The big change when dealing with time management for moms is the fact that scheduling and planning needs to be very flexible to adapt to the changing needs of babies, kids, teens, spouses, work, play, and so on. The other big difference is that the ‘work’ never ends – there are always new demands and tasks that remain undone, so much of the time management for kids will also focus on prioritizing and evaluating tasks – are they urgent, important, or some combination?
Thus, these time management tips for mothers focus on this: being flexible in the moment while also being rigorous and disciplined enough to get things done. This will help lower stress and make you more effective in all spheres of life.
Note again that the usual tip applies: check out the other chapters of this webbook for more general advice!
Time Management at Home
- The first tip is to stay organized. Keep things in their ‘right’ places, and don’t let clutter take over the home and your work spaces. Keep a calendar that you can use to schedule appointments. When possible, arrange blocks of times for important but ‘long term’ focused tasks, such as cleaning and organizing. Keep a to-do list, especially if you expect a hectic and varied day to come.
- Sometimes part of your time management skills will involve managing the time and activities of others. For instance, time management for teens can be difficult, especially when they are juggling the demands of school, work, family, and a social life. This webbook can give you tips that you can communicate to your children to help them be more efficient and productive – this will ease your load further.
- Don’t skip exercise, eating right, or getting enough sleep. You may need that hour for “work” instead of exercising or sleeping, and you may be tempted to get crappy foods on the go, but avoid those temptations as much as possible, for they are false claims. Sure, you may ‘save’ an hour by not exercising, but what are you losing on the back end? You may find your lower energy levels actually lead you to being less productive and effective than if you simply went to the gym and got your energy levels up int he first place.
- Prioritizing is going to be the key skill for many moms and dads who are juggling a hectic schedule. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to unimportant and non-urgent tasks. Getting help with tasks can also really lighten the load, so having friends or colleagues that can give you this aid can be invaluable. This is an important skill to cultivate, because it’s not possible to please everyone. Figure out your “must do” tasks and do them first and completely; delegate other tasks to those who can do them for you or, even better, totally eliminate them if at all possible.
- Focus is the key to time management, and that can be described in many ways here, as it has been described in other chapters. The tip I’ll give here is to “focus” on people – give your kids, family, coworkers, etc. undivided time. Twenty minutes of undivided attention is worth two hours of diverted, distracted attention! In terms of the time investment and effectiveness, it’s a no brainer.
- At the same time, take time to smell the roses. While life can be stressful, we shouldn’t let that make us rush through life without enjoying the great, if small, moments.