5 Time Management Tips for Busy Moms
Happy New Year, friends! If you’re like me, it feels as though the new year has started with a hopeful bang! The gates of 2021 opened and I am off and running toward all of the promise this year holds! As we prepare for everything we want to accomplish this year, it’s easy to find yourself exhausted at the end of the day thinking,
Where did the hours go?
How is it already dinner time? Didn’t I just fix lunch an hour ago?
Whether you work inside or outside the home, those precious hours of daylight are easy to lose when you’ve got a busy schedule. One of my goals for this year is to be more organized and to manage my time efficiently. I want to offer you five tips that are easy to implement and just might help you feel a bit more productive...and sane… at the end of the day.
Create a Schedule
This is a big one. It is so easy to feel out of control when forgotten appointments or play dates pop up. Nothing makes you feel more out of control than scrambling to squeeze something into your day that fell off of your radar.
The solution to this, friends, is to start writing everything that requires your time in a schedule. I don’t care how you do it. Swear by the calendar on your phone? Great! Love seeing everything written in artful calligraphy in a bougie day planner? Fantastic. Feel like you’re doing good if you scrawl the days’ events in an old spiral notebook? No judgement here.
Use whatever works for you, but jot down all activities, classes, play dates, appointments, and tasks somewhere. You’ll know exactly what each day entails and feel more in control.
I love my Passion Planner, they are super fun and come in 3 sizes and lots of colors.
Let’s say you’ve created your schedule, but looking at a day with seven entries does not make you feel in control. Let’s say it instills a sense of panic. If this is the case, it’s time to do some thoughtful editing to your list.
Why not plan on looking at the upcoming week before it starts….say, on Sunday afternoon? Are there any days that look overwhelmingly hectic? Does your heart start to race just looking at it? Take a few calming breaths then go over the busiest days with a discerning eye…
What appointments are a priority?
What can you reschedule?
Odds are, you’ll find a few items on your calendar that can be moved to another date, allowing you to move through the tasks of the day without feeling overwhelmed.
A great book that tackles this very subject so well is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It's a book I always go back to.
I have to be careful here because we know, as moms, there is an expectation that we can do no less than seventeen tasks at once. And, as any mom will tell you, this is one of the fastest ways for women to feel overwhelmed and unsuccessful because, often, you end up working at a breakneck pace yet nothing gets fully completed.
This is why I suggest multitasking smartly. Try combining a relatively mindless physical task with one that requires more focus. Watching a program with your child while you fold laundry might be one example. Going over the week’s upcoming schedule that you’ve so diligently filled out while eating dinner could be another. You might return phone calls while the kids play in the yard.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how wonderfully helpful the Nalakai slings are when you need to accomplish a task while holding your little one. They are wonderfully comfortable and allow you use of both hands while snuggling with your baby. It’s a lovely way to multitask while keeping baby close.
Set Work Hours
Being a mom is a full time job, but one that doesn’t come with a supervisor telling you when to go to lunch and what time to take much-needed breaks.
Setting official work hours gives you permission to “clock out” from being on duty. Establishing breaks at regular times during the day will help create a routine that other family members come to expect and will replenish your energy stores throughout the day.
“No” is a Complete Sentence
As a mom, it is SO easy to let yourself overcommit. After all, we don’t want our children to miss out on a fun experience. And, other moms serve on no less than eight committees while organizing baby workout classes and signing up for room mom duties at school...maybe we should add another thing or two to our plate...right?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t join committees where your expertise and talents are needed. I’m saying, if someone asks you to put another thing on your plate...and you’re looking at that beautiful schedule you created and can’t find a way to make it fit, it is absolutely….100%...ok to say no without providing further explanation.
“No” is a complete sentence, and keeping your plate and your schedule open so you can participate in the things that are most important to you and your family is a wonderful gift to give yourself.
There you have it. Five tips to help you manage your time in a way that allows you to be more fully present for your family.
What are your favorite time management tips? Comment below...we’d love for you to share!