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Time-saving tips for working moms

Melissa Chapman and her brood of three live in the urban concrete jungle of NYC. She writes Kids in the City Kids in the City a weekly column and blog for the Staten Island Advance, contributes to SheKnows, Time Out NY Kids Time Out N...

Time tips for busy moms

Being a mom, you're acutely aware that time is a precious commodity and that 24 hours in a day is simply not enough time to complete all the tasks you have on your plate. Between your roles as dishwasher, homework helper, short-order cook, royal bather and storyteller, when you add a career to the mix just getting through each day can often feel like you've run a 10K marathon. If you're a working mom looking to get your errands done a bit more efficiently so that you might have a few extra hours to decompress from the hustle of your daily grind, check out these time saving tips that will help you get all your chores done with time to spare!

7 Time-saving tips for working moms

1. Take time to save time.

According to Parenting Communicator Priscilla J. Dunstan, working moms should arrive 20 minutes early to pick up the kids from school or recreational activities and use that extra time to clear your mind, read a magazine, send personal e-mails to friends or grab a cup of coffee. By properly transitioning this way, when the children are done with school and ready to go, you'll have long left "work mode" behind and can fully focus on the kids in "parent mode." Taking those extra 20 minutes for you will enhance the quality of the time you spend with your children.

2. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.

Working moms should always be prepared for a worst case scenario, says Ms. Dunstan. If your child spills the last of the milk at breakfast, and all you have for breakfast in the house is cereal, be prepared by having powdered or canned milk in the cupboard for emergencies. The time you will spend grabbing breakfast at the drive thru will make your kids late for school, you'll be late for work and your whole day will be thrown off.

3. Outsource time consuming tasks.

If you cannot afford to hire someone to help with cooking, cleaning or yard work, Ms. Dunstan suggests working moms tag team with friends or neighbors who can help. For example, you can hire the same cleaning person with your neighbor and get a discount for the two homes or hire a student to run errands, all of which frees you up to spend the extra time with your children.

4. Make two of everything whenever you can.

If you're making a casserole, prepare enough for two and freeze one. The time you save preparing dinner is time you can spend reviewing your child's homework or reading an extra bedtime story.

5. Depending on how old your kids are, delegate making the daily brown-bag lunches to them!

According to Susan Lynn Perry author of Procrastination Elimination, tell the kids you've decided to start packing spinach and broccoli for their lunches... unless they would like to make their lunches themselves. Encourage them to take responsibility for their own lunches, which will shave some time off your morning routine.

6. Pick out what you and your kids plan to wear to work and school all week.

Every Sunday put the clothes you and your kids have chosen at the front of your closets, says Ms. Perry. This will eliminate the time-consuming morning hassle of looking in your closet and waiting for something to "speak to you."

7. Set your coffee maker up the night before, locked and loaded, so it's ready when you wake up.

This one simple task will free up a few minutes in a working mom's tight morning schedule so you can start out the day a little easier and a little less rushed.

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