything needs to be planned and spontaneity can be refreshing, I would advise you to try some of the above and see for yourself. Remember: keep it simple, find your system and stick to it!

What are some of your tips to keep organised? I’d love hearing from you!