The following guest article is written by Caroline Hampton – a career counselor and guest author of the guide to best online degrees for single mothers at BestCollegesOnline.org.
Being a single mom is hard work. Here are five life hacks that are sure to help you relax, maximize your productivity and save you money.
As silly as it sounds, standing may be the simplest life hack that is sure to maximize your productivity. Todays digital age means most people sit around at a desk all day, but recent studies reveal that sitting may be a huge productivity killer. In fact, research suggests we can do the same amount of work in almost half the time just by standing.
Perhaps its psychological – we associate sitting with rest and relaxation, and thus we perform work at a slower pace. Or perhaps its because standing for prolonged hours can be painful, and pain makes us concentrate.
Un-clutter Your Life
Think you aren’t a hoarder? Think again. De-cluttering your life isn’t just about getting rid of things that we don’t need – it also means letting go of the people in our lives that aren’t worth our time. Of course, downgrading a lifelong friend to an acquaintance because she’s no longer a friend can be hard, so perhaps you should start small.
The key is not to get overwhelmed. Resolve to de-clutter something new every week. This week begin with your closet. Anything you haven’t worn in the past year should be given away, or sold at a garage sale. Same goes for the rest of the house – anything that has outlived its usefulness is sold at the garage sale or given to Goodwill. Even these small steps will lift a weight off your shoulders, and might even put some money back into your pocket.
Keep in mind while you’re going through your house that your memories, and things, are separate – getting rid of the thing doesn’t get rid of the memories. And trust me, you will be amazed how much more efficient and less stressed you will be once you’ve completely clutter-free!
Take A Walk
Every single mom knows that no matter how hard you try, life gets stressful at times. Next time something goes wrong, rather than let yourself get worked up and overwhelmed about whatever it is, why not take a walk?
Leave your iPod, phone, friends, family and dog at home and set off on a power walk, with no particular destination in mind. There’s something about listening to your lungs fill up with air and your feet hit the pavement that really relaxes you and helps you think more clearly.
Many people find that walking gives them a new perspective on their problem, and often will lead you to a solution you would have never thought of before.
Set Cell Phone Alarms
Another shockingly simple solution to keeping your family on time – cell phone alarms. Many cell phones these days allow you to set multiple alarms and assign different ring tones for each kid so you’ll always know who needs to be where when. Genius!
Buy Essentials in Bulk
To be sure, buying in bulk will only save you money sometimes. For instance, buying food in bulk makes sense if you have a large family, particularly if you have a house full of growing boys who tend to inhale food. Specifically, stocking up on pasta, frozen and canned vegetables, flour, potatoes, chicken, etc. can be economical – just make sure that you have enough storage and/or freezer space, and that you’re still getting a good price.
Often times, stores like CVS will offer great deals on some products in hopes that you don’t notice you’re getting ripped off on others. But if you shop smart, buying in bulk can be a great budget trick.