How to Manage Time Wisely for the Busy Working Mother
Since we can't get that 25th hour, let's talk time management.
Time management can be a difficult skill to master. In fact, many working mothers agree that there simply isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Even the most organized working mom can become stressed out when short on time.
You manage a quadruple workload daily. You try to take good care of yourself (aka self-care), you want to take care of your family well, you have a home to keep clean and organized, and, of course, you want a career you're proud of. This heavy workload is why you're searching for the best time management strategies!
Well, search no more! To get the most accomplished each day, use the following time management strategies on a regular basis.
Make a Plan Using a Planner
You know if you want to get things done you need to make a list. Making to-do lists is something you're awesome at. It's completing them that can be tricky.
The key is finishing that to-do list is planning when you'll do it. As well has to have the energy to do it. You're going to need a good planner.
If you're creative, start a bullet journal. This way all of your lists can be in one spot. If you don't have the time to draw out boxes try The Happy Planner™ by me & my BIG ideas. If neither of these is what you're looking for decide what is important to you in your planner and find one that suits you.
Next, take that to-do list and plan out your to-do list items. Take into account how much energy you'll have prior to doing the task. Will this task exhaust you? Then before you try to finish another task, consider how much energy you have left over. When you realistically plan your time and energy you avoid frustration and produce better results.
Set Priorities and Realistic Goals
One of the most common time management mistakes is getting distracted and procrastinating. Good time management is all about staying focused. So, how can a busy mom get focused when there's so much to do?
If you feel overwhelmed by your workload grab your planner, make a to-do list, then prioritize. Making this plan of attack will make you feel like things are more doable. A little bit of planning can go a long way.
If you're suffering from procrastination take advice from one of the best time management gurus out there, Brian Tracy, and "eat that frog". Your frog is that big task you're putting off, for whatever reason. So think about how awesome you'll feel if you finish the big task. Everything else will feel so easy to do if you just ate that frog.
Once you have your tasks in order stay focused. If you're working on a business presentation, don't start thinking about what you're going to cook for dinner. Instead, stay present by completing your presentation before allowing your mind to wander. If you can't stop stressing about dinner plans take a five-minute break to write down your meal plans. Then get back on track.
Avoid Ineffective Multi-Tasking
Many working mothers think you can save time by multitasking. However, multitasking has its drawbacks when you try to complete two physical tasks at once. For example, don't try to iron your suit while helping your kids pick out an outfit; something or someone will get burned to the hustle. Multitasking, however, can be effective if you choose to complete only one physical task at a time, such as making a long-awaited phone call to your mother while ironing.
Separate Work and Motherhood Responsibilities
One of the best time management secrets is to leave parental responsibilities at home when you're at work. Similarly, when you walk in the door after work, put on your "mommy hat" and leave your job responsibilities at the office.
If your job requires you to take home work, such as if you're a teacher and have papers to grade, complete these tasks after the children are in bed. If you work from home, make sure there is an end to your day. You need to close your home office door and leave work. It's all about being present, or mindful, in whatever role you are currently in.
Finding the right way to manage your time and energy comes with practice. You'll figure out how much you can accomplish given your quadruple workload. Once you get better at certain tasks, they'll take you less time to finish. This is how you get more done!