With the constant “go-go-go” of our lives today, it seems like moms are struggling more than ever to balance all of their responsibilities…
Below are several time management tips for the busy mom to help you utilize what precious little time you have, in order to effectively manage and prioritize your responsibilities.
WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER
One of the best time management tips is to work smarter, not harder. Instead of trying to do a million things at once, hyper-focus on one task at a time. By focusing, instead of attempting to multi-task, you will be able to complete each task quickly and more efficiently. Believe me, I understand the pressure of feeling like you need to juggle everything at once, but in reality, it’s smarter to do one thing at a time and do it right.
This equates to all aspects of life, not just your responsibilities. For example, when you are spending time with your children or significant other, make sure you are giving them your undivided attention. Try to be present in the moment and put everything else away for the time being.
JUST SAY “NO”
Learning the power of that two letter word is one of the biggest steps we can take towards managing our time more efficiently. Let go of the idea that you need to attend every fundraiser, field trip or event that comes your way.
Yes, it’s important to be as involved as possible, but there comes a point where you need to step back and put those boundaries in place. Unfortunately, this is one of the most difficult things to swallow as a mom, because inevitably somebody will end up disappointed.
On the other hand, remember to look at the flip-side. By trying to take on everything, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin. This means that nobody wins in the long run. In order to master time management, prioritize your time by doing what’s most important.
LEARN TO DELEGATE
One of the greatest time management tips is to realize that you can’t do it all. As a fellow control-freak, I understand feeling the need to do everything yourself. But is it really worth it?
Let go of the idea of “perfection”, because it simply isn’t attainable. By pushing yourself beyond your limits, you are doing more harm than good. Instead, learn the wisdom in asking and accepting help from others.
Build a support group around you and create the foundation you need to succeed. For example, delegate some of the household responsibilities between your spouse and kids. Even if they don’t do things they way you would, appreciate their effort.
Also, establish a network of child-care for those times you just need to get away. If you are fortunate enough, take advantage of free help from your parents. Otherwise, consider trading off babysitting with other moms you trust. Finally, if all else fails, hire care when necessary.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with a laundry list of to-do items for the day, in order to avoid being counter-productive. Instead, set a realistic number of tasks for each day.
My recommendation is to fill out your planner or make a to-do list the night before. Keep the list to an absolute minimum, in order to maximize your productivity. At the end of each day, enjoy the satisfaction of checking off each item you completed. You will be amazed at how much you accomplished!
Remember, don’t beat yourself up if you weren’t able to finish all your tasks. Life happens, especially for a busy mom. Instead, give yourself grace and pick up where you left off the next day.
SET REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS
Set a reasonable time frame for completing each of your responsibilities. By holding yourself accountable, you are more likely to stay on task and be productive.
This doesn’t just apply to your to-do list, but should filter into all aspects of your life as well. As a busy mom, avoid getting lost in the hustle of life by always having short and long-term goals to work towards. This will keep you motivated, inspired and consistently achieving personal growth.
WORK YOURSELF INTO THE EQUATION
Moms tend to focus so intently on everybody else, oftentimes forgetting to work themselves into the equation. Remember to get enough rest, exercise and take care of your body. Ultimately, prioritizing your sanity and well-being is a huge step towards achieving better time management.
If you work outside of the home, do your best to leave work at the office at the end of each day. On the other hand, if you are a work from home mom, make sure you set specific work hours. Furthermore, if you are a stay at home mom, let go of that nagging need to constantly take care of everyone.
Set aside time at the end of each day to let go of all life’s responsibilities and do something you enjoy. Take a hot bath, relax with your husband or indulge in your favorite treat.
If you need more ideas about how to incorporate better self-care into your life, check out this post on how to create a self-care routine. Trust me, spending a few minutes each day doing something you enjoy will improve your productivity tremendously.
Moms have a lot on their plates, that’s just the nature of the beast. Implementing these time management tips will help you avoid overwhelm and achieve some of that balance you are desperately searching for.