3 organizational mistakes that working parents make that decrease their productivity


Authorization slips. Football practice. The science fair project your child just thought about telling you about. Whether you’re a new parent or have spent years sucking animal cracker crumbs out of your minivan, having kids can force your attention in a million different directions, it’s the least we can do. can tell.

All the tasks that are vying for your attention can make it difficult to master the job. You might lose focus on a project, forget to send a thank you note for a recommendation, or find it hard to find the time to update your books. “Letting any of these things slip through the cracks won’t end your business, but it will be difficult for it to grow,” says Di Ter Avest, a professional home and lifestyle organizer. Through her business, Di Is Organized, she has done virtual and in-person transformations for Moms in addition to forming brand collaborations with IKEA and running workshops for Williams-Sonoma and West Elm.

According to Ter Avest, parents have more free time than we think. But we tend to waste it thanks to so many distractions around us. “Being productive means making better use of the time you already have,” says Ter Avest, who is married with two children. “A simple change can make your life exponentially easier. Fortunately, Ter Avest has shared three changes that help him do just that. Follow these tips to avoid time-wasting mistakes and get more done.

Mistake # 1: not maintaining your command center

Have you ever thought about the time you waste looking for a piece of paper you need to sign for the kids’ school or the dentist appointment reminder card? A command center, a single place where you keep your family’s appointments, important papers and more, is an essential part of any organized home. But that only partially solves the problem.

“Before coming to see me, many of my customers find that the command centers don’t work for them,” Ter Avest says. “But that’s because they never maintain them. They have a basket to retrieve authorizations for example, but they never go through it. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, set up an administration day once a week where you spend 15 to 30 minutes and update your command center, Ter Avest explains. “I ask my clients to set up an alert on their phone to remind them to do it every Sunday afternoon so they don’t forget. “

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Mistake # 2: keep it all in your head

Your brain can be overwhelmed when you try to keep too much information (dates, goals, that amazing jacket you saw on sale) in your mind. Conclusion: you will forget something, maybe something important. To keep a cool head, you’ll need to do what Ter Avest calls a ‘brain dump’.

“Every evening, spend five to ten minutes before bed to write down all the tasks that are worrying you,” says Ter Avest. “You can use a journal, a sketchbook, a virtual planner, an app, or whatever is convenient for you. She suggests including everything from household projects you need to get started, to things you need to do for work, to things your child may forget to bring to school tomorrow.

“Once you’ve done that, your brain will be free to focus on one important thing at a time, instead of bouncing around from project to project trying to remember all the things,” Ter Avest explains. . “Spend another five or ten minutes looking at your list and deciding on the next steps. This moment of focus will help you be more productive, less stressed, and get a good night’s sleep knowing that everything will be under control.

Mistake # 3: Take All Responsibility

You don’t have to do everything. There are many household chores that you can outsource to family members. Ter Avest suggests making a list of household chores (like loading the dishwasher, taking out the trash, preparing lunches) and then calling a family reunion. “Explain to your partner and children that you need their help, show them the list and ask them to volunteer to take on responsibilities,” says Ter Avest, who notes that even small children can choose outfits or do a PB&J. “Giving them the opportunity to make their voices heard, to make a choice and to feel involved in the process will contribute to the feeling of ownership. Knowing that they helped you solve problems will keep them motivated to get things done.

For this to work, however, you need a timeline. “Remember that a successful day begins the day before,” says Ter Avest. “Establish a time when everyone will do their chores in the evening. For my kids, that time is between dinner and electronics time. They should complete their to-do list before having fun before bed.

“Having someone else make sandwiches for the kids tomorrow might be all the time you need to pull out that work or bath thank you card.” These changes may seem daunting, but I’ve seen them work in my clients’ lives and in my own life, ”says Ter Avest. “I can guarantee that they will help you create a better, healthier and more organized future.”

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