Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind, Part 1

In the Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind series, guest bloggers pass on their best time management tips for parents of kids with special needs.

When I read Cheaper By the Dozen in junior high, I totally identified with the father’s desire to organize his saintly wife and children into an efficient, time-saving machine. However, he had much more success with his 12 kids than I ever did with my 2, but my interest in time management never waned. To this day, I love to organize and write to do lists. If it wasn’t such a waste of time, I’d spend hours in the planner aisle at Staples or searching for templates on line.

Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind, Part 1

From Day Dreamer to Day Planner

My sister and brother find my transformation from day dreamer to day planner hard to believe. Of course, they remember me as the middle sibling with her nose constantly in a book with no idea of time or place, perpetually late, and very disorganized. Their jaws dropped when they heard I presented a time management workshop for parents of kids with special needs at the Accessibility Summit a couple weeks ago.

If I wasn’t aware of how the transformation took place, my jaw would be dropping, too. But I know that God placed several mentors into my life who showed me how to become organized. One was my best friend Jane, who moved to town the summer before we were freshman in high school. She taught me to complete worksheets on time, organize and turn them in, and to complete read assignments before class began. (Bless you, dear Jane!) Other mentors were the head of the nursing home kitchen where I worked as a dietary aid in high school and college, the teacher who supervised me during student teaching, and several other teaching colleagues.

Special Needs Organizational Mentors

When I began writing about special needs a few years ago, many of the parents interviewed for A Different Dream for My Child and Different Dream Parenting became mentors, too. They shared amazing ideas for managing life with kids who have special needs. Many of them are now guest bloggers here at So when it came time to prepare for the workshop at the Accessibility Summit, naturally, I asked them to share their time management tips. Their tips were so good, I decided to pass them along to you as part of a time management series.

Without wasting any more time, let’s get started!

Melissa Gamble’s Managing Your Mind Without Losing Your Mind Tips

Melissa and her husband Brant are parents of one daughter Ginny. She gives the following 3 tips:

  1. Weekly Calendar Time: Schedule a weekly calendar time to discuss the upcoming week’s events, appointments, etc. (We usually done on Sunday night before bed.) We also have a shared Google Calendar* that we sync to our phones to keep track of appointments and other things.
  2. Make Lists: List making is crucial to getting stuff done. I carry a large spiral notebook with me everywhere. Without a list nothing gets done for me.  I try to keep a long term list, medium term, and immediate list in this spiral notebook.
  3. Meal Planning:  We couldn’t survive without it.  I do it once a month. This helps alleviate multiple trips to the store.

*Jolene’s husband seconds the Google Calendar idea. He says the calendar/phone options keep him organized.

Share Your Managing Your Time without Losing Your Mind Tips

Thanks, Melissa, for sharing your time management tips. If one of those tips solves a problem for you, leave a comment about how it helped. And please, leave a comment with your best time management tip if you like. And come back tomorrow for tips from another guest blogger, Amy Stout.

Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind, Part 2
Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind, Part 3
Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind, Part 4
Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind, Part 5

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One Response to “Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind, Part 1”

  1. Amy says:

    I, too, love “Cheaper by the Dozen” and DREAM of having our life be that efficient!! I often find that the areas of “breakdown” are the events that form our memories and make us laugh later… much later sometimes!!

    maybe someday we’ll have it “all together” …. ha!

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